When it comes to marketing a brokerage in today’s changing environment, Tony Bice says the client is king. Ranking nine in last year’s Top 100, Bice has 20 years of experience behind him. He says there are two important attributes a broker must have in order to be successful over the long term – excellent communication skills coupled with strong product knowledge. MPA spoke with Bice about the key things brokers can do to secure clients and drive business for future success.
Two essentials for bringing in new business
It would be hard to enter the industry as a new broker today, says Bice.
“It doesn’t matter how smart you are, if you don’t have any leads coming through then you won’t make any money.”
This simple equation points to the necessity of good communication skills – something that Bice says is essential in any marketing campaign.
“It’s all about sales.”
“If you can’t communicate with a client, or you struggle with communication, you’re in the wrong game.”
Good product knowledge is equally important as having excellent sales skills, he says, explaining the two attributes work hand in hand.
Targeting existing clients
For Bice, marketing doesn’t stop after the transaction is completed. He says not following up with existing clients is the biggest mistake brokers make when promoting their firm.
“Once you get the client, then it becomes a matter of marketing to that client.”
“There’s far too many brokers out there who are hit and miss, or hit and run. They set the client’s loan then they never hear from them again.”
In contrast, Bice sends out two e-newsletters a month to 1,400 clients, each focusing on the financial planning and mortgage/finance sides of his business.
“We also provide each client with a gift basket on settlement – it doesn’t matter whether it’s a refinance or a purchase.”
This cost comes straight out of the upfronts and is worth every dollar. Bice says by providing each client with a gift following settlement he has been able to secure countless testimonials. These go a long way in enhancing the credibility of his company on Google, ensuring it appears high up on the first page of search results.
Boosting business through SEO
In a way, Bice has developed a circular method of generating leads. By marketing to his existing client base and offering settlement gifts, he is able to get more reviews from clients which then make his website more visible on Google. This then brings in a steady stream of new leads, and the cycle starts again.
“Our volume of business throughout the pandemic hasn’t changed.”
“We’re on the front page of Google, so we enjoy a steady stream of leads daily from people who have still got good secure jobs.”