The best goals are SMART. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Let’s break down each quality!
Use specific wording. If your goal is to “close more loans”, this isn’t a SMART goal because there’s no specific quantity stated, and no explanation on how it will be achieved. Consider the following example: “I will increase my closed loans by 10% through email marketing.”
Quantify what you’re working towards so you know specifically what you’re working on, and by what percentage you want to improve.
Don’t over-promise and under-deliver. While you want your goal to be ambitious, it must still be attainable. Rather than increasing closed loans by 1000%, try reaching for a more attainable goal like 150%.
Be sure that your goal is relevant to your business and the mortgage industry. You may find that it makes sense to change the metric you’re using to measure your goal. A research can show that your business closes more loans from referrals, for example.
Set quarterly and year-end goals and stay on track by making sure your goals are time-bound. Putting deadlines on your goals helps you hold yourself responsible.
Goals can be manifold and revolve around sales, relationships and market. To learn more how you set and keep track of your goals, watch the video below!
Managing your time helps balance the urgent with the important, forces you to be realistic with time and prevents procrastination. No matter the reason, you want to start and end your day on your own terms, with clear expectations of taking time for yourself without resentment.
Time blocking is arguably one of the most efficient ways to manage time. But what is it? At its core, time blocking is just scheduling your to-do list against your calendar. You block off the time you’ll be working on a specific thing ahead of time, and then during that time, you work on the thing. By dedicating a certain number of hours to just one task, you “block off” your time (and your mind) from other projects – and the myriad of other demands on your attention.
To reap the benefits of time blocking, make sure you follow these four steps:
- Plan: Decide what needs to be done, estimate how long it will take and take into account the priority of tasks. No one can productively go from task to task to task without taking a break or having some down time, so remember to schedule breaks in your time.
- Block: set aside time for things such as calling clients, prospecting, tackling emails. Call, text & email returns should be ideally at the same time each day. Color coding your time blocks on a digital calendar will help you identify meetings and tasks at a quick glance. But more importantly, be realistic!
- Act: Your calendar will tell you what to do, and then you do it. This continues throughout the day until your day is over. Respect the blocks, and don’t do things that aren’t part of a block (like check email) during a block. It’s a good idea to identify the points of the day that you feel most productive and block tasks to channel that energy accordingly.
- Revise: Revise at the end of a block and at the end of the day. While revision at the end of a block means you estimated inaccurately, revision at the end of the day is future-facing and reflects the fact that priorities change, stuff comes up, and projects take more or less time than you expect them to.
Systems can make a huge difference in your sales and your work-life balance. Compliant, automated marketing can nurture leads and update your business partners and customers. An intelligent mortgage CDP (Customer Data Platform) will effectively use consumer data to drive every aspect of the marketing and sales cycles. Time is valuable, and your tech stack should reflect the best in class for mortgage technology without doubling up or even missing tasks.
Mortgage professionals must think outside the box when aiming to co-brand and market. These days, people don’t want to sort through stacks of paper to get information. In addition, covid-19 has made open houses a thing of the past as many real estate agents are turning to digital media to showcase for-sale properties.
To keep up with times, there are several ways you can work with your real estate agents, such as:
- Co-branded social media ads
- Co-branded landing pages
- Joint social media events
- Joint video tours
- Co-branded email campaigns
- Social media posts
- Property websites that showcase the agent and the preferred financing partner
- Co-branded videos
Thanks to platforms like Zoom, Facetime, Facebook and Instagram Live, Realtors have plenty of options to host open houses digitally. Using Facebook Live, anyone can view the video and comment or share the video, expanding visibility and reaching those that may not be able to attend a traditional open house. You can also promote the open house on your social media pages by sharing your Realtor partner’s event and creating posts about it.
If your agent is collecting leads – no matter the source (Zillow, open houses) – make sure that you are following up on them once the event is over. This email list can be used for your database and advertising targeting on Facebook. Check out the video below for a detailed overview of all the ways you can maximize your marketing efforts.
2021 is the year to invest heavily in marketing and close more loans. But what can you expect to see in the 2021 market? Here are some trends:
- Housing inventory could open up
- Mortgage rates will edge up
- Home prices will keep rising, but not as quickly
- Zoom towns (housing markets that are growing in popularity due to the remote work trend) could really take off.
