Olympian Sage Kotsenburg And Your Mortgage Marketing

This is a great mortgage commercial that appeared on the Conan O’brien show recently, and is hilarious. It got me to thinking about our marketing as loan officers, and wondering what type of message our ads are sending to our market.

Sometimes as loan officers, our internet or newspaper ads are thrown together quickly or even put together by our ad representative.  If we are going to be spending money our expensive mortgage ads, we want to be sure we are sending the right message to our target audience.

Does your mortgage marketing present you as the Expert?  Mortgage borrowers are trusting their loan officer with the biggest investment of their lives. They want to be sure that when they are borrowing money that they are working with the best loan officer in the business. If we are perceived as lazy or incompetent in our mortgage ads, writing, or videos then we are going to lose a lot of business. Take your time to do things right, and avoid the temptation to rush through marketing materials just to get it done.

Does your mortgage marketing lead to action? Do not forget the most important part of putting together a marketing piece for your mortgage services… getting a mortgage lead!  Every ad or article that you put together should be focused on getting your reader to take action of some sort.  Maybe that action is to call you, complete an online application, or sign up for a free report.  Whatever it is, you want to find a way in every ad that you do to make that reader raise their hand and ask for more information from you.

Does your mortgage marketing stand out? If you go to google and search the term “mortgage ads” you are going to find hundreds of graphics that look alike.  They are all going to say they have the best rates, best service, lowest closing costs, etc.  If you want your ads to be effective, you have to find a way to stand out while remaining the expert.  Notice what your competitors are doing, and do the opposite.

Sage Kotsenburg’s commercial may stand out, but may not give off the most professional image to future mortgage clients. But, hey “No Gnarly Closing Costs” will attract some borrowers regardless of how your ad looks.  : )

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Are you getting leads from Zillow yet? Check this out!

Loan Officer “Branding”…

We hear a lot about branding in the advertising world today.  We all have brands that we are familiar with –some more familiar than others.  Many brands are known worldwide and are recognized instantly like Coca-Cola and McDonalds among others.  Having a name that is known among many is an important part of any business marketing strategy.  Companies can spend millions of dollars to try to get their names out into the marketplace.

Often times, as Loan Officers we will overlook the importance of branding ourselves. We are fine with building up the name of the company that we work for (as we should be) but we forget the necessary steps to build up our own personal names our area.

Due to regulation, compliance, and strict marketing departments we may be hesitant to do a lot of personal marketing on our own. This is understandable, and you definitely do not want to cross any company boundaries when it comes to marketing.  Be sure to work within the confines of what your company allows.

But, be sure to remember that a large percentage of clients that you have worked with in the past – probably chose your company because of you and your ability.  Maybe a large number of your past clients were part of your personal network, or maybe you just did a great job of selling the borrower on your services.  Either way, most of the loans that you have originated came to you because of your efforts.  Depending on who you work for, there may be a chance that the borrower doesn’t even know the name of the company that you work for.  The good news is… they know YOU.

We don’t want to forget that borrowers will often times put much more emphasis on the relationship that they have – or are building – with the loan officer instead of with the company that the LO works for.

With this in mind, if your goal is to create “customers for life” you want to be sure that all of your borrowers remember who you are, and this is where loan officer brand building comes into place.

First of all, let’s look at a good definition for the term “Branding”.

"Branding is the defined personality of a product, service, company, organization or individual. Many folks confuse “having a logo” for an ongoing branding process, but in fact a good logo is an extension of a defined identity for a venture in the same way that a flag or national anthem may represent a country. A well designed brand personality can be seen in everything from customer service to the actual products a company may offer. Another misconception about brands is that they should reflect a quality; and that may be true in a brand that’s about quality (think of a Chanel logo which communicates the idea of luxury) but on the other hand if a local dollar store even has a designed logo that may in fact work against the goals of their brand as they may seem overpriced. Like an artist finding his or her voice the goal of a branding process should be to always frame in a concise way what makes your endeavor unique; and then apply that message to each medium. Michael Pinto - Very Memorable Design"

 Here are six ways that you can build your personal brand as a loan officer.

1.)    Define Your Overall Message:  Figure out what you want your customers to know you for, above all else.  Choose one description and build off of it.  Are you the “Fastest Loan Officer” in town, are you the “Smartest Loan Officer” around, or the “Lowest Rate Loan Officer” in the market, etc.  What is the phrase that best describes you and the business that you want to go after? Define it, and build off of that.

 2.)    Be Different:  Don’t try to copy the large banks in your area, or the Lendingtree commercials that you see on TV.  Focus on YOU, and your own distinct personality. People tend to connect with messages that are unique and that have a personality.

 

3.)    Decide On Your Marketing Strategy:  If you are working on your “brand” you will also want to come up with a marketing strategy to go with it.  Decide on the marketing opportunities where you will get the most out of your investment. Choose a handful of avenues that you know will be effective for you and then build off of those.  Develop a plan that is consistent with your desired message and overall theme.

 4.)    Collaborate: Building a brand doesn’t have to be something that only you can build. Find others that will promote your brand for you. If you have referral partners, work with them to help promote each other’s brand/business. If you don’t have anyone that is willing to do this right now, then look at the marketplace at the brands that already exist and find a few that you would want to work with. Find a middle ground where you can promote each other’s brand all while staying in compliance.

