You’ve likely heard the infamous statistic about how it costs 6 to 7 times as much to acquire a new client than it does to keep an old one.
The thing is… it’s true.
While the numbers may vary slightly from industry to industry, the fact remains that it costs far more to market to, acquire, and activate a new client, versus retaining an old one and capturing secondary business.
AND THEN we add in the boost that your bottom line gets when a former client refers a friend or family member and the value of a past client really starts to compound.
Past clients already know you, they’ve already chosen you over other options (at least once), and unless the transaction didn’t go well they will have pre-established trust in your ability to serve the needs of themselves and any possible referrals they would send your way.
In a comparable business working with the same client base, the real estate industry, recent surveys indicated that 90% of clients would use or recommend their same agent. But a very small percentage actually did.
If those results are anywhere near indicative of the sentiment that a mortgage originator would receive from the same client in the same transaction, it easily proves the business value of your post-close campaigns.
Using the tips and strategies below, you can continue to engage with your former clients in an effective and positive way for years to come, staying top-of-mind and strengthening the relationship for when new business opportunities arise.
Tips for managing your contacts at scale
In order to successfully manage what can become thousands of contacts, it is imperative to find a customer relationship management (CRM) system that fits well with your processes. The right CRM can help you straddle the line of personalized yet automated outreach, while also making it easier to store useful tidbits of data about your former customers that you can access in your campaigns or later down the road during another transaction. If you’re on the lookout for a CRM, check out our review of some of the top systems available for mortgage professionals.
Another great tactic for completing high-volume outreach tasks is batching. Instead of completing a specific task each time it comes up for a client, allow your brain to hyper-focus on getting that same task done for all clients who will need it during a period of time. You see this strategy used in all sorts of business applications, such as with teams who do a “power hour” of prospect outreach or with
Last but not least, make sure to set expectations at the end of the transaction so the client knows they’ll be receiving occasional messages from you. And always follow the cardinal rule of relationship management: don’t spam for referrals! If you gave good service and continue to add value and strengthen the relationship over time, you will receive those sought after referrals. Nothing gets an unsubscribe faster than when the client doesn’t feel like they’re anything more than a source of business for you.
Providing On-going Value
When it comes to outreach, most tactics fall in one of two buckets (or sometimes a combination of the two): value-add information, or a personal/friendly outreach. It is only natural for clients to want expert information about their loan, their home, and services or programs that would be advantageous for them. This is where you can add value to their lives by providing timely updates and information that doesn’t necessarily have to contain personalized notes and connections.
- Provide a list of services/vendors you recommend. If you consistently do business with first-time homeowners, or people relocating to your community, they will often not be prepared for the rigors of homeownership and all it entails. This is where you can provide on-going value to their lives. If you have connections with service providers and vendors that you trust, you can pass along those recommendations to your new clients while also ensuring that every time they refer to that document your branding is present.
- Mortgage rate updates. Keeping your clients informed about the state of the market is a great way to satisfy their natural curiosity as well as establishing your expertise on the subject. Rate updates are easy to automate with modern CRM technology.
- Refinance alert. You know their rate. You have a close estimate on their LTV. With those pieces of information at your disposal, you should be able to identify when it would make practical sense for the client to refinance their loan whether for a better rate or maybe to drop their PMI. Not only are you looking out for their best interests, but you are in the prime position to get that refinance business if they choose to go that route.
- Home improvement tips. Some may argue that home improvement falls more in the realm of a real estate agent, but we believe the information is just as relevant when it comes to a client’s loan. Increasing the value of their home allows them to reduce their loan’s LTV, allows the client to access their increased equity via HELOC or cash-out refinance, and in certain situations can put them in a position to refinance into a more advantageous loan program.
Personal and Engaging Outreach
This is where you will continue to reinforce your relationship with the client, and let them know you value them as a person and not just as a transaction. Make sure that when you are engaging in ways that don’t necessarily add value to the client that you are anything but sterile in your approach. People generally respond well to upbeat and positive energy.
- Birthday and anniversary cards. Snail-mailed greeting cards are still the gold standard of client outreach. By batching your card writing each month, you can use the time gained through efficiency to add a handwritten note to each or another little personalization that shows you put the effort in. Use the postal service! Email inboxes are crowded, and people still love getting a piece of mail that is not a bill or solicitation. Maybe now more than ever.
- Share some news about yourself. Remember, a relationship is a two-way street. To truly position yourself as more than just a business partner, you need to be willing to let people seek a glimpse into your life as well. A new addition to the family? Non-profit you’re involved with? Share the news.
- Host or sponsor an event. Once a year sponsor a client appreciation event to show how much you cared for their business as well as get some face time to check-in. A happy hour, Christmas party, or summer BBQ is a great way to see everyone at once in an efficient and light-hearted way as well as make introductions and build community.
- Personalized (and practical) gift at closing. This is where you can let your creativity run a little wild and try to tie-in what you know about the client. Maybe they expressed a love for gardening? Let them know you paid attention with a hardy plant that will also provide a constant reminder of your gratitude. The more shelf-life the item has, the better. If all else fails, a personalized address stamp or another practical and long-lasting gift will work.