How Sundance Lending uses SMS and video email to generate leads, close loans, and create happier clients
Stacey Van Roosendaal, aka “The Loan Lady,” started Sundance Lending Company in 2019. During her first year in business, she closed 100 loans and achieved Pinnacle status with her preferred lender.
What’s amazing is Stacey did it all by herself! That's right, she had no employees, no assistants, and no sales team to help her.
So how did she close so many loans in such a short time? Well, she did it with focus, hard work, and a powerful combination of tech tools.
Of course, Stacey wasn’t a newcomer to the lending game. Before starting Sundance Lending, she worked in the mortgage industry for almost a decade. But even with years of experience, closing 100 loans in 12 months by yourself is quite an accomplishment.
And while Stacey knew how to do loans, as a business owner, she had to learn how to attract new clients and duplicate herself as much as possible.
A big part of duplicating herself involved setting up automated systems that help her leverage video, email, and text messaging to grow her business.
Attracting and nurturing new clients
There are two main parts to Stacey’s business. First, there’s the loan processing side, and then there’s attracting new clients and converting them into closed loans and revenue.
Interestingly, whether it's in the mortgage business or some other industry, almost every company has a sales process. And every sales process brings with it a set of problems, pain points, and challenges that business owners need to overcome if they want to succeed.
Believe it or not, it was Stacey’s struggle with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks that initially drove her to look for SMS and video email solutions that could help her get results without having to interface with clients all day long. An activity she found particularly stressful.
So Stacey started recording videos when she needed to talk with clients. Then, she’d send them the video along with a note asking, “Hey, do you have any questions about that?”
It wasn’t long until Stacey realized that she was saying the same thing over and over in most of her videos. And while she still records personalized videos saying things like, “Hey Mr. & Mrs. Smith, here's your loan tailored to your needs,” when it comes to prospecting, educating, and getting people to know, like, and trust her, Stacey uses pre-recorded videos whenever possible.
As she puts it, “I want people to know who I am. I also know what kind of people I like to work with. So I send out content, usually through drip campaigns, and if people want to work with me, they do. Video has been important for me because I do loans differently than other loan officers.”
“I also promote lots of my content on Facebook and Instagram. It's called My Mortgage Money; she says, “This content doesn’t go to people unless they've reached out to me. When they do, I put them in a drip campaign.”
Stacey adds, “When most people are deciding to work with me, it's not about my rates. It's not about my process. It's about me, my knowledge, and the way I make them feel my energy. If they want to work with me, they reach out. If not, they're free to work with someone else. I'm not ashamed or afraid of letting people going elsewhere.”
“I want people to know who I am. I also know what kind of people I like to work with. I send out content, usually through drip campaigns, and if people want to work with me, they do.”
Stacey Van Roosendaal, Founder - Sundance Lending
Using SMS and video to drive more sales
The first challenge Stacey had to overcome was creating and sending videos by email. The next was making video and SMS work together effectively.
“Once people know who I am and we start working together, I use SMS to let them know exactly where we are in the process. I also use it for marketing communications,” she adds.
“The two groups I market to are; clients and referral partners, which include realtors, title companies, and financial advisors,” explains Stacey, “I send SMS texts to referral partners with content they care about it.”
“I send people useful content and information that helps them in their businesses. Sometimes, it’s information about real estate, and sometimes it’s about loans. My goal is to get them to know, like, and trust me. I text people, and they open my messages. Of course, they don't always respond, but my open rates and video consumption rates are super high!”
“I keep the videos short, but I include a link to my YouTube channel where they can see longer videos,” she says, “If people want to learn more, they can watch other videos that help them build their business, take care of their clients, and create the kind of life they want.”
“Once people know who I am and we start working together, I use SMS to let them know exactly where we are in the process. I also use it for marketing communications.”
Stacey Van Roosendaal
Finding the right SMS solution
Stacey knew she needed to find the right SMS platform to make her client and referral partner outreach as effective as possible.
She tried several possible solutions and could have hacked together a system using multiple tools, but doing that seemed too complex. And as always, she was pressed for time.
“I appreciate things like Zapier, which helps bridge the gap between different tools, but I'm like, no, I don't want to deal with it,” she says, “I just wanted an easy-to-use text messaging system that could get the job done."
Fortunately, one day Stacey signed up for a new coaching group and realized they were using Salesmsg to communicate with members. That same day, she signed up for a free trial.
“I was able to sync Salesmsg with my email tool, ActiveCampaign, and they worked really well together," she recalls, "That was the number one reason I chose Salesmsg over tools like Google Voice, WhatsApp, and others.”
“I was able to sync Salesmsg with my email tool, ActiveCampaign, and they work really well together. That was the number one reason I chose Salesmsg over tools like Google Voice, WhatsApp, and others.”
Stacey Van Roosendaal
Stacey’s favorite feature
While everybody has things they like and love about Salesmsg, they inevitably use some features more than others. In Stacey’s case, it’s canned messages.
As she puts it, “The number one, favorite thing that removed the most stress from my life is canned messages, especially the out-of-office feature.”
