Spring Into HELOC Growth

Spring has sprung, which means more people will be starting home repairs, home upgrades, lawn enhancements and preparing their gardens. All this curb appeal cost money, and one way home owners pay for these improvements is with a home equity line of credit (HELOC). HELOCs are designed to help homeowners use the equity in their home responsibly, and obtaining a HELOC to improve the value of a home only makes sense. Of course most banks realize this and have already increased their advertising with the goal of growing their HELOC portfolio. But instead of spending a fortune on mass media advertising, why not strategically focus your marketing and sales efforts by targeting the right type of customer? But how? Banker Suite’s Search by Mortgage Data If you are a CRS Data Banker Suite customer, then you’re in luck! The Banker Suite offers an easy way to search for the right customer, and give you the information needed to target those potential HELOC customers. Here are a few simple steps to get you started: • In the Search by Mortgage Data screen, select a loan amount range and Maturity Year. • Narrow your target market by selecting a competitor lender in the Lender Name section and then enter a loan origination when you know rates were higher than your current HELOC product. • Under Owner Type, select Owner Occupied. Once the search results are available, you can customize the columns to include: • Borrowers Name • Borrowers Address • Zip Code • Loan Amount • Plus, any other column you believe is necessary. After the columns are customized, save the changes. Now you have a targeted list that can be exported to Microsoft Excel. Target Market Tactics Next, start your advertising tactics. Here are three examples any bank can use to reach their target market: • Direct Mail Postcards: Create eye catching postcards that tell a story and contain an immediate call to action. • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Select the area your bank is interested in, and pick the search terms that focus on home improvement loan options. If you are using Google, then contact Google directly and speak to a customer service representative regarding this type of search. Google’s customer service team will help you find the best search words, along with other tips, at no extra cost! • Online Display Advertising: What makes online display advertising great is that you can target in on locations and interests. For example, you can focus on specific sub-divisions in your area and select people that are interested in home repairs. Brand It When building the different tactics, be sure that each piece looks, sounds and feels the same. In fact, each outlet should resemble all your current brand channels. Most likely, anyone reading this understands the importance of branding, but sometimes, branding is forgotten when putting together new communication tactics. If you are not familiar with branding, check out Seth Godin’s Book, Meatball Sundae. Take Action Now is the time to capitalize on the home improvement season. Again, if you are a Banker Suite customer, you have the tools to get the ball rolling. If you are not a Banker Suite customer, then contact CRS Data today to schedule a presentation.


The Planet Fitness Approach to Community Banking

Recently, an acquaintance told me that he and his significant other had joined Planet Fitness. There is a Planet Fitness near my home, and I had seen their television commercials, but had never visited their location. Curious, I asked him questions about it. Here are a few highlights that piqued my interest.   The: Judgement Free Zone ® Planet Fitness claims it is not a “gym” and their Judgement Free Zone ® tagline firmly stands behind it. That means, no outside trainers and heavy lifting (i.e. deadlifts and cleans) is highly frowned upon. In fact, “grunting” is prohibited. The Daily Show had a hilarious report on this very subject a few years ago.   The concept of Planet Fitness it to create a welcoming environment targeted specifically to either: - People new to working out - People who just want a causal, laid back gym environment In other words, “gym rats” and cross-fitters aren’t the target market for Planet Fitness. How does this apply to banks? There are two lessons banks can learn from this approach: intimidation and target marketing. Intimidation What’s more intimidating than going to a gym? How about asking a complete stranger for money? Isn’t that essentially what a loan is? A person walks into a “Financial Institution” and literally pleads their case to borrow money. Why not take the Planet Fitness approach to removing the intimidation altogether? There are several ways banks can make banking, particularly lending, a more approachable experience. This could include: - In-Branch Financial Literacy Classes - Participating in Get Smart About Credit - CRA Initiatives The list can go on and on. But first, there must be a mentality, a company culture that welcomes these approaches. Otherwise, it is just blowing smoke. Target Marketing This is a hot, dynamic term in marketing, especially with community banks.  But how targeted is the marketing approach? Let’s consider home equity lines of credit (HELOC): - Do you expect someone with a $150,000 home to be the same type of person who owns a $500,000? - Do you think a 50-year-old married couple with three children in their late teens to mid 20s have the same needs/wants as a married couple in their early 30s? If not, why do banks consistently market to those customers the same way? Banks throw a huge advertising net that includes phrases like, “remodeling, vacation, tuition cost” and the list goes on and on. Instead of trying to jam as much information out there, wouldn’t it be better served to create a message directly targeting a specific market? Start with your current customer base and/or with the communities you serve. Is there a specific demographic you are trying to reach? Once you answer that question, find out what connects each person in that demographic. Again, go back to HELOCs. If you already have a customer base, then use a prospecting tool to gather information. In this case, let’s say a prospecting tool is used to find out where this customer base lives in your area. From there, use tools to communicate your message to this audience. Tactics could include: - Direct mail postcards - Google Adwords targeted to the Zip Code and street address - Display advertising that can be targeted via location AND by common interest If you are interested in learning more about prospecting tools, take a look at our CRS Data Banker Suite program. The Banker Suite contains a prospecting tool that allows banks to search for certain criteria within different counties. Our goal is to connect you with clear, targeted marketing opportunities that can lead to results.   


Learn About the CRS Data Banker Suite at Conferences Across Southeast

In 2016, our CRS Data Customer Solutions Team has a packed schedule, traveling all over the Southeast to share the benefits and advantages of our CRS Data Banker Suite.
In 2016, our CRS Data Customer Solutions Team has a packed schedule, traveling all over the Southeast to share the benefits and advantages of our CRS Data Banker Suite. [More]