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"The Rat Goody Theory of Marketing"

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George Blackburne Photo
12/5/97 Interview with George Blackburne

1st AAA Commercial Mortgage Lender DataBank
Sacrameto, CA 95841

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Overview of the Databank

  1. The 1st AAA Commercial Mortgage Lender Databank is a Web site hosted by its own server; the site has been a tremendous asset to the company.
  2. People looking for a commercial loan on a property can go to the site, put in their search requirements and find out which of 450 lenders in the database offer the best options; sellers also can use the databank to gather financing information on their property for sale.
  3. Nearly every lender in the nation that will finance your property can be printed out in interest rate order showing amount of down payment, debt service coverage ratio, maximum loan to value ratio, current rates and whom to contact.
  4. Entry to the site is free but users must give name, telephone number and fax number, address, company name, email address and what loan he is searching.
Marketing Mastery

  1. Users receive the fourth, fifth and six best lenders for a specific deal for free; the top three are offered for a small charge of $25.
  2. A key lesson learned from the Web is that to have a successful site, you must be willing to give away some good information to interest people in coming back.
  3. A good way to bring business to your site is to post an advertising banner with a major search engine(s); doing so is not as cost-prohibitive as many people think.
Shopping for a Loan on the Internet

  1. A simple strategy is to search under the word "mortgage" and perhaps the city you're looking for; then go by hyperlink to all the mortgage companies advertising good rates, (many of the sites lead to brokers); an advantage of Blackburne's databank is that it puts you in touch directly with lenders.
  2. One worthy competitor of B&B is Warren Myers' Internet service, Wholesale Lenders and Investors, which hosts the Web pages of numerous lenders; Myers also has a similar, residential directory.
  3. Another lender-focused site is Commercial Finance ONLINE!, which specializes in business financing (including equipment and moving stock).
  4. Data merge is another friendly competitor whose service until recently was delivered through diskette; now it is also online and gives users good value.
Maximizing Use of Internet Leads

  1. B&B squeezes every penny from every impression from the Web banners; sale of residential leads generated covers two thirds the cost of the banners.
  2. The banner generically refers to "good mortgage rates," so responses go to a "splitter page," which asks them to choose "commercial" or "residential;" B&B keeps the commercial leads but forwards the residential impressions to another company (Warren Myers'), which in turn sells them to residential mortgage companies.
  3. The banner responses are actually passed from linked site to site; the leads are not a collection of email addresses.
Utilizing Leads that Remain on Site

  1. The 1st AAA Commercial Mortgage Lender Database site includes a number of strategies to generate cash from the commercially interested impressions that remain there; the $25 offer of the top search results is minor; selling products and getting loans for Blackburne's mortgage company are more profitable.
  2. Products for sale include a commercial loan marketing manual ($79), an underwriting manual ($79), 3-months'unlimited access to the databank ($79), and fax lists of mortgage brokers.
  3. Loan leads that are not appropriate for B&B are sold to other lenders whose criteria fit; i.e., one nationwide commercial lender pays B&B $1,000/month for leads while others pay on a contingent basis.
  4. A major product offered by B&B over the Internet is a practical manual on how to find private mortgage investors that sells for $2,000; the information is worth many times that because the hard money business is extremely lucrative.
  5. Captured email addresses are an important profit center; email is free to send and, if it contains quality information is welcomed by targeted recipients.
The Rat Goody Theory of Marketing

  1. B. F. Skinner's concept of conditioning rats can be applied to human marketing; people can be conditioned to look forward to your email communications if each one contains something that is fun and/or interesting (e.g., a great, clean joke).
  2. Because the recipient eagerly anticipates the goody, they also read the rest of the email - perhaps a plug for a newsletter, book or Web site.
Extending Your Reach

  1. List swapping is an effective way to increase the size of your email list without cost; exchange an equal number of names with another list keeper with a similar target group.
  2. The problem of duplicates can be handled by; most email-broadcasting software now, or names can be alphabetized into Excel, searched for duplicates and cleaned; two lists of 1,000 will usually yield about 1,400 or 1,500.
  3. B&B has lists of mortgage brokers (2,500), Realtors (1,300), potential borrowers (3,000).
  4. List servers such as Ted Kraus' Dealmakers are a great source of leads.
  5. LION (Lenders Interactive Online Network) automatically beams B&B commercial leads just as B&B sells residential leads; a mortgage broker looking for a residential or commercial loan can enter search criteria through LION and find current rates of a bunch of lenders.
  6. Harness the power of the "Newsletter Effect" by sending a regular, folksy pen-pal type newsletter to potential clients every three weeks; you can build excellent rapport within a period of nine months because you appear diligent, consistent, approachable and trustworthy.
Wrap-up Statement

The Internet is a tremendous tool that should be used in fun, personal ways to touch people beyond boring, traditionally professional relationships. For a 20% discount on any of the products offered by 1st AAA Commercial Mortgage Lender Databank, mention that you are a member of the Real Estate Cyberspace Society.

Contact Information for George Blackburne:

(v) 916-338-3232

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

1st AAA Commercial Mortgage Lender Databank
Warren Myers Wholesale Lenders & Investors
Commercial Finance ONLINE!
Dealmakers (Ted Kraus)
Lenders Interactive Online Network (LION)