Fill Your Loan Pipeline by Re-Engaging past Clients
To grow a business organically it is imperative to leverage all of the resources available to you. Your past mortgage clients are one of the best growth channels you will ever have at your disposal.
Not only can any of them refer you new business, but every year a segment of your past clients will be contemplating a new home, real estate investment, or refinance for themselves.
Did you know that the cost to acquire a new customer can be 4-10 times higher than the cost of marketing to and re-engaging a past customer?
There are a number of benefits to bringing former clients back into your pipeline for another transaction. First, you’ve already built their customer profile and know their story. Second, they know you, your products, and your story.
This eliminates a lot of the authority, trust, and relationship building that occurs at the start of a transaction.
Many loan officers have a post-close marketing plan to stay top-of-mind with recent clients and ask for referrals. It seems as if everyone has an email drip these days, but others are also incorporating timely phone calls, and client events as other mechanisms to stay in front of recent clients.
But what about after a few years? How are you engaging THOSE clients again?
Automated email campaigns and newsletters are a great, low-energy-required, method for maintaining a top-of-mind presence in the days and months following the close of a transaction. Unfortunately, with so much email inbox pollution it is only a matter of time before your campaigns lose effectiveness and are relegated to obscurity.
This presents a great opportunity to dust off less crowded communication channels like direct mail and telephone during your efforts to re-engage past customers.
Touchpoint = Top of Mind
Creating a system of regular touchpoints with your past clients will allow you to stay top-of-mind in the event that a referral opportunity presents itself. It also gives your customers one more reason to want to make that referral. Clearly you go the “extra mile” in providing great customer service, and others will want that experience too.
As for strategies to create these touchpoints with past borrowers, the most effective methods are often the most simple. Birthday cards, satisfaction surveys, auto-dialer greetings around the holidays, or a quick personal phone call on a special occasion are cheap and easy ways to accomplish this goal. Remember, the purpose at this stage is just to stay in front of past borrowers.
Have a Periodic Business Purpose
Every 3 to 5 years is a good lifecycle to add in a business-related check-in. Let your borrowers know that after closing they’ll continue to receive updates from you via email, and then you also conduct a loan review after a few years to makes sure the fit is still good for the client’s situation and needs.
This method serves a couple of purposes. It will reinforce with your past borrowers that they are not just a transaction and that you have a vested interest in their happiness with their loan. It will also give you a perfect reason to schedule a phone call or coffee meeting to check if there have been any big life events that may present new business opportunities.
A new higher-paying career, new relationship, having children, or even children growing up and moving out could all present a situation where the client is looking to upgrade or downsize their housing situation.
Even when no new business opportunities immediately present themselves, you’ve still reinforced your relationship and should use the time to ask for referrals to friends and family in need of services.
Use Timely Information to Your Benefit
Yet another time-tested re-engagement method is to put timely information into the hands of your former clients when it can be most impactful.
For example, if you originate FHA loans, you know that those borrowers won’t be able to drop their mortgage insurance for 11 years, if not the life of their loan… unless they refinance to a different product once their equity reaches the appropriate level.
Which is just the thing, you should know exactly when they’ll be on schedule to hit those thresholds based on the details of their current loan that you originated.
Whichever strategy suits your business, don’t allow the treasure-trove of opportunities in your past-client database to go unattended. If you don’t stay top-of-mind, or give timely information, that business may end up in someone else’s pipeline.