Ugh. There is nothing harder than ranking your website on Google when it is new and the competition is fierce. But since we happen to be SEO experts who can optimize websites well, it’s been rewarding to watch our website go from page 7 in January to the top of page 3.
But each week when we Google ourselves (you have to love that Google is a noun and a verb), we are always competing against mortgage lead providers and CRMs. But the reality is that there are very few mortgage technologies or mortgage lead gen providers that have real mortgage marketing prowess.
Mortgage Marketing may not be the right keywords to measure ourselves as a mortgage marketing agency by, as we do so many other things. Ranking for the following keywords are every bit as important for our growth as “mortgage marketing” or “best mortgage marketing” are.
Mortgage Website SEO
Mortgage Website Optimization
Mortgage Website Content
Mortgage Sales Coaching
Mortgage Texting Platform
And the list goes on and on and on. Mortgage originators and brokers come to us asking for their sites to be ranked higher on Google and we have to do the same exercises with them. Organic SEO, while time consuming, is an amazing way to build SEO.
How will you rank? It depends on what is important. The word “mortgage” itself may not be the right key word while “refinance” is a big hit. Working with experts in SEO is the way to go if your goal is better lift from Google. Just make sure to Google the company that you are thinking about using. If they aren’t ranking on the first page, what makes you think you will by using their services?
(And yes, we know we are on page 3, but that’s not bad after only really trying for 90 days with this new site!)
Over the past seven years in the mortgage CRM space, we have often heard the adage that the best mortgage CRM “is the one you use.”
But let’s be realistic, mortgage originators don’t want another piece of software that they have to manage each day. What they want is smart marketing done by industry experts that is automated, personal, and brings in business.
Mortgage CRMs, and there are a lot of them, are great for certain things, but we much prefer being in the Customer Data Platform (CDP) model. Intent provides data intelligence, segments your audiences, learns your objectives, and builds smart campaigns via email, SMS, and social media channels designed to initiate, engage, close, retain, and create new business.
Your mortgage CRM certainly does not do that for you. These critical pieces need to be built in by experts. Contact us at Intent so we can show you how we use our CDP to move the needle for our customers. Mortgage marketing is an art – let artists paint while you close the leads.
Gaining subscribers is one of the best ways to grow your mortgage marketing brand on your YouTube channel. By attracting subscribers to your YouTube channel, you retain attention. According to the YouTube Creator Academy, subscribers watch twice as much video as non-subscribers. So, the more subscribers you have on your YouTube channel, the more watch time your videos will gain and the more likely they are to be ranked highly by YouTube or featured in the “related” section.
Here are some ways you can leverage your mortgage marketing efforts to gain more subscribers on YouTube:
Create engaging content – Creating amazing content that will engage your viewers is the best way to increase the number of your followers. YouTube has created an algorithm that rewards engagement using metrics like watch time, view duration, audience retention, and more. Are you looking for some great mortgage marketing video ideas? Check out this article.
Utilize playlists to keep viewers watching – By placing your videos in playlists, you are presenting content in a fashion that is easy for viewers to digest. Try placing your videos with the highest engagement at the beginning of the playlist and end each video with something that will entice your viewers to keep watching.
Add a CTA at the end of your videos – After completing a video, viewers will determine if they want to keep watching more. Add a subscription CTA at the end of each video that makes it easy for viewers to click and subscribe to your channel.
Create captivating thumbnails – Video thumbnails can affect search rankings on YouTube and subscriber growth. YouTube places a high importance on a video’s clickthrough rate during its first hour on the platform, so having a captivating thumbnail that entices viewers to click is important. Learn more about mortgage marketing video thumbnails here.
Engage with viewers – Across all platforms of social media, one of the best practices for retaining and acquiring new followers is to interact with your audience. On YouTube, it is important to respond to every comment. Read more about responding to comments on social media here.
Promote within other content – Share your videos across your other social media channels and in your blog posts. The more people you can reach across different channels, the more views your videos will likely attract.
To learn more about video mortgage marketing, click here.
Looking for more ways to increase your mortgage marketing efforts? Intent can help you! Contact us today to learn how we can assist you in growing your business.
Homebuyers engage the services of a mortgage broker or mortgage banker because they want to feel guided by an expert while purchasing their home. That human connection is going to become all the more vital as the mortgage process continues its journey toward digitalization. But if you are operating a conveyor belt approach to your business and ignoring your borrowers once they close, you are missing out on the opportunity to engage your best brand advocates.
Preparing them to be your biggest cheerleader starts at the moment you meet them. It’s obvious to say that you should be giving exceptional client care, but you need to check in with them during the process to make sure it’s all going smoothly. Once you have closed, prepare them for how appreciated their support moving forward will be to your mortgage business.
