The Key to “Local” Marketing

It’s more important than ever before for Loan Consultants to develop their local “muscle” to establish relationships, generate customer opportunities and grow their business. Therefore, developing a local marketing plan needs to be the foundation of your business origination strategy.

LiveTime with Alec highlights in this Edition:

  • Is what your passionate about aligned with your community
  • How can you be of service to your community
  • What you need to pivot to help your local market
  • This can all be as easy as a buying a hamburger

Episode Transcribe

What’s up everybody, welcome to another live stream with Alec.

Got the comments up here, getting ready to rock.

Turn that volume down. I hope you guys are having a great Wednesday, if you can believe it’s Wednesday. The world keeps moving on, and today in my weekly live across four platforms today, which is really fun. And, okay. Thanks Matt. Live. We’re talking about local marketing today. Ah, man, it’s so fun. I’ve talked a ton about digital because I’m super passionate about digital and you’re watching this on digital. You’ve heard me a million times talk about how important brand is, how important building out a connected digital community is. I mean, all this stuff is just massively important for your future success in referral based sales and mortgage sales. Got to do it. Now, as we look at the online buster, the internet buster, it’s the power of the fact that you’re local.If you’re a local professional, especially local mortgage professional, man, do you have a huge advantage over the internet companies. Because you can actually make human connection, real physical human connection, where they’re relegated to a digital relationship. Those are powerful. Got to play there too. But I think you should do both. I think you can do both, and I think that the next 20, 30 minutes as we unpack some of this stuff is going to be really fun to hopefully empower you to get out of your desk. That is the trap.Getting stuck in your office is the trap and not going directly to your community and building relationships is the trap. So let us kind of break it down here. I got my little notes up. Here’s the first thing that I really want to land for you guys as you’re looking at local marketing. The olden days of local marketing, the glory days, was bus stops and shopping card ads and maybe even billboards. All those we’ll planning that today too, I got you. It’s fine. But I would say, no, that’s not the right place to think about this. Local marketing is not dropping flyers and I would even argue it’s not necessarily door-knocking. Although, if that’s your thing, more power to you. I start with a foundation of, local marketing is about being in service to your community.Let’s say it again. A little slower. Local marketing is about being in service to your community. Hi, from Africa. That’s incredible. I love that. I got one person in Africa and my mom watches. So, that’s just amazing. All right, so let’s break it down. Local marketing is about serving your community. So what are you passionate about? That’s the first question I ask. What do you personally care about in your local market? And it’s going to be different for everybody. Some of you guys have charities you’re involved in, nonprofits, all that stuff is great. But what do you personally care about it? Do you care about a clean beach? Are you a surfer? And every time you go surfing, it just makes you furious when there’s just junk everywhere. I live next to a bay, a bay called the Back Bay, and yeah, there’re runners there.There’s people there enjoying the wildlife, and maybe that’s the passion that you have is “I want to keep that place clean.” Maybe you have a passion for Working Wardrobes, which is a really cool organization that I’m familiar with where you can go give your old suits and professional attire and they can help outfit people who can’t afford that stuff and help them get jobs. Whatever it is, whatever you care about, that’s the first question. You’ve got to make a list, because if you’re going to be local marketing-what’s up Nashville. How are you doing Alex? If you’re going to do local marketing, you need to do it with what you care about first. Let’s do that, right? We’re there. Second thing. What does your community, your local market around you, care about? Let’s frame it up. If you care about keeping your beach clean and nobody else is there ever, and no one, that’s a weird statement right, so people are at the beach for sure, but let’s just go with me, then that’s not probably the best place to serve if your local community doesn’t serve there.If you want to hit the one, two punch on local marketing, if you’re setting this up, trying to find out what you care about and make sure it aligns what your community cares about. Those two things come together and then you ask the final question which is, how can you be of service? Now you have a position to really kick some serious tail in local marketing. I’ll give you an example. One of my favorite examples, man, one guy that works with us, his name, Bill Gaylord, incredible guy, lifetime learner, really amazing and social these days, because he didn’t grow up on social media and he’s figuring it out.But I always tell the story because it really lands in what’s up Ben? Ben Oregon, Brian. Good to see you. No beaches, yeah, but beautiful forests, beautiful forests. So he really cares about the veteran community. He feels they’re underserved. He feels like they need to get educated and he wants to provide that mortgage education. And he relocated from San Diego to Las Vegas. And in San Diego for years and years and years, his team run a very, very successful veteran education seminar series, VA Home Buyer Success, I think it’s called. It’s awesome. And they’ve been doing it for 20 years, so there’s actually a lot of people that know about it. The real estate community knows about it and the vets figured it out and they’re coming in.Hey Ashley, thanks for love on Facebook. And the vets are there hanging out. Well, he goes to-Oh, what’s up Lance. Big man? No, you’re the big man, dude. We should hang out soon, bud. Miss our talks. So he goes to Vegas, he’s like, “I’m going to do the same VA Education, Home Buying Success stuff. And he starts to put out some flyers and some Eventbrites and no one shows up. And he’s like, “Oh yeah, that’s right. I did build my whole business in San Diego for years before people