Florida SB 1632 Defeated and Florida SB 1730 Under Fierce Opposition Geraci LLP and AAPL Give Lenders a Voice in Opposition

Tallahassee, Fl., April 23, 2019 – In an effort to prevent mortgage lender licensing restrictions that would negatively impact the legitimate private lending community, Geraci LLP, as General Counsel for the American Association of Private Lenders, spoke on behalf of lenders nationwide at the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee. The legislation in question, SB 1632 and SB 1730, included language that inhibits professionals in the private lending sphere. Attorney Nema Daghbandan from Geraci LLP spoke on the floor, urging the legislature to re-think the language included in the measure.

“Right now, you can make an impact. Rather than being a passive recipient of legislation that does not make sense, you can make your voice be heard and help defeat this special interest bill. We will continue fighting against licensing for business purpose lenders on behalf of our clients and AAPL but we need your help in this fight.” ~ Nema Daghbandan

On April 1, 2019, Geraci spoke on behalf of AAPL in front of the Florida’s Banking and Insurance Committee in opposition to SB 1632. Had that bill passed, it would have required that all business purpose mortgage lenders be licensed in the state of Florida. In light of this outspoken opposition, SB 1632 was tabled; however, similar language was included in in a rider to SB 1730, again requiring all business purpose mortgage lenders to be licensed in the state of Florida. Geraci LLP, again on behalf of AAPL, spoke in opposition of this bill in front of the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee, and all but one Senator agreed that these restrictions could be detrimental to private money lenders in the state of Florida. In a separate conversation with Rep. Fischer in the House of Representatives, he said the House does not plan on including the language in a House Bill that is to be presented in conjunction with SB 1730. At the time of this release, Section 7 of this bill referring to business purpose mortgage licenses still is attached to SB 1730.

The combined efforts of AAPL, Geraci LLP, and several local Florida private lending companies have become the catalyst for change. Senator Stargel on the Senate Committee on Rules introduced an Amendment on April 22 to remove the controversial language requiring mortgage lender licenses to extend capital to business-purpose borrowers. However, she withdrew this same amendment during debate on April 23. The Senator’s sponsor, Senator Lee has continued to openly promise to work on the language to bring a compromise.

Geraci LLP would like to thank those who assisted in this crucial action, including the Tallahassee REIA who came in force to help fight this special interest bill. To watch Mr. Daghbandan’s opposition to SB 1730 on the floor, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41A3BvNpB7Q

About Geraci LLP

A full-service law, media, and consulting firm, the Geraci team is at the forefront of the ever-changing non-conventional lending space and caters to non-conventional lenders worldwide. Our legal departments include Banking & Finance, Corporate & Securities, and Litigation/Bankruptcy, while our recently-formed Geraci Media Group not only organizes conferences, but also provides a full array of media services to help raise your brand awareness.

Media Contact:
Lesley Boyd
Marketing Director
Geraci LLP

The power of relationship selling

In today’s competitive marketplace, your product benefits and the services you provide matters. However, your market, like most others, is probably crowded with competitors that offer similar products or services. Ask yourself, what are you doing to differentiate yourself from your competition?

One way to stand out is through building relationships. Selling through personal interactions has been an American tradition since Pilgrim days. Moreover, that same old-fashioned, press-the-flesh approach still drives results in today’s multi-platform marketing environment.

In a 2017 LinkedIn report, trust in a salesperson was noted as the number one factor impacting a customer’s purchase decision. Relationship selling focuses on putting the customer first and building trust over the long term, which results in brand loyalty that can drive business for years.

The effect of relationship building on business growth is apparent, with more marketers now employing the use of account-based sales development (ABSD) and account-based marketing (ABM) in their marketing strategies.

Account-based marketing strategies concentrate on letting the customer drive the marketing and sales approach. By customizing content to a customer’s information needs, marketers can encourage them to make a purchase that is the best fit.

This strategy allows marketers to build relationships with buyers or those influencing the purchasing of products and services within the organization. Even after the sale is completed, marketing can follow up with emails that are even more tailored to their client’s needs or tastes.

Selling Without Selling

1. Offer Value

Relationship building is about nurturing trust but can also provide value. When a customer knows you are only a phone call away to answer their questions or fulfill their requirements, they will come to rely on you for more of their business needs. This value you offer must be reinforced over time to ensure them that you are there for them in the long-term.

