I meet many brokers who don’t have a marketing budget but I also really worry about those brokers who have a very low one.

It’s really like the chicken and the egg isn’t it? I’m not writing enough loans so I don’t have the funds to do marketing, however if you don’t do the marketing you won’t raise the funds either.

Many brokers rely on word of mouth. In fact I’d say 99.9% of brokers rely on that. The interesting thing is from the research I have done over the last 9 years with several thousands of brokers, typically only 1-5% (occasionally up to 10%) of people on the broker’s database actually refers to them. If you are a broker and don’t believe me, go on – do the stats! How many people on your database actually refer business to you every year? Divide that number by the total number of clients you have, and that is your referral percentage. Interesting isn’t it?

If you go in to business for yourself, one would have to expect to be spending some money on marketing and that should be set aside. Remember it is also a tax deduction for your business.

Things you should know if on a low marketing budget?

1. Cheap is not always the best/correct option.

I see many brokers choosing e-newsletters as they are a cheaper option than the ‘good old post’.Just remember that an email campaign for the finance industry has an average open rate of only 15.5%. The better you personally know your database, the higher the open rate will be. Usually the smaller the database the better result as you know them more intimately. Also a professionally designed campaign will have a higher open rate

Brokers who are on a low budget typically have small databases. That’s why they don’t have the funds to pay for better marketing. This causes one main problem: If you only have 100 people on your database, only 25 of your clients are likely to read it. Thus it is not likely to generate a high return for you. If you only have 50 people, then that’s only about 12 people who will read it.

If you invest in a paper newsletter, or even better a magazine, then even if you have a small database, you can leave a paper magazine in locations where there is high traffic of your target market, or leave it with your referral partners. Backed up with some good marketing material, some posters and good training with your referrer, this should bring in some results.

This is better than a business card because people can pick up a magazine take it with them, they can read it, learn from it, discover a little about what you do and if the magazine has good call to actions then it will generate some interest. It also won’t get lost in your inbox and put in the ‘to read later – then forgotten’ folder.

We provide 50 complimentary paper magazines with our Electronic E-Magazine subscription exactly for that very purpose.

2. If you can’t afford a range of marketing options, do one and do it well

If all you can afford is a newsletter service, make sure it is the best one and best value for your money.
Ask your marketing provider the following questions:

  • How does the newsletter generate enquiry?
  • What supporting marketing material do they provide to encourage your clients to call?
  • Do they have a reward for referral system?
  • Do they have a team of people who can help them with their marketing ideas as part of the newsletter service?
  • Does all the information and lead generation come back to them directly? Sometimes Aggregators who provide these services have the leads go back to them. They also heavily promote themselves and refer to call your broker instead of naming your company directly which makes it look like a bulk service as opposed to one you have designed especially for them.
  • As my marketing budget grows what services and products will I have access to and which ones will you give me a little taste of those now.

3. Outsource to a specialist who does this for a living.
Just like I wouldn’t try to write a loan as that is not my area of expertise, brokers should seek out good reliable and professional help with growing their business. If you are great at writing loans, then focus on that and work with someone else who is great at helping you find people to write loans for.

4. Have a plan to find new leads and commit to it

You need to spend time each week “looking for people to write loans for”. There are many free and cheap ways to find people:

  • Network at an event where you will find your target market. It is more important for you to collect business cards and contact details than it is for you to hand out your details. Chances are they won’t call you, but you can always call them first.
  • Meet people in your industry to stay in touch with and cross refer businesses.
  • Book a time each week that you can commit to the growth of your business. Put it in your diary as a permanent appointment with yourself and do not move it.

5. Once you have the leads, you need to start communicating with them

Having lots of names and business cards isn’t going to do much for you unless you have a client communication strategy. This means that you now need to start staying in touch. You will be surprised how cost effective marketing can actually be if you are doing it correctly.

For most brokers, they can get involved in a great marketing system for the cost of a few commissions a year.

My best advice is – just stay in touch with your clients in some format (even if it’s only the phone to begin with) and you will be surprised what a difference that will make. Because…

Your Clients Matter.
Many thanks

For more about a multi-layered client communication plan, or a client referral system designed to get you 2 referrals off every single appointment, contact Deena at Your Client Matters on 1300 926 000, or visit www.yourclientmatters.com.au

Notes from  the editor:

Be smart with your marketing strategies and stop losing money on prospects that are not looking for finance. rp.professional allows you to identify potential clients that have a greater potential to require finance or re-finance.

For example, one idea could be to find the average hold time for house and units for a suburb. Let’s say the Avergage Hold Time for Houses + Units in Bundall QLD is 7 years. By searching for those properties in Bundall that sold back in 2005, you have a greater chance of finding a client that may be looking to sell their property, thus needing finance (or if they are already your client, needing refinance). Using rp.professional here is what you would do:

Search for the suburb: Bundall QLD 4215

  1. Select your Sales History tab
  2. Filter your Property Type to House and Units only
  3. Select your Sale Date range (i.e. 7 years)
  4. Refine you new filtered search
  5. Select all of the property results from your new search
  6. Export to CSV

Export to CSV with rp.professional

Now you have a list of potential prospects to target your marketing. Watch our quick video on Exporting to CSV here. For more information on all great tips and tricks of utilising the rp.professional property system, why not get FREE classroom training or book a FREE webex online with our rpdata professional trainers. You also receive 2 CPD points by completing one of our training sessions.

Log in to rp.professional and be smarter with your time and money. For more information call us on 1300 734 318 or visit our training page.