I have been in the industry for years and can say that the highest producing loan officers have one common skillset: marketing. Loan Officer marketing is no longer something you can look past but an essential aspect to success in the industry. In this informative post, we outline the top tips for being a great marketer in the mortgage industry.
1. Loan Officer First, Marketer Second
Loan Officers wear a lot of hats. Arguably, the most important role for a Loan Officer’s success is to be a natural marketer. This goes beyond technical knowledge and is more of a day-to-day mindset. Every loan officer and realtor has heard the term, ‘build your personal brand,’ but what does that really mean? Building your personal brand as a loan officer is directly tied to how you are perceived in the industry. This comes from consumers, co-workers, family members, and friends.
The perception of the people around you is no different than your perception of brands you trust and do not trust. Furthermore, when the people around you are looking to buy a home, their perception will ultimately decide if they choose you as a loan officer or not. Essentially, being a natural marketer means protecting your personal brand at all times.
Once you understand that Loan Officer Marketing starts with brand protection, you can begin to shape what your brand looks like. For example, when you present yourself on social media, are you the expert in the field? are you the loan officer next door? These are essential narratives to craft when you interact with people in person or online. Building your personal brand is key to any successful loan officer marketing plan.
2. Focus on the Customer
Loan Officers primarily work with underwriters and realtors all day. This forces the mind to think about the problems facing your colleagues. This is a major problem facing the industry for a simple reason: you will naturally solve the problems of your colleagues before the problems of your customer.
Being a Loan Officer first and a marketer second, your number one priority and focus should be on the customer. The most successful companies in the world think this way. A great example of this is Amazon. Amazon’s number one leadership principle is customer obsession. This is no accident. They have discovered the value in prioritizing the customer over everything else.
At the core, Loan Officer marketing is about understanding the fears and passions that motivate your customer. Once you understand your customer, you can solve their problem and be useful. It is one thing to be another loan officer in the sea of mortgages and being a finance expert that can navigate the uncertain waters of homeownership.
These problems and solutions only come about when you dedicate time to focus on who your customer is and how you can provide tangible value. All in all, being successful at loan officer marketing should start and end with customer obsession and satisfaction.
3. Build a Loan Officer Marketing Template
Building a loan officer marketing template is vital to seeing lasting growth in your marketing efforts. A marketing template is a guide for your marketing efforts to help define who your customer is and what is your plan for acquisition. First, your loan officer marketing template will start with who your target audience is: First Time Home Buyers.
Second, you will define your acquisition plan: targetted FB ads based on my website’s traffic as well as referrals from your realtor partners. Third, you will detail what your referral marketing plans are: send closed loan data to Homebot to pull out refinances in the coming years.
You want this marketing template to be comprehensive so you can track what is working and what is not working. Furthermore, if you are a market leader or senior loan officer, you can share this marketing template with junior loan officers to create a coordinated marketing effort with your team.
Additionally, you want this plan to be comprehensive to track what works and what does not work. Specifically, if you trying to generate first-time home buyer leads but have primarily generated VA loans from veterans, either re-assess your target market or update your targeting.
Again, you want your marketing template to be coordinated across your team so you can point to what is working and why it is functioning the way it is. Creating a loan officer marketing template is an important piece to scale your marketing efforts beyond yourself and develop a team of loan officers that are natural marketers.
4. Use Business Automation
The most underrated tool in loan officer marketing is business automation. Whether you think it is useless or have a hard time understanding how to automate your workflow, chances are you are underutilizing this skill set.
Business automation is defined simply as using technology to streamline repetitive tasks and simplify your workflow. Many will argue that automation does not increase your bottom line.
Although, creating efficiencies in your business processes is the best way to scale your success and see exponential growth. The top producers in every mortgage company have found ways to automate their day-to-day and focus on closing more loans.
Furthermore, the best mortgage companies have fully automated the loan process, allowing their staff to handle scale that no loan officer can handle without automation.
