Mai Yahn

Senior vice president/Originator

Previous Profession: Credit bureau

Primary Marketing: Distributes quarterly newsletter on trends and market insights to past customers and includes a follow-up response form that recipients mail in to receive free baseball game tickets. “This helps us learn who’s reading the newsletter,” Yahn explained.  She also places ads in local magazines as well. “I’ve learned that you need to make (at least) a one-year commitment to advertising, to build the name recognition.” She hired a public relations professional to help generate newspaper and magazine articles on various milestones. Yahn also held a private showing of Star Wars for past customers, e-mails Mortgage Market Guide to customers/others, and sponsors charity events. “I’ve tried just about everything at one point or another.”

Most Effective Marketing: Her greatest success is based on a “one-on-one approach,” building a loyal referral base and generating new leads through a warm market.  “The best referrals are from those people you’ve done business with in the past. Being visible with them (sending newsletters) is critical. I try not to allow too much time to go by (without some contact), so they don’t forget me.”

Niche: Realtors, builders, and financial consultants. “One thing I learned regarding Realtors, is that every transaction offers a great opportunity to gain new business/contacts through listing agents. I will call to introduce myself, update them about the transaction, and later send marketing material and invite them to lunch. You’d be surprised at the number of listing agents who often don’t know what’s going on (with a loan).”

Teamwork: Lead processor, junior processor, set-up person, and loan officer assistant. “The LO assistant takes applications, structures loans, and helps with marketing and related areas—everything a loan officer would do.” They meet regularly to discuss goals and related issues.  “It’s a continual learning process for all of us. When people make mistakes, they learn from them and become more valuable (to the team.)”

Key Ingredient for Success: Delivery and knowledge. “Clients know that when I say something will happen, it happens. I often get calls from people who were referred to me who say that they heard there will be no surprises and that I’m a straight shooter. This has helped build my business. Also, my knowledge and experience in the business has enriched me and in turn, I can offer value to the people with whom I do business.”

Achieving Work/Personal Balance:  “I’ve had to learn to let go by trusting that those who I’ve trained to share my values will follow through in my absence. I take regular time outs and do everything possible to leave work at the office.”