Happy Clients Are Gold

Clients-are-goldHow important is client satisfaction to a mortgage broker? The answer is in this stat:

A whopping 82% of broker clients find out about their broker via referral. (Source: Maritz/CAAMP)

Existing clients are gold. As a broker, they’re our best source of new business. That’s why it pays to take care of and invest in them.

It’s not uncommon for some brokers to spend $2,000+ a quarter on media advertising. That is money that could be spent on a pair of unexpected movie tickets (or fill in your “thank you” reward of choice) for almost 100 clients.

We know one broker who holds elaborate catered barbeques with live entertainment for his clients and referral sources. This annual event costs him several thousand dollars, but the return is many multiples of that.

Other brokers spend thousands on indirect promotional methods, like search engine optimization (SEO). Brokers investing in SEO may be disappointed to hear that only 4% of consumers find their broker using a search engine, according to Maritz.

Moreover, if you’re not in the first five search results for your key terms, click-through is surprisingly low.

Most brokers would be better off saving their SEO dollars and reallocating much of their marketing budgets to directly rewarding clients and referral sources.

Rob McLister, CMT

  1. Referral! Referral! Referral!
    That is in the very foundation of getting clients. I blog and read many other blogs just to keep myself aware.
    Spending money on on-line ads is not very effective in our industry; I learnt it from big businesses.
    But recently I have noticed that RBC got smarter. Their media releases in newswire are stuffed with key-words, anchor text etc. This transformation happened after they announced some joint-venture with Big G.
    Just my 2cents.

  2. I think it was Edwards Deming who said “Profit in business comes from repeat customers.”
    New customers are more expensive to acquire than existing customers are to retain.

  3. I never understood why mortgage brokers would ever try to attempt to market themselves up against the big banks either. It’s impossible to even come close to their marketing budgets in traditional or online advertising.
    Here’s my take on why I think brokers are throwing their money away: http://www.scottdawson.ca/why-you-shouldnt-advertise-on-google-adwords/
    I see so many brokers throwing their money away just trying to compete alongside the big banks and other brokers by just doing the same thing. Ultimately you just get lost in the noise.

  4. Savvy clients will go to a broker only if they offer them a better deal than any of the big banks or lenders.
    Many less savvy clients avoid brokers as they don’t trust them, giving all personal data to some “person” is kinda scary :)

  5. You might be interested to know that brokers are licensed by provincial regulators and the penalties for personal information misuse are jail time and-or large fines. Privacy is not a concern with 99.9% of brokers.

  6. “We know one broker who holds elaborate catered barbeques with live entertainment for his clients and referral sources. This annual event costs him several thousand dollars but the return is many multiples of that.”
    Here’s a story that puts a smile on my face. Who knows, Rob, maybe we’re talking about the same broker. A few years ago, very early in fact when I decided to head into this business, I met with a few brokers to see what brokerage is right for me or would even take me on as a new agent.
    One of the very first brokers I was referred to, he’s based in Toronto, was kind enough to take an hour of his very busy schedule to explain to me how the industry works, the importance of product and sales training, and of course the importance of keeping existing clients very happy.
    One time he rented a movie theater and had a women only movie night just for the women clients (and I’m guessing wives of clients). After that it was happy hour and everyone went for dinner and drinks. The whole thing ended up costing him like 5 grand but the residual business he got as a result dwarfed the actual cost of hosting the event.
    Not only that, but in doing so he differentiated himself immensely from his competitors working for the banks. I mean, let’s be honest with ourselves: how many people here have had their banker or mobile mortgage “specialist” host an event like that for them? Come on, raise your hands now. No one? No kidding! And here’s the real value differentiator: virtually none of his clients paid him any fees to do their mortgage.

  7. Hi Lior, Good story. Thanks for sharing it. There are so many ways to show clients that we care. In an increasingly commoditized business, going the extra mile will take on added importance. At the same time, thank you gestures may require greater creativity as shrinking margins narrow everyone’s budgets…

  8. a simple 450$ barbecue set from Costco goes a long way !
    I have referred many friends and they were happy getting best market rates and conditions + a free barbecue :)

  9. SEO for your website is important, many people rely on the web for almost everything today. But word of mouth, both online and off, is still the most powerful marketing tool available.
    Although little perks like some have mentioned can bring in clients, still the number one factor is going to be price and service.

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