Want more referrals? Here’s 5 proven referral tactics that you can implement today

Posted by Feb21, 2018 Comments Comments Off on Want more referrals? Here’s 5 proven referral tactics that you can implement today
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In the 4-minute video below I share with you 5 referral tactics that I have used in my business to generate more referrals. Maybe you could implement one each week over the next month or so?

 

Would you like to learn more?

This video is taken from my Broker Revolution course which I share 13 tactics and a lot more. I hope you will check out the course here.

In particular, watch the second video on this page – it only goes for 2 minutes and describes what the course covers. Enrollment opens on Monday 12 March 2018.

 

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What does a successful marketing system look like?

Posted by Feb12, 2018 Comments Comments Off on What does a successful marketing system look like?
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The problem that most brokers have is that they only do marketing when business slows down. If you wait until business slows down, you will be tempted to employ short-sighted marketing tactics which cost money and typically don’t result in generating profitable business i.e. short-term profit does not generate loan term value. It’s a loser’s game.

The powerful and free marketing tactics take a bit of time to work. For example, the marketing that I’m doing today in my business probably won’t generate new business for 1 to 2 years. And the revenue I am earning today is a result of the activities I undertook 1 to 2 years ago.

Long term marketing is highly profitable because it costs very little and generates targeted, profitable and loyal clients.

Therefore, you need a system that helps you invest a little bit of time in marketing and which will, in time, generate a flow of very profitable business. A system must have three important attributes:

1) Always be marketing – your marketing activities should be regular and ongoing. Therefore, you need to automate as much as possible and get into the habit of doing small amounts, regularly. It takes some time and effort, but the rewards are significant. Life rewards those who are consistent and persistent.

2) Make regular deposits in the goodwill bank – the goal of all marketing is to build trust, not generate leads. Once you have built a high level of trust, people will be attracted to you when they have a requirement you can fulfil. You no longer need to sell. The law of reciprocity is the most powerful influencer of behaviour i.e. you must give valuable and relevant information on a regular and timely basis.

3) Focus on the end game (long term) – the end game is to attract clients that will be loyal (won’t be price sensitive) and that will refer other like-minded clients to you. That is how you build an incredibly valuable and profitable mortgage broking business. Therefore, to attract the right clients, you must have the right message. Conversely, advertising special interest rates and discounts destroys long term value because it trains the wrong clients that rates are the only important factor.

In summary, undertake regular activities, focus on building trust and resist the temptation of undertaking salesy, short-term type marketing.

This approach is illustrated by the Mortgage Marketing Hourglass below (click to enlarge).

Mortgage Marketing Hourglass

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How many hours does it take you to settle $1m?

Posted by Feb03, 2018 Comments Comments Off on How many hours does it take you to settle $1m?
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The only way you are going to become more successful in 2018 is if you focus on improving one key measure: “hours per million settled”.

There’s only ever going to be 168 hours in one week – you cannot find anymore. And if you are consistently working more than 40 hours, then I’d suggest something is broken (unless you are a seriously high producer) because a happy, peaceful life is all about balance; some work, some play and some rest. Therefore, if you want to dramatically increase your settlements and profitability in 2018 without working more than 40 hours per week, you must focus on reducing “hours per million settled”. If you think you must work more than 40 hours per week to dramatically increase your settlements, you’re wrong. When I was writing loans, I settled > $100m p.a. and worked 40 hours or less.

Steve is a broker with 5 years of experience. He settled $50m in the 2017 calendar year. Steve’s goal is to settle $75m in 2018. There are 1920 working hours in a year (i.e. 40 hours per week, 48 weeks p.a.). Therefore, Steve settled $26k per hour in 2017 ($50m / 1920 hours). Steve’s average loan size is $450k. Therefore, on average, it took Steve 17 hours to settle a new loan in 2017. What about you?

 

Steve should work on two things inside his business to get to $75m

To increase settlements, Steve should focus on two things.

Firstly, he needs to reduce the time it takes to settle one loan. If he can reduce it to say 12 hours, he has the capacity to increase his settlements to $72m. He can do this by implementing an easy to follow sales system.

Secondly, through implementing a targeted market system, Steve could work to increase his average loan size. It shouldn’t be too difficult to increase it from $450k to say $550k-$600k. If he does this, his capacity increases to $92m (i.e. the impact of both improvements).

Now, these improvements won’t happen overnight (some will), but focusing on these two things throughout 2018 is the easiest way to get to $75m.

The solution is simple

Running a business without good systems is like trying to open a combination lock without the number code. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, you’ll never open the lock and you’ll just get more and more frustrated! But once you have the code (i.e. good systems), opening the lock is a walk in the park.