The following is the checklist that we use to produce loan love:
- Connect with your buyers on social media platforms.
- Give them a stellar experience.
- Check in with them during the mortgage loan process to see if everything is going well.
- Communicate with them using their preferred method – call, text, or email.
- Prepare them for anything negative while remaining positive.
- Close with no hassles.
- Get a testimonial video or written shoutout.
- Promote the closing with tagging on social media platforms.
- Give them the tools that they need to share their experience working with you.
- Send them excellent, timely information post-closing about how to unpack, ignore junk mail, add equity, and more.
Only THEN should you ask for referrals. Once plenty of time has passed, check in with them. Do a six-month gift. Continue to have a “real” social media relationship with them.
What is a Mortgage CDP?
In the world of mortgage, there are more acronyms than you can shake a stick at. (Also, please stop shaking that stick. People are talking.) From FHA to NMLS to RESPA – and everything in between – the last thing mortgage originators need is yet another series of letters to learn.
Which is why for years Intent was stuck in the bucket of mortgage CRMs. We hated it, because what we actually have is a CDP, or Customer Data Platform. What exactly does a mortgage CDP do?
Mortgage customer data platforms (CDPs) are mortgage marketing solutions that allow you to understand your data, create ideal customer profiles, segment your audience into B2B and B2C marketing efforts, and allow you to receive automated data intelligence. Each person in your database has a profile with data collected from LinkedIn, including their contact information, picture, purchase history, email history, marketing journey, and sales strategy reminders. Your mortgage CDP should deliver opportunity, but it will always be every bit as useful as the data that you put into it.
Mortgage CRMs are machines for the loan process. Mortgage CDPs are the heart and soul of the mortgage sales and marketing process. When all data is unified, clean, segmented, and marketed to, the difference is nothing short of extraordinary. When you have data specialists who you engage to find all potential opportunities, you have something truly special.
Combine Intent’s mortgage CDP power with the data intelligence that we are able to partner with and you stop being able to count the number of opportunities that exist. Knowledge is power. You don’t need 100 leads if you have 100 personalized marketing journeys in your current database.
Already using a CRM at your company? Keep it. Let your LOA and your processor use it to update people on their loan status. But a successful, modern sales guru knows that the future of marketing is taking the lead in your market with how you present yourself. A mortgage CDP can help with that.
Change the game. Be first in line. And for $200 per month, it’s almost crazy not to at least try it out. Plus, you can hire our team to clean your data, connect it, segment it, and create personal campaigns JUST FOR YOU! Start making your data actionable and your marketing incredible.
Welcome to the Intent family, Liberty Home Mortgage!
Intent is thrilled to be working with Liberty Home Mortgage to build their mortgage marketing strategy and provide them with exceptional mortgage technology to better their business. At Intent, we strive to deliver personalization into every step of the mortgage process to engage homebuyers and not only increase their strength as a lead but turn them into a customer for life.
Headquartered in Ohio, Liberty Home Mortgage is a trusted lender serving 30 states across the U.S. Liberty is a direct lender offering almost all residential-type home loans to fit various financial situations. With a phenomenal reputation in the mortgage industry, Liberty prides itself on its knowledge and responsiveness, offering customer support seven days a week.
Intent could not be prouder to partner with such a leading company.
Are you interested in learning how Intent can help your mortgage business? Contact us today! We have a variety of programs to fit almost any mortgage marketing need.
Everyone is searching for the silver bullet in mortgage marketing, but there are some very simple things you can implement today to make yourself stand out better from the crowd.
- Update your headshot. We know you love a classic, but if your picture is more than three years old, it’s time for a new professional headshot. No time? Stand outside in nice clothes and have a friend snap one with a phone.
- Update your signature. (Intent rants on this topic.) We get it. But really, stop with the signature madness. Keep it simple, clean, and make sure the links work.
- Update your graphics. Has it been a while since you changed the mortgage marketing graphics on your social media channels? A fresh look might be needed. Ask your company for social media graphics or create them on your own in Canva. Not an artist? Have someone make one for you on fiverr.
- Ask people to “add you” to their phone. Update your own phone profile with your mortgage company name or even change your name to be John Smith- mortgage to make finding you in the future easier.
- Reintroduce yourself in a clever video for social media. When is the last time you told people in your sphere what you do? Do a fun “getting to know me” video.
- Create a branded homebuyer’s guide. How do you do business? Show people what they can expect when they use you to buy a home, and what to expect from the mortgage process.
- Revamp your website. Perception is reality. If your website is old and doesn’t work, it conveys the message that you are as well. Engage a marketing mortgage marketing company (Hi!) to create something personal that will result in sales.
