Mortgage Call Capture For Quality Leads And Building Profitable Relationships

Mortgage brokers and realtors often work together to generate the leads they need to operate successful businesses and offer more services to their clients. For example, realtors often have a list of excellent mortgage brokers handy, so that if their clients ask about funding, they can direct them to professionals with excellent reputation.

Conversely, mortgage brokers often have clients come in to get pre-approved for a home loan before they even begin looking. By being familiar with the latest property listings, and by knowing the realtors in town, mortgage brokers can help their clients find the ideal home for their needs.

Both can also generate leads by using tools such as mortgage call capture systems. In a system like this, a toll free number would be advertised, which callers would use to hear instant, pre-recorded information on a variety of mortgage and real estate information. This information could cover a variety of topics, such as local property listings, how to prepare a home to sell, information about mortgage loans, and other real estate and mortgage information.

No matter what option the caller chooses, the mortgage call capture system records their contact information, as well as the extension they choose. The system then sends notification to the real estate agent, the mortgage broker, or both if they are working together, so that the appropriate follow up can be done. Let’s take a look at a real life example.

Bonnie is a realtor who generally has an average of ten listings. She has worked with Susan, a local mortgage broker, on many home loans and appreciates her hard work and integrity with her customers. She approaches Susan to set up a mortgage call capture system with her, to generate leads for both of them. Susan agrees, and they decide to record a personalized message, and allow the caller to choose from different options.

The options for callers could include descriptions of a variety of mortgage lending topics, current rates, and a list of services offered by the mortgage broker. After each topic description, the caller can leave a message, receive a fax, or talk with Susan for more information.

Additionally, each of Bonnie’s listings can be highlighted on the system, accessed by choosing the appropriate extension. The extensions will be advertised alongside each property in every marketing piece Bonnie does – sign riders, flyers, postcards, Home magazines, etc. After each audio tour, the caller can then choose to leave a message, receive an instant fax each listing’s specs, talk with Bonnie about the listing, or talk with Susan about funding.

They also decide that no matter who calls and what options they choose, each will receive an email with the information, so that they can follow-up on their own end. This is just one example of how a mortgage call capture system can help realty professionals generate leads and work together. However, there are a lot of ways that brokers and agents choose to customize their system to make it fit their needs making them a flexible lead generation and marketing tool.

Hiring Continues In The Middle East Wealth Management Bonanza

Despite chilly global credit markets, the Middle Eastern wealth management arena is a recruitment hotspot. Firms are busily hiring senior executives to spearhead new wealth management teams. For example, Merrill Lynch recently appointed Mazin Al-Shakarchi as a financial advisor covering Qatar from the Bahrain office. HSBC Bank Middle East has appointed Walid Boustany to the role of executive director, strategic investments, Middle East & North Africa. He will be responsible for HSBC’s strategic planning across the region. Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank, has appointed Fadi Abuali as co-head of its Middle East private wealth management business, alongside current head Farid Pasha.

And there is more: the Central Bank of Bahrain has approved Douglas Hansen-Luke as Robeco’s new chief executive for the Middle East. Mr Hansen-Luke formerly worked in senior positions for ABN Amro Asset Management in Asia, Europe and Saudi Arabia. Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank has appointed Shaikh Salman bin Ahmad Al Khalifa as managing director, group business development.

The rash of appointments seen in recent years will continue, barring an unlikely collapse in demand for wealth management, Professor Amin Rajan, chief executive of Create-Research, a UK consultancy on the investment management industry, told WealthBriefing.

Wealth managers are going into the Middle East in a big way, said Professor Rajan. This is a high-margin business to be in as banks get fees right along the value chain, he said. But although the region is lucrative, making money is not easy. Local investors typically punish poor investment performance quickly – often far faster than is the case with European or US clients, said Professor Rajan.

The real issue is to understand the client mindset. Client money [in the Middle East] isn’t sticky at all. When performance is bad they ask for a rebate, which is how it should be. If [wealth managers] can survive in the Middle East, they can survive anywhere, he added.

Barclays Wealth, for example, has every intention of doing more than just survive in the region. As an illustration of its ambitions, Barclays is moving into a new 14,000 square feet office in the Dubai International Financial Centre, which will be a hub for the firm’s operations in the region. Operating currently in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Barclays Wealth is also planning to make its Doha Qatar office operational this year.

Barclays Wealth leadership believes that the Middle East is a core area of growth. A substantial investment in human resources and capabilities and a rigorous expansion plan will lead to a substantial increase in the scope of operations, Soha Nashaat, managing director, head of Middle East, North Africa & Turkey for Barclays Wealth, told WealthBriefing.
Like Professor Rajan, Ms Nashaat says wealth management firms entering the Middle East from outside the region must understand the local culture if they are to make a success of their business. For example, more than 70 per cent of businesses are family-owned, which requires managers to forge long-term connections.

Wealth managers must understand and cater to the regional trends such as the dominance of family offices, Ms Nashaat said. Investors tend to be intolerant of risk and hold a high proportion of assets in cash and in offshore locations, she added.

