By Linda Kassis— Lets start with “Understanding Marketing Basics.” We often wonder why we lose our customers. Why some companies just never call us back. We have been doing business for them for quite some time, never made a mistake yet we don’t hear from them anymore. The difference between you and some of the most successful companies is “Marketing.” We all know there are many new Signing Agents being trained everyday in every major city throughout the country. I have gone to many signings where the Borrowers have asked “How do you get hired to do what you do”? “How do you get trained”? “Can I do you do it?” and so on. If I don’t take advantage of explaining and teaching them, then I risk 2 things: I will definitely have the type of competition I don’t want and I will lose the income involved in the training process. This blurb leads back to Networking so we will get back to Marketing.
Marketing is what gets a company to notice you, and WANT them to call you over and above every other Signing Agent in your area. The seven most important things in Marketing Basics are:
- Your Company name
- How you answer your phone
- Company Branding and Brochures
- Company Website
- Company Correspondence (emails, letters, invoices, “Phone Etiquette”)
Choose a catchy yet professional “Company Name” to represent you. Many of us have a business outside the Signing Agent business and you should not mix the two. Keep them separate. I will use the example of a restaurant. Let us pretend I am a Title Company or Signing Service looking for a Signing Agent to do a closing. I call the number and get “John Doe’s Beasts and Burgers, can I take your order.” Chances are I am going to hang up, thinking I got the wrong number. I made the mistake of answering the phone one day, “Hello,” a long hesitation and the person then asked for if this was a home or business. Keep the names separate and the phone numbers separate as well to create less confusion for your client…
We now move to “Advertising and Marketing.” No matter how busy you are, never stop marketing. When you are busy, market your business. When you are slow, market your business even more. We all have the habit of letting our marketing go when business is good. The problem with that is when you are busy, that means some one else is slow. Your competition is now marketing and taking some of your clientele from you. Just because you have a client does not mean that they won’t try someone else’s services. You have to stay on top of your game. Fortune 500 companies don’t slack in advertising when business is good. They spend millions of dollars for their Super Bowl campaigns. When business is good, it means people are borrowing, which means loans have to be signed, and if we take a break from our marketing and advertising, then we have just lost a lot of business that we might have otherwise had. On the other hand when business is slow and you have time on your hands is the perfect time to go into a full blown “Marketing and Advertising” Campaign. Additionally, continuing to advertise can help you land that dream client that is high volume, high margin and most importantly, low maintenance. Final word is: Market when times are good and market more when times are bad.
Next we move onto “Services and Promises.” Promise your customer less and supply them with more is always the best practice. If you tell a client you will report the closing within 1 hour after closing and end up with back-to-back closings, then you have just broken a promise. If you were supposed to fax confirmation and are unable to send the fax, then simply make a phone call and let your client know that the closing was completed and that you will fax later. The best thing to do is never promise a time for fax backs or email confirmations but do get to them as quickly as possible. When you have completed a closing and have left the borrowers home, get in your car, pick up your cell phone and call your client or the loan officer or both. I have made it a habit to contact both the client and the loan officer to let them know that their loan has closed successfully. Everybody appreciates the call and referrals eventually come back.
Always make sure you have double checked all your documents for errors. Make sure all dates are in order, all signatures are in place and all Notarial stamps are affixed. There is nothing more distressing to a company than a less than perfect set of documents returned.