Written by Jeffrey R. Armstrong – President/Owner of Armstrong Capital
Your favorite Master Note Buyer – Straightforward, Honest, Fair…
The economic tide continues to deliver plenty of ebb with very little flow. The impact of a down economy, unstable real estate markets, decreased spending and tanking consumer confidence is being felt by companies across the board including Note Businesses. Often, the impact is felt most strongly in the marketing plans and budgets within those businesses.
There is no better time than now for your Note Business marketing to prove its value by demonstrating the revenue-generating potential of your marketing plan.
The knee-jerk response to business slowing down is to focus on growth by trying to find new customers (new note holders) through existing marketing efforts. But experience has taught us that concentrating on understanding and keeping the business of note holders you’ve already been contacted by is the strongest strategy in battling the agitation of the economic tide.
Understand your note holders
In your marketing efforts you must look at your customers (note holders) in a new light as they begin to tighten their belts. That means understanding what note holders expect and what is important to them in a slowdown. Don’t assume your previous note holder insights hold true, as economic challenges can change note holder views dramatically. Focus your research more on note holder behavior and tracking systems and less on branding your name. Try to create and disseminate engaging and relevant messages based on a solid understanding of note holders’ preferences, geographic location, needs and behaviors.
Concentrate on current note holders
During a slowdown, it is smart to generate more value from current note holders in addition to pursuing new ones. In tough economic conditions, note holders also feel vulnerable and are more likely to sell their note to someone they trust rather than go with the highest price from a note buyer they have no faith in.
When note holders are worried about getting the most out of their note, increasing relevant engagement is more likely to generate accepted options than simply highlighting your brand randomly to new note holders. Engaging appropriately with note holders during a down economy and helping them through their own difficult situations will build stronger relationships. Capitalize on the trust and goodwill that you’ve created with existing note holders and find ways to help them navigate the down turn with tailor made options created just for their needs (can you say partials?). That’s a strategy that will build both business and loyalty.
Analyze and segment
Note holder profiling is not a subject that many talk about but it is essential to identifying which note holders will sell their notes, learning how to lift the number of closed transactions and in detecting the note holders that need to sell. New behaviors are sure to emerge during a slowdown. Proactively assess and respond to them. If you have only been in the note business a short time you will have less data to profile note holders than those that have been in business for many years. However, this should not prevent you from attempting to notice note holder behaviors and using them to your advantage.
In using the above three steps of understanding your note holders, Concentrating on current note holders and analyzing and segmenting your prospects you might come up with a marketing method that you have never thought of before. For example, some of my profiling includes statistics and data that dictate show me the average age of a note seller is above 55 years old. Knowing that piece of information you might devise a marketing method to communicate with individuals over the age of 55. Where do you find these types of individuals? Maybe you find them at one of the hundreds (or even thousands) of 55 and over only condominium/townhome complexes, mobile home parks or “Del Webb Sun City” types of senior communities across the nation. Then how do you get your message to them? Well, you might find out that these senior communities usually have a monthly newsletter and that you may be able to place an ad in it or sponsor it to get your name in front of your target. If you live nearby maybe you could get your foot in the door and be able to give a short presentation at one of their weekly or monthly homeowner or member meetings. Do you see how profiling your note holders might guide you in a direction to a new and possibly productive marketing method that you can test out and if viable add to your existing marketing plan?
Understand what I am talking about here. I am not saying to stop everything else you are doing. I am just saying that of the three to five lines you have in the water you need to be constantly testing new methods to getting those note holders to contact you. Part of your marketing should focus on the improvement of your system (maybe in the form of questions you ask to note holders) of note holder profiling, segmentation and modeling — not just analytics and insights, but also the ability to deploy effective targeted and relevant marketing communications. This will include more thought on your part and testing of your marketing efforts, marketing method planning, data management, creative execution and marketing capabilities.
Knowing who to market to is often overlooked when individuals in the note business are sometimes forced to focus on just wrestling up enough resources to market to note holders, period. However, by focusing on these steps for gaining better note holder understanding, your marketing can prove it’s worth and relevance with the potential to help any note business ride out even the lowest of economic tides. Remember, success demands action! Keep on marketing, it’s going to work! TWITA! (That’s What I’m Talking About!) J