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Let’s Change The Conversation

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There’s a lot of negativity out there. If you look at the story of the year, the Presidential Election, you have one candidate that became his party’s nominee by insulting his opponents’ looks, mannerisms, etc. That’s all fine and good, but instead of name calling, we should be lifting people up. It’s not enough to insult or even to diagnose a problem if you are not willing to put forth a solution. So, in this issue we at PROGRESS in Lending have decided to change the conversation. We are not going to focus on the negative, we are going to focus on providing solutions.

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For example, there’s a lot of talk about the burden of new regulations. We talk a lot about how those rules are impacting originators, but they are impacting mortgage servicers just as much. So, what should servicers do? Complain about their lot in life? No sir. In this issue, Nickie Badalamenti-Kalas, the President of Five Brothers, courageously points out, “As a servicer and asset manager, you should be focused on maximizing your assets, rather than constantly worrying about these ever-changing compliance requirements. You can’t afford to go it alone, that’s why selecting the right asset management provider is critical to your long-term sustainability.” I encourage you to read what else she said on this topic.

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Also, we don’t think about marketing as a point of contention. However, regulators want to regulate marketing, as well. So, should lenders stop marketing their businesses? Of course not. In this issue, Brandon Perry, the President at The Turning Point, clearly states, “In today’s market with intense competition, mortgage companies cannot afford to stop marketing to prospective borrowers. The key is having the right tools and partner to deliver compliance and control in their mortgage marketing efforts.” To that comment I say: Bravo!

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All throughout this issue you’ll read stories whereby industry visionaries don’t just sulk and moan about tough situations, they roll up their sleeves and look for solutions. If everyone in the industry followed their lead I think the industry would be much better off.

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Compliance Just Doesn’t Matter

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Brandon-PerryThat may sound like a bold and foolish statement. There is an intense regulatory burden that is stretching staff resources and driving up the cost to originate. While all of the new rules and regulations are certainly an important priority for all lenders, and one that must be properly addressed, at the end of the day, compliance doesn’t matter if you don’t have any borrowers.

Even with the flood of rules and regulations and the enormous pressure to comply, lenders must continue to attract new borrowers if they want to remain viable. In the face of these challenges, lenders cannot afford to loose sight of the importance of bringing in new business and constantly looking for ways to drive new business in the most efficient manner possible.

How will your company continue to thrive in such a demanding and compliance focused environment? Identifying and acting on high-quality business opportunities is a big part of the answer. You need to generate leads quickly and efficiently, and then drive them to the point-of-sale. You need to convert them into customers with compliant in-process marketing. You also need to retain them and maximize their lifetime value through repeat business and referrals. It’s critically important to create and nourish strong relationships with referral partners in a purchase market.

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In order to survive and thrive in this mortgage environment of constantly changing rules and regulations, heightened competition for borrowers and extreme pressure to produce results, you must realize the need to identify high quality business opportunities. It is critical to identify leads quickly and efficiently and then drive them to the point-of-sale with compliant communications for converting them into clients. It’s equally important to retain these clients and to maximize their on-going value through repeat business and referrals.

Engaging these prospective clients in real time across a multitude of channels such as the Internet, email, social media, print, video, and mobile devices highlights the importance of working with a proven marketing automation solution that can illuminate or emphasize the best in your marketing while easing your compliance burden.

That’s where marketing automation comes into play. Lenders focused on driving new business and attracting more borrowers are turning to advanced marketing technology to attract more borrowers in today’s highly competitive and regulated mortgage market.

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So what is marketing automation, and why should lenders take notice? Marketing automation for lenders can be described as software and strategies that allow companies to consistently attract new borrowers–that is, to nurture prospective borrowers with highly personalized, relevant content that helps convert borrowers into customers and turns customers into raving fans.

Marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for lenders and provides an excellent return on the investment, in addition to attracting top loan officer (LO) talent to the organization.

Leading LO’s demand advanced marketing solutions. These solutions automate engagement with prospective clients and provide relevant updates for in-process milestones while developing and enhancing partner relationships. Marketing automation employs leading technology to maximize marketing relevance and automation of communication that capitalizes on opportunities to increase pipelines and profitability.

