Have you ever heard the old adage, “If you market to everyone, you’ll market to no one”? This addresses the idea that you need to find your niche mortgage market in order to be truly successful.
During Sales Mastery 2019, loan originator Christy Solar took the stage to discuss the way that niche mortgage marketing has revolutionized her business. She shared her tips and tricks to building a profitable business based on a type of loan that most lenders in her area avoid: USDA loans.
Fairway Independent Mortgage
Here are the steps to finding your niche:
- Pick Your Niche
- Build Relationships
- Learn Guidelines
- Connect with Influencers
Pick Your Niche
Choosing your niche starts with acknowledging why having a niche mortgage market is important. By focusing your attention on a specific and narrow range of the market, you’ll be better equipped. For example, you’ll be more familiar with the circumstances of your borrowers and you’ll be a guideline expert. Plus, you’ll have the experience you need to truly wow your clients with an incredible loan experience.
Customizing the mortgage loan experience is an important step to standing out in today’s ultra-competitive environment. After all, one-size-fits-all mortgages don’t exist–so it’s time to be knowledgeable on the specifics!
Todd Duncan says that in order to be successful, “you have to move to being a specialist in a few areas.”
Types of Niches
So, now that you know the reasons behind choosing a niche mortgage market, it’s time to discuss your options.
There are a few general categories that the different niche mortgage markets fall into: geographic, borrower, and product niches.
If you work at a local bank or branch, you may already have a geographic niche. By marketing and doing business with people in a specific physical range, you’ll be able to offer face-to-face and personal interaction. Perhaps you like meeting your new borrowers in your office at the beginning of the loan process. Geographic niches also have the benefit of giving the loan originator additional knowledge of the local trends that may be affecting their borrowers.
This may be the most basic of the niche mortgage markets. By marketing to specific borrowers, you can focus your attention and resources on a similar group of clients.
Some examples of Borrower Niches:
- First-time homebuyers
- Refinance customers
- Those struggling with low credit scores
Lastly, another broad category of mortgage niches is the product niche. Some loan officers choose to specialize in certain loan products. Perhaps you focus on VA loans, investment-property mortgages, or loans for customers who have filed for bankruptcy.
In the same way as the other niche categories, product niches are a great way to become an expert in your field. This is because you don’t need to know anything about every product. You need to know everything about just one or two products.
Once you have decided what niche you would like to pursue, it’s time to focus on the most important piece of every top producer’s game plan: building relationships.
Christy Solar has chosen USDA loans as her product niche in the mortgage industry. She says, “My niche is USDA, but my niche is building relationships and letting everyone know what I do. If you think about everybody that you come into contact during a day, that’s a lot of opportunities for business.”
What is a USDA loan?
A USDA loan is a zero down payment mortgage loan that is available for certain homebuyers. In order to be eligible, according to the USDA website, “household income must meet certain guidelines. Also, the home to be purchased must be located in an eligible rural area as defined by USDA.”
For Christy, and anyone else choosing a mortgage niche, getting your name in front of your chosen niche is key to building your pipeline. Christy has a unique way of holding herself accountable to connect with potential new leads. She hands out 3,000 business cards in 90 days to people she runs into at the store, business connections, and everyone and anyone else. She says, “If I am giving you my money, I’m giving you a business card. You don’t have to do it like everyone else does it.”
Once you’ve decided what niche you will pursue, it’s time to take a deep dive. So, learn everything you possibly can about your niche. Become an expert!
Christy says, “I learned everything about that one thing….whatever you choose your niche to be, you have to be the expert on it.”
Christy shares that she dedicates a substantial portion of her week to reading USDA guidelines. This allows her to be completely familiar with every part of this type of loan, and serve her customers and partners better because of it.
Connect with Influencers
The next step to learning about your niche mortgage market is to connect with the people in places of influence.
That may be a director or legislator on the federal or state level, or a professional partner. There are leaders who have the power to help you as you find your niche! If you build a relationship with these decision makers, they will be able to help answer your questions. Additionally, you may receive referrals or votes of confidence from these important figures.
Christy says, “You can transform your business by finding your focus and finding your forward.” This means embracing your niche, becoming an expert in it, and focusing your effort on those loans.
This will lead to more income and more business, since “when you’re helpful, when you’re outside of the box, the income will increase,” says Christy.
By embracing your niche, you’ll be better equipped to serve your customers and find immense success in the industry.
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