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What's In a Name? More Than You Think

MAY 1, 2014 12:05pm ET
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Wikipedia says a brand is the identity of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, or slogan.

The word brand began simply as a way to tell one person's cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp. A legally protected brand name is called a trademark. The word brand has continued to evolve to encompass identity, in effect the personality of a product, company or service.

Do you think people would remember you, if you had creative, memorable brand names for your mortgage products and services?

Here's a list of some branding ideas that others have shared with me, with a short explanation of what each brand is about. 

You may swipe and adapt. But hurry, you've got to be the first in your corner of the world to steal these ideas!

Super Saver 25

This is a brand name for a 25-year fixed-rate mortgage. So, you get that phone call asking rates for your 30-year fixed-rate loans. Instead of giving them a rate, ask them if they have heard of your Super Saver 25 Mortgage.

Here's the unique difference and the script you could use:

"The Super Saver 25 is a 25-year fixed-rate mortgage. For example, on a $100,000 mortgage, the payment is about $30 higher per month (the cost of McDonalds for a family of four), but compared to a 30-year mortgage, you'll save more than $30,000 over the life of the loan. In fact, even after five years, you'll save about $5,000.
"Best of all, the interest rate is the same as the 30-year fixed rate—would you like me to give you a comparison between the 25-year and 30-year based upon the loan amount you need?
"I'll bet if you call other mortgage companies, they won't even tell you about the Super Saver 25—or a 25-year fixed-rate mortgage. But even if you end up with a 30-year loan, I wanted to give you an alternative and a way to save a ton of money."

By naming the loan product Super Saver, the prospect may be calling your competitors, quoting the "loan program," and then they are, in effect, branding the name and spreading the word for you.

Second Opinion

A brand name for a service designed to keep loan officers in the running regardless if the prospect has gone to another lender and been pre-approved. It gives you the opportunity to review your competitor’s approval, and see if it is a good deal or if it’s better to restructure it.   

Here's the script you would use in this conversation:

Prospect: I've already been pre-approved for a mortgage.

Loan Officer: That’s great. However, I've found that just like you, when I find out that I need major knee surgery, I want to get a "second opinion" from another doctor—just to make sure! Well, a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions that you'll ever make, and I specialize in providing you with a "second opinion."

Payment Buster Loan

This is someone's brand name for an adjustable rate mortgage.

Second-Time Homebuyer

This is a brand name for a niche market created by Chris Vinson of Prairie Commerce Bank. He markets to people who have owned a home before.

While he has individual niche markets, he feels that second-time buyers know the drill, are easier to work with and usually have a little more cash for the down payment. In fact, he runs a radio commercial and says he get five or six calls a week from the ad. 

Urgent Care Mortgage Program

A brand for a service that you have set up a separate division within your company to take care of people whose loan was in process with another mortgage company and that company closed their doors or the loan was rejected a few days before closing.

The brainchild of Renee Spears of Rose City Mortgage, who created an ad campaign that says:

URGENT CARE DIVISION - ROSE CITY MORTGAGE

"For Loans in Need of Urgent Care, Phone Line Open 24 hours a Day." Will review:

  • Loans from lenders that go out of business
  • Loans denied elsewhere
  • Loans that haven’t closed on time
  • Loans placed with incompetent lenders

The tag line: Get the straight answer from someone you can trust!

Red Envelope

Branding with color is another way to set you apart. Brent Grendhal, a loan originator in Minneapolis, uses red envelopes as his branding tool.

The script: "I'm sending you information in the mail. Keep an eye out for the red envelope."

In fact, everything that he sends in the mail is either in a red envelope or on red colored postcards. Even his thank you notes and folders that he gives buyers at closing are colored red. Oh, and his website was red, too!

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