- Sign into your tech. When is the last time you went through all your tech accounts and signed in? What can you eliminate? What could you be using better?
- Commit to making a video each week. Even if it’s just about what you are seeing in the market, being comfortable in front of the camera will make a big difference.
- Create a YouTube channel. Start building your personal brand with the videos that you make. Share these on your mortgage marketing website and across your social media channels.
- Audit your social media accounts. Are you on Instagram? Twitter? YouTube? TikTok? LinkedIn? Are these updated? Did you brand them to your business? Are you putting out content?
- Ask your best agent to do a zoom video with you. Interview your best agent. Tell success and failure stories.
- Build a referral list. Homebuyers need everything when they move into a home and since you are a trusted resource, send them a list of everyone you trust from interior design to landscaping companies. This also helps forge partnerships with your vendors and hopefully leads to referrals from them to you.
- Have lead buying conversations. Been forking over money for leads for more than six months with one of your agents? Do some analytics and plan a meeting to review whether it is working. Come to the table with ideas and solutions.
- Host online seminars. Teach people about credit. Talk to renters about their financial future.
- Find new vendors for THANK YOU gifts. Chances are local artists and purveyors have new products. Ask people to vote for ideas or connect you with vendors on social media.
- Update your testimonials. With so many companies offering compliant testimonials, it’s time to move into the digital age. Sign up with a company that will collect and post these for you.
- Connect to new agents. Each week, you should make it your goal to talk to three new agents. Connect on social and start TALKING.
Don’t have the digital prowess to tackle some or all of your mortgage marketing needs? Our team at Intent can create, design, and even run each of these steps for you. Ask us how!
Modern mortgage marketing in the Covid era requires creativity and that’s one of the specialties of Shannon Dolce-Winch. In this interview, Kelly Yale from Intent Marketing and Shannon discuss ways that loan officers can stay top-of-mind with their customers as well as their referral partners for the holidays and beyond. Experiential mortgage marketing is the next frontier! We share the transcripts below.
0:00:06.6 Kelly: Hey everybody, it’s Kelly from Intent. And I’m so excited today because our special guest is Shannon Winch. And not only have we been friends for a number of years and share a number of clients, but she is a phenomenal human being, in general, but certainly knows her stuff when it comes to staying relevant with the people in your database, as well as your realtors. So Shannon, I’m gonna let you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do.
0:00:32.7 Shannon Dolce-Winch: Thanks, Kelly. So everybody, thanks for having me on here. I am actually with Jack Nadel International, which is a promotional products and branding agency. And so my days are spent really working with my clients and helping them to find ways to brand themselves to stay relevant in their industries and to make sure that they are taking the opportunities in the marketplace to stay in front of their clients, to utilize creative products and methodologies in order to stay relevant.
0:01:14.8 Kelly: I know that you do a lot with personal branding because you have the ability to take someone’s personal brand or corporate brand and really put their logos on things that are super cool that people actually wanna use, that people actually want to receive. I think one of the coolest parts about really having a strong brand across mortgage companies is when folks have a strong logo and a strong brand identity. And then the people really get behind that, and are always taking pictures, and the shirts and the hats. That makes a big difference in really representing your brand.
0:01:49.7 SD: You bet, you bet. Culture is everything. And creating a culture for a client is something that really has to happen internal to them. So every company, every person has kind of their own thing. And taking that, working with them, getting to know them and finding ways to bring that to market with them is really fun. I think one of the things that I love about what I do and what Jack Nadel offers, in particular, is that there’s a lot of companies in the ad specialty industry or ASI, so promotional products, if you will. And anybody can take a pen, and you would slap a logo on a pen, or you’ve got a ChapStick, and you slap a logo on a ChapStick. And then you’d go to an event and you’re handing out your pens and you’re handing out your ChapSticks. The question is: When somebody goes to use that ChapStick, does it smell like something? Does it have a whole sense to it? Are we creating an experience with something as simple as a ChapStick? Or are we just throwing stuff out there thinking, “Okay, I spent $0.27 on this ChapStick, and I’m gonna hand it out to everybody that I know because it has my NMLS number, my name, my phone number, my email. People are gonna reach out to me because I gave them a ChapStick.” The reality is people experience something like a ChapStick or a… I should say lip balm because ChapStick is copyrighted. So there I go, doing something that I’m not supposed to do. [chuckle]
0:03:26.5 Kelly: Okay.
