Marketing Ideas. By the guys who wrote the book on starting a payday loan, installment or title loan business.
What’s a payday, installment, title loan lender to do? How do you get more customers? Google? Facebook? Instagram? Pinterest? Blogs, Direct mail? Yellow Pages Online? Buy leads? Billboards? What REALLY works? Acheiving success in increasing your loan portfolio size is a Pain in the ASS! A SLOW, long-term process.
It’s the simple stuff that works!
For our loan stores, we do use Google PPC and Bing but VERY localized (zip codes, city, county…) because the general PDL phrases are simply too expensive and poorly convert. Also, the lead gen companies have the time/expertise to FOCUS on this.
Storefront lenders must have a website that looks great on a phone! THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TODAY! 70% of the traffic coming to our websites are from a customer on their smart phone. We’re not trying to get apps completed on the smart phone but it does happen occasionally. Our #1 goal is to provide a customer with store directions via Google Maps, consumer visits and inbound phone calls with a formal appointment setup and then a call back to the customer before (reminders) and after the appointment (feedback). ALWAYS BE ASKING THE POTENTIAL CUSTOMER FOR THE APPOINTMENT!
Marketing? Our stores primarily do a lot of:
- Local direct mail
- Door hangars
- Car wraps
- Answer the damn phone! And do it right!! “How did you hear about us?” [Understaffed? After hours?Use the experts at Centrinex discussed on a previous Post.]
- Sign spinners
- Community outreach
- Bandit signs [Yeah sure, check your city code enforcement. Or just do it and ask for forgiveness.]
- Referral programs with businesses that service our demographic and need to be made aware of how we can help the merchant make more money. I’m referring to lawyers, bail bondsman, mechanics, Aamco transmission, brake shops, tire and rim companies, other PDL/title loan stores that employ different loan criteria or don’t service the same loan areas we do, tax preparers… GET CREATIVE!
WE ARE FOCUSED on determining who provided the referral and to pay them for it SOON IN CASH!! This makes a HUGE difference in regularity, quality and quantity of referrals! Of course, referrals from existing customers are treated with the same diligence and rewards. (And they are probably the most valuable leads we can get!) Your loan management software can be a BIG HELP with this process! [Does YOUR LMS offer many features enabling this “tagging” or are they weak? Do you even know? This feature is a MUST today! Want to know which software companies we like and why? Most are TERRIBLE! Click Here]
I used to own some Enterprise franchises. Rain or shine, a pretty girl or handsome face showed up at body shops – one of our target markets – REGULARLY with donuts, biz cards, pens, … THIS WORKS! Over and over again. Week in and week out! You must be manic about getting out from behind your desk and visiting these merchants in the field! Develop a script to briefly describe your business, why it’s good for the merchant and for the merchant’s customer. Then MAKE SURE you’re company does not do ANYTHING to make this merchant’s life more difficult because of your PDL/Title/Installment company’s actions!
I’ve ALWAYS thought the owner of the PDL/TITLE/INSTALLMENT store should personally do this at least one day every month! The owner has to get out in the field. Visit these potential referral businesses! Ask open ended questions! How is the business owner doing? How’s business? What are her/his challenges today? How can my business help this merchant? What’s working for them to increase THEIR sales revenue? What isn’t? Can we stay in touch? Additionally, assign employees to visit these merchants as well – every week on a formal schedule. Some of your employees will embrace this. Others will rebel. Role playing BEFORE in practice sessions with your Team will help prepare them for this. With time and effort, they will get better and yield referrals. CONSISTENCY is crucial!
Conduct a formal review of these visits immediately after returning from these field visits! Develop a check list and comments section. Who did your Team meet with? Their role? What was said? Outcome? Follow-up? Measure results.
Pick up a dozen donuts and just do it! Weekly!! No excuses!!! It’s about sales!!!! Document this strategy; hopefully with your loan management software!!!!! Repeat. Rinse. Do it again.
For most of us this is HARD! What do you say to the merchant? What’s your opening line? What if the merchant is busy? “I’m here to help us both make more money without burdening you with more hassles!” And don’t overlook any of the merchant’s employees who are present. You tell a Bail Bondsman’s office personnel that there’s cash available for referrals, THEY WILL SEND YOU CUSTOMERS! We have a car tire rim installer at a local tire/rim company who sends us 3-5 new clients every month. We have a stereo installer at a car stereo joint that sends us 2 – 6 new borowers every month! Susan, a car title lender in Los Angeles is using an inflatable character in front of her store to drum-up more business. This is working for her! People even have their pictures taken with it and post them on Facebook and Instagram. [If she picks up just one new customer a month with this approach, how much $$ in revenue will she earn over the life-time of this borrower? $1000? $5,000? $10,000? More?And from this borrower’s friends and family – referrals?]
You know none of this is rocket science! Just good old Guerilla Marketing with a manic obsession!
