What is Mortgage Public Relations?
Public relation is an important piece to any mortgage marketing plan. However, many loan officers, mortgage brokers, and agents do not know what public relations is, nor how to use it effectively. Mortgage PR comes down to training loan officers on how to create a public relations campaign, the tools needed, and the expectations for success.
Public Relations for mortgage companies is simply a communication strategy that builds trust among their community. Depending on your business model, this can look different for a lot of companies. In the age of the internet, L.O.s and brokers can leverage social media and technology to get their message across. However, the specific message they push is the key to success with PR.
Any company with good PR knows that creating a narrative for your public image is a never-ending battle. However, if you treat your customer well and care about your community, you are in the right place.
With that said, public relations starts and ends with your brand guidelines and core values. Understanding the value of your brand to every stakeholder is vital to creating brand ambassadors that spread your message. Although, if your message in not 100% authentic, you will struggle to communicate effectively.
Mortgage PR Starts With Your Brand
The key to having a great Mortgage PR strategy is creating a strong brand from day one. Your brand is an extension of leadership and employees. As mortgage brand consultants, the first factor that impacts a mortgage brand is company culture. Employees are referenced as brand ambassadors for a reason. They will go out from the workforce and spread their joys and frustrations about their work.
We have all heard friends and family talk about jobs they love and hate. Without even thinking about it, this will create a perception of a brand for many. Therefore, be intentional about your brand’s identity and how your employees can live it out. If you want to be known as a trusted and authoritative source, ensure that trust is a core value that you and your employees live by.
Once your brand is embraced internally, shift your focus on the customer perception of your business. Create content that brings real value to your customer, while showcasing your business’ brand guidelines. Similar to the above example, if the brand you are portraying is one of authority, trust, and confidence, ensure that all blogs, videos, and social posts reflect this idea.
It can be as simple as referencing years in the industry, awards, and customer reviews. Building the foundation of your brand internally and then reflecting your core values towards your customer, will have a huge impact on your brand perception in your community.
With this said, building a brand takes strategy, implementation, and patience. Often, a mortgage brand consultant can steer you in the right direction when you do not know where to start.
Mortgage Public Relations Through Social Media
In today’s day and age, social media is an important tool for the mortgage PR battle. By creating a following on social media, you can easily create a narrative for your target audience. Additionally, depending on the platform, you can leverage look-a-like audiences to build new audiences. From there, your public relations campaigns can be very granular.
For example, you can create a custom campaign for people that are familiar with your business, while showing a new message to people that have never seen your brand before. By leveraging this advanced technology, any mortgage company can create a marketing funnel of new and old customers – showcasing who you are and how you support the community.
Ultimately, what makes social media so powerful for national companies and solopreneurs alike is the ability to reach new audiences quickly. In the example above, we leveraged remarketing data to create look-a-like audiences, however, this is not the only social media public relation strategy. Recently, market leaders, loan officers, and brokers have partnered with influencers to bring new customers into their public relations funnel.
A social media influencer is really anyone on social media that has a highly engaged following within a niche. A great influencer partner for loan officers, mortgage companies, and real estate agents is interior designers, exterior designers, and fix-flippers. Additionally, if your brand is community-based, work with local influencers in your area as well. The financial cost and creative process vary widely among influencers. However, this strategy is highly effective for any mortgage public relations strategy.
Managing Negative PR
Managing bad press is where the power of public relations management comes into play. Rule number one, it is easier to shift the narrative of negative PR if you already have a PR strategy in place. Specifically, if you have dedicated resources to protecting your brand, you will have an audience that trusts you amidst negative press.
Often, negative PR comes in all different shapes and sizes. For most loan officers, this will start at negative reviews. If someone reviews you negatively, always respond with a sincere message. Additionally, reach out to the client and try to right your wrong in exchange for a review replacement. This does not always work, however, if you respond accordingly and ensure the same problem does not reoccur, your business will not suffer.
Additionally, a common mortgage PR pitfall is when a disgruntled employee takes to social media with the intent to drag your brand in through the mud. Like I mentioned earlier, if you are intentional about creating a company culture that reflects your brand guidelines, this should never happen. It is much easier to be offensive about your PR than defensive. However, if your company runs into this situation, it is vital to reach out to the ex-employee privately about the social media post and try to make a mense. Whether this works or not, it is important to live your values.
Second, disgruntled ex-employees often strike a nerve with your current workforce and can lead to major disruption. Therefore, leadership should bring everything into the light so this problem does not fester with various pods of employees.
Specifically, every employee should not only be aware of the issue, but leadership should listen to their workforce to ensure this problem does not arise in the future. Lastly, keep managing your marketing campaigns that showcase your brand in a positive light.
Again, there are so many negative PR situations that mortgage companies can deal with, we just highlighted a few common ones that mortgage professionals will deal with in their careers. However, the core tenets are the same – find the problem, fix the problem, and live out your core values.
Consistency in Mortgage Public Relations
The key to success in mortgage public relations games is consistency. If your business lives and breathes your values and you can communicate this to your clients, PR will seem effortless. However, if you struggle to communicate your brand value to customers, employees, and your community, public relations will be a difficult challenge. At a minimum, stay consistent with your message to every party that is affected by your business and you will see an immense level of brand growth over time.
If you are interested in more marketing topics, dig into the following posts:
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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.