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Loan Officer Marketing - Why Realtors Don't Read Your Brochures

Written by: Jeffrey Nelson

When you place brochures from every mortgage company side by side, you can't help but notice the similarities. Each piece mentions that they have every possible loan program available, proven & experienced professionals, fast & friendly service, a list of documents needed to process the loan, a promise of individualized attention and a commitment to professionally serve the client.

This is fine and dandy for consumers, but what about your brochure for real estate agents? If you're giving to agents the same brochure you give to clients, does it help you stand out? Probably not - and even if you do have a separate brochure for agents, does it avoid the 3 most common mistakes?

Loan Officer Marketing: Brochure Mistake #1 - Feature-Driven Messages

This is the colossal mistake with most brochures. Here's a quick list of features often mentioned in mortgage brochures; loan rates, APR, quality service, mortgage insurance, points, refinance, payments, purchase, full service, originate, retail, interest-only, option-only, ARMS, free quote, to name a few.

Features don't tell the reader anything. Sometimes it only confuses them more about your service. When an agent reads your brochure, they're reading it for one reason. They want to know, "What's in it for them." If you've been in sales for a length of time and have been a good student of it, you know that people are interested in hearing benefits, not features. But wait, there's a twist.

If you sell widgets, your brochure follows an old school formula. It describes what the widget is (feature) and than tells the customer what the widget will do for them (benefits). Pretty simple, isn't it?

But you're in the mortgage business. Or better said, you're in the service business. Wherein lies the caveat, when you sell a service, it's invisible. You can't touch, smell or see it. Even though describing the benefits an agent receives from using your services is helpful, it's not enough.

If you want your brochure to make a difference, the kind of difference that gets noticed by agents, than describe the problems they have that you can solve for them.

It's a strange phenomenon, but dreadfully true. Agents are more interested in reading about their problems than reading about the benefits of your services, or features for that matter.

Loan Officer Marketing: Brochure Mistake #2 - Use of Jargon

Jargon is like, "Swahili," a confused, unintelligible language. It's words that you understand, but leaves an agent clueless. Jargon comes across as obscure and pretentious. Instead, keep things in simpleton terms. Your brochure should focus on expression, not impression. Using buzzwords, stylish words or phrases can come off as pompous.

Jargon slows down or stops the reading process. Avoid it by writing your brochure in a casual voice, as if you're having a conversation with the reader. In English class you were taught to write very formal, remember, your brochure isn't a term paper, it's an opportunity to persuade and shape one's perception.

Make use of pictures to communicate, they're only worth a thousand words. Agents understand with their eyes. Graphs, charts, photos, and pull quotes are examples of conveying or supporting key points.

Everyone's brochure mentions good customer service. As an alternative, use a flow chart to demonstrate your service, and than support it with satisfied client testimonials.

Loan Officer Marketing: Brochure Mistake #3 - Me-tooism Disease

Don't take offense - most of us have this disease. You see what might be working for someone, so you copy it for yourself. It's easy to grab the leading competitor's brochure and copy some or all of it. Years ago for instance, rate sheets were a hot marketable brochure. You could distribute a few hundred and get a respectable response. Well, when you have hundreds of loan officers copying it, guess what happens? It wears out, but we keep using it.

Me-tooism isn't worthwhile. Look at how much mail you're still getting from other mortgage companies trying to get you to refinance. And they use the same formatted letter as everyone else. The letter specifically states, in bold print, how much you could be saving, and includes an advertised low rate. Sometimes it's printed in the form of a fictitious check ready to be cashed.

Don't be afraid to be different. It's easy to use what others have and challenging to come up with originality. But it's originality that can earn the biggest reward.

The Power of a Well-Crafted Brochure

Like a good movie plot, a well-crafted brochure sets the storyline in motion. It shapes an agent's perception before you sit down with them - curtailing rejection and lessening resistance. It provokes thought in their mind, making you more memorable. And it helps you stand out and be noticed among a huge crowd.

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