LO’s experience :

>> Increased pipelines and commission potential

>> Maximize market opportunities

>> Experience a surge in response rates

>> Develop loyalty throughout customer base

>> Gain a clear competitive advantage

>> Automate communications with prospective borrowers and clients

>> Develop and enhance partner relationships

One such example of programs that mortgage marketing automation systems include are automated loyalty programs . Automated Loyalty programs deliver consistent and highly personalized marketing communication. These type of marketing programs automatically deliver powerful messages to a lender’s new borrower in the form of “Thank You” cards after closing, satisfaction surveys, one year Anniversary cards, and Mortgage Reviews (terms, rate, new credit review, etc.) after year two to name a few.

These programs are automatically generated within the marketing automation solution which provides “Set-It and Forget-It” functionality. Once set-up in the system, LOs and staff do not have to worry if their borrowers are receiving on-going communication.

This results in significant increases in client retention, referral business, and overall borrower satisfaction and on-going loyalty for future lending needs.

Another powerful tool that is part of a dynamic marketing automation solution is ON-DEMAND CAMPAIGNS.

Custom Campaigns can be run quickly and easily on demand to any mix of contact databases: prospects, applicants, borrowers and partners.

You’ll want to run a campaign whenever you spot a tactical sales opportunity – for example, a change in interest rates or other market conditions. On-demand campaigns are also an effective way of just staying in touch with your database – for example, making announcements about significant changes at your company.

Fulfillment is handled quickly and securely at the providers integrated state-of-the-art Production Center, whether you choose conventional mail or e-mail as your delivery medium. Campaign output is always fully personalized to each participating loan officer as well as the recipient – and you can rest assured it meets all regulatory compliance requirements.

At the end of the day, compliance does matter, but it only matters if you have borrowers. That’s where marketing automation comes into play. Isn’t it time to focus as much attention on driving new business as you do in meeting your compliance obligations?

The Turning Point’s MACH3 is a proven enterprise-wide marketing automation solution that supports you and your specific initiatives to address these market conditions. Each person in your organization that is involved with driving growth is empowered to focus on what they do best. For example, Loan Officers are free to close more loans, instead of trying to create marketing materials. C-level executives are presented with sophisticated, yet easy to use tools for more effective oversight and management, while marketing managers can demonstrate their marketing genius and compliantly maintain brand consistency across the organization.

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Compliantly Drive New Business

Regulation. It’s everywhere these days. And on the marketing side of every mortgage company’s operations, as much as any other, it means that management has to take a much more active role in ensuring its brand and its products are correctly and compliantly represented in the marketplace. Communications with prospects, customers and even referral partners – whether driven from the center or by loan originators – must be controlled, but without inhibiting genuine creativity and individual initiative.

A dynamic marketing automation solution establishes a controlled environment in which ingenuity and enterprise are able to flourish. The system does this by providing management with five levels of control over the players in the marketing process. All you have to do is decide what degree of control you want to exercise in relation to each of the system’s key functions. For example, you can make sure that Loan Officers are unable to edit company information or upload unacceptable graphics or run on-demand campaigns that breach corporate guidelines.

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The levels of management control available in leading marketing automation are as follows, working down from the most to the least restrictive:

Prohibition: Different types of users can be prevented from accessing a system function, or even an entire page, by means of the solutions “permissions” capability.

Authorization: Marketing materials created by users at lower levels in the corporate hierarchy cannot be implemented until approved at the center.

Alert: A defined set of fields is monitored and changes reported via a feed on the solutions Home page, enabling quick action to remedy any departure from company policy.

Oversight: Users at higher levels in the corporate hierarchy can “impersonate” users at lower levels, giving management an instant window on the activities of Loan Officers.

Reporting: A reporting module provides information that allows management to hold users at lower levels accountable for their performance.