Selling doesn’t have to be about flashy sales pitches; it should be more about presenting value to your customers and reaffirming your commitment to giving them what they want with the service they deserve.

2. Be Upfront and Honest

Everyone has experienced a pushy salesperson. They set up the sale by alluding to scarcity or the possibility of future price spikes, but this tactic typically breeds a feeling of hostility from savvy buyers.

Instead, being honest and upfront with your customer adds a level of authenticity that is empowering for your clients and prospects. If your relationship selling is honest, prospects and customers will respect it and remember how your company approaches sales calls.

3. Communicate Organically

Your prospects and clients don’t want to be talked to like they’re a faceless drone that’s a line item on your ledger sheet. Begin by crafting your email communications with a personal tone that comes off as more authentic and human.

During phone conversations and follow-up face-to-face meetings, casual two-way communication goes a long way in helping your prospects or customers feel more like an old friend rather than a sales target. Listening as much as you talk will also lend that personal touch and demonstrate how you care about their business and what they require to grow.

4. Listen to Your Customers

It’s great to explain your products in services in detail, but don’t forget to listen. Sidestep the 70’s salesmanship, and instead, concentrate on listening to their needs and respecting their views. An essential skill that is sometimes hard to learn is how to step back from a sales pitch and simply listen, fostering a consultative sale rather than a push sale.

5. Show Respect

If you visit business review sites such as Yelp, you can read real customer reviews where a common thread seems to be a complaint that a salesperson “chased” or “harassed” them to get the sale.

There’s no need to chase a sale. Instead, work with your prospects and clients to identify their needs and address how you can solve them. On subsequent calls or meetings, demonstrate that their time is as valuable as yours and that you are reaching out to offer a solution. Listen to your customer’s concerns, be honest and authentic, and be mindful of their time and organizational limits.

If you follow these suggestions, your contacts will think of you more as a trusted partner, and when that happens, it generally translates into a valuable long-term relationship.

How to Keep Your Event Sponsors Happy

One of the most important aspects of planning an event is gathering the support of sponsors. Sponsors are a critical component for your success, so it’s crucial to understand how to please them before and after your event.

Before the digital age was upon us, it was a simple act of acknowledging your sponsors on an event flyer or adding their logo to a banner at the event.  However, the digital age offers you more flexibility in going the extra mile to recognize your sponsor’s contribution. This can be seen through email marketing, social media promotion, website advertisements, and more. Any way that you can continually add value to your sponsors via print or online promotion is a huge win in their eyes.

Regarding the event execution itself, there are many ways that you can tailor your approach towards your sponsors that will keep them satisfied during an event. It is extremely important to focus on how you can better cater to your sponsor’s needs and keep them engaged, while also working to increase your chances of getting their support in the future.

Get to Know Your Clients

One of the best ways to get your sponsors more engaged in your events is by getting to know them on a personal level. Having a genuine interest of who they are as people, as well as a company and brand is essential. Understanding your sponsor and their brand expectations will also help you to better tailor a customized package for their sponsorship. When you are putting together an event, learn how the sponsor’s business fits in with other attendees at the event, and use that information to propose some unique integration of their image or brand. The time you take to invest in them and understand who they are, what their event expectations are, what their pain points are, and who they need to meet at your event will do nothing but positively impact your relationship that you are crafting or continuing with your sponsors.

Integrate Sponsorships into the Event

When you have signed up a sponsor for an event, it’s not enough to simply present their brand to attendees. Integrating sponsors organically into the event itself will thrill your sponsor and demonstrate that you’re in tune with their organization and respectful of their brand. A lot of companies chose to only incorporate their higher-level sponsorships in this regard, listing these integrations as perks of committing to a higher sponsor package as well. Regardless of the sponsorship level, you want to make sure to have some sort of integration, big or small, for all levels of sponsorships at the event.

Today’s sponsors want more than just an honorable mention; many times, event planners will use a sponsor’s branding on branded entertainment, or through drinks, meals, or accessories. These are what we like to call “A La Carte” sponsorships, which receive a different level of exposure at events. This is an example of how sponsors can now be intertwined into the entire event; whether that means having food stations named after them, branded Wi-Fi connections, branded espresso drinks, or other organic placement of their information. This type of sponsorship is a more natural, and less sales-like approach to getting your brand out there at the event. Often times, these types of sponsorships are packaged with a typical sponsorship option to get two variations of contact and brand recognition at the event.  

