Today we want to share with you some best practices you can follow to ensure you get the most out of your 2020 Mortgage marketing budget to grow your mortgage business and exceed your goals.
Plan Your Mortgage Marketing Strategy Ahead Of Time
While it’s conceivable that you might be able to “wing it” for a month or two with an unplanned marketing strategy, rest assured you are going to reach a day of reckoning where it becomes obvious that you can’t keep up the pace and your campaign has failed. Why is this, you ask? It’s simply because the mortgage business is a reactionary business.
The problem is that there are only so many hours in the day. Something simply has to give. If you don’t have your marketing campaigns planned out ahead of time, the time you were previously setting aside to do your “plan as you go” marketing campaign is certainly going to be the thing that suffers. For that reason, you cannot leave your campaigns to chance.
Marketing Strategies For A Single Loan Officer
As a single loan officer, wearing all the hats, it’s easy to see how planning a marketing campaign can be frustrating as you start to realize that there is only so much time you can devote to marketing and as a result your options are limited. The truth though is that there are many things you can do and tactics you can employ to grow your mortgage business. The key is to focus on things that revolve around the relationship aspect of your mortgage business as a starting point.
Only Bite Off As Much As You Can Chew
If you only take one thing away from this article, remember this. No matter what your marketing plans turn out to be, you absolutely have to be positive that you have the bandwidth to carry out the initiatives you want to launch. So many loan officers fail at their marketing campaigns, not because their campaign ideas were bad or their content didn’t speak to their ideal clients, but because they couldn’t execute over a 6, 12 or 24 month span.
Remember, you are spending your time and/or hard-earned money on these campaigns. Your marketing compounds over time. So the results you see from your blog or social posts after 3 months will pail in comparison to the results after 12 months. To really see the value of your marketing dollars you must create a plan that you can stick with for the long haul.
Pick A Niche
While people outside the mortgage and real estate industries may say, “a home is a home is a home”, the truth is you aren’t serving a single type of home buyer. Everyone you work with has a different taste, need and desire.
The easiest way to pick up more business is to become an expert in a particular demographic niche. To do this, start out by examining your client database. Look for trends and similarities in the deals you have done. When you have found those trends, craft your marketing content to market to them. You can even create buyer personas for all your niches and create a campaign based around each niche. You can learn how to create buyer personas for your mortgage office here.
Referrals Are King
After you close each deal, ask your client for a referral. There are tons of simple ways to do this. You can ask in person at closing, send them an online survey, an email, or even a sheet in the mail with a return envelope. With BNTouch you can even refer past borrowers to your online portal to submit a referral. While you won’t get a referral from every client, you will get some. Those “somes” will add up to quite a bit of business over the course of a calendar year.
Pro Tip: Mortgage and Real Estate Coaches have studied referrals for years. They’ve found that 90% of your happy past borrowers are willing to think through their network to actively seek out a referral for you. The catch is they will only do so IF you ask for a referral.
Be Of Value
Part of any new business relationship is simply building the relationship. You want to build rapport with someone and get them to know, like and trust you.
For instance, maybe you meet somebody that wants to sell their current home and then buy another one. One great way to help build rapport would be to offer them help with selling their home. You may know a Realtor® you can refer them to. You might also stop by their house and give them some suggestions of things you’ve seen at other listings which they may want to do in order to get a higher final sale price for their home. Perhaps even offer them a neighborhood guide for the area they are thinking about buying next.
While none of these things directly related to mortgage, they all relate to building a relationship. This is the type of relationship that will end up being a lifelong relationship. Lifelong relationships mean not only multiple transactions with that client as they continue to buy and sell property, but also all the referrals they will give as they tell their friends and family about how invaluable you are.
Network In Person & Online
Meeting with people face to face and networking will always an extremely profitable exercise.
Join a business referral group, join your local chamber of commerce, volunteer at Habitat for Humanity, or take part in your town’s local art and wine festival. All these activities will make you visible to potential customers and give you the opportunity to get to know them personally and kick off the possibilities of you doing business with them.