- City homes could get a lot cheaper
According to Realtor.com chief economist, Danielle Hale, you can “expect sales to grow 7 percent and prices to rise another 5.7 percent on top of 2020’s already high levels.” Interest rates, which have motivated many buyers in 2020, “are expected to remain low and will help ameliorate some of the affordability concerns resulting from rapid home price appreciation seen in 2020”, says Selma Hepp, CoreLogic deputy chief economist.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
To take advantage of these favorable conditions and get your message across to your target market, it’s important to know who your audience is and market to them appropriately. Millennials, for instance, represent a huge market you should tap into. Many millennials plan to purchase a home within the next 5 years meaning that they are seeking information about the house-purchasing and mortgage processes.
This generation grew up in the age of the internet, so they both respect high-quality information sources and know where to find them. Your company must provide them with the information they want and need, or they will find someone else. That’s where social media marketing comes into play. As social media becomes more professional, mortgage companies have the opportunity to reach out to strategic business partners like real estate agents and builders and develop relationships that can turn into actionable leads.
To give you perspective, five out of six millennials connect with companies on social media, meaning that it is crucial for your company to have an active social media presence where you can engage with your customers. 62 percent of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social media that they are more likely to become a loyal customer.
Well-written and useful content can help educate leads, improve website SEO and attract internet information hunters who trust and respect good sources. Your content can also be shared via social media and can be promoted directly to your targeted audience.
Trust, reliability, customer service, communication, solutions, priority, and speed are just some of things real estate agents cherish. Make sure to have conversations about strategy and goal alignment with your referral partners for a stronger Q1 & Q2. More importantly, add value to them. There are several ways you can create value to your partners, such as:
- Lead Nurturing
Digital marketing is a broad field that relies on the internet and digital devices to attract consumers. The methods are various:
- Solid, easy-to-use website
- Good SEO
- Educational content
- Lead capture & follow up
- Ads & Landing pages
If you are pursuing leads, the only thing that matters is having immediate, predictable, and personalized follow up with purchased leads. They should be immediately prequalified and an appointment should be set for follow up.
Everything you need to generate leads in 2021 is likely already in your database! Before you buy another lead or ask for another referral, shouldn’t you have a clear understanding of what your own database can provide?
Other forms of marketing include video marketing and traditional marketing. This all seems too much? Intent Marketing can help you assess your needs and create the right marketing strategy for your audience market.
Our February mortgage marketing coaching calendar is here! Join us every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during February at 10AM for mortgage marketing topics that will help you build your business for 2021.
Make sure to RSVP, these fill up and we only have 500 seats per day. You will reap tons of value and there is no cost to you. Even better, there is no pitch to use our services.
Be sure to click the link and RSVP to any and all that may be a good fit!
February 1 – TikTok for LOs
February 3 – Clubhouse for LOs
February 5 – Best Mortgage Tech Tools
February 8 – Personalized Marketing
February 10 – Find the Perfect LOA
February 12 – Managing Leads and Loans
February 15 – Mortgage Websites & Content
February 17 – LinkedIn Connection
February 19 – Instagram for Mortgage
February 22 – Facebook Ads 101
February 24 – How to Sell Pre-Approval
February 26 – Video 101
The world of marketing has changed dramatically over the last few years including the use of Facebook and other social networking sites. One very effective way to reach your target market and channel them to your website is the use of Facebook Ads.
Facebook ads are targeted to users based on their location, demographic, and profile information. Whether you want to score new leads or work on referrals, Facebook ads should be a vital part of your strategy. Here is why:
- Facebook has a lot of users – roughly 2 billion people use the platform
- People spend a lot of time on Facebook – the average person spends more than two hours on social media sites every day
- Facebook ads are targeted – you can attract new homebuyers, renters, refinancers, YOU name it
- Facebook ads are a deal – you make the budget, this can be a very inexpensive way to reach tons of people
- Facebook ads work for more than leads – these ads will help get new leads, but also work well for building relationships with your current database
WHERE TO GET STARTED?
The first step to getting started with Facebook ads is to create a business page from which you can advertise.
To create a page, just click the + button in the top right corner and select “Page”.
In addition to a Facebook page, you have the option to create a Facebook Business Manager account. While this is not required, there are several reasons why you would want to do so. For example, if you:
- manage multiple Facebook or Instagram assets such as Facebook Pages, ad accounts or apps
- want complete jurisdiction over your assets without giving ownership to people who assist your business operations
- have multiple people who work on your marketing or manage your Facebook or Instagram business presence
- want to request access to other Pages, ad accounts and apps, or share your own with other agencies.
To create a Business Manager:
- Go to business.facebook.com/overview.
- Click Create Account.
- Enter a name for your business, your name and work email address and click Next.
- Enter your business details and click Submit.
The next step is to set up your Facebook pixel. Pixel is a few lines of code from Facebook that you copy into the header section of your website. This code allows the pixel to receive information about the actions taken on your site to make your Facebook ads more relevant to your audience.
To create a Pixel:
- Go to Facebook Events Manager > Pixels.
- Select Create a Pixel.
- Enter the name for your pixel and select Create to confirm.
- Choose your installation method
There is a wealth of benefits that come with setting up a Facebook pixel, such as to deliver a campaign to reach people who visited a product page but didn’t complete a purchase to encourage them to go back to the website to do so. You can also create an audience of everyone who’s visited your website in the past 30 days (and even lookalike audiences based on data gathered from your website traffic).
If you already have a Facebook business page and a pixel installed, you can head straight to the Facebook Ads Manager or Business Manager to create your Facebook ad campaign.
At this stage, you will notice that your Facebook ad needs 3 parts to run: a campaign, ad set and ad. All these parts make up what’s called the campaign structure. Knowing how they work together will help your ads run the way you want, and reach the right people. Let’s break it down!
Campaign: A campaign is the foundation of your ad. Here, you’ll choose an advertising objective, whether it be awareness, consideration or conversion. Before you create an ad, first consider what your business goals are! For example, if your business goal is to send people to a URL, you’ll likely want to select Traffic as your objective. Conversely, if you want to collect leads for your business, Lead Generation could be your best bet.
Ad set: An ad set tells your ad how to run. At the ad set level, you’ll create an audience for your ad using Facebook’s targeting options. You’ll define your audience by choosing things like location, gender, age and more. You’ll also create a budget and set a schedule for your ad and choose your placements. Keep in mind that a campaign can include multiple ad sets, each with different targeting, scheduling and budgeting options selected.
Ad: Your ad is what your customers or audience will see. At the ad level, you’ll choose your ads creative, which may include things like images, videos, text and a call-to-action button. Learn how to make design ads that work. Keep in mind that you can have multiple ads within a single ad set. This is especially helpful if you are looking to split-test ad copies.
FORMATS OF FACEBOOK ADS
There are five different formats you can choose from. The ad formats you can use depend on your advertising objective. Your objective can also affect the placements (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network) where your ads can appear. Let’s see what they are:
- Image: we recommend using images of your product or brand.
- Video: adding movement to your ads can make them more eye-catching in News Feed.
- Carousel: carousel ads showcase up to 10 images or videos in a single ad, each with its own link.
- Collection: the collection format features multiple products and opens as an Instant Experience when someone interacts with it. Your customers can discover, browse and purchase products from their phones in a visual and immersive way.
TARGETING YOUR AUDIENCE
Who is the kind of person who might become a lead for your mortgage business? There are a number of ways you can define this using Facebook ads, including:
- Location: You can sort by people who live in a specific location and exclude people who are merely traveling to your location. This is great if you live in an area with a lot of tourists.
- Demographics: Choose your audience based on age, gender, education, job title and more. You can keep track of the types of people your ads are reaching, but Facebook will never share personally-identifiable information about them. If you are in the financing or real estate industry, it’s important to know that
- Interests: add interests and hobbies of the people you want your ad to reach—from organic food to action movies—and make your targeted ads more relevant. .
- Behavior: Target your ads based on consumer behaviors such as prior purchases and device usage.
- Connections: Choose to include people who are connected to your Facebook Page or event, or exclude them to find new audiences.
