The Truth About Traffic

Mortgage and Lending with Guaranteed Rate NMLS# 2611 NMLS #208860

trafficI've been seeing these things a lot lately.  Those black tubes stretched across the various roadways I drive.  At first I thought they were some kind of traffic enforcement device and there were cops lurking nearby waiting for suckers like me to fly over them at unlawful speeds.  But no, they are actually there to measure traffic counts.  As the tires pass over the rubber tubing, the change in air pressure registers on the digital readout.

I guess road planners use these readings to strategize traffic flow.  I'm sure other folks use them to provide information for commercial real estate purposes, enticing would-be investors with impressive vehicle traffic numbers.  It makes me wonder what kind of counters I have set up in my business?

1. Web traffic.  Do I have ways to measure how much business is being driven my way through my web-based efforts?  If I know that 85% of people are checking me out on the Internet, doesn't it make sense to put some kind of counter there so that I can figure out how to make changes if needed?  Realtors are so good at utilizing websites, but as a mortgage guy, how can I do better?

2. Phone traffic.  I've at least started keeping a phone log of who I talk with everyday.  I'm surprised I haven't grown a third ear from the amount of time I've spent on my cell phone lately.  If it's ringing, then I'm doing something right.  Question is, how fast am I returning calls?  How efficient am I on the calls I do make and take?  And how much I am using my phone to connect with past clients and referral partners?

3. Foot traffic.  Ultimately, I want to meet with many of my clients.  I realize there are some that do everything over the phone.  They buy leads, work them, quote rates, and they enjoy this type of work.  I don't.  I am part of community and I am in the business of forming relationships.  So my end goal is to drive business to my 1,800 sq. ft. office space.  Why?  It involves committment.  If someone takes the time to meet with me, I go to work for them.  So am I getting enough clicks through my doorway?  If not, what do I need to do to make that happen?

So how's your traffic today?  Is your road bustling with vehicles or is it closed for repairs?  What are you doing to study the patterns in your business?  If you aren't doing anything, then your street's a dead end.

Comments (9)

Matt Crow
Huntley Realty - Huntley, IL 630-728-6051

Good questions!

Be of service! The rewards will come!

Feb 25, 2008 02:30 AM
Mike Tullio
Guaranteed Rate NMLS# 2611 - Sarasota, FL
VP of Mortgage Lending
Well said Matt.  For once, I wouldn't mind having a traffic jam!
Feb 25, 2008 02:46 AM
Jeff Fullmer
FM Properties - Idaho Falls, ID
Real Estate Investor/Financier
Mike, you sure keep em coming! It is pretty easy to track on the net but what about your written adds? In my Realtor days I used an 800 call capture program so that EVERY single add, net or written, was being tracked. Great suggestion on the phone log. I keep a running notebook with my to do list & phone log. Since I am at my desk most the day then that works well. When I am out and get calls on my cell then I whip out my 3" x 5" card and scratch things down on that. Simple, but effective! 
Feb 25, 2008 03:09 AM
Mike Tullio
Guaranteed Rate NMLS# 2611 - Sarasota, FL
VP of Mortgage Lending
Hey Jeff.  Great response.  It's so important to be able to measure results.  Diets are measured in body fat, marathons in minutes, balloon-making clowns in smiles, and in our business, we are looking for talk-to's.  All of our efforts are geared toward being able to generate chances to communicate.
Feb 25, 2008 04:45 AM
Steven Odierno
Mahwah, NJ
NJ Mortgage & Marketing Professional

Hi Mike - Nice post.  You are right:  there is no more simple order-taking.  Leads are fewer and harder to come by, so we as mortgage professionals certainly cannot take the approach of casting a net and eating off of some of what we catch.  Personally, my company has become far more lead-source conscious, meticulously if not always accurately cataloguing where our leads come from.  Additionally. like you I am sure, we are working hard on our Web site using Google to track the genesis of our traffic,  Now more than ever we as mortgage professionals must come up with smart, cost-effective ways of generating leads and sustaining those methods.  Daily monitoring of rates will not be enough to compete - we must also monitor our lead sources and their ROI.  Best of luck.   

Feb 25, 2008 08:07 AM
D. Bass
Ask The Underwriter - Atlanta, GA
Blog: Ask The Underwriter
That was GOOD....but then again all your post are!  I have been keeping track of my traffic in some areas.  I'm still trying to figure out the website thing.  That's my project this week!
Feb 26, 2008 01:35 PM
Dan Forbes
Bradenton, FL
Mike, I have been missing your posts.  Have you thought about taking some of your power point presentations and posting the individual slides with comments.  They would make a great series.
Mar 01, 2008 10:45 PM
Ryan Vivo
Gateway Realty - Fairfield, CA
NRBA Realtor Solano County, Gateway Realty 707-384-5894
Wow,  I never knew those black tubes did that.  I always wondered how they were able to find how traffic flowed, and how it could post how many minutes it could take me to the bay.
Mar 02, 2008 04:34 AM
Richard Sweum
1st Security Bank - Everett, WA
I have been paying a lot of attention to it lately.  I could increase my web traffic 5000%  and not see more than 1 additional deal every 90 days.  If I increased my office traffic by 100%, I would see an additional 2-3 deals per month.  You are absolutely right about commitment.  Point-of-sale is going to be what differentiates my service offerings from the big 3; Chase, BofA, and Wells.
Mar 03, 2008 01:49 AM