Top of Mind Networks

Here's Where Surefire Succeeds Where Most Mortgage CRM Solutions Eventually Fail

We’ve been exceptionally fortunate here at Top of Mind Networks.

When the market crashed, we had two choices.  One possibility was to roll up into the fetal position and hope for the best.  Another was to channel everything we had into our Surefire System.  I’m proud we chose the latter.  But when we set out to build the industry’s best mortgage CRM platform, one of our big challenges was this:

How do you create one-to-one content for borrowers?  In other words, how do you craft a message that readers see value in regardless of where they are in the mortgage life cycle?  Or what their interest rate is?

The short answer is that our approach to email marketing works because we’ve identified what borrowers care most about.  It’s the same thing you and I both care most about when it comes to what we choose to read (or not read).  It’s an old cliche, but our email marketing content answers the WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) question very well.  And that’s why it works – not just in the short term… but over the long haul.

This month, Top of Mind will be unveiling its newest innovation(s) – our Campaign Builder and Template Library.  And the WIIFM for you, our clients, is extremely powerful.  This month, you’ll be able to add each individual in your database – be it clients, prospects, referral sources, or even your general Sphere of Influence – into the ideal email campaign with one click of a mouse button.

It’s coming – really.  But all this new functionality will be worthless to you unless you take one critical action:  segment your database.  It’s actually much easier to do than meets the eye, but when it comes to marketing success, nothing is more critical.  Would you like to learn how to segment your database easily… painlessly… using your Surefire System?

Please consider joining Maggie Reames at our next Surefire Overview Webinar.  You’ll learn:

  1. How to navigate Surefire and identify opportunities
  2. How to supplement the marketing we do for you with your own highly personalized email blasts
  3. And of course… you’ll learn how to place your contacts into the proper “buckets” and truly master “one-to-one” marketing

March 28, 2011 by · 2 Comments

The Lones Group Is Suing Someone Over A Zebra

Updated 3/9/2011:  Daniel Rothamel takes the high road for the sake of his family: 

http://www.realestatezebra.com/in-which-i-explain-my-decision-to-retire-the-stripes

My original article minus a few minor revisions follows:

Meet the new press – you.  Earlier this month, we witnessed the impact of social media in toppling a dictator in Egypt.  The story I’m sharing this morning certainly pales in terms of scope – but is no less powerful an example social media’s role in bringing people together in the pursuit of justice.

You don’t really need me to rehash the controversy on our blog.  There are much better articles summing things up elsewhere:

1)  The Lones Group Lawsuit Summary Page on WannaNetwork.com

2)  Inman News Original Article of The Lones Group Lawsuit

3)  Jay Thompson’s Coverage and Opinion On the Lawsuit

I am inclined to share my personal take on the issue:

There used to be a saying in the advertising/PR business – “There’s no such thing as negative press.  If people are talking about you, it’s a good thing”.  Well I’m not so sure that’s true anymore.  Case in point, the article I shared above written by Jay Thompson had already risen in Google’s Search Rankings to the #5 position – after only one day.  (Author’s note 3/9/11:  Mr. Thompson has since “de-indexed” his blog article on the Lones Group vs. Rothamel suit, meaning that it will no longer rank prominently on Google).  If you’re a prospect checking out The Lones Group with the idea of working with them – this firestorm of a story might give you some pause.  I can’t imagine people are going to read all these blog articles and twitter posts and rush over to spend money with Ms. Lones.  That’s for sure.

Our civil legal system is inherently flawed.  In our society, someone with enough money and/or malevolence toward another can practically ruin them emotionally and/or financially.  This is because we don’t have a “loser pays” system.  I wonder if Ms. Lones would have filed her lawsuit if she’d be on the hook for Mr. Rothamel’s legal fees once the verdict came in?  I wonder what would happen if Mr. Rothamel also could be compensated for all the lost sleep, stress and wasted hours Ms. Lones suit will inevitably cause him.  Tort reform is absolutely a critical issue that must be addressed in this country.