Due to Facebook’s non-discriminatory policies, for ads in special categories (Credit, Employment or Housing), the following audience options are different or unavailable:
Locations: You can target your ads to people by geographic location (such as country, region, state, province, city or congressional district), but not by ZIP code. Specific locations you select will include a 15-mile radius around that targeted city, address or pin-drop. For example, if you want to reach people in the city of Seattle, your audience will also include people within a 15-mile radius of Seattle’s city center.
Age: You can’t edit this option. Audiences must include ages 18 through 65+.
Gender: You can’t edit this option. Audiences must include all genders.
Detailed Targeting: Some demographic, behavior and interest options are unavailable. Excluding any detailed targeting selections is also unavailable.
Audience Expansion: You can’t use targeting expansion or lookalike expansion options if your campaign is part of a Special Ads Category.
As loan officers inevitably fall into this category, drilling down on an audience can sometimes prove incredibly difficult. Along with these restrictions to interests and behavioral targeting, Facebook introduced what it calls a “Special Ad Audience” in the “Ad Set” settings. This means that lookalike audiences are out of question for these types of ads.
The good news is that, apart from the name, these Special Ad Audiences introduced by Facebook are virtually identical to Lookalike Audiences used in the conventional campaign targeting. In fact, they’re created within the same area of Ads Manager with the same menu.
According to Facebook, the Special Ad Audience is filtered to prevent discrimination, although it hasn’t divulged exactly how that happens. As a best practice, we recommend loan officers to upload a list of working leads and create a Special Ad Audience based on it. From there you can play around with some of the detailed targeting features available to narrow the audience down.
Facebook measurement unlocks the potential to optimize your ads, understand your audience and grow your business. One of the greatest things about Ads Manager is that you can see all the basic metrics at a glance. Let’s check some of these performance measurements.
Budget: The maximum amount you’re willing to spend on a campaign on average each day or over the lifetime of your scheduled ads. For example, when you view your campaigns, this column will likely tell you that your campaign uses the ad set’s budget, unless you created a campaign with Campaign Budget Optimization. When you look at ad sets, this column would display the budget you chose when you created your ad set.
Results: The number of times your ad achieved an outcome, based on the objective and settings you selected. For example, if you chose Engagement – Event Response as your campaign objective, your results would display the number of Event Responses attributed to your ad. If you chose Traffic, your results would display the number of link clicks attributed to your ad.
Reach: An estimate of the number of people who saw your ads at least once. Reach is different from impressions, which may include multiple views of your ads by the same people.
Cost per result: The average cost per result from your ads. If you choose Engagement – Event Response, Cost per Result tells you the cost per event response. If you choose Traffic, Cost per Result tells you the cost per link click.
Amount spent: The estimated total you’ve spent on your campaign, ad set or ad during its schedule. For example, this column may display $0.00 for a campaign that’s in review, or $6.57 for a campaign that was recently approved and started running. This number should always be less than your Budget.
Ends: The date your campaign is scheduled to stop running. For example, if you set an end date when you scheduled your ad set, this column would display that date. If you did not choose an end date, this column would say Ongoing.
There are several other metrics that Facebook makes available within Ads Manager. You can customize the columns to show these different metrics and breakdowns by clicking the Columns or Breakdown tabs.
Alternatively, you could use Facebook Analytics to gain more insight into your audience. To access Facebook Analytics, you must be the admin of an event source, like a pixel or app. You can also use Facebook Analytics if you have a role on someone else’s event source in their Business Manager. If you don’t already have a role, you must ask an admin to assign you one.
To open Facebook Analytics on the web, go to https://www.facebook.com/analytics in your browser. Closely monitor how your campaigns perform in the Facebook Ads Manager dashboard. If a campaign isn’t performing well, put your money into an ad that is instead.
If you’re just starting out, it might make sense to run several ads with small audiences and budgets. Once you’ve determined what works best, use the winning ad as your primary campaign.
An unorganized database is a world of missed deals. Fixing your database can create opportunities and help you build relationships with your contacts. Whether you choose to change companies in the future or want to pave the way for future deals, having your database at the ready is key to your business. We have put together an infallible strategy to help you manage your database and put your best foot forward in 2021.