Jer – Trihouse 702-208-6736 Comments? Questions? Jer@TrihouseConsulting.com Share what’s working for you!!
Does your de novo or established short-term lending enterprise need a talented, experienced, executive?
[Name Redacted by Jer at Trihouse Consulting] has nine years of experience in the short-term financial industry. He brings extensive knowledge in multiple lending products including payday, installment and line of credit platforms. He has vast implementation experience with both the State-by-State and Tribal business models.
He has extensive relationships and intricate knowledge of the Tribal lending model. [Name Redacted by Jer at Trihouse Consulting] was the first to partner with and develop the lending platform for the [Name Redacted by Jer] Nation located in [Name Redacted by Jer at Trihouse Consulting].
He has a clear understanding of the compliance landscape needed to successfully operate in the short-term lending environment today. He has worked with one of the top compliance firms in the country, Hudson Cook LLP, to develop all collection and billing protocols that adhere to all Federal regulations and the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act. He has vast experience in all areas of call center development, from initial setup to daily management protocols and oversight.
[Name Redacted by Jer at Trihouse Consulting] brings all the critical business components, as well as, his business relationships including; knowledge of multiple loan management systems (LMS), specialized in lead purchasing tiers from $1 -? $100, credit risk services, banking relationships, ACH and debit card processing, underwriting and collection protocols, internal call center operations and protocols, outsourcing call center solutions with three different locations in the Philippines and Costa Rica, daily compliance protocols, QA guidelines, staff performance, profit and loss, budgeting and much more.
[Name Redacted by Jer at Trihouse Consulting] founded his first short term lending company in 2008. He grew that business into $10 million dollar “PRINCIPAL” portfolio, which represented hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to the company. He oversaw the implementation of seventeen State licenses and eventually moved the company to a Tribal partnership. During his tenure, he was instrumental in developing his proprietary Loan Management System (LMS) along with multiple software applications that became the backbone of his service platform. Three years into the process, he began to license his software and also used his call center to service other financial portfolios. He’s been directly involved in starting and growing an additional six portfolios, ranging from “principal” of one million to twenty million U.S. dollars and has built three call centers from infancy to maturity.
The majority of micro lending companies – including so-called FinTech lenders, are crunching multiple sources of data in an attempt to analyze and predetermine default risk. In an industry with zero collateral and high interest rates, determining which customer is a better credit risk is a serious challenge. [Name Redacted by Jer at Trihouse Consulting] realized early on, there had to be a better way to determine payment risk. Through trial and error he began to test a different approach utilizing payment data from employers. Through months of testing he formulated, created software and mastered a “Patent Pending” innovation that is cutting edge. This innovation bypasses traditional credit scoring methods to determine payment risk using only the customer’s employer information. The approach of “Employer Risk Modeling” is the first loan program designed at the employer level. His company has amassed one the largest employer databases in the country connecting lenders, employers and customers. Being an innovator is one of many strong suits [Name Redacted by Jer at Trihouse Consulting] possesses.
During the past several years, this payment process has created over one hundred thousand checks from employers representing millions in additional revenue for portfolios.
Employer Risk Model
[Name Redacted by Jer at Trihouse Consulting] brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts to the short-term lending industry. He has established a track record of success and understands how to build an organization one employee at a time.
If your organization is in need of a seriously talented executive having “in-the-trenches” operational experience in the short-term lending industry, reach out to Jer at Trihouse Consulting for an introduction today.
[Name Redacted by Jer at Trihouse Consulting] is willing to relocate and explore all opportunities and scenarios!
To schedule an introduction:
Call Jer at 702-208-6736 – Cell (PDT) or Jer@TrihouseConsulting.com You may request this Bio as a PDF…
There’s an interesting “Conversation” written by Matthew Fletcher Professor of Law & Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center, Michigan State University.
His thesis is that a negative outcome of a personal injury case under review by the Supreme Court could expose Indian tribes to new legal risks and put their “sovereign immunity” status in jeopardy.
Certainly, as a direct lender, a consultant to tribes and a conduit for capital infusions into tribal business enterprises, this topic and it’s outcome are of great interest to both me and my clients.
So, first my thoughts followed by a link to Professor Fletcher.
So long as the sovereign tribe maintains a forum for litigants to bring suit and be fairly adjudicated, I see no issues here. It’s as if a limo driver employed by the French Embassy were in a similar circumstance. There are legal avenues for “forum shopping” lawyers in similar circumstances. Tribal businesses have access to insurance as do other entities and sovereign nations. Sovereign tribes do not intentionally shirk their responsibilities. However, having counseled and represented tribes in collaborations with online payday loan and installment loan management groups and capital infusions for several years, I have witnessed instances in which the resources of the tribes have been stretched. This “friction” is not due to a reluctance by the tribes to negotiate fair and reasonable alliances but rather a lack of experience in such business endeavors because Big Brother in D.C. denies, delays and inhibits their financial success. Success that would enable the tribe to fund their own businesses, build infrastructure including medical care, education, housing… and GET OFF THE GOVERNMENT TIT as they prefer to do!
