Not surprisingly, the cool down in Canada’s real-estate market is affecting mortgage brokers across the country. Mortgage brokers in former real estate hot beds like Toronto and Vancouver have been especially hard hit. As a broker, how can you continue to grow your business in a slower market? The answer is to work a little harder and a little differently. Consider these 5 strategies for success:
Follow up with current and past clients. While people turn to the internet to shop for services, they also still rely heavily on word of mouth and referrals from people they know. So stay top of mind with your current and past clients by checking in via phone or email. Know that 60% of referrals take place within 6 months after a loan is finalized, so make sure that your communication does not end once your customer walks out your door. Perhaps consider creating a referral program – a new program would be a newsworthy excuse to reach out to your database!
Widen your network. Partnering with real estate agents is an obvious first step. Think about creating a referral program for accountants or real estate lawyers who have clients that are buying homes. Consider reaching out to recent real estate school graduates too. Act as a mentor by providing valuable tips as they start out; forging the bond early can lead to referrals once their client book grows. You can approach large institutions such as Real Estate Institute of Canada, or any schools offering real estate courses near you.
Get social. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to get in front of potential borrowers. They are also ideal platforms to post testimonials from happy clients. Use these to share your knowledge of industry trends and positioning yourself as a mortgage expert. HomeEquity Bank’s Broker Launchpad can provide you with ready-to-use marketing materials to promote yourself and the CHIP Reverse Mortgage via email, social media, your website and more. Create a blog to share your industry knowledge; blogs are great conversation starters and relationship builders. However you decide to get social, be sure to include a link to your website so potential clients can learn more about you.
Shift gears and focus on the 55+ set. According to Stats Canada, over 48% of Canadians age 55+ own homes. This group is now starting to prepare to enjoy their retirement, but don’t have the funds to do so. Research is showing that many will experience a $10k shortfall in funds annually once they retire. This is a great opportunity to look to options like a reverse mortgage, which can help unlock up to 55% of the equity in your client’s home.
With change comes opportunity. View the changing real estate market as a chance to expand your business into different directions. With a little extra effort and an open mind to do things differently (like tapping into the 55+ market!), you can weather the soft real estate market and continue to enjoy success.
Canadians 55+ who own homes: