One conversation topic not in the hallways here at the MBA’s Independent Mortgage Banker Conference in Tennessee is the death of the original voice of Charlie Brown. The huge cost of health care is, however, and lenders can lower costs by negotiating. “Votre grand-mère donne de superbes massages!” Are things like free daily commentaries with French words, of a higher quality than those that don’t have them? I ask because the Econo Lodge here in Nashville (where free commentary writers bunk down) has some French phrasing on the plastic shampoo bottle, which is ironic because throughout history the French (veuillez m’excuser) were never known for their personal hygiene. One of the topics here is “marketing spend.” Lenders and vendors are acutely aware of marketing, its cost, and its compliance. Are you hearing about lenders or MLOs paying for the auto leases of their real estate agent’s cars? Or all the house photos for a 4 office realty company’s listings. (Those photos now cost $1,000 per house in many situations). A recent STRATMOR Workshop on Sales & Marketing, led by Partner Jim Cameron, indicated that inefficient branch-level marketing expenses, measuring marketing performance, and MLO adoption of tech tools and marketing efforts were on the “front burner” of lenders across the nation. And monitoring compliance in new social media outlets is a big deal. After all, anyone can sue anyone over anything, right? Legos and a leather coat copywrite? Sure.