Use the Digital Space to Your Advantage

Social media may be the easiest way for you to gain appreciation upon your sponsors.  You may already be posting or sharing about an event, but make sure to be intentional with what you are sharing. Mentioning your sponsor’s products or services is a great way to get the word out about their contribution, while also explaining why other attendees or sponsors at your event should make time to get to know them.  Boosting a sponsor’s online presence with more followers to their social media accounts or subscribers to a newsletter will add real value and entice them to sign up for your next event.

Facilitate Networking between Sponsors

Many times, sponsors send company employees to the event who are expected to not only represent their brand but to build business relationships.  You can nurture this strategy by making introductions between like-minded individuals or companies.

Something as simple as playing the good host to your sponsors and providing formal introductions could lead to new business relationships and future collaborations.  In promoting discussions between your sponsors, you can also gain valuable feedback about their experience with the event, their interactions, and how you can make it a better environment for sponsors. There are also various tools that you can use to facilitate networking between sponsors and attendees as well. For example, hosting a speed networking session, or providing a smart phone app that has networking capabilities between those present at the event.

Provide Sponsors with Timely Pre-Event Info

Before an event, you should send out a brochure or some sort of informational pamphlet that lets the sponsors know all of the necessary details for the upcoming event. This includes a timeline, information on their set up, a list of activities occurring, shipping information, a map of the venue, contact info for the event staff, and more. Timing is critical, and by getting the pre-event information in their hands sooner, you’ll earn their respect in recognizing the importance of their contribution. Your efforts to organize and inform the sponsors of all of their responsibilities while at the event is crucial, and highly respected as it provides peace of mind to all parties involved.

Send a Customized Thank You

You spend hours preparing the perfect package for your sponsors, and you’re rewarded with a valuable contribution. Let your sponsors know that their support and contribution to your event is appreciated.  Follow up after the event with a customized thank you via email, or better yet, a handwritten note that shows your appreciation for their participation. It’s best to follow that up with an email asking for their feedback or providing a survey, as well as providing information on your next event.

If you want to ensure that you keep your sponsors engaged with your current events, strive to continually provide them with a tailored experience that exceeds their expectations time and time again. Sponsors are essential in pulling off a successful event, so it is crucial to understand how to intentionally accommodate them before and after each event. If you are interested in attending or sponsoring a private lending conference, reach out to Geraci Media today to secure spot! www.geracimediagroup.com

Why Private Lenders Need Up-To-Date Website Content

In today’s fast-paced business environment, having a website is a must. It provides not only a way for borrowers, brokers, and investors to find you but promotes your brand to thousands of potential business partners. So why do so many lenders, let alone companies, build a site, just to leave it to stagnate for months, or even years?

Most businesses have a web developer that either designed their site or manages it. However, some still lack a designer who can create a content management system to ensure their website’s content is updated regularly.

If you haven’t already, here are some top reasons you should invest in keeping your website content and design up to date.

Old Website Content Turns Off Potential Costumers

There’s plenty of competition online. There’s no need to inadvertently send them your business leads because your audience can’t find the information they want on your outdated site. Phone numbers should be active and easy to read, along with a contact form for those to submit an inquiry. Remember, make it as easy as possible to get in contact with you.

The products or services listed on your website should be updated to reflect what’s current in the marketplace and your business. Remove employees who are no longer with your company, post content monthly, make sure all your contact forms go to the “right” email. Old, irrelevant, or outdated information can cause visitors to leave and look for what they want elsewhere. Today’s customers want instant gratification. Studies show that most website visitors rarely venture beyond the first couple pages, so if they don’t find what they need immediately, they’ll leave, and most likely won’t come back.

Ensure Your Website has a Modern Design

Website designs are continually changing. Start by looking at some of your competitor’s websites to see what’s trending. In the private lending space, many companies are seeing the need to enhance their website from what it was 5-10 years ago. As time goes by, your design may become unattractive or unappealing to your visitors. The layout of your homepage is the first thing visitors see, and it represents your public image to the masses. As it is in most cases, first impressions are everything. Don’t overcomplicate. Find your tagline and use it.