got the clue as we’re showing up.” So this is what I love. He gets creative. He goes, “Okay, wait a minute, hold on. Where are all the vets? Let’s start there.” And lo and behold there’s base nearby.And he goes, “Okay. And there’s a mall across the street. I bet they’re leaving and go into the mall and go to the fast food. I bet they’re there.” So he goes to the mall and starts walking around and find himself in a Five Guys burger joint and says, “What’s up guys. I would like to buy burgers for vets.”The manager, who I believe is a vet, was like, “That sounds cool. Why do you want to do this?” “Well, I feel like vets are underserved in the mortgage and financing space. They don’t know their options. They get out of service. They can do amazing things with great loan options. They don’t know about it and I want to educate them about it, but I’m not here to smash them on the head. I just want to buy them a burger, thank them for their service. And in the five to seven minutes, it takes for you to make their burger. I’m going to go ahead and give them some information. It’s not a condo sale. I’m not going to smash them. I’m just going to thank them and give them a flyer.” Dude, manager loved it.They set up their first Burgers and Benefits event. They brand it. They have a little A-frame popup. It’s sitting on a table and Bill himself stands at the door. And as people walk in, he opens the door for people and he asks, “Hey, by the way, are you a veteran or are you currently serving or a past veteran? And if you are, we want to buy you a free burger today.” Dude, love this. So he hangs out with these guys. He buys, I think he spent like $212 on burgers for vets, which first of all, is epic. They buy more burgers for vets, right, if anything. I love that. The second thing about this that I love, love, love is that he walked out of there with three pre-quals for vets. Now those results themselves are amazing, right?Can you spend two and a half hours or three hours at a burger place and get three pre-quals? You’re doing pretty dang good. But more than that, he got 18 vets that he bought burgers for that day that he got their contact information because he said, “Hey, look, I’m going to start up a series of quarterly home financing, kind of educational seminars. Would you want to be invited at some point? I need your email.” Fast forward, I think he ran this thing like four or five times, he got contact information to hundreds of vets. He got tons of loans from it, of course, but he also started to get real estate connections and partnerships. He started asking realtors to come because actually he was finding out that the vets have real estate questions. So now he’s inviting strategic partners that he wants to be with into this experience.And at the end of it all, besides all the loans, he has enough velocity now to go back to market and say, “Hey, we’re doing VA Home Buying Success seminars.” And he has a whole list of people who are interested, all because he wanted to buy burgers for vets. This is what I’m talking about. This is a great example of what do I care about, what does my community care about, and how can I be of service? Yes, I know, we do home loans. Great. Got it. But can you do something cool for something you care about?Does that make sense. Man, it makes a lot of sense to me. And these should be strategic, highly intentional marketing strategies, right? I’m going to go once a month and I’m going to buy burgers for vets. I know some people that have pivoted this stuff and local marketing and instead of just coming to the office in the morning, they go to a local Starbucks or coffee shop where they know first responders go, cops, firefighters, ambulance, you heard me say it before, they had stickers up and stuff on their laptops saying free lattes for first responders.That’s local marketing. That’s it. That’s what it is. It’s not bus stops. It’s not, guys. It’s about finding where you can serve your community. Let me give you another example. And I’m going to stick on veterans for a minute because it’s important. Man, a VA renovation loan is incredibly powerful, right? The fact that a vet can do an unlimited VA renovation loan at 100% financing and totally transformed the house that they’re looking to buy with zero down is incredibly cool. Now you pivot that and go, “How many nonprofits in my community support veterans?” I guarantee you, just Google that right now. In Africa, I don’t know, so much, but I appreciate you. I know this translates differently to what you’re doing out there. But there are so many nonprofits supporting veterans around us.Do they know? And are they helping educate their vets that there is a renovation loan available to them at 100% financing? I mean, how powerful is that for a disabled veteran? That’s insane. Because there’s a disabled veteran out there who can afford a payment, has a great job, but can’t get all that cash to retrofit the home to make it handicap accessible. Dude, that’s called being in service. Go talk to those nonprofits, share your experiences, share your knowledge, get them excited. I got a great one on local marketing. If you’re like me and you got kids in sports, right? So every Saturday, it’s sports, every Thursday night, it’s sports. It’s football, basketball, soccer, all the time. And so, one of the things that I think is so cool, just at the soccer field where it’s hot or the football field or whatever it is, is just bringing a big old popup tent.People can have shade. Yeah. It can have your brand on it and your face on it for all I care and how cool you are as a great mortgage professional. But are you just providing great shade and great like service and love for the people that you’re around at the soccer field dude, dude, that’s epic. That’s local marketing. What if you brought little waters for kids for the parents like me who are terrible parents get their kids water and they can give him a little Loan Depot water with your name on it or whatever, that’s killer. That’s being in service. That’s local marketing.This is the stuff that I think transforms our mindsets and get us as focused on how do we serve our community. I went back, let’s do the beach thing or the Back Bay thing, like a cleanup. Host a cleanup, go door-knock and host a cleanup saying, “Hey, this Sunday, if you have kids and they’re in school and they need community service points or whatever, it doesn’t matter. We want the Back Bay to be clean. We’re going to host a cleanup