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AUTHORIZATION LOOP: Built into the solution is the ability to carefully manage marketing content and activities and to customize access ultimately reducing marketing compliance risk. A built-in authorization loop ensures that all content is approved by your nominated managers – for example: compliance officer, brand supervisor – before it’s made available for use in activity series and on-demand campaigns. When you copy, change or create any marketing material, the managers are notified by system-generated e-mail. They are free to approve or amend or even delete the item.

In today’s lending environment lenders need to focus on more than just TRID. It is critical for lenders to implement powerful marketing automation to properly handle marketing compliance and control. When looking to drive new borrowers to the point of sale do it compliantly with marketing automation.

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Compliance Doesn’t Matter

That may sound like a bold and foolish statement. There is an intense regulatory burden that is stretching staff resources and driving up the cost to originate. While all of the new rules and regulations are certainly an important priority for all lenders, and one that must be properly addressed, at the end of the day, compliance doesn’t matter if you don’t have any borrowers.

Even with the flood of rules and regulations and the enormous pressure to comply, lenders must continue to attract new borrowers if they want to remain viable. In the face of these challenges lenders cannot afford to loose sight of the importance of bringing in new business and constantly looking for ways to drive new business in the most efficient manner possible.

Featured Sponsors:

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How will your company continue to thrive in such a demanding and compliance focused environment? Identifying and acting on high-quality business opportunities is a big part of the answer. You need to generate leads quickly and efficiently, and then drive them to the point-of-sale. You need to convert them into customers with compliant in-process marketing. You also need to retain them and maximize their lifetime value through repeat business and referrals. It’s critically important to create and nourish strong relationships with referral partners in a purchase market.

That’s where marketing automation comes into play. Lenders focused on driving new business and attracting more borrowers are turning to advanced marketing technology to attract more borrowers in today’s highly competitive and regulated mortgage market.

Featured Sponsors:

[huge_it_gallery id=”3″]

So what is marketing automation and why should lenders take notice? Marketing automation for lenders can be described as software and strategies that allow companies to consistently attract new borrowers–that is, to nurture prospective borrowers with highly personalized, relevant content that helps convert borrowers into customers and turns customers into raving fans. Marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for lenders and provides an excellent return on the investment, in addition to attracting top loan officer (LO) talent to the organization.

Leading LO’s demand advanced marketing solutions. These solutions automate engagement with prospective clients and provide relevant updates for in-process milestones while developing and enhancing partner relationships. Marketing Automation employs leading technology to maximize marketing relevance and automation of communication that capitalizes on opportunities to increase pipelines and profitability. LO’s experience:

>> Increased pipelines and commission potential

>> Maximize market opportunities

>> Experience a surge in response rates

>> Develop loyalty throughout customer base

>> Gain a clear competitive advantage

>> Automate communications with prospective borrowers and clients

>> Develop and enhance partner relationships

At the end of the day, compliance does matter, but it only matters if you have borrowers. That’s where marketing automation comes into play. Isn’t it time to focus as much attention on driving new business as you do in meeting your compliance obligations?

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Driving New Business To The POS

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Brandon-PerryToday’s market conditions continue to present numerous challenges for lenders. Originations are down and there is a flood of new rules and regulations, which contributes to the rising costs to originate. Combine those challenges with low customer loyalty, intense competition for new borrowers, and the pressure to grow business, it is clear that times continue to be tough for lenders.

Originations are down:

The Mortgage Bankers Association has bumped up its forecast for 2015 originations due to higher-than-expected refinancing activity. But it still is not going to be a great year. Originations in 2014 were the “lowest in 14 years and 2015 is going to be marginally better,” said MBA chief economist Michael Fratantoni. The new 2015 forecast calls for $1.19 trillion in one-to-four family originations, up 6% from $1.12 trillion in 2014.

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Regulations are up:

The housing crisis in the United States over the past several years has brought with it new regulations in mortgage practices. Banks and lenders now have to follow what the new mortgage lending rules really mean and enforce their practices. The government is constantly reviewing rules and initiatives to make home mortgages as safe as possible for both lenders and borrowers.

Cost of Acquiring New Business:

Acquiring a new customer costs about five to seven times as much as maintaining a profitable relationship with an existing customer. This is especially true in the mortgage industry, as the cost to originate continue to soar.