Sign into your CRM or CDP daily
While MS Excel is a database platform, it just isn’t a very good one. Ideally, you will want to make use of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or CDP (Customer Data Platform) and be sure to sign in on a daily basis. Signing in means you understand the importance of each contact, and your goal should be nurturing those relationships.
Add, subtract, delete
As you scrub your database, you will likely encounter a lot of old information. As a rule of thumb, information in your database older than 3 years is probably going to be worthless. Subtracting people you don’t want to work with and deleting bad or old data will keep your database clean and up-to-date. While you are sorting out your contacts, make sure to add all of your referral sources, business associates, friends, neighbors, and anyone in your sphere for that matter. These are people you need to be marketing to.
Segment your audiences
Your next step is to break down your contact list into real estate agents, referral partners (financial advisors, CPAs, other LOs), closed borrowers, interested borrowers, first-time borrowers (renters) and so forth. That way, when you want to send out an email blast, you can filter based on audiences.
Understand personalized marketing
Mortgage marketing is often tone deaf to its audience. If you are sending out a marketing piece for refinances to people who don’t own a home or your marketing is geared toward agents but it’s going to your buyers, you aren’t segmenting correctly or marketing effectively. Think about your audience before creating your marketing strategy each month.
Fill out contact records
Most CRMs have places for notes and many may offer social media linking so you can quickly review what your contact has been up to before making a call. Leaving friendly notes about their favorite things or members of their family also helps make cold calls warmer.
Know your tech
A good martech CRM will have many campaigns to choose from as well as avenues of communication. Know when emails and texts go out so you won’t double up on work or messaging.
Keep it clean
Set aside one day each week when you add, subtract, update and review your data. Remember, this is your life’s work. The bigger your database and the better you treat it, the more you will receive in return.
Be creative. Send messages that will produce a good open rate. Sign in every day and be dedicated to growing your database.
Why ask for referrals when you can be your own best referral source? There’s no doubt that database marketing is the future of lending. If you were to look at a motley bunch of people, how would you pick out the right person who’s interested in a refinance? Chances are you will spend a good chunk of your precious time looking for them or won’t even bother to do so. If you are curating your database correctly and using technology to your advantage, the opportunities are endless. Be sure to know where your database stands and that you can quickly access it.
2021 should be the year where you flip the referral script and start bringing pre-approved customers to agents. This will give you leverage with your partners and produce more referrals. In order to know when your buyers are ready to move forward and that you have a homebuying strategy tailored for each lead, there are a few things you can do:
1. Segment your database into leads, business partners, closed loans, etc.
2. Prioritize your strategy.
3. Create a true profile.
4. Have a marketing plan for each group.
5. Stay relevant and top of mind.
6. Build relationships for increased customer retention.
At Intent, we offer a range of campaigns for every moment in the customer journey your customers might find themselves in. These campaigns even include a missed opportunity campaign in case your customer decides to go a different direction. Often times, people who chose not to go with you will appreciate your reaching out and may even be a source of referrals.
We at Intent would love to help you find the value in your database. Take a minute to watch the video and get in touch with us!
Knowing your audience and personalizing your messaging to each individual is the heart of targeted marketing. Unlike traditional marketing, it boils down to making customers feel like they are the only one you have. This is the secret to creating raving fans who advocate for you to others.
Targeted marketing starts with defining “WHO” specifically is a good fit for a product or service and delivering personalized messages directly to that targeted audience. This is different than starting with “WHAT” the promotional message is, marketing to a broad audience and expecting a reaction. The process involves four stages that can transform a stranger into a promoter of your brand, ultimately.
Attract: The first stage is to attract strangers via keywords, blogs, social publishing and advertising so they become visitors.
Convert: Next up, you’ll work to convert them using effective landing pages, calls-to-action and user-friendly forms.
Close: Leads are then nurtured by your CRM, marketing campaigns and workflows until they close.
Delight: Once they become customers, this is when you’ll send out surveys and small contents that add value to your customers and make them promoters.