 5.)    Communicate: Find a way that you can stay in touch with those that are already familiar with you and your brand, and encourage them to spread the word. Whether you use newsletters, email, Facebook, etc – be sure to keep your clients up to date on what you are doing and the mortgage services that you offer.

 6.)    Stick With It: Once you have developed your Brand Strategy, stick with it.  Be consistent with your message, and be sure you are committed to it. Constantly changing your brand messaging can be confusing for consumers and cause you to lose future business.  A strong, consistent brand message will help bring consistent volume to your mortgage pipeline.

 Above all, get started. Find out what your compliance department will allow you to do and get busy implementing your strategy. Real Estate agents are great at brand messaging, and there is no reason as a loan officer that you can’t do the same thing.  Best of luck!

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My Top 7 Ways To Generate Mortgage Leads This Week!

In our quest to be the “Ultimate Loan Officer” we are always looking for ways to find more mortgage deals. Lead generation is the life blood of our business and whether we buy the leads or generate our own, the quality of leads that we get will determine the success of our month and eventually our year.

Mortgage marketing if something that I really enjoy, and I wanted to give you an updated list of my Top 7 Ways To Generate Mortgage Leads along with a few links to some tools that I use to help me in this endeavor.

1.)    Facebook Fan Pages:  We all love Facebook, and more importantly 99% of our customers love it to. It is addicting for most people and this is music to the ears of a mortgage marketer.  If you haven’t set up a Facebook Fan Page for you as an individual Loan Officer, you need to do it today. (Assuming your compliance department will allow you to.)

Facebook Fan Pages offer a fantastic way for you to celebrate your mortgage successes without people feeling like you are “Spamming” their Walls. People can Like and Unlike your page anytime and they know if they like your Business Fan Page, they will probably see some mortgage business related items on the page.  Work hard to grow your page, and it can be a great way to remind people what you do and why they should use you.

Don’t be shy in posting pictures of your closings, events, etc.  People want to work with experts and if they see you are busy, they will assume that you are the Loan Officer for them.

Click here if you would like to learn other ways to promote your mortgage business on Facebook.

2.)    Zillow / Trulia / Boomtown / Realtor.com:  The internet is buzzing with new and popular real estate websites such as Zillow.  Real Estate agents are seeing great results by using these tools, and they are always looking for partners to help them offset their marketing costs.  If you know of an agent that is using these type of programs, you may want to approach them and ask if you can do some co marketing with them.  You might just see that your business will evolve in ways that you had never dreamed of before.

Click here if you would like to learn more about how to grow your business using Zillow and other similar websites.

3.)    Linkedin Stalking:  You heard me right, you can generate mortgage leads by “stalking” your contacts on Linkedin.  Of course I am kidding right?  Not really… Linkedin is considered the leading online social media site for business people and it is where a lot of successful professionals hang out online.  If you keep an eye on the announcements each day, you may find that a friend of yours has gotten a new job and may be interested in relocating. You may also find a friend who just graduated college and is beginning their first job.  Whatever the case may be for your contacts, you are bound to find a lead or two buried within your Linkedin Contacts.

Click here If you would like to learn more about how to grow network on Linkedin.

4.)    Networking: You can not hide behind your desk all day and expect to get referrals from others in the community.  If you want to build your referral business you will need to be visible to others.  A great way to do this is by joining or starting a local BNI group.  You can also get involved with community projects, and simply use this time to help others while getting to know some new people.  Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, you may be surprised at what some new people in your life can do for your business.

5.)    Past Clients:  If you haven’t figured out that you need to stay in contact with your past clients by now, you may have no future in this business?  If you have been in the mortgage business for more than a couple of years than you should have a decent sized database of clients that you have closed.  Homeowners move or refinance every 3 to 7 years and if you can figure out a system to stay in touch with people like this you will be ahead of 90% of the other Loan Officers that you are competing against.

Nothing is worse than that sinking feeling that you get when you find out a past client just purchased a new home.  It has happened to all of us… and we can avoid it by simply staying in front of them – month after month.  Create a newsletter or direct mail system that will touch these people at least 4 times per year, the more times you are in front of them the more successful you will be with this approach.

6.)    Co Marketing:  I mentioned this technique a little earlier when discussing Zillow and Trulia regarding Real Estate Agents, but you can also Co Market with other professionals too!  Consider calling your favorite insurance agent and do a direct mail piece to their list of customers.  Why not call the Financial Planner that you went to college with and see if they would like to direct mail a neighborhood with you in search of new clients.  The opportunities are endless if you use your imagination… and your rolodex.

7.)    Facebook Ads:  Facebook is an Awesome tool when it comes to promoting yourself for FREE but many don’t realize how cheap it is to actually run ads on the site.  You can boost your favorite Fan Page post for $5 and get it in front of hundreds of people.  You can advertise on there to grow your Likes for your Fan Page or group.  There are all kinds of ways to promote your services on Facebook, so jump on the site today and click on the Ad Manager portion of your Facebook page to learn more.

Click here if you are interested in learning more about cheap Facebook Advertising

Best of luck with your mortgage marketing efforts and I hope some of these ideas will help get your mind moving in the direction of how you can generate more leads this week!

*Please note that you need to check with your compliance department and state/federal guidelines before using any of these tips. Be sure they are legal in your area before starting them. Also, some of the links in this article are affiliate links and Ultimate Loan Officer may be compensated for referring you to them.