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Mortgage Marketing: 10 Tips in 2021

Mortgage Marketing

The top lenders in the country have the same focus: mortgage marketing. Without being relevant to consumers, lenders will get lost in the sea of regional mortgage companies that have to compete on rates alone. However, if you can create a strong brand in a great niche, the sky is the limit. 

1. Develop Your Brand Identity 

There are thousands of retail mortgage companies and private brokerages. Therefore, brand development is the foundation of mortgage marketing. Brand development is how the consumer perceives your company.

For example, my wife and I play this game on road trips where we say the first word or phrase that comes into our mind when we see a billboard.  McDonald’s = Fast. Walmart = Busy. Target = Fun. Chick Fil A = Delicious. The list goes on. However, this exercise should be considered on day one of brand development.

Ask yourself, what is the first word you want your consumers to say when they think of your brand? Understanding the core concept of brand development will become the foundation on which all your marketing campaigns are built on.

If you do not focus on developing a strong brand, your consumers and competitors will develop the narrative for you. This is a dangerous place to be. Once a perception is formed, it is almost impossible to change the opinion consumers have of your brand.

One of the greatest branding campaigns I have seen recently comes from AIME. Unfortunately, the perception of mortgage brokers has been synonymous with a used car salesman. However, AIME created a campaign headlining, “Brokers are Better.” The whole purpose of this branding campaign was to change the general perception of Mortgage Brokers from salesmen to your neighborhood expert.

This mortgage marketing strategy has allowed brokers to increase market share against traditional retail lenders. Whether you are pro-broker or pro-retail, you can understand the importance of branding and consumer protection in mortgage marketing. 

2. SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a business management tool that allows you to see your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your given market. As a loan officer or mortgage broker, you are running your own business. Therefore, you need to analyze your sales and marketing efforts like a real business. A SWOT is a business management tool that gives you insight into market opportunities that you may have not noticed. Inversely, your eyes are open to areas of weakness that need to be strengthened.

When first developing your SWOT, write down a few of your strengths. This can be past sales experience, digital assets, or special resources that your company has given you. Once strengths are ironed out, you can list your weaknesses.

Depending on what type of person you are, this could be the hardest section to fill out or the easiest section to complete. The trick here is to be unbiased, but not too hard on yourself. A common weakness among new mortgage originators is a small database. Once you add this to your weakness section, you can now focus on enhancing your database.

The opportunity section is where you will take a step back and look at the industry and your local marketplace to find your primary sales opportunities. For example, if you are in an area with few competitors, you can list this as a major opportunity. Another common example is an underserved audience in your area.

On the contrary, threats are going to be things that pose a risk to your business’s success. This can be regulations, bad public relations, or increased competition in your market. All in all, SWOT’s are used by the most successful companies as a map to guide them through market highs and lows.

Mortgage Marketing

3. Find Your Mortgage Marketing Niche

In college, my professor used to always say, “The riches are in the niches.” As I grew in my career, some of the most successful lenders really honed in one or two niches and became the go-to lender for various communities.

In your mortgage marketing strategy, part of brand development is finding a niche, or niches, you can service. One of the best examples of niche branding in the industry is Veterans United. Veterans United is a mortgage lender that focuses purely on active duty military and veterans.

Furthermore, Veterans United uses a government-backed VA Loan to provide a variety of benefits that other loan products do not offer. VA Loans are such strong mortgage products they can sell themselves. However, Veterans United was one of the first mortgage companies to own the military niche. Fast-forward a few decades and Veterans United can proudly call itself the number one VA lender for home buyers. 

This example of niche marketing in the mortgage world has catapulted companies to unbelievable success. Because mortgages are a commodity, most lenders are selling the same product. Therefore, great mortgage marketing is vital to stand out against other companies that look very similar on the surface.

Without establishing a niche, you can fall into the sea of lenders competing at the lowest rate. This is an ugly battle where no one wins.  Therefore, brand development and finding a great niche audiences are core principles in the mortgage marketing battlefront. 

4. Direct to Consumer in Mortgage Marketing 

Once you have discovered your brand identity and solidified your niche audience, it is time to think about how you will market your company. Traditionally, most mortgage companies rely heavily on a referral marketing strategy. Specifically, loan officers will build strong relationships with realtors and share leads with each other.

While this strategy will produce results, it can be difficult not only to find a realtor you can work with but rely on a consistent flow of leads. Because of the flaws in the referral model and the advances in marketing technology, Consumer direct marketing is the future of the mortgage industry. 

Consumers’ trends have adapted to the high-tech world around us. Furthermore, large corporations like Zillow, Realtor.com, and Quicken Loans have changed the way users find homes and loans. Therefore, it is our job to change in the direction that our customers are changing. This means relying on marketing tech to find our borrowers, instead of assuming our borrowers will find you. 

In 2019, 78% of brands increased their D2C investment by 60%. This has created an amazing awareness towards consumers to buy directly from the brands they trust. Because of this increase in awareness, 55% of consumers would rather purchase a product or service directly from the brand of their choice [1]. These numbers prove that most consumers want to look you up, find your website, and initiate contact. This means you need a website that caters to your consumer and a brand that aligns with your niche’s identity. 

5. Create a Website

A website is a loan officer’s biggest marketing asset. Without having a responsive & mobile-friendly website, it will be impossible to see any value in your marketing efforts. Furthermore, if you have a website, but the design is outdated, or the site speed is slow, you will lose business fast.

When finding the right website partner, you want to think about 4 things: affordability, mortgage specific, responsive design, and technical support. A website can cost thousands of dollars to design. This does not include a monthly retainer for site maintenance. It is vital to find a website builder that can give you a great product at a price you can afford.

From there, finding a designer that focuses on mortgage-specific websites is key to converting your traffic. There are hundreds of landing page designs. However, a mortgage lead is looking for different messaging than a real estate lead. Therefore, if you use a real estate web designer to create a mortgage site, you will likely lose out on leads.

A responsive design is also key to converting traffic. You may have the perfect webpage, however, if your site does not load fast on mobile, tablet, and computers, you will lose the conversion battle. Consumer’s attention span is getting more impatient. Therefore, you need to meet their need with a fast-loading page that can fit any dimension. These responsive web pages can be easily created by a top-tier web design company.

Lastly, finding a designer that offers technical support will save you time and money down the stretch. Your website will have some maintenance issues, it is not a question of if but when. Therefore, you want a company that has technical support baked into their pricing packages. This will save you time trying to find solutions on YouTube, or worse, paying extra money to fix your website.

Ultimately, the best website and funnel builder for mortgage originators is LeadPops. LeadPops designs mortgage-specific websites at an affordable cost. Additionally, their design team creates fast-loading websites that have no issues on mobile devices.  Below is a comparison of LeadPops to other landing page builders.

 

6. Local SEO and Google My Business 

Local SEO is a mortgage marketing tip that is often overlooked. If you mention Search Engine Optimization to loan officers or mortgage brokers, they will often roll their eyes. Unfortunately, SEO is seen as a highly complicated form of tech that takes a lot of money to see results. This cannot be further from the truth.

Google, Bing, and Yahoo serve the consumer. Therefore, it is the job of search engines to find the most legitimate results when people search for mortgage lenders in their area. Fundamentally, loan officers and mortgage brokers are the most accurate search results.

The easiest way to rank quickly for mortgage lending terms in your city is to utilize Google My Business (GMB). GMB is Google’s business listing service. If you have a well-optimized LeadPops website and an hour to confirm your contact details, Google will have you listed shortly. The easiest way to climb the rankings fast is to get real reviews for your past customers. 

When you set up your Google My Business account, set up a quick review management campaign. This is simply sending your GMB review link to all of your past customers asking for a review. Your message can sound something like this, “Hey {name}, I hope you are enjoying your home. I am trying to build up my Google Reviews and would appreciate a review from you. Here is the link to my profile: www.google.com. Thank you!”

This message will drive reviews quickly. From here, you can build a review system for all future closings. In the coming months, your domain authority will increase and your website and GMB will both be ranked when people search for mortgage lenders in your area. For more on this, reference our How to Rank #1 For Mortgage Lender post.

7. Business Automation

Once your brand is established & audience defined, the next mortgage marketing tip is utilizing business automation. Business automation is a term thrown around a lot in the mortgage marketing space. However, most people do not really know what is business automation, nor, how to practically use it in their business model.