sponsored by you and Loan Depot.”First of all, you’re stoked because you’re getting your place clean, the Back Bay or the beach or whatever it is. That’s where you spend a lot of time and you love it, or the forest or whatever it is and you’re cleaning it up and then you’re inviting your community come alongside you, and of course, you strategically have it branded, you and Loan Depot, or whatever company you’re at. That makes sense. This is the stuff, dude, this is local marketing.I know, Ralph at my Newport office has a toy drive every year. And it’s incredibly cool. Him and a realtor partner up and they do a killer toy drive. Yes. It’s strategically branded. They go by and say, “Hey, we’re going to come by and get toys.” Yes, Loan Depot’s everywhere. Yes. His brand’s everywhere. And he does an amazing toy drive every Christmas. And it’s just super cool. That’s being in service and community. That’s why then you can circle back to those people and say, “Hey, can I get your email? Or can we connect on social real quick because I’m going to film the toys being dropped off to the kids, and I want you to see that. And so I’m going to share that video on my social channels.”I mean, so I’m talking about, this is life. This is how you lean into it. This is how you get out of your office, get off the internet, and go belly to belly with humans to make meaningful impact to build your influence and brands. They ever have a mortgage question they ever want to know about refinancing, especially whatever in this market and the refinance market right now and be out there all day long. All day long. Building relationships, showing what I’m doing. Does that make sense? All right. Let me give you a couple more things. I’ve given this example before and I talked about it in a previous live on the third place where it is a local marketing concept. Everyone has a third place they go to, how do you use that place to keep your influence going to build relationships?I’ve used bars and churches and charities and all that stuff. Great. So when you have a third place, let me pivot it a little differently because you can leverage a third place for this, but I’ll go differently. Consumer education events are by far an under leveraged tool in local marketing. There’s so much internet noise and it gets really confusing for a lot of people that if they just could get someone to talk to you that they would trust face to face that lives in their community, that they could actually ask questions on, it’d be a very powerful thing. And I think consumer education seminars are crucial. Well, I had a loan officer who said, “I don’t like presenting in public.” First of all, get over it. I understand, but okay, you still want success. You have an insecurity, a fear of presenting in public.What if someone says something that stumps you? What if nobody shows up, all that stuff. And so I asked him point blank, “What do you like doing? And we’re in the nest, right? We’re in the trust tree. He’s like, “Drinking with friends.” Okay, good. Good, fine. Be authentically you. I like to go and drink with friends at bars and whatever. And I’m like, “Okay, what about hosting a Think and Drink networking event? Go to local businesses around, bring in some real estate professionals and just go to your favorite bar that you’re out all the time, go to the owner and be like, “Hey, I want to hold a networking event here once a month called Think and Drink and I’ll try to bring in a strategic speaker or let somebody kind of share their stuff for a few minutes and then we’re just going to hang out.”So really it’s just a physical social networking event, like what we used to do before the internet thing. Right? Awesome idea. Build momentum around it. Go hang out. Now you’re kind of the mayor of this event. You’re coordinating it, inviting people, hanging out with everybody, but you’re not under the pressure to perform or get on stage or speak. You can go around one-to-one in relationships and communicate what you do and share your brand and share why you’re in the business without getting on the stage and getting stopped by somebody. Boom, do that. That’s killer local marketing. You can make a huge impact doing that all day long. I’ll throw out a couple of quick fire stuff and then kind of ran down with my final thoughts. Local community cleanups, local community yard sales, charity events, toys and food drives, those things right there have massive power.What do you do to appreciate your past customers? My favorite idea, it’s used all over the country by a lot of professionals, is just to pull down a movie theater on one random morning and rent out the entire theater and host a movie and invite all your past customers and all the real estate professionals you know in the community, and they can bring their past customers, and you just hang out with people. I love this for big movie premiers where there’s tons of energy around it and everyone’s excited. I recommend family-friendly movies, not necessarily The Joker., you do you. And just how do you build community? That’s local marketing, guys. That’s local marketing. You’re serving, you’re giving them value. Here’s a movie. Sure. Your commercial can play before it. And that is the trailer.Awesome. More power to ya. But you could film the whole thing. Show the families hanging out. You feel me on this? This is what local marketing is about. You don’t need a billboard. You just need to get where the people are and you need to operate from a position of service. All right?So here’s my final thoughts on this to get you out of your office and off the phone. Remember, local marketing is absolutely based on the three fundamentals. What do you care about? What gets you excited? What are you going to go talk about? When you go out to the community and you try to pull them into what you’re doing, what are you passionate about? It can be kids’ sports. It can be a forest or natural habitat. It can be certain charities or churches, or it can be a bike club where you guys all put on the tight spandex and you bike around. I see you. Whatever you care about. Ask the second question. What does my local market and community care about? Okay, what are they into? And then how can you be of service?That’s it. When you’re live and you have a coughing attack, you’ve got to go with it. I appreciate you guys hanging out. I hope this is helpful. This will be on YouTube if you want to visit later. Hope you have a great rest of your week. Take care.