If you are creating an email campaign, you need to think about the type of audience you are targeting. It’s important to get a sense of your target market and find out who they are (age, job, school, home etc.), what appeals to them, where they are geographically, what they do in their free time, how connected they are (email, social media, text), and what they do online (shop, search, learn etc.). If you are targeting refinance customers or first-time homebuyers, there are a number of characteristics you can determine right off the bat:
- Willing to shop around for quotes
- Know what they are doing
- Looking for someone to guide them through the process
- Willing to pay more for helpful advice
- Referral driven
Use the characteristics of each audience to craft a tailored marketing message that speaks directly to their needs or concerns. Intent understands the different types of customer journeys and offers a multitude of targeted campaigns.
Now that you know the concepts, here are the steps to creating your own targeted marketing for your business:
- Find your niche: Decide which customers you work best with and market to them. Do you love working with first time homebuyers? Are move-up buyers more your speed? The more you can target your marketing the more success you’ll have with responses.
- Determine the need of your audience: What are your customers looking for that you can provide to them?
- Develop your solution: How are you going to explain to your customers what you can do to help them?
- Market your solution: Reach out to your target audience via text, email and social media letting them know that you can fulfill their need.
- Share your knowledge and engage in your space: Become a member of groups, forums and communities where you can share ideas, tips and more.
There are several ways to reach your audience and find leads, whether going through your database or asking for referrals. Social media ads are likely the most scalable and cost-effective method to get your brand in front of your target market. People who are thinking about refinancing their home and people who are about to move are on social media platforms. Social media advertising allows you to directly target and retarget these people and place highly relevant ads straight into their newsfeed. Think Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google and more.
Intent can create targeted social media ads and landing pages for you! Talk to us to learn how we can help you grow your business.
Mortgage professionals aiming to form lasting relationships with real estate partners can do the one thing that agents value more than anything: help them generate buyer and seller leads, which they can use to fill their pipeline. Building relationships where customers and business partners become your best advocate is key to a successful mortgage business. Realtors should recognize and remember our brand, relate to your values, and recommend you to others.
Be sure to know your best agents. If you don’t know where to start, a good idea is to go through all of your closed deals and see where the bulk of your business came from. With this information on hand, you are able to hone your strategies for 2021 and prioritize the partners to focus on. Developing strong partnerships require some basic steps that are often overlooked. Here are six simple tips to help mortgage professionals build future referral sources.
- Be Proactive
For Realtors, it is frustrating when they have to contact you to see the status of a file. Don’t wait for someone to call you. Intent has an in-process workflow that notifies your business partners at milestones in the loan process via text AND email. The process is entirely automated and ensures that you won’t ever forget to update your partners.
- Be Honest and Set Expectations
Real estate agents understand that not every lender can originate every loan. If an agent comes to you with a buyer and you are not confident you can close it, express that to the referral partner right away so they don’t have expectations that won’t be met.
- Create Value
Provide relevant information and education that can be of value to your real estate partners. Intent sends weekly and monthly emails to your real estate partners on your behalf providing them with valuable information, such as the latest news in the real estate industry.
- Look for Connections
With technology playing a large part in sales, make sure to take advantage of social media to contact agents. Make a list of the 10 agents that you want to work with and start creating those relationships.
- Do Your Research
Realtors are more likely to speak with you if you have a product that fits the clientele that they concentrate on. For instance, if you have a strong jumbo-loan product, search for jumbo listings in your target areas and contact those agents concentrating on that product.
- Be Prepared
Decide what sets you apart when it comes to helping real estate agents grow their business and have that ready when you connect with new agents. Try to arrange a meeting to go over the ideas you have for working together.
Referrals, however, do not come from real estate agents alone. They may come from home builders, CPAs, your professional sphere, phone and internet leads and a previous customer database. These are referrals that you could send over to your best agents, for example. This is a great way to add value to them and build a stronger partnership. In addition, you could look through your database for former customer and potential buyers and ask or refer friends, neighbors and family.
If your current agents aren’t selling you, take some time coach them up. There are a few things you can do:
- Write out 5-10 of the most important parts to partnerships so you and your agents are all on the same page
- Ask what tools they need
- Send them books you like
- Ask to meet about building your partnerships quarterly
Lastly, make sure to show your appreciation. When was the last time you just sent a video message to your agents for being awesome? When was the last time you did something for your agents to say THANK YOU? While you must be careful of RESPA, you should always take care of people and show your gratitude.