Pressure to Grow Business:

Companies that are in highly regulated and competitive industries are under intense pressure to grow their business while maintaining compliance.

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The intense regulatory burden is stretching staff resources and driving up the cost to originate. The industry continues to experience roller coaster interest rates, constantly changing rules and regulations, heightened competition for borrowers, and extreme pressure to produce results. In the face of these challenges, lenders are constantly looking for ways to drive new business in the most efficient manner possible.

Even with the flood of rules and regulations and the enormous pressure to comply, lenders must continue to attract new borrowers if they want to remain viable. Even if they meet all compliance mandates, it will be irrelevant if they don’t have any business coming in the door.

How will your company continue to thrive in such a demanding environment? Identifying and acting on high-quality business opportunities is a big part of the answer. You need to generate leads quickly and efficiently, and then drive them to the point-of-sale. You need to convert them into customers with compliant in-process marketing. You also need to retain them and maximize their lifetime value through repeat business and referrals. It’s critically important to create and nourish strong relationships with referral partners in a purchase market

Lenders need to turn to marketing automation to drive high-quality business to the point of sale. Lenders focused on driving new business and attracting more borrowers are turning to advanced marketing technology to attract more borrowers in today’s highly competitive and regulated mortgage market.

So what is marketing automation and why should lenders take notice? Marketing automation for lenders can be described as software and strategies that allow companies to consistently attract new borrowers—that is, to nurture prospective borrowers with highly personalized, relevant content that helps convert borrowers into customers and turns customers into raving fans.

So, what does the ideal marketing automation solution look like? For lenders looking to drive new business with marketing automation it needs to include:

>> Automated Loyalty Marketing

Loyal customers are less expensive to serve, typically buy more frequently and at higher rates, and often refer other borrowers. Automated loyalty-marketing delivers: conversations that engage borrowers, promote loyalty, increase retention, and enhance the borrowers lifetime value.

>> On-Demand Campaigns

Custom Campaigns can be run quickly and easily on-demand to any mix of contact databases: prospects, applicants, borrowers and partners. You’ll want to run a campaign whenever you spot a tactical sales opportunity — for example, a change in interest rates or other market conditions. On-demand campaigns are also an effective way of just staying in touch with your database — for example, making announcements about significant changes at your company.

>> Extensive Mortgage Specific Content Library

Find hundreds of ready-to-go marketing materials that have been professionally prepared. Choose from postcards, letters, greeting cards, newsletters, emails, and much more. The materials are categorized by format, purpose, and audience for easy access to exactly what you need. Content is constantly refreshed to target current business opportunities. In addition, there are holiday greetings, home maintenance tips, recipe cards-something for every occasion.

Copy and edit the materials and adapt them to meet your specific needs and brand standards. That’s why you’ll find a “copy” button against each item in the Marketing-Toolbox library. Clicking the button allows you to make a copy of the piece in your company’s private library, where you can edit it as necessary. You can even limit access to a specific branch or branches: for example, allowing only reverse mortgage specialists to view reverse mortgage content.

Marketing automation provides you the ability to create activities, which enable you to design marketing materials from scratch. Clicking the button takes you into a simple wizard that guides you through the steps that turn your marketing ideas into actionable content – in three minutes or less.

>> Comprehensive Mortgage/Marketing Compliance

Regulation. It’s everywhere these days. And on the marketing side of every mortgage company’s operations, as much as any other, it means that management has to take a much more active role in ensuring its brand and its products are correctly and compliantly represented in the marketplace. Communications with prospects, customers, and even referral partners – whether driven from the center or by loan originators – must be controlled, but without inhibiting genuine creativity and individual initiative.

One of mortgage specific marketing automation’s distinctive features is that it establishes a controlled environment in which ingenuity and enterprise are able to flourish. It does this by providing management with five levels of control over the players in the marketing process. All you have to do is decide what degree of control you want to exercise in relation to each of the system’s key functions. For example, you can make sure that Loan Officers are unable to edit company information, upload unacceptable graphics, or run on-demand campaigns that breach corporate guidelines.