For a loan officer, the most repetitive tasks are data input, social media posting, and client communication. You can solve data input issues and social media posting by using a tool called Zapier. For those of you that are not familiar with Zapier, this business automation tool integrates with almost every app you can think of to simplify your workflow.
For example, you can send data directly from your CRM to a database or software using Zapier. This will drastically decrease the time you spend manually inputting customer information. Additionally, you can use Zapier to schedule posts on social media instead of manually posting every day. If you are interested in this tool and want to learn more, check out Zapier’s website.
Fundamentally, business automation is an essential part of any loan officer marketing suite and the reason why your competitors are seeing record growth without huge waves of burnout.
5. Loan Officer Marketing Starts with a CRM
A good mortgage CRM is essential to converting leads into clients. Because of the varying prices and features, most loan officers do not know where to start. The first step to picking a CRM is understanding your needs for a sales system. For most loan officers, you are going to want a software that can easily plug into your lead sources, run automated marketing campaigns, and manage prospects through a visual pipeline. Let’s dive into these three features a little more.
If you buy leads from Zillow, source lead from Google Ads, or have an effective referral partner, you need a system that can automatically grab leads from a website or Zillow interface. This takes away human error when manually uploaded leads. Additionally, this helps scale lead volume super quickly. Additionally, any loan officer marketing system needs to include automated marketing campaigns. Specifically, campaigns that can send out texts and emails based on triggers and tags. For example, a new lead campaign will message all new prospects about loan status, send application links, and even book an appointment.
This allows loan officers to manage leads at a higher quantity and quality. These loan officer marketing campaigns can range from new leads, referrals, refinances, appointments, or even review campaigns. Lastly, your mortgage CRM needs a visual pipeline proponent. This helps loan officers understand where people are in the process of a loan. Are they a brand-new lead? Have they submitted their application for review? This function helps decrease the number of leads that are falling through the cracks. If you notice a lead submitted their app a few days ago without a pre-approval yet, you can dive a little deeper to see the issue at hand.
If you find a CRM that can accomplish these functions, your sales team will be highly effective. At mortgagecolumn.com, we highly recommend using Go High Level. This CRM is a powerful software that is built primarily for sales teams. The entire purpose of this CRM is to increase sales using automation and customization. If you would like to learn more about this system, check out our post on the GHL CRM!
6. Join Marketing Facebook Groups
Loan officer marketing is about becoming a natural marketer in your field. That starts with learning from other marketers that have seen success and failures across industries. You don’t know what you don’t know.
That is why it is vital to get in the trenches and learn from your peers what works and what does not work. Joining marketing Facebook groups as an observer is a great way to get an education on marketing in general. While Loan Officers are forced to be marketers, few have any formal marketing education. Getting acquainted with marketers that have decades of experience is an invaluable way to catapult you to the front of the line.
The most successful loan officers and market leaders spend hours a week learning and growing their skill set. You do not have to be an expert at everything. Although, understanding what tools and systems work for other people is a great place to start. Facebook groups are the number one place to go when you realize marketing is an essential skill to be successful in the mortgage industry.
In the end, becoming successful at loan officer marketing starts with your brand. Developing a brand for a loan officer is different than developing a brand for a mortgage company. You need to become approachable, an expert, and a friend. By crafting this persona, people will not only come to you first with homeownership questions but will truly value your advice.
Creating value for your borrowers is a great way to grow your referral network. Once you have developed a brand, focus on your customer day in and day out. Bring them value through your social media post, email drips, and text messages. You should constantly think about how you can support homeowners around you.
Once you have developed a brand and customer database, lean on technology to do the heavy lifting. As your business grows, it will be difficult to regularly reach out to customers, post on social media, and update your website.
Therefore, lean on CRMs and business tools to automate these daily tasks. This will allow your business to explode. Finally, once these systems are in place, never stop learning. Joining online communities will strengthen your knowledge and make you a better loan officer and marketer.
7. Create a Website
A website is the most important part of your marketing tech stack. A website opens your business up to thousands of new customers, builds your authority in the mortgage industry, and becomes an effective lead capture tool.