As time goes on, website features and designs change to keep up with modern trends. Your web designer should look at competitor websites and evaluate them to see what is useful and what will make yours stand out from theirs. Your developer should also know top websites in your industry; they should analyze them and provide feedback to their client as to what works and what needs refreshing.

Update Links and Alternate Image Text

Nothing turns off website visitors more than broken links or image files. Consider swapping out image files with more relevant or up-to-date pictures, while updating your alternate text to provide sight-impaired visitors to get the most out of your website. Links should be updated to ensure they go directly to the content that is referenced on your site. A good-looking site can still become unappealing if your links don’t work and visitors can’t properly view images.

If you want to beat out the competition, you need to take the little steps that prepare you to compete for an online presence. By updating your web content and site design features, you can get the upper hand on competitors and make your site far more attractive for prospects looking for your goods or services.

If you put in the work, the results will come. If you need assistance with your web development process, schedule a call with Ruby Keys or submit an inquiry to the Geraci Media Group team.

How to Bring Your Email to Life with Dynamic Content

So, you think you’re running a pretty robust email marketing campaign, yet suddenly, you find your open rates declining and unsubscribe rates rising. You think, how can this be?  You spend countless hours creating new content each week, and your copy is first rate, so why aren’t you getting a better return on all your hard work?

Your problem could stem from a lack of enticing content. It’s sometimes tricky for marketing pros to consistently offer a variety of content that is personalized for all their subscribers. You try to meet your subscribers’ expectations with emails designed around what interests them, but finding the right mix of substance and tailored content is critical for keeping their attention.

That’s where dynamic content comes into play.  Dynamic email delivers personalized content to individuals from the moment they open the email message, with elements that routinely change each time that message is opened. 

Here are some dynamic content ideas that can help bring your marketing campaign to life.

Special Effects

Consumers get bombarded every day with a variety of marketing emails, most of them filled with boring or irrelevant content. So, how do you make yours stand out in a crowd? Dynamic features such as scrolling, fade, zoom, and image animations can help make your messages pop and keep subscribers interested.

A simple integration tool allows you to paste HTML code into your mail template that can deliver rich, dynamic content into your subscribers’ inboxes. It may take a little longer to create your copy, but the extra work will pay off with better reader engagement.

Convenience Features

Convenience features are items that allow readers to click and accomplish a task more efficiently, such as submitting a request or adding an event to a calendar.  Utilizing these features in your emails will provide a simple yet gratifying benefit that is guaranteed to boost engagement.

Active Surveys

Including surveys in your email is usually popular with readers. However, delivering dynamic surveys that ask about the challenges, needs, or requirements of a subscriber’s business can add a bit of personalization while helping to gather valuable information about your clients or potential customers.

Providing a survey with radio buttons that allows a recipient to pick and click is a winning strategy. It makes your survey even more dynamic by delivering real-time statistics instead of redirecting them to a website, and will make even more of an impression. By using an integration tool, this solution is easy to set up and usually results in better response rates from readers.

Embedding Video

Video content allows subscribers to engage with content without taking the time to read it. I know that sounds lazy, but video drives traffic. Embedding content that you may have on your website or social media sites into your email is a great way to leverage that media with your email subscribers.  Research suggests that video holds a reader’s attention longer and allows them to comprehend and remember more of what they view. Dynamic video content is a win on many levels.

Device Targeting

With today’s technology, it is possible to send out a dynamic email that recognizes the device the person is using to read your message. You can then route them to the appropriate app store, or provide dynamic links that will direct them to ancillary products or services for their device.  You can also use geo-targeting to lead a subscriber to a specific restaurant or hotel based on their preferences.

Social Feeds

Social media plays a crucial role in any marketing campaign. Recent numbers show that nearly 70% of all Internet users are on some type of social network. If you’re already marketing on the socials, you can embed real-time links to your timelines or other relevant information you recently posted. By integrating your emails with dynamic social feeds, your subscribers can open your messages and engage in real time with your social media posts by clicking thru for a quick interaction on various platforms.

Technology is always evolving, and dynamic elements of all types are now available that provide marketers with the ability to personalize and customize email messages like never before. Dynamic emails can deliver vibrant, relevant, and uniquely engaging content which can take your marketing campaigns to new heights.