We’re very excited to have officially released the Early Adopter version of our new Surefire 2.0 interface. We know this transition is going to be easier on some folks than others and we are here to help! Here’s the action plan:
1) Every day at 4pm EST, 1pm PSTwe’ll be holding a live Surefire 2.0 Training and Troubleshooting Session. Instead of making everyone jump through hoops with GoToWebinar registration pages for every session, we’re going to post the Webinar Training link right here on the Top of Mind Blog each day 15 minutes before the training begins.
CRITICAL NOTE: We’ll be limited to 200 attendees on these training calls.
CRITICAL NOTE #2: To Participate, Please Go To the Top of Mind Blog at 4pm EST and follow the instructions
If we find that more than 200 people are trying to attend our Training Sessions, we’ll make adjustments accordingly.
2) We’ve added a link to the old Surefire client login for those of you who would like to gradually move toward the new system.
3) We want to hear from you with any bugs or improvements you need to see. The best way to address them is by emailing Sherwood Lawrence at slawrence at topofmind dot com or calling the office at 404-943-9910 x117.
Thank you for the positive – and even the not-so-positive feedback!
We are working around the clock and will be making constant improvements.
After over a year in development and two consecutive all-nighters from the programming team, we’ve officially soft launched the new Surefire 2.0 platform. Here’s a short list of FAQ’s about our new Contact Management System:
What Should I Expect Today?
Today’s release is pretty raw, but it will give you a feel for your new Surefire interface. There are known bugs we’re working on. We expect other bugs to surface as you begin playing with SF 2.0. When you experience a bug, would you please email Sherwood Lawrence at slawrence at topofmind dot com?
What Should I Expect Over Time?
Surefire 2.0 is the largest and most challenging development project we’ve ever taken on at Top of Mind Networks. And with today’s release, we realize that our work has merely begun. Over the weeks and months ahead, we’re going to continue adding new features. We’re also going to be doing live (and recorded) webinars to train our clients on Surefire 2.0. The best way to stay abreast of new Surefire features/training is to add the Top of Mind Blog to your Google Reader. We’ll also be communicating updates in your weekly Top of Mind Activity Report.
Why Did We Develop Surefire 2.0 and What’s It Gonna Cost Me?
Our philosophy at Top of Mind for the past seven years has been quite simple: build a great product, price it fairly and give top shelf customer service. Today’s Surefire 2.0 release is just another extension of our original value proposition. If you’re an active Surefire client, we’re upgrading you at no charge. Hopefully, you’ll love us even more. And if you’re REALLY happy, we hope you might even refer some friends our way.
Is That All?
Well, no. We’re also about to officially release our Lenderama mortgage websites and blogs. Some of you have already seen the beta – and it’s pretty sweet. We’ve got about 65 new articles to populate into the master template and we’ll be ready to roll. If you’re stuck with one of those plain vanilla websites, you may want to drop me a line and/or get into the queue. These websites will be the best in the industry. And oh yeah, they’ll be free for active Surefire 2.0 clients too. No s&#t Jack. We’re not screwing around over here. We want to be the best mortgage marketing company on the planet.
Once we put a little polish on our new Contact Management System, we think we’ll be there. Thanks to you – our clients – for inspiring us and pushing us to continue getting better. We’ve only just begun.
In all its glory, we’ve brought back the Top of Mind NCAA Tournament Challenge. It’s free to enter.
All you have to do is enter the challenge before the first games begin. Bring your smack talk and let’s have some fun. The winner gets a free 100 piece mailing to their database.
If you are a third party mortgage originator, appraiser, title agent or other vendor to the mortgage industry, there has never been a more critical time to get involved in the discussion. Case in point, take 2 minutes to read what Senator Merkley (D-OR) and a few of this buddies in the Senate think about loan originators:
Here’s the big news: NAMB is getting ready to officially announce major reductions on annual dues:
Professional Member (ie: mortgage broker/owner) – $120
Affiliate Member – $95
Associate/Loan Officer – $50
These are the prices that your local state affiliate will add on top of their annual dues. So, for example, if the Georgia Association of Mortgage Brokers charges $150 for a “Professional” annual membership, you’d add the $120 above and it would cost only $270 to belong to both GAMB and NAMB. By the way, Georgia originators, GA Senate Bill 57 is still out there and it needs to be addressed. GAMB is leading that charge.
If the cost of membership used to be your stumbling block, NAMB’s effectively eliminated this for you. We need to come together NOW – not for ourselves, but for the interests of consumers. If you’d like to join, please shoot me an email or leave a comment and I’ll make sure you get the VIP treatment.
I’d like to thank Jim Pair and Roy Deloach for listening to the people and doing what needed to be done. It’s a whole new ball game.
During our State of the Union Webinar on Oct. 1st, we received hundreds of questions about the future of YSP. Please join us on Tuesday @ 3pm EST, 12noon PST for a live Webinar dedicated to answering your questions on that topic.
Jim Pair, Current President of NAMB
Roy DeLoach, Chief Executive Officer of NAMB
Denise Leonard, Executive Director of Massachusetts Mortgage Assoc.
Yours truly and Mark Madsen will moderate the discussion on the call and on the web.
Critical Note: Response to our State of the Union was overwhelming and not everyone could participate online. Please read below for critical details on how we’ll accommodate EVERYONE for this webinar:
1) The webinar room can hold 1,000 attendees – and it’s the first 1,000 who log into the live session (not the first 1,000 who register).
2) If you do not get onto the web portion – you can still call in and participate on the live conference call.
