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One of the ways that Brooks Grasso, Columbia Bank, Lutherville, Md., has adapted to the current market is by focusing on specific loan products. "Twelve months ago when the market started to shift, I realized that everyone was looking for the next best mortgage product," he said. "I added a consistent theme to my monthly mailing and incorporated that into all of my marketing, which also includes two sales meetings per month at Realtor's offices and e-mails." Grasso's "Product of The Month" marketing has featured the USDA Home Loan, Fannie Mae Rehabilitation and VA programs. "I select a product that serves a specific need. For example, all of the 100 percent mortgage products have been eliminated, except VA and USDA. Most Realtors know about the VA mortgage, but the USDA Home Loan allowed me to market a new product that allows for 100 percent financing and all closing costs paid by the seller. Believe me, it got people's attention." He said that Fannie's program was also well received because of the increase in bank-owned properties. "Most bank-owned properties need some sort of work done to them and the bank that owns the property will not allow repairs prior to closing. This allows the bank to accept the offer knowing that the loan will not be turned down due to financing because of the property's condition and it also allows the borrowers to add their repairs and/or cosmetic changes to the loan, which is more cost effective."
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Publication:Mortgage Originator
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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