Whenever I work with companies in the mortgage industry to assist them in the process of building a stronger brand, one of the questions I ask is, “Why do you believe you will succeed in such a saturated, hyper-competitive industry?”
The responses I receive are nearly always the same – the CEO or owner will tell me that they will hire the best loan officers, the best support staff, and the best account executives in the industry, and will form strong bonds with their target audiences. (If only it was that simple.) To this response, my follow-up question is, “And, why should the best talent in the industry want to work specifically for your mortgage company versus many others that may be courting them?”
Not to my surprise, I get responses focused on things such as great compensation packages, excellent support staff and a great reputation. And to this response, my retort is, “Many companies offer all these things, and more. What else do you have to offer?” This is the statement that usually silences the conversation, and I see the eyes of everyone in the room looking up at the ceiling trying to think of a good response. This is the moment when I switch gears and start to focus on building the brand through asking more questions. I begin drilling deeper and deeper into the soul purpose of the company so that I may extract a company’s uniqueness and answer the question.
As you read this, you may have paused for one second or ten to think about how you would respond to such questions. When you consider that, in any industry or profession, less than eight percent of the workforce can be classified as the “best,” or excellent at what they do, and less than twenty percent are better than average. It’s statistically impossible, in such a saturated industry, to achieve a goal of employing only the best.
Also consider that the vast majority of top-producers in most industries are gainfully employed, part of an elite class of professionals who have earned the right to be very discerning about where they work. If your goal is to attract people from this group, or even the “better than average” employee, you’ll need to think about what you and your company has to offer them that is truly unique and more compelling than the many other employers courting them. Think in terms of your company’s reason for existence, your values, the legacy you want to leave behind and how you intend to make a positive impact on the mortgage industry – something these elite employees would want to be a part of. When everything appears equal, what is the one thing, or group of traits you can have that answers the question, “Why should I work for you?”
Your mortgage company may have a strong external brand and reputation, but you must also put an equal amount of effort into creating a strong internal (employer) brand and reputation. You simply cannot have a great brand unless you have the right people who are driven to deliver the best possible brand experience to your customers.