0:03:28.5 SD: But creating, so going into a particular season, we have the ability to work with our vendors to really create an experience. I’d like to say that we curate experiences for folks. So going into the holidays, we’re in October right now, and a lot of people don’t realize what it takes from a time standpoint, to really create a marketing campaign. And so I think that’s really one of the things that professionals like myself bring to the table, is that we can work with a client and say, “Plan ahead.” There are some real keystone pieces to how I like to work with clients and help them to approach their marketing. I’m always begging people, “Share your calendar with me. If you’ve got a golf tournament next July, don’t wait until July to tell me about it. Tell me about it now, because what I do and what my team does is we get that on our calendars. And so then, we’re setting reminders to reach out to people.” Most folks don’t understand that a great marketing campaign can take anywhere between six and eight weeks.
0:04:43.0 Kelly: Okay.
0:04:44.3 SD: From thought process to launch, you’re a good six to eight weeks into that. And that’s probably the biggest challenge, is helping to educate our clients on what all goes into everything. So in that six… If people would say, “Six to eight weeks. Why would it take that long?” Well, when you consider, we look at a date and then we back everything up. So if you consider four days for shipping, if you wanna ship ground, unless you really wanna pay expedited shipping, you figure two weeks production time, you figure two weeks for samples and confirmations and making decisions, and you can really figure about a week to get ideas and decks from our team for that particular event. So when you break all of that out and explain it to somebody, they’re like, “Oh, wow! Now, I get it. Now, I get it.” So I always say, I always feel like it’s important whether it’s if somebody’s working with me or they’re working with one of my colleagues, find somebody that you really connect with in terms of, from a brand perspective, somebody that you enjoy working with, because you’re gonna spend a lot of time with them. [chuckle]
0:06:00.5 Kelly: Yeah.
0:06:03.9 SD: And really plan. Plan out your year, plan out the season. If you need to go quarterly, go quarterly. But getting ahead of the game is probably the biggest piece that I can’t emphasize enough.
0:06:16.2 Kelly: Well, and that’s why I definitely wanted to talk to you right now. Because this is a time of year where all loan officers are thinking about, “What am I gonna do to thank my referral partners or thank my database? Or all my closed borrowers through the years, what can I do for them?” And our hands are very tied because of the current environment that we’re in. And so it’s not as simple as just going out and doing something. So I love sort of creating that experience, and I’ve seen some of the things that you do, and that’s, for me, the big thing. I think if you’re a subscriber of a FabFitFun Box or if you do those little boxes, the subscription boxes that you get, that moment is you read, you open it, and even if you don’t love everything inside of that box, you’re so tickled by this idea that someone had. Put this thing together, to use your word, curated, things that are perfect for you, but it’s like our days are so long. We don’t know what’s around the corner with COVID, and to be able to present a beautiful gift to someone that comes to their house, that speaks to how you do business and how you care about them. I think that’s everything. So what are you seeing in terms of trends for what people are doing for the holidays?
0:07:42.0 SD: Oh, my gosh! One of the biggest trends that we’re seeing, and something that we have implemented, is virtual events. People are really… It’s all over the place. And regardless of where you are, politically, the bottomline is that people are nervous about getting together. And I think we’ve seen just a lot of the ups and the downs over the last eight months, with, “Do we get together? Do we have a small group? Do we have a large group? Do we not get together at all?” And so we, at Jack Nadel, have put together a whole series of virtual events that our clients are taking advantage of. And so from soup to nuts, we take care of it. Helping to set up what we refer to as a microsite, which allows us to collect the data needed to send out a perfectly curated gift for that particular event. So if somebody decides that they want to do a virtual cooking event, or a tequila-tasting, or a honey-tasting, or a yoga class, or… There’s so many different things that we can do.
0:08:50.2 SD: And all of those kinds of events really can change from location to location. I’m based in Denver, so what we do here is very different than what folks are doing in the South. It’s very different from what folks are doing in Los Angeles. And so we really try to look at, “Who are we reaching out to?” And when I say we, it’s me and my team, and our client and their team looking at: Who do you wanna reach? What kind of an impact do you wanna have? So these virtual events have become a real thing. And I think even as we start to go back into the office and getting together more and more, I think we’re gonna see more of these kinds of virtual events, because my feeling is that people are more inclined to engage in those kinds of things when they don’t have to take time away from family.
0:09:47.3 Kelly: Right.
0:09:47.4 SD: So if we create… I’m working with a client right now, and we’re putting together, basically, a pizza party. And so we’ll send out, literally, a kit that will have everything that they need for this pizza. They’ll also have a list of things that they’ll need to have on hand before the webinar, namely, whatever toppings you wanna put on the pizza. But we had a request for gluten-free, so when we set up the microsite, people can go on there and say, “You know, I want a regular pizza,” or, “I want a gluten-free pizza.” This is not something that just the person… So if it’s a mortgage broker, loan officer, branch manager working with their real estate agents, it doesn’t have to just be your real estate agents. Their kids can take part in this.
