darren-friendsYou’ve worked hard to secure that customer. You followed up on the lead, rescheduled your meeting a few times at their request, listened to their goals and concerns, answered emails at all hours, sent multiple follow ups for missing documents, discovered they forgot to mention they bought a boat two weeks ago and managed to close their loan anyway. Boom! You’re a rock star!

That was a lot of work…so why would you let that happy client walk out the door, never to be seen again? Yes, you did your job. Yes, you provided great customer service, put out a few fires and got their loan funded. And, hey, it’s a 30-year mortgage, so how many more times were you really going to see them again?

Well, if you’re anything like most borrowers, you could potentially see them a lot over the course of your mortgage career. The average homeowner remained in their home for 13 years in 2018, according to NAR. I have a feeling that number is going to shorten after the buying and selling frenzy that occurred during the pandemic.

The pandemic also created a flurry of refinances, so there’s another need that customer had. Some clients also went out and bought second homes, vacation homes and investment properties during the pandemic. Others moved their parents or children in with them, which led them to pursue a cash-out refinance, HELOC or home equity loan to expand, upgrade or renovate their homes. Aging parents may also need some assistance in the form of a reverse mortgage, while adult children getting on their feet may be looking to buy their first home.

See where I’m going with this? And I haven’t even touched on neighbors, colleagues and fellow soccer parents who might have mentioned they have some housing needs.

My point is you worked really hard to close that first loan. Don’t make it a habit of doing this again and again with no repeat business. Instead, hold onto that client for life.

You may love this idea in theory, but balk at having to maintain constant contact with these clients, especially long after the loan has funded. Luckily, you don’t have to do this. Technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch, remain relevant and provide ongoing value to past clients. You just have to know how to use it. For APM LOs, we have a marketing stack that can make this process more effective and efficient.

Our marketing portal has scripts, social media calendars, campaigns, newsletters, presentations, event planning ideas and co-branded marketing that can keep you connected. AP Connect also provides business planning guides to ensure priorities like keeping in touch with former clients doesn’t fall off your schedule.

In addition to that, you can…

Friend clients on social media.

This is one of the best ways to passively stay in front of someone. This will not only keep your name front and center in their minds but allow them to get to know you on a more personal level through your posts.

Don’t be afraid to interact with their posts, either. Posts can also provide the perfect incentive to reach out one on one to, say, congratulate them on their son graduating from college or ask them how their Mediterranean cruise was and if they have any recommendations for your upcoming trip to Italy (once the pandemic ends, that is).

Use strong calls to action.

You’ve put these clients on email lists, so your newsletter, blog and social media posts are now in front of them. While they may not need something from you all the time, a strong call to action can motivate someone to act.

Those scenarios I mentioned before do happen. All the time. So you want to be sure you’re the one they’re thinking of when the time is right to refinance, renovate, expand their real estate portfolio, help their children buy a home or assist their parents with a reverse mortgage. That starts with urging them to take action and providing clear, concise contact information that allows them to get ahold of you.

Stay in front of people.

You’re part of a community, right? I mean, you are marketed as the local lender, so I hope you are! Be sure you’re acting like it. Attend community events, network, take on volunteer roles, and generally be seen out and about in the community.

People who are connected to their communities not only enjoy a larger networking pool, but they’re seen as a trusted resource because they’re “one of us.” They know what it’s like to live here and they’re working their hardest to ensure we all have the best community possible. That type of perception not only builds community, it builds trust and goodwill. Don’t forget to document your community involvement on social media. This encourages others to join you in these pursuits and lets your clients know you’re in this community for the long haul.

Provide value.

You can publish all the content you want, but if you’re not providing any value to the reader, you’re easily forgettable and likely to be unfriended and/or unsubscribed from. There’s a lot of negativity in that sentence, huh? That’s because content that’s self-serving or simply filler warrants just that: a negative response.

Instead, serve as a valuable resource to your friends and subscribers, which should include past clients. You can either take on a broad theme – giving updates on the housing market, economy, loan rates, etc. – or become an expert in one or two given topics – say, home renovation or reverse mortgages.

When you’re a trusted source, people come to you when that topic arises. And that’s exactly what you want them to do…through the course of their homebuying life.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.