3 Ways Lenders Can Increase Purchase Business in 2017

2017 promises to be an interesting year for the housing industry. Interest rates are on the rise, Donald Trump’s housing and tax plans were just released, and it’s unlikely that we’ll see an easing in inventory.

For the last few years, our mortgage industry has been spoiled with historically low interest rates, but those days are now gone. With that in mind, we can anticipate a decline in refinancing and the need for new drivers of purchase business. After all, purchases are the foundation of a consistent business. Here are 3 ways to get your mortgage company in tip-top marketing shape for 2017.

Think creatively

Thinking creatively from a marketing perspective is always on the to-do list. However, this year in particular, it will be crucial to think creatively in terms of your product offerings. With a potential reduction in regulation, you will have the opportunity to be more innovative in your lending. If you’re a smaller, more agile lender (a non-bank, perhaps), use this to your advantage.

Under Donald Trump’s potential tax reduction plan, the amount of tax-exempt income for those who file single may rise from $6,300 to $15,000. This could lead to fewer people needing to file itemized deductions and utilize mortgage interest deductions. The result? Tax code and taxes are a bit simpler, but there’s less of an incentive for Americans to buy homes when the financial incentive isn’t there. How can we help first-time buyers see that mortgage interest deduction can help them lower the cost of their interest?

We’ll need to think creatively… Host a webinar detailing what this means for borrowers. Run a Facebook ad campaign with content that explains why now is a good or bad time to buy. Try something you haven’t tried before.

Use technology to your advantage

Millennials being crucial to the mortgage industry isn’t breaking news anymore. But, what is is the way to their hearts (and wallets)? Technology.

They search for homes on their own phone apps. They contact agents through webforms where their contact info is sent into the internet abyss. They even get pre-qualified for a loan through either an app or a mobile site by submitting basic financial information over the web. They’re not afraid of technology; they embrace it. And you should too.

If you’re seeking something new to really capture a real estate agent’s eye, look no further than Updater. You can help your borrowers finance their dream home and Updater will help them move into it. Use it as a selling tool with agents and a value-add for borrowers. It’s perfect.

If your senior management needs to sign off on new tech platforms, remind them that your company must remain on the cutting edge. As we move into 2017, you should be using technology to stay compliant, capture leads, and to educate agents and consumers on your level of service.

Work your network like a rib

Networking events are great. Free drinks and plenty of business cards, right? Wrong. Nearly 90% of those business cards won’t be relevant to you. But your social network, your daily sphere – these are the folks you can put to work for you.

Now here’s how to work it like a rib.

  • Provide trusted content and information on social media. Your network is connected to you or your “friend” because they trust you. They trust that you won’t waste their time on nonsense. Therefore, when you share mortgage, housing, or financial news, they trust that you are a subject matter expert. Keep doing that. Keep it consistent. Show them that when they need information most, you’re right there at their fingertips.

  • Host events. It’s the holiday season. Why not host a wreath giveaway? Or a treat giveaway on Valentine’s Day? Perhaps a St. Patrick’s Day beer on you? Gathering your friends and family with your business in mind will help you stay top-of-mind, while doing something great for your community.

  • Revisit old clients often. Former clients are incredible sources for new clients. Ask them how they’re doing. Grab a drink. Swing by the house and comment on how great the lawn looks. These are simple common courtesies that can be counted as “working your network.” You never know what a lawn drive-by could grow into. Pun intended.

  • Don’t reach out to your network only when you need something. Reach out to say hi.

  • Connect to everyone on LinkedIn and keep in touch with most-valued connections – people who spend time in relevant circles.

  • Remember that real estate agents want to do the same with their network. Be a resource and share this article with them: helpful content on winning referrals from unexpected sources.

With higher interest rates (and climbing), challenges in urban markets around affordability, and anticipated volatility in politics, 2017 would appear to be challenging. However, there’s the potential for a large number of first-time buyers to enter the market, and we need to prepare for them. We need to embrace technology, think creatively from a targeting perspective, and squeeze more out of what we already have. You have a purchase strategy. Let’s go execute.