I believe we all want to make a positive difference in others’ lives – and having a blog is an affordable and powerful way to help others.  That being said, before you start blogging and jump to someone’s rescue, I do have one piece of advice – do your homework first.  Never take someone’s word for who is right and who is wrong.  A few years ago, I made this mistake and published an article I ended up pulling down off the site.  Also, I recommend making your point tactfully rather than losing your cool with your prose.  Sometimes, we say things in anger that we later regret.  Certainly, we husbands know full well how amazing a memory our wives have when it comes to this – but Google’s memory is FOREVER!!!!  And Google knows more people than our wives too!!!

In closing, I wanted to loop back to the statement I made to open this article.  One hundred years ago, the press played a critical role in protecting us from injustice and exposing abuse in society.  Unfortunately, it seems that the American public sees more value in learning who got popped last night at the liquor store than we care about real issues… like tort reform!!!  Our media is slanted - either left or right.  But the power of the pen lives on in the form of blogging and social media.  We are living in very exciting times – where each one of us can really make a difference.  One regular guy at Google started a revolution that will reshape the future of a great nation.  One of my closest friends brought The Lones Group vs. Daniel Rothamel to my attention through his blog and together we’re making a difference too.  (Author’s note 3/9/11:  the firestorm that resulted in the blogosphere has been labeled as “cyber-bullying” by some.  I respectfully disagree.  In this article, and in many others I’ve read, the core message was… and still is… inspired by coming to the defense and support of a good man.  It also illustrates how flawed our justice system is – and how it can be leveraged to choke out the little people…as in… me and you.  I’m extremely inspired by the way Mr. Rothamel handled the situation.  On the other hand, I’m angry because I don’t think justice is being served.  And that’s the rub.) 

If you don’t yet have a blog, I hope this article helps convince you to start one.  If you are a Top of Mind Networks “Surefire System” client, you even get your blog built, hosted and maintained for you free of charge.  All you have to do is fill out the Lenderama Website Set Up Form and we’ll run with the ball.  It’s rewarding… and dare I say it… even a little bit fun!  Thanks for reading – and for sharing this story with others.  We need to take care of the good guys out there.

February 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment

46 Minutes…

Never seems to fail that whenever a SureFire mailing goes out that there is a response of the impending application kind and aren’t those the best?

At 6:45 AM I received my notice and sample of the Neighborhood Home Activity Report email going out to my DB, at 7:31 AM, the following email arrived:

 

So of course my first action was to respond to the client and the next thing I did – now at 7:52AM was to make this post. As I was writing this, the client responded saying that she would like to set up a time to go over the details next week.

As more and more responsibilities are handed to us and the work required to close loans increases, I appreciate more and more that staying in touch with my past clients is regularly happening whether I’m being pro-active about it or not.

It’s also hard to make the time to reach out to those that make this possible but I was compelled to do so today. So, thanks to all of you at Top of Mind, SureFire is the best!

February 12, 2011 by · 1 Comment

Supplementing Your Mortgage CRM With Facebook Updates – It Works. Here's An Example:

I’m in the “I Love Facebook” camp.  Not because I “use” it for business.  I really don’t “use” Facebook at all.  Use just doesn’t seem like the right word.  We don’t say we “use” the television.  So I don’t subscribe to all the noise out there from the Social Media gurus teaching people how to “use” Facebook.

But, I feel very strongly that Facebook is a fantastic complement to your existing mortgage CRM efforts.  Here’s an example from my personal life just the other day:

I happened to be checking status updates about 10 minutes before a sales call.  One of my friends is an insurance agent, and he posted some really awesome pictures of him and his daughter dressed up in rock-n-roll costumes.  Well, when I hit the “share screen” button for my online sales call, the mortgage originator I was meeting with saw the same photos I was looking at.  She has daughters too and commented on the awesomeness of the photos.

And then, it occurred to me that my Facebook buddy is an insurance agent – and his main referral source is mortgage professionals.  So I asked my sales prospect if she was currently working with an insurance professional and she said “NO!!!  But I’d love to talk to your friend as soon as possible.”

  • She immediately saw that he is a “real” person who is an involved parent.
  • She knows that I’m friends with him and that’s a natural endorsement without me having to say a word.
  • She knows that since he’s dressed up like Motley Crue he must be a pretty interesting guy.

So, the next thing you know, I’m patching two really great people together who could easily end up working together.

