Are you using TikTok or BombBomb as part of your relationship building? David Schroeder, Caliber’s EVP for third-party originations, discusses a rapidly changing business landscape and the importance of using new mediums to connect with your target audience in part 2 of our 2022 planning discussion on the Home Connection Podcast.
In this installment, David was joined by account executive Robert Kuzemka and Caliber partner Brittney Pogue from Desert Canyon Mortgage in Washington state. The discussion kicked off with a consensus that the “refi boom” is giving way to a purchase-driven marketplace.
Brittney highlighted the need to be able to reach out to agents in a more unique and innovative way than in the past to build relationships and pursue the purchase business. “Just because everything is a little bit different and more virtual, that doesn't mean that our service changes.” Brittney added, “You still need a person explaining everything to you, and that is still the way we're going to do things.”
David mentioned the need to bring the industry into what he described as the TikTok experience. “The TikTok algorithm presents somebody who's using that tool with exactly the content they want at exactly the moment that they need it.” David continued “As loan officers and lenders and partners, we've got to figure out within relationships what works and be available when we're needed because everybody's got a different stamp. Some people may want to go out for coffee while others don't want to meet anybody in person anymore.”
Robert agreed that moves towards video, video chat, and video messaging, in addition to any in-person communication that you can have, help build relationships in this new era. “TikTok has become a very hot avenue for [real estate agents] to get information out about their listings and reach out to their clientele. I'm also a fan of BombBomb videos...marketing options like that enable us to still come into the home of our clients…and still, end up in their living room.” Robert added, “It gives you that personal touch where they can see and almost feel your presence and get a little more comfortable with who they're doing business with.”
David described how despite the evolution from face-to-face to email to newer social media and video, direct marketing is making a big comeback. “Everybody's gone to email. So, taking the time to show that personal touch differentiates you…it’s like going back to the future.”
Robert agreed and pointed out how effective thank you notes, birthday cards and loan anniversaries can be. He reminisced about his early days. “I remember driving an hour and a half to sit down with a client at their kitchen table to sign loan documents….Even with the innovation that’s transpired over the last 20 years…we’re continuing to find ways to put clients first and find a way to work around their needs and be accessible.”
Brittney said that her primary referral base is from word of mouth and previous clients. She believes that reaching out to clients has been extremely important to her success. She gave some examples of the personal touch that she employs when following up. “Hey, I haven't heard from you in a little while. How is everything going? How's your home treating you? What's going on? Last time you said your son just went to college. How's he doing?” adding that, “There will always be some sort of opportunity there to continue those relationships.”
Brittney went on to describe some advice her father who’s been in the industry for 25 years gave her. “He said that there’s always going to be a need for this industry, and it’s just a matter of how you provide value. So, I’m not worried about where rates are going. I’m more worried about still providing value for the people that I work with.”
David added that he believes that the key to the success of Brittney and Robert has been being consultative and genuinely listening to what customers are saying.
“There are lots of free valuation tools on the internet, but that doesn't mean anything unless (borrowers) know how home equity works and their current balance. So, it allows you to check in, whether it's quarterly or biannually, to see how things are going and see if there's equity in the home or needs for it. And even if there's not, it allows you to keep the brand in front of that person so that when they meet somebody the next week at the soccer field or at the church or whatever they know to refer that person to Brittney because she's got their best interests and she's not always trying to sell something…Every contact is an opportunity.”
Robert agreed wholeheartedly and added, “I think as an industry, even if rates tick up, we have to continue to make sure we service our clients and ensure that we’re actually being mortgage advisors just like they have financial advisors. If you have that conversation and stay in front of your client when their needs change you have that information available to them. Or reiterate to them that they’re still in the best situation possible but if their needs change to contact you, as well as ask who else they know that could use good sound advice.”
David wound down the discussion by thanking both of his guests for their integrity and their roles as educators for their clients. “Every day here at Caliber we talk about how to be the right partner for you and every individual loan officer that gives us the opportunity to work with them. So, thank you for that!”
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