If you want to build a direct-to-consumer marketing plan, you will need a website that can easily be scaled across marketing platforms. For example, your marketing plan will include Facebook ads, google my business, email marketing, etc. You need a website that can be easily deployed and load quickly on computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
With that said, there are thousands of landing pages and website builders. However, few website builders are mortgage specific, have a responsive design, and cost less than $100 a month. If you are in the website market, you know simple designs and builds can cost thousands.
This does not include monthly maintenance and an updated design. In my experience, if you are a loan officer that wants to build your digital brand, you cannot go wrong with a LeadPops website. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of LeadPops, check out our comprehensive review.
However, if you have the time and expertise, you can build a simple website using Wix, Square Space, or MailChimp. Although, as you scale, it will be more difficult to maintain and you will likely have to hire a marketing assistant to keep up the site. More specifically, Wix offers great loan officer website templates that is a great head start for any LO or mortgage broker in the industry. These templates have modern designs, are responsive for mobile users, and load quickly with WIX free hosting packages.
In a lot of ways, loan officer marketing begins and ends with a website. Find a solution, and mold it to your brand!
8. Google My Business For Loan Officers
Google My Business (GMB) is the premier business listing tool on the internet that should be a cornerstone to your loan officer marketing plan. GMB is a tool built for local service providers. Therefore, anyone that has a local presence is a perfect fit. How it works is pretty simple, people looking for local mortgage companies will search terms like, “home loans near me.” From there, a list of local lenders will populate with various reviews, photos, and websites. The key here is not only showing up but standing out from other local competition.
Showing up on GMB is great, but driving a lead from Google is what makes this service special. First, fill out your entire profile accurately. Ensure your address, phone number, and business name are consistent with your website. Second, add photos, logos, videos, and as much media as you can to the GMB profile. Third, write a description that is captivating and integrates your search terms. Fourth, generate reviews! The faster you can generate reviews, the faster you can rank on Google My Business. If you do not know where to start, send out a review management campaign to your past database. Ensure the link to your Google profile is there and be honest about your intention. If you service your clients well, you will have no issue generating reviews quickly. The last tip is going to be landing page optimization. Anyone can eventually rank in local SEO, however, if your website is clunky there is no chance you will drive the lead. Ensure your website is simple, loads fasts, and has a clear call to action.
All in all, Google My Business is an important loan officer marketing tool that gives an edge to local LOs and Brokers. If you want to learn more about this marketing tactic, check out our comprehensive post on Local SEO!
9. Find a Realtor Partner
As a new loan officer, you have probably heard about the success of realtor relationships from industry leaders. Having the right realtor relationships should be a primary marketing strategy for new loan officers. However, if you do not know how to set the right expectations, a realtor relationship can be costly: both financially and emotionally.
First, I recommend looking at a realtor relationship like any other marketing tactic. You need to measure the budget and results. This will allow you to look at realtor relationships as a business partnership that can benefit both parties. This is no different than large company mergers. If the loan officer and relator can work well together, both businesses will grow.
When developing a budget, think about coffee meet-ups, ad dollars, and marketing material. Every partnership looks different, however, both the loan officer and the realtor should be equally putting money, time, or value into the marketing efforts. If it becomes one-sided, this is not a partnership and it is time to move on.
Both the loan officer and realtor expect to increase their business. Therefore, track your efforts and monitor your closings every month. This will allow you and your partner to quantitatively measure your efforts as success or failures.
A realtor relationship can be a valuable marketing strategy. Although, like most marketing tactics, you can waste money and time quickly. Find a good partner, track your progress, and scale your results.
10. Build a Database
As a loan officer, your database is like gold. You will hold it for your entire career and it will consistently yield referral, refinances, and recurring business. However, if you are a new loan officer, you probably do not have a database or have a small underutilized one. First, if you have never closed a loan or built a database, start now. Compile a list of family, friends, colleagues, and anyone that you feel comfortable reaching out to about homeownership.