Without Facebook, this wouldn’t have happened.  So again… like I’ve said many times over the past couple years.  Don’t “use” Facebook.  Just be yourself and you too will find that not only will you enjoy the experience… you might even build your business!

February 10, 2011 by · 1 Comment

Live Tutorial – How To Build Free Single Property Websites

Tutorial Below:

This 6-minute tutorial walks you through how to build a nice, clean Single Property Website using our Lenderama Website Platform.  Please turn your speakers up to full volume – sorry for the poor audio quality:

Note:  We had some technical difficulties during our live webinar and I think this 6 minute video David recorded will be more useful than the 45 minute webinar we conducted last week.  The audio is not particularly great though and we do apologize – and will be re-recording the video when…

Note #2:  … we launch the new platform in May 2011.  Our new platform is going to make the process even easier – plus we’ll be adding a bunch of social media and syndication tools. 

Note #3:  You must have a Lenderama website (free upgrade available to all Top of Mind “Surefire” clients) in order to build Single Property Websites.  If you do not have a Lenderama website, you can register for yours here:  http://topofmind.lenderama.com/register

February 8, 2011 by · 2 Comments

Innovation Alert – Top of Mind Introduces its New Realtor Presentation Books

This is an encore performance of our incredibly popular webinar featuring your newest Top of Mind Innovation.

Date:  Monday, January 31st
Time:  3pm EST, 2pm CST, 12 noon PST

Register Now

During this 45-minute training, Mark Green will teach you:

1)  How the ‘Real Estate Battlefield” has changed over the past five years – and what you can do to help your Realtor partners win.

2)  How to differentiate yourself using Surefire and your new Realtor Presentation Books.

3)  What Top of Mind has cooking and how it will change the game for you in early 2011.

January 20, 2011 by · 2 Comments

Guess Who Just Launched the Best Online Loan Application In the Industry?

I’ll give you exactly one guess.

Yep, David Orsini and his development team did it again.  Now – all Lenderama Mortgage Websites (free with your Surefire subscription) include an incredibly beautiful and easy-to-use loan application.

Here are a few things I particularly like about it:

1)  It has a very clean, polished user interface which brands the mortgage company throughout the process

2)  Your clients can save their work and return at a later time to fill in the missing blanks

3)  Your clients digitally give you written permission to pull credit – and you even get a wet electronic signature (extremely cool!)

4)  The resulting loan application is transmitted securely through your Surefire System – and is saved as a FNM file for easy import into any LOS

Click here to view a sample of our Secure Loan Application!

If you’d like a personal demo, please don’t hesitate to contact Top of Mind Networks anytime!

November 18, 2010 by · 2 Comments

Reservoir Doggin' It at Mortgage Revolution

If you’ve been paying attention to guys like Frank & Brian, Dustin Hughes, etc… you know that we’re at the front edge of a Video Revolution.  I for one consider myself a 2 on a scale of 10 at using video for marketing purposes.

At Mortgage Revolution New York this past weekend, attendees got to hang out and learn from some of the best and brightest in the industry.  To get an idea of what you missed if you weren’t there, enjoy the video below.

These guys are right.  Just take out the video camera and start shooting something… anything.  Get that forward momentum working for you.  Forget about the tomato being thrown at you.  Try to set aside your inhibitions.  Be interesting.  Above all else – find a buddy that’s in it with you.  I’m stoked to raise my video marketing game.

October 21, 2010 by · 3 Comments

Avoiding "Phishing" Email Scams

In today’s electronic age, much of our sensitive data is hosted online.  Identity thieves and scammers are getting better at “phishing” for information.  This morning, I received a convincing-looking phishing email.  I used the opportunity to record a 2-minute video I hope you find useful in avoiding these scams.

September 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment

Here's a Guy You Can Learn a Lot From

I’m a fan of Ed Conarchy for many reasons.  For starters, he was one of the original guys who really “got” what we are trying to do with Mortgage Revolution.  But what I really love about Ed is his approach to mortgage planning.  Here’s a brief video Ed recorded in anticipation of MRev NY October 15th through 17th.  I’ll be there – and I hope to see as many Top of Mind clients as possible.  And if you’re going to MRev NY – make sure you give me a shout ahead of time so we can hang out.

September 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment

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