Monday, March 31, 2008

How To Survive The Home Mortgage Scandal

I probably shouldn't share this information with you because it is working so well for us. It's maybe a little off topic but if you are in the real estate/mortgage industry it may save your business as it did ours. I'm going to tell you the whole story so you will understand how sincere I am.

Jerry, my husband, is an independent mortgage broker and has been in the mortgage business for at least 35 years. His office is located in the Atlanta area and when the market was good I think at one time he had over 20 loan officers working for him. That business is his heart and soul. He loves it. He is also one of the most reputable people I have ever met. He would never ever think of doing anything even the slightest bit dishonest and I know he has fired loan officers that did not have the same standards.

I was an engineer with Northrup Aerospace Company. After Jer and I married in 1997 I went back to school and became a Certified Mortgage Specialist so I could work at his office. I was a loan officer for a while, a processor if we needed it and I even opened up a branch in Tennessee. Life was grand.

In 2001 I didn't want to do the commute thing anymore. I left Jerry's company and started my own corporation.

I had so much empathy for consumers that were being taken advantage of by other mortgage companies that I decided to build a website on mortgage guidelines. People would be able to learn and understand more about the biggest investment they would ever make.

I built and I didn't do the coding because I didn't know how then but I did the lay out and content. They were finished and up on the net in 2002.

Both of these sites are content rich and totally free to the consumer. I was going to make money by having Real Estate Industry Professionals list their company in a geographical directory on each site for a small fee of $20 bucks a year. Not a bad idea except that the sites were new and got no traffic so even if you happened to stumble on it you still wouldn't advertise your company because, ... no traffic.

Just a note here for clarification. I left Jerry's Company. I stopped originating loans. These two websites do not generate leads for me or leads I would give Jerry. The purpose of the profession directories was so Consumers would search it for professionals in their area.

Anyway, I went back to school, learned html and SEO. It wasn't long till the MU site was first on Google. I've given up on the FSBO site. But I became very busy on the MU site answering questions for consumers and locating information for underwriters, processors and loan officers. I really enjoyed working with all the people, ... but I still wasn't making any money.

The money wasn't really a big deal but I did want to make at least enough to pay for the hosting fees. So I put Google AdSense on both sites. It worked, I was making $150 a month. That paid the hosting fees, the Business license and for the accountant to do my taxes. I had a big whopping $200 left over at the end of the year.

This wasn't really a sad story, it kept me busy and up on the market. The money just wasn't really that important because Jer was doing great. I was just a house wife with an Internet hobby. I didn't feel that way but I think that's how Jer felt about it.

We all know the home mortgage market has crashed. The city of Atlanta is one of the worst hit, and companies are going out of business every day. Well, it didn't happen over night. I think it started sliding in 2003 or 2004.

Jerry's company is no different than the others. He has been struggling and downsizing for the past two and half years. The last twelve months have been really bad. He only has three loan officers now and he has his buildings are up for sale. So sad.

So now I have a sense of urgency. We really need money and if I can't get my sites making money I will have to go back to work somewhere and that's not so easy when you get to be my age.

I started searching the net because I had to find a way to make my sites develop income. I ran across this book somewhere: Google AdSense Secrets by Joel Comm. (I think this is free) I read it and applied that knowledge to my AdSense ads (AdSense was the only revenue I had on the sites). Wow, my AdSense more than tripled immediately without doing anything else. So now I'm making $600 per month on my site. That won't save the farm but I'm really impressed.

I'm excited at this point because it worked as soon as I uploaded the changes. I'm starting to think that maybe I can make these sites profitable. I continued to search the net and I specifically looked for stuff from Joel Comm because he obviously knew what he was talking about and I really trusted him. I don't know why, I just did. He seemed really honest and not out to make a quick buck.

I don't know if you have heard of him but he was doing a program on the Internet titled something like, "The Next Internet Millionaire". It was a free thing to view, sort of like a reality show on television but broadcast on the Internet. I wasn't the least bit interested and didn't watch any of them.

I wasn't interested in "Internet marketing", I was trying to find info to save my husbands mortgage business. After Joel finished that Internet reality show thing he came out with a product called the secret classroom. What it was, I thought at the time, was what he taught the people on the reality show. They were people off the street, all in different businesses and he supposedly taught them in the "classroom" how to make a fortune on the Internet. Sorry, I still wasn't really interested. Hey, I am in the mortgage industry!

Then one day Jer said I really needed to get a job or we would be living under the overpass. Now the overpass thing didn't really scare me but the JOB thing did. I'm motivated now and really depressed if you want to know the truth.

Somehow and I don't remember how, but I ended up on Joel's sales page for "The Secret Classroom". I read the whole sales page ... no one ever reads all that stuff. I guess I was desperate. Well, I bought it with my business account but I surely didn't tell Jerry. He would have had a fit. I even hid it when it was delivered.

I started watching the DVDs. It's like twelve DVDs plus a study guide and a few other things. The first DVD I wasn't overly impressed with. It was important information but at this point in my life it was a "been there, know that". I learned that when I was in my early 20s.

In one of the DVDs I was so distracted by the instructors mannerisms I couldn't focus on the message. About half of the way through that DVD I started listening and it was like "Oh MY God" and I slapped my head. He taught me why all our advertising dollars were going in the trash, totally wasted with no ROI. HE got my attention and I'll say to you that if that was the only DVD, the knowledge from it alone would have turned Jerry's company around.

As I got into the series I started taking notes. That was stupid, ... like I couldn't watch it again?? Why take notes? (old school I guess)

I guess it is partly because the Internet has changed everything in the last 5 years and the old way just either doesn't work at all anymore or is major less effective.

It's about new technology and a new consumer that wants: what they want, when they want it, and in the format they want it. You need this information and so did I.

I highly recommend that you invest in The Secrete Classroom especially if you are in a business that is struggling or if you are putting together a new business. It's not about "Internet Marketing", it's about "How to Market Any Business On the Internet".

Remember that first DVD I said was "been there, know that"? Now that I am trying to implement everything I have learned, that first DVD is really helping me stay focused and I can do twice as much in one day that I did before.




  1. Well , nice blog. Those who want to get into home based business. Theyhave searched a long time, others, not so long. But we all have ONE Thing in common... a desire to be financially secure. I wich all of you best of luck.

  2. The secrete class room is not a "home based business". It is not a business at all. It does not teach real estate or mortgage techniques.

    It teaches how to use todays internet techniques to market your business or service.

    Lets face it, our world has changed. ROI on Atlanta Journal ads are like Zip, zero, nada. News papers all over the country are suffering a loss of ad revenue due to the internet.

    PPC, .... Have you gotten the google slap yet?? PPC is not what it use to be and the cost keeps increasing and the CTR is decreasing.