This is why it’s silly to think that all you need is to generate more leads to grow your business. More leads will just mean more work which leads to poorer work-life balance and, in time, probably unhappiness. Business systems are the ‘number code’ to success.

My suggestion is to focus on one thing

Instead of focusing on lead generation, I encourage you to focus on improving “hours per million settled”. To do this, I believe that you need to have three critical systems in place:

  1. A marketing system – a system that requires only a few hours of your time per week that generates a consistent flow of quality leads. The good news is that I believe the best marketing activities are free (no cost). Therefore, you need very little time, no money, just good systems.
  2. A sales process – you must have a consistent sales process that builds trust quickly, repels non-target and unprofitable prospects and attracts the right clients and converts them with minimal fuss. This is where I think most brokers waste the most time.
  3. A loan fulfillment system – this is your back-office system. The aim is that you (the broker) should have very little involvement after an application is signed. The only way you can achieve this is to have excellent back office systems.

So, what do I do with all this extra time?

You might be thinking; if I do reduce hours per million settled from 17 to 12 per loan, what do I do with the extra time (assuming you don’t have more leads to work on)? The answer is that I believe that there are a few daily and weekly activities that a successful broker must do that are highly valuable. They aren’t valuable if you do these things once and a while. But if you do them consistently over 100 days, 200 days, 2 years, the more valuable they become. This is your marketing system (which I’ll cover in my next blog).

Therefore, instead of wasting time in an inefficient business, make it more efficient and then use your newfound time to undertake these high value activities. After doing that, you will soon have more leads to fill your time and increase settlements. Then, you repeat the process i.e. continually focus on reducing hours per million settled.

Three-part series

In my next blog (in 2 weeks), I will show you what a successful marketing system looks like and how to put one together. In part 3, I’ll talk about a successful sales system.

 

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Mortgage broking is a weak-link business so act accordingly

Posted by Jan15, 2018 Comments Comments Off on Mortgage broking is a weak-link business so act accordingly
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In December, I attended a Malcolm Gladwell conference (bestselling author of many books such as The Tipping Point and Outliers). I would like to share an important story with you that is very relevant to mortgage broking so bear with me.

He cited some research completed by two economists, Chris Anderson and‎ David Sally (The Numbers Game) where they analysed years of data from the Premier League (soccer) and worked out that if all of those clubs worked on upgrading their weakest players, rather than their strongest players, they would score more goals and win more games. A lot more – something like twice as many goals – but I didn’t write down the exact number.

This is because soccer is a weak-link game. That is, the ball is passed between players many times before any attempt to score is made. If one player makes a mistake and turns the ball over, the opposition then has a chance of scoring. In short, soccer is a “game of errors” i.e. the team that makes the least errors, wins.

In contrast, basketball is a strong-link game because one player can take the ball from the oppositions goal and score without needing much assistance from any of her teammates. Therefore, upgrading your strongest player in basketball has the greatest impact.

Interestingly, as a side note, most Premier League club owners have ignored this research. It has been suggested that this is because they are driven by the cachet that signing a high-profile player creates for them and their team.

I believe that mortgage broking is a weak-link game because you can do everything right except for one tiny error – such as an interest rate discount not being loaded correctly – and it ruins the client’s impression of your service. Consequently, the likelihood of enjoying repeat business and referrals from that client are greatly reduced. The lifetime value of a client that has a perfect experience and one that has a less-than-perfect experience is massively different – well over $20,000 in my experience.

Therefore, a mistake such as a lender not loading the correct discount – a mistake that’s arguably not even your fault – could cost you $20,000! Of course, we could bitch and moan that we shouldn’t be punished for a mistake that’s not our fault – but that will get us nowhere. Sometimes life’s not fair. From a client’s perspective, they want a perfect, error-free, hassle-free experience – so that’s what we need to deliver, or we risk losing them. Clients don’t care who’s responsible for the mistake – just whether they happen or not.

If you agree with me that we are in a weak-link business, then you must ensure you don’t have any weak team members. Your team members include:

  1. You;
  2. Any loan writers you employ;
  3. All admin staff, receptionist, anybody that answers the phone and anyone who has any contact with clients;
  4. The banks you recommend including the BDM’s; and
  5. Any conveyancers you recommend. In fact, any business you recommend.

Take a few minutes now and have a think about who is the weakest member on your team.

Replacing the weakest team member rather than hiring a super-star loan writer will probably have the greatest impact on your revenue in the long run.

 

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Top 3 things you should do in January to ensure 2018 is a successful year

Posted by Jan02, 2018 Comments Comments Off on Top 3 things you should do in January to ensure 2018 is a successful year
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Hopefully, you have enjoyed that last week relaxing and recharging your batteries. But now that Christmas and New Year are behind us, your mind might start thinking about your business, clients and what you’d like to achieve in 2018.