3) We will once again have a live backnoise/chat room and will moderate your comments and questions. This will be a very interactive webinar. Please be sure to send us your questions when registering for the webinar.
Mark Green Interviewed For Piece On OpenForum.com
Mark was recently interviewed for an article on OpenForum.com about the value of joining industry associations. Click above to read how Mark describes putting a lot of time and effort into building relationships within his associations and really trying to make a difference in the industry.
David Orsini’s Article Featured In National Mortgage Professional Magazine
This is a bit of a stretch since it isn’t online, but yours truly was featured in the September 2009 issue of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. (Online version is here).
Top of Mind Networks Featured REALTOR Magazine’s 2009 Buyers Guide
Top of Mind Networks’ closing gift, the Address Stamper, was a featured closing gift on the Realtor.org Closing Gift Buyer’s Guide in the Top Closing Gifts for $50 and Under section. We easily made the price threshold at only $10! There were no gifts in this section for less than that!
Mark Green NAMB State Of The Union With Jim Pair
As most everyone already knows, Mark moderated an emergency State of the Union webinar with Jim Pair regarding impending legislation that will affect all originators, bankers and brokers alike.
Did You Know - Top of Mind Networks Leadership as Contributing Authors on High Profile Industry Blogs
Did you know that Mark Green and David Orsini have been consistent contributing authors on the following industry blogs?
Other Places To Find Top of Mind Networks
Watch the Fox 35 Video here.
Andrea Tlumacki was one of the people not afraid to take the plunge… and she has been rewarded for it! With the deadline of the $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit approaching – it is urgent to develop a plan of execution. Most people are focused on the restriction of closing before the expiration of Nov. 30th. Fair enough… but many are not building a time line in order to establish milestones that one needs to meet if they desire to witness the delivery of an $8000 Treasury check. This is done by finding the advice of both a rock-solid Realtor and a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist.
Andrea Tlumacki did. Expert real estate advice from J. Robert Brown – owner of Prefer 1 Real Estate – proved priceless. Not only was she able to nail down a low mortgage rate of 4.500%, but received unparalleled direction from Robert Brown’s corporate-world experience to get a purchase price that would make an investor envious. In her interview with Andrea, Tracy Jacim states, “time is running out,” and the time to delay is over.
Many of us are familiar with Student Syndrome – but the need to:
- get approved for a mortgage,
- identify a dream home, and
…has a time line of about a week. Sure, things can be closed a somewhat faster in the proper circumstances, but as volume elevates in the weeks ahead for lenders, the length of time it takes to actually close will be increase.
In other words… it is important to engage in the Orlando Real Estate process quickly if you hope to benefit from the First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit before it expires.
Do any of these issues resonate with you?
YSP is going away come January 2010 – or isn’t it?
FHA lending will become more accessible for third party originators – or won’t it?
Congress is seriously considering an 18-month moratorium on HVCC – or aren’t they?
Our industry is facing huge challenges and NAMB President Jim Pair wants to hear from YOU – so YOU can be heard on Capitol Hill. I am honored to host a live State of the Union interview with Jim Pair this Thursday October 1st at 12pm EST, 9am PST.
Please send us your questions when registering for the webinar. We’ll try to answer each and every one of them, if not during our live session, with a personal email response afterward.
The Top of Mind family is extremely proud to announce a new addition! Morgan Reames was born, happy and healthy, early this past Saturday morning. She’s the daughter of proud mommy and daddy Maggie and Mitch Reames.
For those of you who know Maggie and Mitch, they’re the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Please share in our best wishes for the Reames family!
Happy Monday everyone.
I read a recent thread on the Loan Tool Box forum that really disturbed me. An Atlanta-based broker was looking for a firm specializing in direct mail marketing. I actually replied to that thread to learn more about what this fellow wanted in his vendor. This was about 6 months ago, I’m guessing.
Last week, this same mortgage broker posted about a nightmarish experience with the vendor he’d selected. I won’t go into details here, but suffice it to say – he got ripped off. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a lot of that going on in the direct mail space. It’s a shame. So we figure there’s an opportunity for a trusted vendor to fill a need…
Therefore, I’d like to formally announce that we are building a Customer Acquisition Direct Mail division at Top of Mind Networks. Our objective will be to redefine the space through:
1) Honesty: Your direct mail vendor ought to supply you with proof that the job went out on time and with 100% accuracy. You ought to know who received the direct mail piece. These are “givens” that most vendors seem to screw up with alarming consistency.
2) Transparency: There’s an earned distrust in the land of direct mail vendors, so we’ll set out to change that by showing our clients what the campaign costs, how much we’re marking it up, etc. No, we don’t plan to work for free. But we’re not afraid to show our clients the components of a successful direct mail campaign – and how we’re earning our keep. That’s a pretty novel idea for this business – and who better to step up and implement than Top of Mind?
3) Training: We’re known in the mortgage business as a turn-key operation. In other words, our clients entrust us to execute without fail while they’re focusing on the core business of helping borrowers. We’ll bring that same methodology to our direct marketing division. Perhaps as important: we’ll train our clients on best practices to ensure they’re turning inquiries into applications – and closed loans.
Is your firm using direct mail to generate mortgage leads? If so, I’d love to interview you so I can learn how best to serve our clients in this new space. Would you please call me at 404-943-9910?
Also, if you’ve been thinking of testing direct mail for customer acquisition purposes, don’t hesitate to give me a shout. We’re committed to bringing our clients an honest service at a fair price.
Quite frankly, we’re pretty excited about it too.