Competition is booming for lenders, and with profitability already a struggle in today’s market, how you market your services can make all of the difference.
Loan officers wear many hats, the “Marketer” hat chief among them. But while managing your workload, it’s easy to fall behind the marketing curve. We’ve pulled together some best practices and marketing tips for loan officers looking to win business and stand out from the competition in 2019.
1. Make Content the Backbone of Your Strategy
Mortgage lenders must focus on leveraging their expertise in a way that helps borrowers feel more confident throughout the mortgage process.
As Brent Vallat, Head of Lending for Varo Money, puts it:
“Integrating financial education tools with a focus on responsible lending options is the future of this industry. The impetus will be on socially responsible companies to create products that not only address immediate borrower and refinancing needs, but also helps customers use credit responsibly in anticipation of future needs.”
Insightful content that can inform and guide overwhelmed homebuyers through the process is an incredibly effective way to provide value to your customers (and attract more customers!).
It might seem like a lot of work but it pays off. According to global marketing research and advisory firm Demand Metric, content marketing generates three times more leads than traditional marketing efforts.
Unsure where to start? Check out mortgage professional Nick Carpenter’s complete guide to building a content marketing plan for loan officers.
2. Step Up Your Email Marketing Game
A 2015 study found that email marketing averaged ROI of $38 for every $1 spent, a number that has largely stayed consistent year over year. Email marketing is tried-and-true, and the cost-to-benefit deems it more worthy of your attention. Email marketing serves as a targeted way to reach prospects in a way that feels more personal. Consider sharing industry studies and relevant mortgage content with your prospective customers. A bi-weekly newsletter is also a great, low-effort way to share industry information, offer tips, and increase your value to prospective homebuyers.
A solid email and content marketing strategy can also help you attract business from real estate agents. Because agents get so many emails from lenders, it’s in your best interest to figure out a way to add value with your email marketing.
A real estate agent we talked to when researching for our eBook, “Winning Agent Business”, once raved to us about a loan officer who would send him weekly industry updates and rates. Consider utilizing your industry expertise to craft content that will add value for borrowers—and, by extension, real estate agents.
For content inspiration, check out some of these top-performing mortgage campaigns.
3. Embrace Visual Content
While written content undoubtedly still holds value in marketing, visual content can often be more compelling than marketing collateral with just written copy. Blog posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement rates than text-only posts (the irony that there are no images in this post is not lost on me).
If you can manage it, simple video content is a great way to boost website performance and usher borrowers more quickly through the sales funnel. Statistics show that people are 85% more likely to buy a product after watching a video.
4. Give, Give, Give, Then Ask
No one likes being harassed by someone who wants to sell them something. An aggressive email marketing strategy that doesn’t offer anything of value to the prospect is off-putting.
Take inspiration from Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, who says the first thing you should do is focus first on adding value to your prospect. Share your knowledge. Establish yourself as a trusted resource on all things mortgage and homebuying. Then—and only then—ask the borrower for what you want.
5. Put Marketing Automation to Work for You
Marketing automation is a great tool for any loan officer who wants to stand out from the crowd. With a little bit of work on the back end, you can build out email nurture tracks with valuable content and information that are automatically sent to your prospects at a specified interval so you can stay top-of-mind as borrowers get closer to being ready to buy.
Automation can also help you maintain a consistent social media presence to stay in front of prospects in a more organic way on the social media apps they use every day. Marketing automation simply automates the more tedious tasks that normally do manually to give you more time to focus on nurturing relationships with your borrowers.
6. Think About What You’d Want as a Borrower
It’s all too easy to get so focused on efficiency and productivity that you forget that the borrowers on the other end of the mortgage transaction are real humans. Sit down and take a few minutes to put yourself into the shoes of a first-time homebuyer. If you’re a homeowner, think back to the process of buying your first home. If you’re not already a homeowner, imagine how you might feel the first time you purchase a house.
How would you be feeling? What would be your biggest concerns? How would you find the information you need to feel confident about buying a home? How would you research mortgage lenders? How would you want a loan officer to market their services to you?
Think about exactly how you’d want to be marketed to and then use that insight to inform your strategy.