0:10:41.5 Kelly: Oh, wow!
0:10:44.5 SD: Whoever’s in the house, and it’s crazy because you get this whole screen of people, and it’s all these different people who really maybe don’t interact with each other. So it’s an opportunity to network, it’s an opportunity for one realtor to meet another realtor, for industry people to come together in a way that’s much more meaningful, I think, than just, “Hey, we’re gonna meet at such and such bar and restaurant, and we’ll have cocktails and appetizers, and happy holidays!” It’s more about connection. And I think that is probably the key piece that we have seen, really, in the last seven months, is that people are connecting differently. We’ve gotten back to basics in our homes, those of us… Kelly, you and I with teenagers. Teenagers don’t wanna spend time with their moms, right?
0:11:43.0 Kelly: No.
0:11:44.3 SD: But the last eight months, we’ve spent time with our kids. We’ve had conversations that never would have happened if we weren’t all stuck in the house. And so things like… And they’re all controversial, but watch TikTok, get on social media and see what’s happening out there. I especially encourage people to get on Instagram, and the ads that come up and the different things that pop up. You were talking about FabFit, fab fun. I don’t subscribe to that one…
0:12:20.5 Kelly: Working from home? I don’t know…
0:12:22.9 SD: Oh, yeah, there you go. I locked mine upstairs because they have that big going ballistic.
0:12:28.8 Kelly: There it is, yup. So yeah, sorry about the dog, that’s just…
0:12:35.8 SD: Oh, no worries. [chuckle]
0:12:36.8 Kelly: That’s our life right now. Lou, stop. There’s, you can’t do anything about a doorbell and a dog anymore, I just am telling you.
0:12:42.9 SD: Definitely.
0:12:43.5 Kelly: So I love the fact… So I am so tickled by this concept of really curating these experiences because I preach and preach and preach and preach the concept to people, that you need to have a tribe of real estate agents around you.
0:13:00.1 SD: Oh, without a doubt.
0:13:00.2 Kelly: You need to have those people know one another. Be a group. And so getting a bunch of agents together and saying, “Hey, we’re gonna do a tequila-tasting on this day, and we’re all gonna get to know each other, and we’re going to… I’m gonna send this thing to your house.” That’s just an incredible thing. I love it, I love it so much.
0:13:16.1 SD: Inevitably, somebody’s dog’s gonna start barking. And some of the craziest stuff on these Zooms has happened, and you get a kid in their pajamas streak across behind you and you’re like, “Man! Don’t worry about that.” [chuckle]
0:13:30.0 Kelly: I feel like people are also so… We’re all… It’s very rare that you can find sort of a common denominator across all people. Everybody has different takes on life, and everybody has different experiences in industries they work in, and yet, we are all exactly the same in we are all doing this from home. We don’t know what’s gonna happen, we don’t know, we don’t… But there’s such a togetherness just in that part. So doorbell rings, dog barks, normally, you’d be like, “Oh, we gotta start this whole thing again,” but people are gonna be like, “Yeah, Zoom and quarantine. You just get it. No problem.” [chuckle]
0:14:05.3 SD: Roll with it. Perfect. No problem. Keep on rolling it.
0:14:07.9 Kelly: Just keep on rolling it. [chuckle]
0:14:09.1 SD: You bet, you bet.
0:14:10.3 Kelly: If people are interested in learning more about what you do, how can they get a hold of you? What do they do?
0:14:16.6 SD: Oh, my gosh! Super easy! I’m an email away.
0:14:19.2 Kelly: Okay.
0:14:20.9 SD: My email is shannon.dolce, D-O-L-C-E, which is my maiden name, and it’s been my professional contact for years. So shannon.dolce@madel, M-A-D-E-L, dot com. Super easy!
0:14:35.2 Kelly: Fabulous! I’m gonna put that at the end of the video as well. Thank you so much for your time today. I just, I’m so grateful for your friendship and your partnership over these years, and I just love you to pieces. So I’m just really grateful for you taking a few minutes today to talk to our community at large about what they can do to make an impact with their real estate agents and their database in a time where they can’t get out and actually network in person.
0:15:00.0 SD: Yes, you bet. I do wanna leave everybody with one little piece.
0:15:04.9 Kelly: Yes.