Business automation is using tools and technology to streamline your workflow and reduce the time you spend on repetitive tasks. Essentially, automation makes your life easier. Thankfully, technology has advanced so much recently you do not need to be a programmer to configure simple automation. 

Tools like Zapier allow loan officers and marketing executives to create simple workflow solutions that integrate with social media, CRMs, and thousands of popular apps. For those that are not familiar with this platform, Zapier is an automation tool that acts as a bridge to your apps.

For example, you can auto-import data from your CRM to a Google Sheet by using a zap as a facilitator that communicates with both applications. In my experience, Zapier is the easiest tool to learn quickly and implement immediately. 

A lot of loan officers will roll their eyes at business automation as a marketing tip, however, consider the success of Quicken Loans & Zillow. Both of these companies have relied heavily on business automation to streamline their marketing efforts and seamlessly scale into new markets.

Furthermore, their loan officers are trained to be plugged into their automated system. It is simple, the future of mortgage marketing is business automation in a consumer-direct model. The faster we as an industry commit, the faster we can compete with mortgage giants.

8. Mortgage Marketing Focused CRM 

A good mortgage CRM is a necessity in today’s fast-paced sales world. Without a CRM that can auto message, hold sales data, create interactive marketing campaigns, it will be difficult to see long-term sales success. The unfortunate truth is that a lot of loan officers and brokers have their databases on a spreadsheet. It is impossible to track information, scale marketing campaigns, or manually follow up with your clients.

With that said, there are thousands of CRMs out there and it can be difficult to know which software works for your business model. The first thing to think about is price. Look at your monthly expenses and find your monthly budget. For some, this will be $100 a month. For market leaders and senior loan officers, you may have the money to custom build your own CRM. At the end of the day, purchase a piece of tech you can afford.

From there, it is vital that your CRM can connect to your most-used apps. For example, if you have an email marketing system, ensure the CRM has a direct integration or a Zapier plug-in. Better yet, if your CRM has an email marketing system built into its framework, you can ditch your former email system altogether. At the end of the day, you want your CRM to have both the database needs and marketing capabilities you use daily. If not, this will become another piece of tech that gets left behind.

9. Build Social Media Following  

Social media marketing can be overwhelming for most loan officers and mortgage brokers. It seems like every month there is a new media platform or posting template to follow. However, social media marketing has a few golden rules that never change.

First, focus on your audience. If your audience is young first-time home buyers, all of your content needs to be related to them. For example, talk about saving for your first down payment, FHA guidelines, or appreciating neighborhoods. This leads me to the second rule, bring value to your audience.

Honestly, not many homebuyers want to re-read the corporate blog all your loan officers are re-sharing. Post content that is uniquely valuable. For example, film a video about your experience buying your first home. Talk about what went right and what went wrong. This type of information is extremely valuable to your audience.

Lastly, post regularly. This may be the most difficult tip to follow. When you are a loan officer, your day consists of lead follow-up, paperwork, logistic challenges, and closings. The last thing on your mind is generally when to post next. Therefore, carve out a posting schedule that you follow religiously.

However, do not make it so overbearing that you burn out. A lot of loan officers create their content for two hours after lunch on Friday. This time period is when the week is winding down and gives you something to work on before the weekend. If you can stick to these guidelines, you will have not a problem growing your social media engagement.

10. Find a Good Realtor Partner

Finding a good realtor relationship is easier said than done.  More than likely, you will spend your first few months reaching out to realtors to grab a coffee and hopefully partner up. However, before you commit to a realtor, it is vital that expectations are set for both the realtor and loan officer. If this is not achieved, you will be spending more time and money than the relationship is worth.

Once you have established a level of compatibility, ask your realtor what they expect from you. This may be leads, co-branded marketing material, or help to balance their budget. Either way, ensure you can fully deliver. From there, voice the expectation you have for them.

From there, it is essential to track the progress of the relationship. At the end of the day, this is a business relationship and you both need to see the value. Create a spreadsheet to track leads and closings from your realtor relationship. This will allow you to follow the progress and monitor success and failure on a quantitative basis.  

Final Thoughts on Mortgage Marketing

All in all, there is no exact formula to a successful mortgage marketing plan. However, these marketing tips and strategies have worked for thousands of loan officers and mortgage brokers. Figure out what works for you and run with it.

 

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