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Provide a Core 7 Set of Advisors

NOV 21, 2012 8:56am ET

In this day and age, where many mortgage originators are looking for the newest wave of technology-based communication to keep in touch with or recruit new clients, Mark Maiocca has turned to an old-fashioned method—he wrote a book, titled “What’s Your Rate? How to Buy a Home and Secure Your Financial Future at the Same Time.”
Not that Maiocca hasn’t embraced technology to keep in touch with referral sources, both B2B and past clients (more about that later).
But the book is something tangible that he can hand out to both other professionals as well as consumers who are shopping for a new home. He is a sales manager for Omega Mortgage, a division of Lowell Bank, in Woburn, Mass.
“I wanted to be able to give something to homeowners that described my own personal process and what makes different [from other loan officers], which is basically integrating the mortgage into their overall financial plan,” he said. This includes describing the “Core 7” concept to those potential customers.
That concept, which is also shown in a graphic on the book’s cover, is comprised of a mortgage originator, financial advisor, real estate attorney, property and casualty insurance agent, accountant, estate planning attorney and real estate agent. The graphic shows them in a circle with the client at the center.
These are the key seven professionals that help those who are buying their first home get started in maximizing their asset.
The book has stories based on real events, both beneficial and bad. The first pages tell his story and why he is so passionate about his clients establishing a financial plan.
When somebody purchases their first home, Maiocca explained, “it triggers so many other important things in their life, that if they go wrong they could be exposed and there is a lot of risk.”
The other reason he wrote the book was to give it to other professionals, also to explain to them this is how he works for his clients and how they can all work together systematically to benefit the consumer.
And Maiocca said the book has been a fantastic entry point for him to meet with those other professionals. “If I want to meet a real estate agent or a financial advisor, it is not just a cold call, let’s get some coffee.
“It’s actually, 'Hey, I would really like to meet with you and you know what, I’m going to send you a copy of my newly published book, it really explains how we can work together, and how I work, so you can get a good idea of my process.’ And in this way we can talk about it,” he explained.
If the recipient reads the book in advance of the meeting Maiocca said it becomes “a great conversation piece” and something for them to connect on. It shows how he can refer them business and how they can help him with his business. And these relationships in the end “really benefit the consumer.”
Maiocca entered the mortgage business in late 1997; before then he had worked in the state auditors office in Massachusetts. And like many others who have come into the mortgage sales field, he commented, he “kind of fell into it.”
A relative married someone who had been in the business for a long time; meanwhile he was looking for an opportunity where he could help people while at the same time have the opportunity to make money based on hard you worked.
This person told him the mortgage industry would be perfect for that. He was willing to try it and mortgage lending became something he was passionate about.
Maiocca has been with Omega Mortgage since August 2011. In his role as sales manager, he originates loans, helps the other reps, does some recruiting and assists with the marketing efforts.
His volume in 2012 year-to-date is in the area of $50 million. That volume has remained steady because of his consultative approach with his clients.
Maiocca stays in touch with his past clients, and thus he is doing a lot of refinance business right now. Every single month he contacts them.
What keeps him focused on refis right now, as part of providing a value to his client, is that doing a refinance allows the client to free up some of his or her cash flow. In turn, those borrowers can now use the services of a financial advisor who can teach them how to invest that extra money, pointing them towards goals like their children’s college education or retirement and develop some wealth.
Whenever a client refis, he calls them up and tells them that they were making their payments with no problems before now. So why not take the opportunity to really make a difference in your finances and instead of spending the extra cash, “let me introduce you to the financial on my team so that he can maybe help you reposition” that extra money and really make use of it.
And those clients are typically open to at least speaking to somebody.
The switch from boom to bust did not impact his strategy. Maiocca focuses on the purchase business and then stays in touch with his past clients. He started compiling his database in 1999.
Maiocca does regular direct mail and email marketing to his past clients. If a big newsworthy event occurs like the Federal Reserve takes action, he can also send out an email notification.
He also has information on his client’s families, hobbies, past times and more. This allows him to have a high-touch relationship with his customers.
“If I read an article about skiing and I know I have a couple of clients that really, really love to ski. I’ll send that out them proactively,” Maiocca said.
Ironically, other loan officers do give him some pushback about getting so much information.
The only outbound calls are made to past clients.
His new client sourcing is 100% referral, and he added his system allows him to generate referrals back to the other members of his Core 7.
To his B2B partners, he sends an email as well, worded specifically for them. But this is more to stay in touch; he would have a meeting and speak with them on how they can work together. In his Core 7, the Realtors and financial advisors are the only professions he has multiple sources. The other members are just one participant.
If the client already has a financial advisor, he wants to learn who that person is. This is so he can reach out to him or her and ask if whatever strategy Maiocca has for the borrower meets with what the advisor’s and client’s goals are.
“You never know when you can add a little bit more value,” Maiocca said.