0:15:05.5 SD: So one little nugget. Gifting is a very personal thing. And what I would encourage people to do is, from a standard perspective, look at two to three basic things that you can put into a gift, and then use the acronym NYC. Everybody thinks that’s New York City. I look at that and it’s Notice Your Client. So here we are on a Zoom, and you can see things behind me. You can see what my world is behind me. Notice those things about your client. So notice your client, and in those gifting experiences, you’re gonna have a couple, two to three items that are gonna be real generic, real basic things that you can stock up on. And then look for items that you think that particular person might like, because you’ve noticed them, you’ve taken an interest in who they are, and what their life is. And any time that we can do something that’s meaningful to another human being, we’re creating a relationship that’s gonna last, and a loyalty that will carry over. So happy hunting, happy marketing, and thanks so much for having me.
0:16:23.0 Kelly: Alright, thank you, Shannon. We’ll talk to you soon.
0:16:25.5 SD: Alright, bye.[music]
Watch the entire video on experiential mortgage marketing below!
Kelly Yale from Intent Marketing had a virtual chat with superstar loan officer Ali Dubois from Atlantic Bay Mortgage on how she managed to make mortgage an approachable and fun process to clients and real estate agents alike. To watch the video, scroll on down!
0:00:06.5 Kelly: Hey, everybody is Kelly, At Intent, and I am more than delighted today to introduce to you Ali Dubois from Atlantic Bay Mortgage. I have known Ali for a long time, almost 10 years now I guess it’s really a long time.
0:00:21.8 Ali Dubois: I think seven years, yeah.
0:00:23.3 Kelly: Seven years.
0:00:23.8 AD: But basically 10.
0:00:25.7 Kelly: It’s been unbelievable to watch Ali’s success mostly because one of the things I admire so much about Ali is the way that she literally created her own path through her career, she has blazed her own trail, she knew who she wanted to be in the mortgage space and it’s just been so cool. So Ali, thank you so much for joining us, I’m delighted to talk to you today.
0:00:52.0 AD: Well, thank you for having me.
0:00:53.8 Kelly: Of course. Okay, so just to give people a little bit of background. So we’ve known each other for this length of time because we used to work together at Fairway and when I first met you, you were on your way for a successful loan officer who worked at Fairway.
0:01:06.1 AD: Yep.
0:01:07.0 Kelly: And you had the opportunity to basically be handed a book of business, and you were like, “No, I think I’m gonna blaze my own path. [chuckle]
0:01:19.6 AD: Well, yeah that, but also I was terrified to sell, I thought it was super scary to be in a loan officer role, I was happy being an assistant and I thought that it seemed like a very overwhelming and stressful job, so I didn’t feel ready for it. And then fast forward things changed and I felt ready and I was happy I was kinda able to do it my own way.
0:01:45.6 Kelly: But now what was interesting to me was that if I look back at your career five years ago I feel like the things that you were most nervous about were just things that you hadn’t really developed your own sense of style within. Does that make sense?
0:02:03.2 AD: For sure.
0:02:03.4 Kelly: You had mentors who showed you how they did it.
0:02:07.1 AD: Yes.
0:02:07.6 Kelly: Who were incredible mentors.
0:02:09.5 AD: Yes.
0:02:10.2 Kelly: But it wasn’t your way.
0:02:12.2 AD: Nailed it, yeah, yeah.
0:02:14.1 Kelly: So one of the things I love, and Ali is phenomenal to follow on Instagram, it’s Queen City lender, is that correct?
0:02:21.8 AD: Yeah.
0:02:22.4 Kelly: Agreed. Your Instagram for being a loan officer to me is absolutely phenomenal, because you have such a great way of not only teaching the people who are following you how they can buy a house, but also connecting with your real estate agents and promoting the things that they’re doing, but in a really fun way that’s relatable to people. Talk to me about how you exist within that Instagram world.
0:02:48.6 AD: Wow, thank you. So let’s be very honest, mortgages are boring, they’re not super exciting and it’s not something that the average person knows a lot about. And so I try to make my social media and my business in general very relatable and easy to understand, so that people feel like they are empowered to make smart decisions. I want people to feel comfortable and confident to reach out to me any time they have a question, and so I try and encourage that through fun social media and partnering with my real estate agents, to promote them and try and make… Especially the first time we realized that it is something that’s totally doable.
0:03:39.0 Kelly: Well, and one of the buzzwords for the last forever, especially the last five years is millennials, millennials, millennials, how to sell to millennials. And I’m like well, millennials are humans so we’re just selling to human beings who happen to be of a different age bracket, but I also see the pictures of your closings, I see who you sell to and all of those people are your age.
0:04:04.0 AD: Yeah.
0:04:04.7 Kelly: Do you think that that comes from a little bit of just… I think that it’s… And obviously I want your opinion, but it seems like people are able to relate to you and they’re not intimidated to ask you questions whereas they might be… They wanna feel like they’re going to mom and dad’s banker.
