There are some good numbers flowing forth from associations like MBA, ALTA and NAR these days. Numbers that suggest origination volume (and demand) is increasing. Numbers that mean more orders are coming in for the title industry. Numbers we don’t usually see this early on in the dead of winter.
Is it over? Is it finally over? Years of market volatility; seismic change and regulatory scrutiny amounting to a business foundation as sturdy as quicksand….really over?
Well, probably not. But a lot of folks believe we are (finally) grinding our way to a better and newer “normal.”
It may be decades before we see the breathtaking and historic volume we saw earlier this century. It may never happen again. So, right now, your battle is for market share. Yes, we’re likely to see some contraction across the industry as some exhausted owners give up under the burden of increasingly active regulatory changes. But not so much as to counter the “new normal” we’re likely to see in overall origination volume.
So my question to you is, do you have a plan? How will you gain market share? There have been enough changes in our industry to suggest the old ways may not work as well. This is where I make the obligatory “box of donuts” reference. But there’s truth to it. Flyers, phone calls and postcards simply ain’t gonna cut it.
We can all agree that, to keep a client’s business, we need to “provide value.” Yes, the term is a little cliche. Ok…a LOT cliche. But I use it to demonstrate that “providing value” is no longer enough after we’ve won new business. In fact, you probably need to be providing value long before a prospect becomes a client.
Now, believe me, I’m not advocating that we give our products and services away until someone agrees to pay us. But the days of interuption-based marketing; self-promotional communication and counting on the “numbers game” to predict new sales are over. Content marketing is no longer a fad, a trend or a theory. It’s reality, and it’s far more effective (done well) than virtually any of the old tools in the marketing tool kit.
If your marketing isn’t content based today, I’m pretty sure it’s not working. The fact is that your prospects expect something from you long before they start paying for it. And if you haven’t made that correction yet, the market may well correct it for you…
This week, I thought I’d go back to the root of marketing communications. You see, in my opinion, there’s nothing more important to how a company presents its unique value proposition than the language and message it uses. If you’ve done that well, it won’t matter (much) if you use skywriting, sandwich boards or even go door-to-door. more
One of the most effective tools in the marketing communications arsenal is The Event. By The Event, I’m referring to a seminar, open house, roundtable, Webinar or audio seminar. Few other marketing tools have the potential to brand you as a trusted advisor, generate leads and put you in direct contact with prospects or customers in quite the same way. more
Let’s be honest. There aren’t a lot of consultants or agencies serving the mortgage and title industry when it comes to public relations or marketing commmunications. There are many reasons for this. After all, this is a very “hands-on” industry. Many simply choose to go it alone–even without an “in-house” marketing department. Many of the smaller businesses place great value on everything but their own time. I’ve seen small agency owners eschew a $300 plane ticket to make a 12 hour drive at an odd time, solely in the name of cost savings. And I’m not necessarily condemning this. But it helps explain why many of the more established PR agencies out there aren’t hanging out at mortgage and settlement services conferences. more
This one’s directed a bit more to my friends and colleagues in the settlement services industry, although I’m sure it can apply in many places. And not my clients, of course (since my clients are, by the nature of the relationship, continuing on with their marketing communications efforts!) I suppose it will be a bit self-serving. After all, I’m a marketing/PR guy. more