January can be an unpredictable month volume wise, so it’s possible that you’ll have a bit of spare time. Perhaps some of that time can be invested in your business? In fact, I advise you to insert three 4-hour block into your calendar (I suggest one each on Wednesday 10th, 17th and 24th) and tackle the three tasks I discuss below. Go on. Do it now. Put it into your calendar.

Task 1: Focus on the 20%

Without a doubt, the best source of new business in 2018 will be referrals from existing clients and business partners. Typically, less than 20% of your clients will send you 80% of your referrals. Therefore, run a list of all the referrals you received during 2017 (I hope you record the source of a referral in your CRM? If not, start doing it!!!) and identify your top 10 to 20 referrers.

Once you have this list you need to speak to every one of these people (by phone or in person – emails are not effective enough) within the first 45 days of 2018 (i.e. by mid Feb). Reach out just to say hi, thank them for their support and remind them that you greatly appreciate their referrals, offer them something they would value (article, advice, invitation, etc), find a way to help them and so on.

You don’t have to beg for referrals, pay for them (i.e. offer incentives) or anything like that. You merely must maintain trust and likeability with these people and remind them that you exist. They will take care of the rest.

Mark in your calendar to contact these people again 2 more times during 2018 (i.e. again in April-May and Sept-Oct). Broking is a people business. You must invest time in cultivating these relationships.

Task 2: Save yourself 120 hours this year

What are the 5 most common questions or emails that your write to clients? Have a look back over your emails from 2017. I bet there’s a few topics/questions that you address a few times a week (on average). Questions like should a client fix their rate (pros and cons), what happens next i.e. once a client has agreed to lodge an app, a response to a new lead, a request from an existing client for a review of their rates and so on.

Identify these topics and write a template response for each of them. You can cut and paste bits from your previous responses to these questions. Then polish them up – here are two blogs that might help you do this: here and here.

Then save the 5 template emails in a word doc on your desktop (nice and easy to find) or in Dropbox. Alternatively, email the responses to yourself and save the email in a new folder in Outlook that you name “Templates”.

I estimate that we waste half an hour per day communicating answers to the same questions. Templating this will not only help you nail the response (i.e. communicate it perfectly) but could save you 120 hours over the next 12 months!

Task 3: Set your marketing calendar

Referrals are wonderful, but all businesses need to be prospecting for new clients. The key to marketing success is consistency i.e. the discipline to maintain the same messaging, regularly. The two biggest mistakes that brokers make are (1) they only start marketing when business slows down and/or (2) they change their messaging to attract short term business (e.g. a mortgage manager approaches you with a great solution for non-resident loans, so you start trying to sell/market this product – if it doesn’t suit your target then you are doing more harm than good).

The best way to achieve consistent messaging and regular marketing is prepare a marketing calendar. It is simple to do.

Take one sheet of A4 paper and write the months of the year on it excluding January (as its too late to plan anything for this month), combine June & July as one month (as I find most people are especially busy towards the end of financial year) and December (due to Christmas celebrations, etc.). Therefore, you should have 9 months to fill. Write down a marketing activity that you will do in each month. Some examples include:

  • Write a blog for your website – you should do this at least monthly.
  • Write a blog for another website – popular websites are always looking for good content and it exposes you to a whole new list of people. Contact these website in Jan so that you can scheduled in your blog.
  • Run a webinar. You can co-host it with a business partner such as an accountant, planner, buyers’ agent, etc.
  • Run a client seminar after work or a lunch/breakfast event in your office.
  • Mid-year share some tax planning ideas with your clients (via a blog, webinar, seminar, etc.).
  • Launch a podcast.
  • Invite top referrals/clients to a dinner, attraction, sporting event to as a thank you.
  • Write an eBook and email it to your clients – again, you can do this with an aligned business.
  • Send a direct mail to your clients inviting them to discuss their financial strategy with you.
  • Schedule a text message to clients if the RBA changes rates.

Once your marketing calendar is completed, insert reminders into your dairy i.e. when to start organising each marketing activity. Then stick the marketing calendar up on your desk as a daily reminder.

Word of warning: be balanced. Don’t plan to do too little but also don’t over-commit either as you’ll be setting yourself up to fail.

The beach or planning?

It is very tempting to spend any free time in January down at the beach. Whilst we all know that business planning is important and valuable, it’s not urgent – so it tends to get postponed. That’s why its so important that you block out your diary now – its only three 4-hour blocks – and it probably won’t even take you that long. I know from my own experience that these tasks are incredibly valuable. Good luck!

 

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