>> Ability to Recruit & Retain Top Loan Officers

The current market conditions provide top LO’s with many choices as to the company they choose to work for. Leading LO’s demand advanced marketing solutions. These solutions automate engagement with prospective clients and provide relevant updates for in-process milestones while developing and enhancing partner relationships. Marketing Automation employs leading technology to maximize marketing relevance and automation of communication that capitalizes on opportunities to increase pipelines and profitability. LO’s experience:

  • Increased pipelines and commission potential
  • Maximize market opportunities
  • Experience a surge in response rates
  • Develop loyalty throughout customer base
  • Gain a clear competitive advantage
  • Automate communications with prospective borrowers and clients
  • Develop and enhance partner relationships

>> Ability to Drive Strong Partner Relationships

Market Alerts is a great way to stay in front of your realtors and other business partners on a weekly basis.

Loan officer personalization and automated delivery are handled through the marketing automation solution. Campaign effectiveness can easily be tracked via the system’s user interface – including confirmed reads, unconfirmed reads, forwards, unsubscribes, delivery delays and delivery failures.

Market Alerts is the professional and efficient way to keep you top-of-mind with your referral sources.

Lenders that have implemented mortgage specific marketing automation have experienced:

  • Increased Sales Revenue
  • Increased Lead Generation
  • Improved Lead Nurturing
  • Improved Marketing Productivity
  • Improved Campaign Targeting

Marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for lenders and provides an excellent return on the investment, in addition to attracting top loan officer (LO) talent to the organization.

Mortgage specific marketing automation can increase market share, provide you with the ability to stay legal and compliant, grow profitable relationships, and protect your corporate branding. Marketing automation will increase efficiency across the organization.

Even though there is a number of challenges that lenders face in today’s market, the right mortgage specific marketing automation solution can drive new business to the point of sale.

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Can We Talk?

Most people recognize “Can we talk?” as a catchphrase used by the late Joan Rivers. But it should be a phrase that lenders are asking of their business partners and borrowers. Many of the regulations and pilot programs introduced recently will fundamentally change the way that lenders will interact with them both.

Let’s start with the consumer. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is responsible to make sure the American consumer gets all of the information they need to make an informed financial decision when it comes to mortgages, credit cards or other types of consumer financing. To ensure borrowers are kept informed throughout the lending process, lenders are being asked to provide consumers with information and documentation from the point of sale through servicing the loan. Consumers must receive copies of their initial disclosures, appraisals, closing disclosures and documents, privacy notices and many others. The result is that consumers are becoming involved in the mortgage process as never before.

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To facilitate this new level of interaction with borrowers, many lenders are turning their static websites into interactive communication portals. Instead of just presenting information to a consumer or asking them to fill in a form or application, lenders are creating a two way dialogue with their customers. They are implementing tools such as: live chat where a consumer can electronically chat directly with a loan officer or help desk; secure messaging for communicating sensitive non-public personal information; document exchange where consumers can go to not only electronically view their documents, but also send documents back to the lender if necessary; and finally electronic signatures where borrowers can electronically sign and return documents with the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen. With today’s on the go consumer, these features need to be available not only from a consumers computer, but from their smartphones and tablets as well.

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But it’s not only borrowers that lenders need to step up their communications with. Business partners such as closing agents, attorneys and title companies are going to need additional attention as well. Starting in August of this year, the current Truth in Lending disclosure document and HUD-1 Settlement Statement will be combined into a single document known as the Closing Disclosure. Currently, in many cases the HUD-1 statement is not produced by the lender but rather by the closing attorney and is delivered to the borrower at the closing table. But since the HUD-1 is now included in the final Closing Disclosure, and the final Closing Disclosure is required to be provided to the consumer at least three business days prior to the closing, a new level of collaboration between lender and closing agents will be needed. By implementing a communication portal with secure messaging and document exchange, it will be much easier for a lender to streamline this collaborative process.

So the next time you deal with a consumer or business partner, maybe the first words out of your mouth should be “can we talk?

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