0:04:21.9 AD: Right, yeah, exactly. Yeah, I try very hard to explain things in a way that I would want things explained to me. Because before I got a mortgage, I didn’t like numbers very much, I didn’t find mortgages very interesting. But if you’re buying a house, is something that you need to be educated on, and so I pride myself in being able to explain it and make it something that everyone can understand. And also if humanly possible, make it fun, so that it’s not grandpas mortgage banker.
0:05:00.6 Kelly: And I think that that is an element that truly you embody but that people really need to grab a hold of, because that’s the key to relating to your audience. Obviously geographically in Charlotte you live in a place where a lot of younger people live, and it’s a different vibe, and it’s fun and it’s relaxed, and that’s what you wanna feel like, you wanna feel like you’re talking to somebody who’s really smart but somebody who really understands you.
0:05:27.1 AD: Yeah. Sometimes it’s scary to ask a question to someone who seems so much older and so experienced, because you don’t wanna feel like you’re asking them a stupid question. But if your mortgage banker is your age, then you can fire off a quick text and say, “Hey, this may be a silly question but just curious,” it’s just so much less intimidating, and I feel like that’s where I really relate with people of my own age.
0:05:53.1 Kelly: Would you say that the majority of business you do is first time home buyers?
0:05:57.1 AD: Yeah, I would say it’s a majority is first time home buyers or move-up buyers. So people that I helped with mortgages a couple of years ago are already ready to move into something else. It’s kind of my clients buy condos uptown and then they live in them for a couple of years and then they buy a dog or they get engaged and they need more space and then they move into a home in one of the neighborhoods that are surrounding uptown. So yeah, I’d say it’s majority first time buyers starting to buy one.
0:06:23.4 Kelly: And really from a loan officer’s perspective that’s gotta be the ideal, right? You’ve got people who are young and buying, who then three to five years they’re gonna move into a bigger place, refinance their places, refinance their place, move into a bigger place. And so that’s kind of a pipeline that as long as you are really respectful to the relationship that you have and you’re adding value to that relationship, that’s one that’s gonna go on forever.
0:06:46.7 AD: Yeah. I totally agree and that’s why it’s just so incredibly important to stay upfront for those people as they go through those life changes whether it be through CRM or gifts, or social media, whatever it is, that will allow me to be a part of all of their future changes and transitions.
0:07:07.8 Kelly: So, I actually interviewed Jenny Steiner, who we both know, I was talking to her about coaching. But the thing that I always, always believed, and she believes so strongly, is in this concept of having a realtor squad, a group of friends who are not afraid to be friends with other people who are in competition with them. And you are so amazing at truly forming friendships with the people who you respect in the industry, who you wanna work with, who you end up getting along with, can you speak to that a little bit?
0:07:43.4 AD: Yeah, it’s funny. My fiance Trey always says that all of my friends are realtors now, but a lot of them really are. I love my realtor partners. And so, yeah, I think I’ve been blessed to find people that are very like-minded, people that are similar in age, have similar interests, have similar ways of wanting to handle transactions, we’re all a little type A and we wanna make sure they’re perfect, and that our clients have an awesome experience. And in finding those people and forging friendships, they’ve all forged friendships with each other, and I just feel like we’ve got such an awesome community, of people who work together, not necessarily in competition, but in building each other up. I feel like it’s just such a blessing, everybody wants to support each other, not compete with each other.
0:08:36.9 Kelly: Absolutely, and there’s something… What you said, they were so smart. And I agree with that wholeheartedly. It’s not even so much about like, “Oh, I’m gonna refer you to one of the lenders that I work with.” When your real estate agents are referring their customers, not only do they trust the transaction is gonna go well with you, but they can relate to you so well, and have zero problem saying, “You can trust this person. I completely trust this person.” So, I really think that’s great. I know this will probably… I’m not sure it might be a little embarrassing, but hopefully not. One of the things that I always think about with you, and obviously we’re friends and you always know that… I don’t think I can point to anybody who’s a loan officer currently who I could be more proud of their journey. But it’s so amazing to me to think back to the first time we ever did video, and you were so nervous.
0:09:34.0 AD: Oh, yeah.
0:09:34.5 Kelly: And I was trying to convince you you were gonna be amazing, and you were like, “I don’t think so.” And then we turned the camera on and you were so great. And I was like, “Are you watching this?” And you were just like, “I don’t know.” And now, you are the queen of videos. So, tell me about how great video has been working for you.