Stacey continued, “Although I don't consider myself a pleaser, when someone texts me, I want to answer them right away. Unfortunately, it was creating an issue within my family. I was always on my phone, and my husband is like, get off your freaking phone!.And I'm like, but I got a text. If somebody asked me a question, I had to respond as quickly as possible.
"Now, with the out-of-office feature, I can keep my phone on, and if it's after 6:00 PM during the week or on a Saturday or Sunday, Salesmsg responds automatically. It sends people a canned message that says, “Hey, I’m out of the office, but I got your message and will respond during normal business hours.”
“The canned out-of-office feature has saved me from so many panic attacks and lots of grief. It’s not a quantifiable thing, but I’m so grateful for it.”
Stacey Van Roosendaal
That leads me to my second favorite feature. My new assistant and I are both users on the same Salesmsg account, so I don't always have to put on my out-of-the-office notice. She can respond on my behalf.
Not only does this help create better relationships with my clients, but it also creates a better relationship with my assistant because she knows I trust her to take care of things when I’m not available.
Having more than one user and features like canned responses can help almost anybody who's in business for themselves, especially real estate professionals and solopreneurs. Automated SMS messages reduce anxiety without sacrificing customer service quality.
Multiple ways to connect with clients
Salesmsg also offers various ways to interact with clients, including; a web interface, mobile app, and a convenient Chrome browser extension.
Stacey’s assistant can model her voice and personality while texting with clients. And the cool thing is she doesn't need to hold Stacey’s phone to do it. This means an assistant or other team members can use Salesmsg's web interface, mobile app, or Chrome extension to help customers from wherever they happen to be working.
Having multiple ways to interface with customers helps business owners and teams manage projects better and increase customer service capacity while streamlining day-to-day workflows.
Growing faster without working harder
One of the keys to success in any business will be your ability to create leverage and duplicate yourself. The fact is, there's a limit to how much income you can earn, no matter how much you charge per hour. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day, and nobody has unlimited energy.
That’s why smart business owners like Stacey always look for ways to use technology and other people’s energy to get more done without working more hours.
“I bet Salesmsg does at least two people's jobs. Two full-time employees, that is. But, I’d also say that having one or more employees can help you process everything and get a lot more done,” she says.
Relationship management is at the heart of Stacey’s success. And that’s why letting tech solutions like Salesmsg and video email handle most marketing and sales communications is like having a couple of employees doing those jobs - at a fraction of the cost.
“I don't have to speak with lots of clients anymore, except for really important things and when they need my advice. Some people think that having me as an advisor is a commodity, but it’s not. My advice and time are very valuable, so I try to automate anything that’s a commodity. I don't have many conversations about commodities anymore. And that’s been amazing!”
“I bet Salesmsg does at least two people's jobs. Two full-time employees, that is.”
Stacey Van Roosendaal
Measuring success by what matters most
Now, you've seen how combining video email with Salesmsg and text messaging streamlined Stacey’s workflow. It saves her time, reduces frustration, and helps her get more done with less effort.
And although loan volume has increased substantially at her company, Stacey likes to measure success by a less conventional metric.
“Last year, I was working every day from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM for about eight months. Now, I work from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM,” she says smilingly.
Most people would agree that having the freedom to spend more time with family and friends is a valuable benefit. And while the value of being with loved ones can't be put into dollars, if someone’s income stays the same, but they use systems to reduce the number of hours worked, they're essentially making more money per hour. Who wouldn't want that?
As Stacey puts it, “With Salesmsg, Active Campaign, and my new employees, I earn what I’ve been earning for a lower cost, which is far better than having to do all the work myself.”
The best thing is that Salesmsg has helped Stacey buy back her evenings while reducing anxiety she may feel when she’s with family and friends. When a message comes in, she can turn it off. That alone buys her a better work-life balance.
Having more sunshine to share
During a recent interview, Justin Zimmerman from Salesmsg asked Stacey a key question. He asked her, “What does the money you pay Salesmsg buy you?”
Her answer surprised him: “I’ve told you how I use Salesmsg for business, but I haven't told you about the other way I use it. I actually have two different campaigns. One is for clients, and the other is for friends and family. For example, I have a message that goes out on their birthdays and automatically sends them a birthday video. A couple of months later, it sends them a text asking about other things that are important to them.”
Stacey continued, “On the business side, Salesmsg helps me structure things better, but on the life side of things, it helps me reach out and touch as many people as possible. If someone had a death in the family, their dog died, they had a baby, or they got married, I can easily reach out to them about those things.”
Salesmsg automatically sends my loan clients a “Happy Houseversary” message and it sends people a “Happy Anniversary” message on the family and friends side. By the way, I have two different phone numbers. This way, they know when they're getting a message from my work-related number or my number for personal relationships. It gives me more sunshine to share. That’s what Salesmsg buys me!”
“Being able to send automated messages to clients, friends, and family helps me live the life I’ve always wanted,” explains Stacey, “Until I found Salesmsg and ActiveCampaign, I didn't know how to make that happen. Now, I live that kind of life. It's a goal I've always wanted, and I finally found the way to make it happen.”
“On the business side, Salesmsg helps me structure things better, but on the life side of things, it helps me reach out and touch as many people as possible.”
Stacey Van Roosendaal
This story was written and published in collaboration with StoryOps