In case you weren’t already aware, finding borrowers for mortgages is a competitive business. Part of this is attributable to the vast number of lenders available, while the rest, of course, is a matter of borrowers trying to find the best deal possible. And rightfully so, with so much money on the line.
This is when mortgage marketing comes into play, or the art of attracting prospective buyers to what your company can offer. The options for strategy are nearly endless, but following is a balanced list of mortgage marketing ideas spanning the breadth of the investment range. Take this course on essential marketing skills for a more comprehensive overview of proven marketing strategies.
I want to start with what you can do to increase and improve your presence online. Many of these options are free and require only one thing: time.
Revisit Your Website
A first-class website requires nearly constant upkeep. It doesn’t have to be significant or time consuming, but if your listings aren’t even up to date, this will quickly become apparent to anyone who visits regularly. You also want it to look good. Invest a little money and get a professional makeover. Mortgage websites are infamous for looking like relics of the 90s.
Social media is exploding. I don’t mean for users, which has been the case for a decade, but for businesses. From Twitter to LinkedIn to the vast number of blogging platforms (more on blogs soon), social media is a proven marketing strategy. Again, this requires time more than anything; keeping content consistent across platforms, uploading new listings, linking to articles, connecting with potential partners and borrowers on LinkedIn, etc. Learn the essentials of marketing your brand with this introduction to social media marketing course.
It sounds daunting at first, but once you get into the routine the upkeep is very manageable. If it proves too time consuming, you can always get help online from sites like Buffer, that allow you to assemble all your content at once and then release it gradually throughout the week, the month, etc.
This is the truth about newsletters: you are sending them to people who you have either already worked with or who have already expressed interest in your business. While this is an acceptable place to showcase a few tasteful listings or advice, it’s a better place to deepen relationships. Bombarding your clients with mortgage news gets old quick. Try offering some non-but-closely-related advice (yes, I’m hinting at the content on your blog/social media platforms). “Interesting and friendly” is way better than “Are you ready to take out a loan yet?”
Blogs deserve their own section for a number of bonafide reasons, the majority of which can be easily found in this article and info-graphic featured on Social Media Today. As you will see, the numbers are staggering (for example, almost 80% of people on the internet consistently read blogs).
The idea behind an effective blog is this: make yourself a trusted authority and publish consistently. You need to have people revisiting your blog, which they will only do if there is a fresh supply of material. You also want to address issues that will interest potential clients; conversely, a blog is not a place to write about your company (although it is encouraged to post brief updates about big accomplishments and articles about community work, as you’ll see in the next section).
Here’s a little hint: write “how-to” posts. People love learning how to do things. “How to refinance your home,” or “How to avoid the dangers of reverse mortgages,” or “How to choose the right mortgage option,” are all excellent topics. Pick up more great tips with this blog writing workshop.
There are a number of ways to get involved in your community. It will give you satisfaction in your work, open networking avenues and, of course, help earn the respect of the community.
The obvious options are things like doing volunteer and charity work, and no doubt these are commendable, to say the least. Any events that you are attending should be “advertised” on your social media platforms. You can even follow up on events like these with blog posts about the organizations you’re helping. Read this article on creative marketing techniques for more unique details on marketing your business.
More passive options exist, such as using social media to broadcast other non-business related events (you can even have a calendar that details everything from concert dates to restaurant openings). Becoming the go-to place for community info would be a huge success.
If the idea of content marketing is to broadcast yourself online as a reputable source in your profession, then seminars are the “real life” version. It might not be a bad idea for you and your colleagues to brush up on public speaking with this Powerful Speaking class hosted by four-time TED.com speaker Julian Treasure.
Hold seminars that are open to the public and that cover some of the most common topics, concerns and misunderstandings of mortgages. Every single person who shows up is likely to be a potential client. Just like with social media, the more popular the topic, the better. These include things like refinancing, the different types of mortgages, avoiding or preventing foreclosure, etc.
Tips for a successful seminar:
- Free of charge. You aren’t trying to make money in a direct fashion. You’re trying to attract clients.
- Gather information. Have a log-in sheet, in person and online, that allows people to enter some basic personal data (reasons for attending, optional email for newsletters, etc.).
- Distribute promotional material. You don’t want to over-do it, but even something as simple as a business card and calendar of upcoming seminars/events will pay dividends.
- Always end a seminar with either an open Q&A or, better yet, the option for interested attendees to get some one-on-one advice.
This might appear far down the list, but this is a tried and true method of effective mortgage marketing. Forming partnerships with real estate businesses and agents is a great way to get almost fool-proof recommendations.
A referral partnership works like this: when someone buys a home through a real estate company, they are referred to you if they need help with a mortgage. Needless to say, there is no contract involved so there is no binding obligation for the home buyers to listen to their real estate agents, but many will at least give you a serious chance to prove yourself. For more information on leveraging partnerships, peruse this free post on business development strategies.
There are some potential down-sides to these kinds of relationships:
- To begin with, forming a partnership is no walk in the park. You have to earn the respect and faith of real estate agents and executives if you want their referrals; they aren’t going to jeopardize their own business unless they are confident in your abilities.
- On the other hand, you have to make sure the partnership is right for your own company. Are you partnering with a reputable real estate firm? You better hope so, because a partnership works both ways: you will be responsible for referring your customers to the real estate agency, as well.
- For a successful partnership, excellent service must be consistent on both sides (real estate agency and mortgage lender). If complaints start coming back, the partnership will not last for long and an enormous amount of time will be wasted.
Wrap up your marketing campaign by learning how to make deals that matter with this course on business development and partnerships, featuring in-depth tutorials on networking, types of business development and the golden rules of partnerships, among many others.