Updated: Apr 29, 2021
It's the beginning of the month, and you know what that means, announcements for Bonus Points! Did your eyes glaze over that last bonus point program post or email you saw?
Whose bonus point program stands out? Are brokers reaching these volume bonuses or is it mainly a marketing gimmick? There are certainly bonuses being paid out but is that what's keeping brokers loyal to any given Funder?
Let’s explore a few things Funders do to create loyalty, gain more submissions, and some ideas that could be implemented in this area to really differentiate your funding company while creating more stickiness and loyalty to your brand.
Bonus points, gifts, and special privileges do help submissions numbers but most Direct Funders are doing this to some extent. Some offer the same bonuses so it’s consistent throughout the year in order to reach annual bonuses while others change up every month depending on what they feel could benefit brokers. Themes often depend on an event or special holiday coming up. March Madness is over, did anyone win anything? Comment below if so.
If a funder offers a VIP like underwriting experience if that ISO meets the bonus level, how is that underwriting time really measured or proven to actually take place? It’s difficult and likely really mostly talk or lacks much difference in processing time
To create more loyalty Funders need to be creative, innovate and stay ahead of other funders. Relationships are a big part of why brokers stay with any particular funder but this industry is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ mentality. One deal goes bad and that broker’s submissions go elsewhere. Too many options out there for brokers to deal with issues getting deals funded. Relationships alone won’t keep brokers from taking their business to one of the others.
Are any funders offering loyalty rewards programs? There is absolutely a way that can work depending on how it’s structured. You can have a point system based on the number of Submissions, Offers, and Funded deals. Then issue rewards based on those points. ISOs could cash in at any time or choose from any number of rewards like a catered lunch for the office. Banks offer cashback systems or other types of incentives where something similar can be done in the business lending space for brokers. A system would be set up where an ISO can track their points in an account created in the funders platform. This may even be in addition to bonus points if the value is that much less. However, it creates an ongoing reward system to submit quality deals.
How about a volume reward being an NFT? With all the craze around NFTs(Non-Fungible Tokens) the possible use cases are virtually limitless.
A funder could reward an ISO that reaches some funding volume for the month or year with an NFT, where the potential future value is really exciting. Just logon to NBA Topshot for one type of NFT.
Another way is using an NFT as a way to gain access to something, essentially a membership token (view video here at 18:13min for explanation). So potentially a forward-thinking funder can have an NFT minted to reward only those approved ISOs that meet the requirements to then use to gain access to certain bonuses, meetings, or events. This would not be a small undertaking, but the future is limitless for creative minds. Of course, I’m not even mentioning advancing funds using an NFT as collateral, which is already being done for loans but that's a topic for another day.
So what is really driving loyalty and more funded deals? Its a challenging time for all even if you are funding a high volume because that certainly isn’t coming easy. Everyone is fighting for deals maybe more so than ever so ISO department managers must be creative in their approach and execution to win more deals.