To grow a business organically, it’s imperative to leverage every resource available to you. Your past mortgage clients are one of the best growth channels you will ever have at your disposal.
Referring new business isn’t the only thing past customers can do for you. Each year, a segment of these clients will be contemplating a new home, real estate investment, or refinance for themselves.
Did you know that the cost of acquiring a new customer is 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. Contrarily, some companies incorporate timely phone calls and client events to continue to stay in front of recent clients.
But what about after a few years? How are you engaging THOSE past 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 past clients allows you to stay top-of-mind if and when 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. In fact, you should use the time to ask for referrals to friends and family in need of services.
Use Timely Information to Your Benefit
Another time-tested re-engagement method is placing timely information into the hands of former clients when it is 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.
This is something you need to think about. As the LO, you should know exactly when borrowers will hit those thresholds based on the details of their loan.
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, potential business may end up in someone else’s pipeline.