Tag: True Impact Communications

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…

So it took, of all things, the hyperbolic media coverage of Snowmageddonpocalypse along the East Coast recently to drag me back to my blog.  No promises, but let’s see if we can’t keep this going.

Unless you are living off the grid in a national park somewhere, you couldn’t help but be battered by a 24/7 informational assault to the senses earlier this week.  TV.  Radio.  Social media.  Internet.  All caps headlines. Flashing lights and sirens.  Warnings using words like “worst ever,” “life-threatening” and more.

All over a reasonably significant but hardly historic snowstorm.  In the Northeast.  In January.  (Jon Stewart has a great take on this.)

In fact, it seems like each new weather “event” is heralded by increasingly poignant language and dire warnings. Reporters standing in floodwaters.  Government officials urging citizens to buy powdered milk and D batteries.  That sort of thing.  And the result is that the target audience grows increasingly deaf and indifferent to their cries.   I wonder when (not if) one of the 24/7 infotainment channels will forecast that the sky is, indeed, about to fall.

This catastrophe, brought to you by...

This catastrophe, brought to you by…

So what does this have to do with your mortgage or title focused marketing or PR program?  Why, everything!

You see, for years, our choice of adjectives for our products or services–be it on our websites; in our news releases or in our ads–has been similarly hyperbolic.  As a result, once-powerful words like “revolutionary,” “game-changing,” “cutting-edge” or even, er…”powerful,” have become cliches.  In fact, some have taken on almost opposite meanings to the cynical ear.  It appears that each and every similar new technology lives on the bleeding, leading, cutting edge (must actually be a lot of room on that edge).  Pricing is “competitive?”  Uh oh…it’s pricey then.

Once upon a time, this was refered to as “puffery.” In selling one’s goods or services, one was actually expected to accomopany his/her pitch with trumpets and dancing bears.  But we live in a different world now.  The louder you yell, the less you’ll be heard…and even less you’ll be believed.

Stick to authenticity.  You don’t have to promote your weak points, of course, but be objective enough to understand that very, very few products or services in our world are truly “game changing.”  So choose your words carefully as you promote your brand…or you might as well tell them the sky is falling.

A colleague and friend of mine at an agency in my past was fond of the old saying “the shoemaker’s children go barefoot.” If you take a look at the epoch that passed between my last little blog post and this one, you’ll see evidence of the truth of that statement. Believe me, during that two year span, I was dutifully advising my clients not to start blogs if they didn’t have a plan to maintain them. Apparently, I’m exempt from my own counsel.

Nonetheless, I’m going to try to offer up a few words here now and then. Hopefully they occupy your attention and provide some degree of value. I’m going to do my best to post more frequently than once every 24 months, but…no promises. :)

As you can see, the True Impact website has been refreshed after 5 years. Thanks to the original web desginer, Sean Rieger, who built a site so good that it remained relevant for over five years. Thanks to the web designer who put the new site together for me, Anthony Tori. I think he did a wonderful job, and invite your feedback as well. I hope you’ll agree that the site reflects the place True Impact stands today, after over five years in business.

Much has happened since that first site went up quietly in 2008. The mortgage industry has changed. The world has changed. And, of course, our little world has changed (for the better) here in our suburban corner of Cleveland. I hope to share some of that and, in so doing, to provide at least a crumb or two to serve as food for thought.

Cheers!