Send a text, give a call, or shoot an email to these people. If any seem legitimately interested, keep their information in your database as potential clients. It is likely that no one will be ready to buy a home today. However, they may either purchase in the next 12 months or refer your information to a friend. This is how you begin your database. You will want to tag contacts as prospects, clients, and partners. If you have a CRM, you can house all your information there. I recommend you always have multiple backups of this information.
If you have closed a few loans but do not have an organized database, you are halfway there. Start by organizing all of your contacts by past clients, prospects, and partners. First, reach out to your past clients and ask about referrals or reviews (if the client had a positive transaction). From there, you can reach out to your prospects about homeownership, refinances, etc. Ensure your message fits your audience and is not too ‘sales-y’. You do not want to disrupt your audience or create a negative perception of your personal brand.
The database is an essential loan officer marketing tip for new and experienced loan officers to consider. If used correctly, this will be a major source of business for your entire career.
11. Homebot is a Premier Loan Officer Marketing Tool
Most loan officers, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents are well acquainted with Homebot. However, not many mortgage professionals have seriously considered this software as an important part of their tech stack. Ultimately, for Homebot to be considered as one of the top loan officer marketing tools, it needs to provide value for the client.
First, I’ll dive into providing value for your clients. Homebot creates monthly home reports showing dynamic market value, principal vs. interest, and even rental calculators. These reports bring amazing value to clients and keep your face branded on every email. Most loan officers never reach out or stay in contact with their past clients, slowly losing contact. The monthly Homebot reports allow you to stay relatively close with past clients years after a transaction.
Most people will buy a home 3 times in their lifetime. Therefore, being front of mind is vital when past clients are considering selling, refinancing, and buying a new property. Homebot is very popular for generating refinance leads, engagement with old clients, and referral business. This inexpensive software is an important tool for loan officers, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents should consider.
At $150 a month, this tool more than pays for itself with one closing a year.
12. Loan Officer Marketing Guide For Homebuyers
Creating a helpful guide for homebuyers is a very effective loan officer marketing strategy. A homebuyer guide is perfect when you have an audience, either on social media or on your website, but have very little engagement. The primary reason there is no engagement from your audience is the lack of value your brand is bringing to the table.
A homebuyer guide gives people a reason to interact. There are three things to get right when creating a guide: content, channel, and delivery. To create engaging content, you need to understand who your audience is and what information they find valuable. In this case, if you are a loan officer or mortgage broker, your audience are homebuyers. However, there are so many homebuyers guides out there, you want to ensure your content is not lost in the noise. Dive deeper and find the audience segments that are common in your business. This could be military, first-time home buyers, entrepreneurs, etc. From there, create content around their needs.
For example, if you work with a lot of self-employed clients, write a document on the top misconceptions for buying a home for as a solopreneur. This is engaging, valuable, and unique. Once you have a content strategy, consider what channel(s) you want to distribute this guide. Do you have an active website? A popular social media page? A great email list? Or maybe you have a few loyal realtors? Find the channels where you can reach your target audience effectively.
Lastly, I want to touch on delivery. You are sharing valuable information in exchange for the hand-raisers. Therefore, delivering your guide must have a clear call to action. For example, ask your website visitors for their email in exchange for a free homebuyer guide. This is simple, unobtrusive, and will generate leads fast. At the end of the day, for this loan officer marketing tactic to work, you need to understand the buyer journey of awareness, interest, interaction, and loyalty. If someone wants a homebuyer guide, they are interested in buying a home in the future, not tomorrow. Therefore, do not sell too hard, instead, continue to provide value and they will come to you when the time is right. All in all, creating a guide is a very effective loan officer marketing strategy that can bring value for years!
13. Spring Marketing For Loan Officers
For those that are not aware, spring is a huge season for the real estate and mortgage industry. When both listings and buyers go up, it may seem like leads are falling in your lap. However, if you are not prepared for the spring market, you will get left behind. If you want to take advantage of this annual housing trend and see your best months of the year, you need to prepare months in advance.