Finally, having equity in payday loan and installment loan stores plus my own capital at work via online lending portfolios and continuing to serve payday lenders, installment loan lenders, car title loan lenders, investors… in a consulting capacity, I certainly understand why there are those in our “micro-lending/alternative lending” industry who would like nothing better than for the tribe lending model to fall off the face of the earth. Why? Because state licensed lenders perceive an online tribal lender as having the advantage of zero regulatory, compliance, auditing, etc. oversite. Well, as President Trump often says,”WRONG!” I will not dwell on all the regulatory hoops and convolutions tribal lenders must comply with at this time but I assure you dear reader that THERE ARE MANY.
Ultimately, there is room in the business of lending money for all players and licensing models. Whether you’re a small mom-and-pop with a tiny portfolio and just a few core customers or a publicly traded behemoth like Enova, there is, and will continue to be, demand for your inventory: MONEY!
Zero lenders in the business of lending money to consumers and small business for the long-term will embrace the abuse of their customers. Zero lenders will risk the wrath of the FED’s, the State, their peers and MOST OF ALL their friends and family members; their community.
Of course there are “outliers.” They exist in all industries including the media and in government. But eventually, as we have all witnessed during this LONG election cycle, Julian Assange will get the DOPE on the bad guys! And the results ain’t pretty!
So… on to Professor Fletcher and “The Conversation.”
Comment? Reach out! Help? Let me know! Haters? Bring it on… I’ve been at this awhile. Meanwhile, 2017 is proving to be ONE HELL OF AN OPPORTUNITY!
Signing off: Jer Trihouse. 702-208-6736
Texas OCCC Regulated Lender Licenses Expire at Midnight on 12/31/16.
This is a final reminder that regulated lender license renewal is now open online via ALECS and must be renewed by December 31st.
Licenses will expire at midnight on the 31st. The fee to reinstate a canceled license is an additional $1000.
To renew the license online , you can follow the steps below:
1. Log in to ALECS and from the left hand menu click on “Manage My Business.”
2. Under the License heading, click “Renew License” then from the drop down menu at the top, select Regulated Lender.
3. Select the licenses you would like to renew by checking the box next to the license number, or click the box under “Select All” to choose all licenses.
4. Check the box at the bottom of the page to confirm renewal, then click “License Renewal”
5. Select payment type, enter payment information and follow the prompts.
The fee to renew an ACTIVE license if $510. The fee to renew an INACTIVE license is $250. Volume fees are based on 2014 Annual Report data.
To verify that your license has been renewed you can go to your Dashboard and click the “My Recent Activity” tab.
After following these steps, if you continue to have questions or problems, feel free to call us at 512-936-7605.
PLEASE HAVE YOUR MASTER FILE OR LICENSE NUMBER AVAILABLE.
Licenses expire at midnight on December 31st.
Thank you and have a good day!
Office of the Consumer Credit Commissioner
Congress Attacks All Planned CFPB Rules
By: Jer Ayles-Trihouse. Financial, fintech, banking and credit union trade groups are storming Congress to repeal all upcoming CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] rules governing arbitration, payday lending, debt collection and prepaid cards by using its authority under the Congressional Review Act.
All of us in the payday loan, installment loan, short term loan and car title loan industry are fully aware that the CFPB is about to finalize several rules, including arbitration, small dollar, third-party debt collection prepaid cards… having a deleterious and ultimate choke hold on consumers, the economy, and balance sheet lenders.
It’s time for Congress and President Trump to implement their authority under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to blow-up these threats by the CFPB!
Meanwhile, we’re all forced to spend HUGE amounts of MONEY and Time dealing with CFPB rules that will likely NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY!
The structure of the CFPB has been determined to be unconstitutional by a federal D.C. Court!
So, let’s get back to serving the desires of the millions of borrowers who VOTE for payday loans, title loans, small dollar short term loans demonstrated by their DAILY USE OF OUR FINANCIAL PRODUCTS, and allow us to continue to develop new loan products at reduced rates and fees for our clients.
The CFPB is already a dinosaur that stifles competition, destroys consumer ability to make choices that fit their own unique financial situation and puts millions of dollars in the pockets of lawyers, consultants and lobbyists RATHER than allowing balance sheet lenders to focus on providing outstanding service at fair rates!
The future of our small dollar, short term lending industry has not looked this bright in a LONG TIME. There is still tremendous opportunity for “mom-and-pops,” venture capitalists, hedge funds, and vendors such as loan management softeare companies, ACH/ICL/DEBIT providers, tribes, money transfer system conduits… to enter and SERIOUSLY PROSPER in our industry!
Excited? Wnat to learn more? Need help? Got a question? Jer@TrihouseConsulting.com 702-208-6736
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Now go make some $$. Jer Trihouse