Middle Eastern clients put great stress on strong relationships with investment advisors and dislike high turnover in staff, a factor that wealth managers must consider in their staff recruitment and retention plans, Stuart Crocker, chief executive, Emirates Platform and Southern Gulf States, HSBC Private Bank told WealthBriefing.

People don’t like seeing relationship managers moving on every two or three years to other banks, he said. His own bank, part of the HSBC banking group, serves clients both from local Middle Eastern locations as well as from its teams of specialists in Geneva.

The general background for wealth managers is certainly favourable. The investable assets of HNW individuals will rise by 50 per cent between 2006 and 2010, according to Barclays Wealth data.

The number of HNW individuals rose by 11.9 per cent in 2006 from a year before, according to the latest Merrill Lynch/Capgemini World Wealth Report issued last June. Wealth management intermediaries have only started to manage a significant share of assets in the region. Research from Zurich International Life, for example, reveals that expats living in the Middle East prefer to rely on their own judgment or friends and family when purchasing financial products. The survey showed that fewer than one in ten expats would enlist a financial advisor, either in their country of domicile or residence, to help them make the financial decisions. Financial advisors have a vast untapped market to go for.

While researchers like PricewaterhouseCoopers have warned that wealth management firms face a skills bottleneck, hiring staff for Middle Eastern slots is being helped by a benign tax regime and attractive pay packages.

Private bankers in tax-free Dubai earn 25 per cent more than their peers in Geneva and almost 40 per cent more than colleagues in London, according to a recent survey by Dubai-based headhunter Dunn Consultancy FZ-LLC.

Excluding bonuses, private bankers in Dubai with at least 10 years experience receive an average salary of $276,500 with allowances, compared with pre-tax earnings of $221,900 in Geneva and $199,100 in London, it found.

The economics of wealth management in the Middle East certainly look compelling. For the time being at least, the toughest challenge for players in the region is keeping up with the pace.

Lenders To Avoid – Business Loan And Commercial Mortgage

I have published many articles which are designed to assist commercial borrowers in avoiding commercial loan problems. One of the most serious commercial mortgage business loan situations is a commercial lender that causes problems for their commercial borrowers on a recurring basis. It is particularly this type of commercial lender which prudent commercial borrowers should be prepared to avoid unless viable alternative business financing options do not realistically exist.

As a direct result of my commercial loan experiences advising business owners for over 25 years and regular conversations with other business financing professionals, I do in fact believe that there are a number of commercial lenders that should be avoided. This conclusion is based on a recurring pattern of lending abuses by some business lenders.

This article will not name specific lenders to avoid, but specific examples will be provided to show why informed commercial borrowers should be ready to avoid a variety of business lenders in their search for viable commercial loan solutions. This business financing strategy article will illustrate the significant benefits of avoiding “problem lenders”.

Meaningless Pre-approvals for a Commercial Mortgage Business Loan

An early commercial mortgage pre-approval is often sought by commercial borrowers. The expected advantage to this initial commercial loan approval is that the business borrower can make other business arrangements which are based on the business financing being completed.

An ethical commercial lender will treat any form of business financing approval very seriously. Commercial borrowers should expect that a meaningful version of such an approval will not be realistically possible in just two or three days.

However, there are lenders who prepare a misleading and questionable version of a pre-approval shortly after receiving minimal application data. Because this approach often produces surprises for the borrower as the commercial mortgage process moves forward, borrowers should be wary of any lenders that do this.

Why do some commercial lenders provide such meaningless pre-approvals for a commercial mortgage? There are two likely reasons. (1) To motivate the commercial borrower to stop considering other potential commercial lenders. (2) To provide a business loan pre-approval that is similar to a structure prevalent with residential loans.

Because many commercial loan situations are facilitated by residential mortgage brokers who are typically unfamiliar with normal business financing requirements, this reason will be especially relevant with business lenders that primarily work with residential mortgage brokerage firms. Such a lender should be avoided for most commercial mortgage circumstances.

Commercial Mortgage Loan – Yes or No?

I have published an article which discusses the tendency of many banks to say “yes” when they mean “no”. Such banks will typically attach onerous business financing conditions to commercial loans instead of simply declining the loan. Business owners should explore other commercial mortgage alternatives before accepting commercial financing terms that put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Think Outside the Bank for a Commercial Mortgage

In some non-competitive business markets, it is unfortunately common for a lender to employ business loan terms that would typically not be seen in a more competitive commercial loan environment. Such business lenders can repeatedly take advantage of a non-competitive commercial lending imbalance.

An appropriate response by commercial borrowers is to seek out non-bank commercial loan options. It is neither necessary nor wise for commercial borrowers to depend only upon local traditional banks for commercial mortgage solutions. For most business loan situations, a non-local and non-bank commercial lender is likely to provide improved business financing terms because they are accustomed to competing aggressively with other commercial lenders.

Commercial Property Commercial Loan Appraisals

For commercial mortgage loans, commercial appraisals are an unavoidable part of the commercial loan underwriting process. The commercial appraisal process is lengthy and expensive, so avoiding commercial lenders which have displayed a pattern of problems and abuses in this area will benefit the commercial borrower by saving them both time and money.

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