The benefits of a marketing team in 'your back pocket'

| May 25 - 4 min read

Loan Market broker Samantha Barnett knows her aggregator’s offering as well as anyone. Before opening Loan Market Scenic in Queensland in August, she spent two years as a Growth Manager with LMG.

LMG provides a choice of service plans to suit all different business models and needs of business owners. This includes:

  1. Member plan that enables brokers to work at their most efficient and achieve faster time to lodgement.
  2. Partner plan helps business owners accelerate growth and profitability with specialist support to optimise business processes, build new revenue streams and leverage the LMG tech stack.
  3. Loan Market which allows brokers to leverage the national Loan Market consumer brand and high-touch ‘done-for-you’ marketing support in addition to all the bells and whistles of the partner plan.

Sam was so familiar with the Loan Market proposition - she could run through the service offering with a prospective business owner ‘with her eyes closed’.  She was convinced that this was the service plan best suited to align with her entry into broking, and she knew from day one that she needed to ‘turn everything on’ to ensure her fastest pathway to success.

By going all-in on Loan Market’s marketing suite, she’s now lodging around $6m per month, on average, and posted a record month for settlements in March ($9m) - impressive figures for someone who ‘was opening a business with zero customers’.

The benefits of an established brand

As Loan Market’s former Growth Manager, she recognised the benefits of being aligned with a ‘known, liked and trusted’ consumer brand.

“I needed a platform from which the phone would start ringing and the Loan Market brand offered that,” she said.

Samantha understood that Loan Market’s suite of marketing tools performed best when integrated. She’d seen the impact, first-hand, of businesses that had adopted the all-in marketing strategy and knew she needed to do the same when starting from scratch.

An integrated solution

Samantha’s utilised:

  • Amplify - the Facebook / Instagram social media advertising platform. Its ‘set-and-forget’ automation saves brokers around 30 minutes per ad and ensures ROI on ad spend is optimised

  • Broker Reels - short-form videos for social media produced by LMG’s in-house video production team.

  • My Lead Generator - the lead generation tool that can be embedded in any digital engagement activity - a social media post, an EDM to loan book clients, website, email signature etc - kickstarting a CX-friendly client qualification process.

  • Google My Business - clients automatically receive links to post online reviews to Samantha’s Google My Business page, driving up her visibility and supporting social proof.

  • Social Post - a hands-free solution for broker social media management. It publishes 14 content-rich posts per month, plus adhoc agile posts like RBA Rate announcements, saving brokers about 5.5 hours per month.

  • Client retention and nurture automated communications enable her to maintain relationships (she has already purchased a loan book from another business) and foster future ones while focusing on her client service.

  • Chatmeter - the citation management solution helps push brokers up the Google rankings.. Chatmeter distributes accurate information across directories and review platforms to improve local search visibility.

“I wanted to turn everything on from the start,” she said.

“I’m really focused on Google My Business: if you’re not appearing on the first page of Google searches you’re simply not being found.

“Customers have been Googling brokers and when I come up, they recognise me from appearing in their social media feeds, and that increases their awareness of my offering.

“I understood that digital marketing is an ecosystem - it’s integrated and works more effectively if you have all touchpoints working together.”

While friends and family and their word–of-mouth represents the bulk of lead generation for any business owner in their first year, Samantha’s all-in marketing strategy has achieved a 50/50 split of marketing-generated leads to non-marketing leads.

Using Amplify for her social media, her in-house produced videos have been watched more than 98,000 times and her profile has received 1.1m impressions across four campaigns.

“You also get from Loan Market this amazing website. In my area around Tamborine (in the foothills of the Gold Coast Hinterland) there are local community Facebook pages and whenever someone submits a post asking for recommendations for a broker, users will recommend me alongside other brokers.

“A lot of the time, the person making the enquiry will contact me because they’ve researched my online profile, seeing the professionalism of my website, the regular and relevant content and activity on my social media and client reviews.

“It really helps with conversion.”

Saving time

As a former Growth Manager, Samantha knew the marketing features offered real cut-through. She’d seen the metrics and the corresponding growth for offices in lodgements and loan book retention.

But until you’re handed the keys for your own venture, you don’t appreciate all the benefits.

Social Post was one such example, Samantha said.

“Social Post was one feature that surprised me. I love the ease of it: there’s content produced that is engaging for clients and I don’t have to do anything for it.

“If I had to work with a social media manager and come-up with a strategy for regular content, other parts of my business would suffer: I wouldn’t be able to respond to leads as quickly as I wanted or follow-up with BDMs. I’m doing my business justice if I’m in front of my customers, helping them find a solution, packaging a deal and supporting them through their post-settlement journey.

“With Loan Market, it’s like having a marketing department in my back pocket.

“I turn up to work, sit down at my computer and my phone rings. My marketing effort is minimal.”

Finding new clients

Another weapon in her lead generation armour is her referral relationship with Ray White Rural Tamborine Mountain. As Loan Market and Ray White are affiliated entities, the real estate agency’s Principal reached out to Loan Market’s corporate team, looking to connect with a broker. Since being introduced, the businesses have developed a trusted relationship.

“When a buyer tells an agent that they’d like to make an offer, the agent will refer the buyer to me if they’re not pre-approved,” she said. “They’re a great office to do business with and have really helped my growth.”

Scaling-up with Loan Market

Loan Market Scenic has grown faster than Samantha expected. She’s now looking to scale-up with support staff.

“In hindsight, I probably should have done it a couple of months ago - it’s been that busy,” she said.

“When I opened the business, I had the mindset that I was going to keep things simple and not hire staff. But I learned quickly that I need to have staff in my business if it’s going to be the business that I want.”

Samantha’s purchase of a loan book in her first year of business has also re-enforced the need for support staff.

“You can’t purchase a book and do nothing with it - especially when you’re a new broker,” she said.

“I want to build it up, generate new business from it and retain everyone on it.”