There are also tons of online homebuyer groups that you can join on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Join a first time home buyer group and share your knowledge. Answer people’s questions and help establish yourself as a known thought leader within the group.
Marketing Strategies For A Mortgage Team
If you are a part of a mortgage team, you should be doing all the things described above for a single loan officer. Because there is more than one of you though, there are additional things you should consider as part of your marketing plans for the new year.
We all love to think that we do everything well. The truth is we don’t. There are also things that we like to do and other things that we don’t like to do. When it comes to running a successful (and healthy) mortgage team, it’s important that you always remember that it’s important to determine these things upfront and to be sure to stay in your lane when it comes to executing your campaigns.
Clearly define each in house team members responsibilities and anything not covered outsource! Check out outsourcing websites like upwork and freelancer. They are full of smart and inexpensive people from all over the world who can help take any task, but especially marketing tasks off your plate.
You can find someone to create graphics for you, write articles, turns those articles into videos or fun bite size social media pieces to share. You can even find people to run your social media platforms or your ads online.
Execute An Email Marketing Strategy
Because you are going to have double (or more) referrals and double the opportunities to build networks in a face-to-face format than the single loan officer would have, you have to be realistic with the fact that you may not be able to follow up with everyone in your database personally as often as you would wish. Because of this, a solid email marketing strategy is key.
Use your messaging to tell exciting client success stories, tell them about upcoming changes to the industry that may impact them, or even teach them something that the average homeowner doesn’t know. In other words, educate and delight them. Don’t sell to them.
Automate Your Digital Marketing Strategies
Again, working on the premise that a team gets more done than a single loan officer, and that the mortgage business is a reactionary business, automating as much as you can without seeming impersonal is very important to your strategy.
Building off the email marketing suggestion above, what if you could automate the messaging with content that is hyper-specific to each type of client or lead in your database? With marketing automation, emails can automatically go out to each client based on their own needs and preferences. This helps you build loyalty and engagement with clients, but you don’t have to spend any extra time creating campaigns. Simply select how you want your messages to be sent and they will go out to your clients at the appropriate time.
Most CRM’s and online email platforms will offer some sort of automated email marketing functionality. Try out a few different platforms and see which one you like the best. We recommend you find a platform that offers both email and text message marketing automation for your mortgage office.
Marketing Strategies For A Mortgage Brokerage
If you operate a mortgage brokerage, you have a special set of needs that are a bit more detailed than a single loan officer or a mortgage team. You need to build your brand, instill trust in the community and generate web traffic that turns into leads your loan officers can close.
Optimize Your Website For Conversions
Part of the problem with mortgage websites is that they have no clear unique selling proposition. If you don’t directly communicate to a potential client how your mortgage company sets itself apart from other lenders in your marketplace there is no reason for them to want to do business with you.
Having clear calls to action throughout your website is also important. CTA’s motivate visitors to take some sort of action. When a lead clicks the call-to-action button, they’re directed through a series of questions and prompted to provide their contact information. This is crucial because acquiring contact information via your website is how you start generating online leads for your for the brokerage that you can feed out to your loan officers to nurture.
Focus On Great Content
You cannot underestimate the value of great content marketing. When potential leads are on your website and they click on the “Resources” or “Blog” page, for instance, you want them to get to a page where there are tons of useful and relevant articles that address goals, challenges and pain points they may currently be facing.
Put together some great evergreen content (content that can be reused over and over again regardless of the date). Put this content on the Tools, Loan Process, and Cost and Fees sections of your website. As prospects navigate through your site they’ll feel like they are being taken on a guided tour of the mortgage process. This will give them a good user experience and make them that much more likely to enter your lead funnel.
Take Advantage Of Your Plan For Your Biggest Year Yet
So there you have it. Whether you are a single loan officer, a team, or a mortgage brokerage that is gearing up and wants to maximize their annual marketing budget, these are some easy to follow, great best practices that will help you stay on track, meet your goals and grow your brokerage.