Brokers Doubling Down in Vegas

DEC 10, 2012 1:31am ET

There are some 1,400 people registered for this year’s NAMB National in Las Vegas, no doubt the best attendance at any event sponsored by the organization since the start of the downturn. (For comparison, the Mortgage Bankers Association said 3,500 people registered for its annual convention in Chicago in October.)

So it the mortgage broker “back”? Depends on what you consider to be back. It is very likely that brokers will never again see the market share they did during the housing boom years. But the business is starting to reassert itself as having a vital role in the mortgage origination supply chain.

My own belief is that without having mortgage brokers to source the product, any impact the return of private money to the mortgage origination market will be muted. Brokers are the ones who deal with these out of the box consumers.

But let's go back to looking at the mood of the show. The first speaker on Sunday morning was an old friend, Greg Frost. And it soon became evident that more seats would have to be added to the room to hear his message.

Speaking to Greg later that day, he said he was surprised I was taking notes because I had heard much of that same presentation many times before. That was true, but it has been updated and more importantly, the message still resonates.

His four main points for success remain having vision, developing strategy, using tactics and implementation.

Those tactics have been updated—he speaks of using social media, saying originator should block out time every morning to do social media marketing.

And he mentioned putting a QR code on the back of your business card, which links to online testimonials.

However, traditional methods of contact still are important. Rather than sending out thank yous via an email, Greg still handwrites cards. Those cards are more effective than the run-of-the-mill, often ignored email.

Rocky Foroutan, the CEO of spoke about Mortgage Marketing 2.0, where originators need to engage consumers as part of an online community. He described Mortgage Marketing 1.0 as being online, but as a solo effort.

Besides his own company, he gave several examples of mortgage/real estate communities like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin and Active Rain. These communities give more of a chance to interact with a wider range of consumers, Foroutan said.

But while Mortgage Marketing 2.0 is above and beyond traditional marketing efforts, originators still have to concentrate on that aspect as well, he pointed out.

Both Greg Frost and Rocky Foroutan had the same main point about marketing—originators need to keep at it, because marketing is an ongoing process, not something to do once and forget about.