The first spring marketing tip for loan officers is to build your social media following prior to spring. This will be your primary audience moving forward. If you utilize your personal brand on social media, follow anyone you have some connection to in your area. From there, post engaging content that has nothing to do with mortgages.
This will give people a reason to follow you back. The key to creating content is really just creating value for your audience. A great example of this is positive content. You can post inspiring quotes, videos, or pictures that make people feel good. This quick exchange of emotion will not only get a follow but build your brand’s persona.
From there, reach out to your corporate marketing department about spring market content. If you do not have a corporate marketing department, create your own content using Canva or hire a freelancer to develop graphics. Either way, build a content schedule for the entire spring. Remember, create value with your content. With this said, these social media posts will be more bottom-funnel. This means you will be discussing mortgages and showcasing your benefits.
Lastly, be responsive. You will have a lot of comments and direct messages. Be able to have an open discussion with people on social media that may not be ready to buy right away. However, a positive transaction can lead to a client down the road or a referral. All in all, prepare for this time of year and be ready to see a spike in business.
14. Generate Leads Using Pay Per Marketing
Pay Per Click is one of the most important mortgage marketing strategies on our list for a few reasons. First, the ability to show your brand to people searching for mortgage lenders is powerful. Nurturing people through the consumer journey can take years. With Google Ads, you can jump to the front of the line for people that are interested in home buying today.
The second major advantage to PPC is truly getting an exclusive lead. How many times have you bought leads from Zillow, Lending Tree, or some other lead aggregator and the lead has a handful of other lenders on speed dial? This is a problem plaguing lead sources in almost every industry. With nonexclusive leads, it is often a race to the bottom with pricing. However, with people that come from Google, you get leads that have never talked to a lender or a realtor. This way, you can keep them in your funnel and refer them to your realtor partners.
All in all, PPC is one of the most effective loan officer marketing strategies. While the initial investment may seem steep, the upside of lead volume and quality is endless.
15. Long-Form Surveys
Everyone wants leads. However, what happens when your pipeline is clogged with bad quality prospects and you have no way of filtering leads by credit score, home price, or timeline? Unfortunately, without long-form surveys, you spend time on leads that are poor quality and miss out on the people that could actually convert. Not to mention the burnout on your sales team.
A long-form survey is a lead acquisition tool that gathers valuable information about the prospect’s qualifications. Often, this survey will ask about credit score, home type, past loan status, and anything that will be useful to your loan officers. The biggest argument against a long-form survey is the risk that fewer people will fill out the form. And that is a valid concern, however, we as an industry need to rethink how we look at value. If someone does not want to fill out a survey about mortgage interest, they likely do not have the stamina to go through the process. The lead scoring ability of a long-form survey makes this tool vital to any loan officer’s marketing plan.
At the end of the day, loan officer marketing is about consistency. If you follow these tips and do not give up, you will see sales growth every year.
If you are interested in more marketing topics, dig into the following posts:
- Yext For Loan Officers
- LeadPops Review
- Homebot Review
- Mortgage Marketing Tips
- Mortgage Marketing Trends
- Ranking #1 For Mortgage Lenders
- Realtor Relationships
- Zillow Mortgage Leads Review
- Digital Marketing Plan for Mortgage Companies
- Loan Officer Website Templates
- Loan Officer Websites
- Mortgage PPC
- Mortgage Broker Marketing Plan
- Loan Officer Marketing Tips
- Go High-Level CRM
- Loan Officer Marketing Template
- Can Loan Officers Work From Home?
- Mortgage Automation: Zapier for Loan Officers
- Consumer Direct Mortgage Marketing
- How to Market to Realtors as Loan Officers
- Mortgage Public Relations
Henry has spent the bulk of his career working for mortgage companies and marketing agencies. He uses his experience in the martech industry to guide his strategies and insights in the mortgage and real estate world. He firmly believes that marketing success in every industry boils down to a technology-centered strategy.