To Build a Fire- Ralph Watkins

One of my fondest memories of my father was his love of camping. We had a huge green army tent that could sleep our whole family of seven plus assorted cousins and friends. We camped regularly at several locations in Michigan and Central Florida where I learned about hiking, canoeing, exploring and of course, how to build a fire. I really loved it when it was cold and we all sat around the fire to stay warm and enjoy each others’ company.

One of the early lessons was pretty straight forward. What do you do if you want more heat? Do you A) carefully build on the fire you already have by adding increasingly larger twigs and sticks, then logs that can burn to generate many times the heat that you started with, or B) start a whole new fire from scratch hoping that the combined heat of them will somehow warm your campsite?

The obvious answer is “A”. Yet when I interview Loan Officers across the country to help them map out their success strategies for the next 12 months, an alarming number of them choose “B”.

What do campfires have to do with the mortgage industry? A fire is certainly an asset to your camping experience. It serves more than one purpose, providing warmth and acting as a center of activity. You need to expend the time, energy and resources to create it but once it is going, it’s easy to maintain. Much the same can be said of the marketing for your mortgage business.

I’ve lost count, though, of how many time I’ve seen Loan Officers walk right past a blazing fire in their marketing which will give them everything they need, in order to try to start a brand new one. I’m frequently on the phone with people who are closing 5, 8, 10, 12 or even more loans per month and NEVER reach out to their existing pipeline or their closed loan database for more business while embarking on undeveloped strategies that will take much more time and investment to bring to fruition.

The aforementioned sources are not simply the low hanging fruit in your business, they are ripe fruit that has fallen off the tree and is just waiting to be picked up.

“But don’t I have to call referral partners and book face to face meetings to develop relationships that generate referrals?” Honestly, that depends. There are marketing strategies that are appropriate for each stage of business development. If you’re new to the business (or just returning) so you have no relationships, pipeline or database of closed loans, then yes. You need to be banging that phone. But if you’ve already got the “fire burning” with established relationships, a full pipeline, and a growing database, shouldn’t you build on that instead of starting a new fire?

“Does marketing to my pipeline and database actually work??” Our client Brandon increased his business by 633% in 12 months just by marketing to his pipeline. Jay went from 5 closings to 20 closings per month just by marketing to his database.

“Are those results typical?” Of course not. 🙂 According to the 80/20 rule, if 100 Loan Officers close 250 loans in a month, just 20 of them will close 200 (or 10 each). That means that the other 80 “typical” LOs will close the other 50 between them (or 5/8 of one loan each month). Then again, the typical LO doesn’t market to their pipeline or database. They are too busy starting new fires that go out before they get hot.

By the way, the reason that this “inside” marketing works is that when it is done properly, it doesn’t look like marketing. It looks a lot like helping, and it is much easier than starting new relationships from scratch. The even better news is that it can be done FOR you by most high schoolers.

So, do you want to build your business the hard way or the easy way? If this resonates with you, why not click the banner on this page to schedule a free strategy call? We’ll help you take an inventory of the business assets you have and then map out a blueprint to help you move forward by using what you have to get what you want. Who knows? You may discover that you have a burning fire you didn’t even know about.