There are a variety of marketing activities that originators can develop to expand their purchase business. Some are a bit more involved, while many others are easy to implement. The key is to develop an ongoing schedule that you can follow throughout the year. Here is a sample of a purchase strategy calendar that you can adapt to your own specific markets and interests.
- If you don’t already have one, develop a formal marketing plan that will detail your loan/income goals, key niches, marketing strategies, and monitoring steps.
- Update your database system to ensure you’re ready to begin automatically distributing letters, postcards, and e-mails.
- Send recently closed customers a letter with copy of their HUD-1 statement. (Don’t forget to ask for referrals.)
- Mail a New Year’s card to customers, prospects, and your referral partners.**
- Prepare a quarterly (or monthly/bi-monthly) newsletter for past customers and/prospects.
- Send a Valentine’s Day or Groundhog Day card.
- Establish contacts with a few top builders in your market. Suggest that you have quarterly (or monthly) review meetings to discuss areas of mutual interest.
- Send customers an e-mail/mail regarding winter home care.
- Develop a system to hold on to more of your pre-approved prospects. For instance, e-mail/mail them a weekly update/reminder for a month and then once a month thereafter.
- Send a letter of introduction/special program offer to a list of new prospects. You can obtain these leads from a list service, title company, or other source.
- Send a St. Patrick’s Day or “Welcome to the first day of spring” card.
- Distribute a Spring Break coupon, offering discounts on miniature golf, arcade or other activity to do with children on vacation.
- Host (or coordinate) a Realtor-originator briefing luncheon, where you can discuss areas of common interest with key agents.
- Form referral relationships with a new attorney, CPA, accountant, or financial planner.
- Offer to write an article on “How to Finance Your First Home” (or other appropriate topic) for your local newspaper. This can be a great way for new prospects to learn about your expertise.
- Conduct a seminar for custom home customers. Invite lot owners and others in your database who have expressed an interest in building their “dream home.” Invite builders, attorneys, and others to join you.
- Prepare a loan program/refinance flier to be inserted in your local newspaper’s zoned editions.
- Send your customers and prospects a reminder about the daylight savings time change.
- Start marketing to a different niche audience (move-up buyers, second-home buyers, parents of college students, seniors).
- Distribute your quarterly newsletter.
- Send a May Day card.
- Initiate a for-sale-by owner (FSBO) campaign. Offer to provide sellers with a flier that includes a photo of their house, property features, and a matrix of different loan types.
- Blanket an upscale apartment complex with targeted letters for first-time homebuyers.
- Advertise on the outside of a truck or bus.
- Co-host a Cinco de Mayo party with your primary builder.
- Use your Web site to help pre-qual buyers and to highlight special areas of expertise. Display your Web site on all marketing materials: brochure, business card, letterhead, fliers, and ads.
- Create a Father’s Day special. Offer a special discount to all new fathers (during the last six months/year).
- Co-host a first-time buyer seminar with a builder, attorney, and/or other partner. Pre-qualify the attendees on site and then follow-up immediately following the seminar.
- Participate in a Realtor caravan by visiting open houses and sponsoring the refreshments. Take cookies in colorful bags that are imprinted with your company name and contact information.
- Send customers a postcard that thanks them for their support and asks for referrals.
- Host a 4th of July picnic lunch in your office or at a nearby park.
- Update your database by sending everyone a one-page form asking for e-mail and other pertinent details. As an incentive, state that you’ll place their name in a drawing for a TV giveaway, if they return the form within a designated time.
- Run an ad in a homes-for-sale type magazine.
- Send your quarterly newsletter.
- Send a gift basket, or other appropriate closing gift, to the customer’s office. His/her co-workers will see it and ask how they can become one of your customers.
- Hold meetings with corporate human resource directors to discuss how you can help their employees. See if you can include an informational flier in the employees’ paychecks.
- Advertise on a top real estate agent’s or builder’s virtual home tour. House hunters who tour properties that the agent is handling will see your banner ad.
- Sponsor a booth at a community fair and participate in other activities just to get out and meet your neighbors and hand out business cards.
- Invite customers, agents, builders, and others to a summer barbecue.
- Join a networking group such as Business Network International (BNI) or Le Tip.
- Participate in a radio station promotion during a college or professional football game (or at a builder open house). The station will set up its broadcast booth outside the stadium and allow you (as sponsor/co-sponsor) to speak to the crowd, and subsequently obtain names of people signing up for homeownership information.
- Test an innovative marketing strategy, such as advertising on a football/baseball game scoreboard, billboard, or movie screen.
- Arrange to have an ice cream truck stop in front of a key Realtor office. Have your company name/logo printed on the ice cream wrappers.
- Hold a weekend closing event that will generate immediate refinance applications as well as ongoing follow-up queries. Advertise the details and organize a team of lender, title company reps, and appraisers to support your originators.
- Provide agents with a guaranteed approval certificate that they can give to sellers, ensuring that their house will sell as promised. (Suggests to agents that their sales agreements highlight you as the recommended originator. This will enable you to get up-front with even more borrowers.)
- Plan an Oktoberfest promotion, which could include office decorations, and an afternoon reception.
- Distribute a daylight savings time reminder to customers and prospects.
- Develop and distribute your quarterly newsletter.
- Attend a fall home show to highlight your value-added service. Bridal shows are another good source of potential customers.
- Be sure to attract sellers, as well as buyers. For example, when you receive a purchase agreement on a loan in process, send the seller a letter of introduction, along with your bio information and a coupon for $100 off their closing costs. Offer to help them with their new home loan.
- Send a Thanksgiving card to past customers (Ask for referrals.) and others.
- Give turkeys to builders, lender reps, and/or customers.
- Promote a special Veterans Day discount on closing costs for all VA customers.
- Create and distribute a free report (“15 Ways to Save More Money When Purchasing Your Next Home”). You can offer this through your ads, newspaper articles (“Call xxxx, for a free report…”), 800-number, Web site, and other marketing vehicles.
- Ask your doctor or dentist if you can send a flier to everyone in their database. Include an offer to pay $200 towards the patient’s account after they close a purchase or refi transaction with you.
- Hold a holiday celebration for your key vendor partners.
- Send donations to charities on behalf of your customers, and then send them a card to acknowledge the gift.
- Develop a special toy drive with your major Realtor and builder. You’ll be doing something worthwhile, as well as generating visibility and enhancing your referral partner relationships.
- Mail a year-end “thank you” letter to all of your borrowers who chose you as their originator/lender this year.
- Create a joint marketing effort with two of your strategic partners (CPA, financial planner, Realtor). You might develop a cost effective newsletter that would focus on year-end/new year tips and send it to your combined databases.