0:09:51.1 AD: Yeah. So I am actually now a big proponent of video. I still get nervous, it’s uncomfortable for everybody to get on video. I don’t think anybody loves going on video, but I think it’s key, because I feel like when I’m putting videos out on social media, or I’ll send some videos to my referral partners with updates of what’s going on in the industry, I feel like every time that somebody sees my face, they feel like they know me, and in a sense they trust me. It feels like we’ve been on 10 meetings because you’ve seen me 10 times. You’ve heard me talk, it’s just so much more relatable than reading an email, or a text message, or even just talking on the phone. On the phone, you can at least hear a tone, but on a video, you can see someone’s face and really make a connection with them. And that has been super key for me. I can’t tell you how many times people will reach out and say, “Oh, my gosh, I actually know you from the video that you posted on Instagram, and my friend shared it.” And it just gives us a connection off the bat, where it feels like we’ve kinda had a little bit of friendship forged before we even met.
0:11:04.8 Kelly: Oh, yeah. One of the things we have always coached people up with is after you have that initial phone call, just turn your phone around and just do a quick video and be like, “Hey, here’s how you can put the name to the face. This is who I am, so excited to work with you. It’s gonna be an awesome transaction.” That move takes 60 seconds of your time. But then they really do get to see you, and exactly who you are, and it makes a huge difference when you send something like that. That’s absolutely true.
0:11:31.2 AD: Totally agree, 100%.
0:11:33.6 Kelly: Talk to me about Atlantic Bay. Why do you love it?
0:11:37.1 AD: Oh, wow. I love Atlantic Bay. So, I moved to Atlantic Bay in March of this year, and I would say my favorite thing about Atlantic Bay for me as a loan officer, is the culture. And all of my co-workers are such good people, but also supportive of each other. We are constantly in contact helping each other, if we run into a situation, which is all the time in mortgages, where we see something that we’re not quite sure how best to handle it, we send it out to everybody in the company and everyone chimes in with referrals and suggestions and opinions on how to help each other through situations. And it feels like for my clients, instead of just having one set of eyes, or one opinion on a situation, I’ve got the support of everybody in Atlantic Bay diving in to help me figure out how to best make the situation perfect for our clients and realtor partners.
0:12:37.6 Kelly: That’s awesome. And you have always had a very strong opinion about how your team works. And because you’ve got a great partner in Melinda, and talk to us a little bit about how your team dealt with Melinda.
0:12:56.3 AD: Yeah. So, Melinda has been doing mortgages for decades. Melinda’s got all of the knowledge and experience. She is so into problem solving, and she loves to be in the files, looking at the details, and I love being client-facing, and I love nurturing the clients and the referral partners and really being their liaison through this entire journey, like the liaison between the client and the mortgage company. I like to be a friend and helper to them and willing to do work in the files. And so, our partnership is perfect for us because when we have a new client apply with us, Melinda is in the background and she is pre-reviewing all of the documentation, scouting bank statements, looking at pay stubs and detail, reviewing tax returns, and making sure that we have very accurate numbers, so that when the client’s file goes into underwriting, it is polished and clean and perfect. And so underwriter loves our file, and the client has an easy experience because she reviewed everything in such detail in advance.
0:14:06.7 Kelly: And I just think that it’s… Not only is it really smart that you have formulated your team like that, but I also think it’s clearly been highly successful, I won’t ask you numbers because I’m sure that that’s rude, but let’s just say that it’s been highly successful because you’re a no joke loan officer. You put up some serious numbers now, and it is incredible, and you do that because of the heart that you bring, but the team that you build in the way that you guys work together, and now you have Atlantic Bay behind you, supporting that, and the sky for me with you, is obviously the sky is the limit for you.
0:14:44.0 AD: Alright, great, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
0:14:46.8 Kelly: So obviously, 2020 has been a weird year. Okay, it’s been weird. You basically started in Atlantic Bay when COVID made its debut here, it’s been a strange world. For the people who are thinking about buying their first home or think that they can’t, what advice would you give them if they’re thinking about it, right about now?
0:15:12.1 AD: Well, I would say now is an excellent time because of the fact that rates are the lowest that they’ve ever been. So, you can qualify for a lot more house and have a lot more affordable payment now than you would have just a couple of years ago, and who’s to say what’s gonna happen a year from now? There is also so much opportunity for people to list homes right now because inventory is pretty limited. There is so much competition for housing in Charlotte, which is a great reason to be a home owner because you’re building equity so rapidly. I mean, real estate is so hard to come by here that if you can own a piece of it, you have the opportunity to make so much money in equities so quickly. I would say that it is important to talk to a loan officer as early as you can in the process, so that you can get your docs in rule and then the loan officer can kinda guide you on when it probably makes most sense for you based on your financial situation. If you can do it now, it’s a fantastic time to get in on the rate.
0:16:15.8 Kelly: That’s been one of the most interesting things I think about. For me, having entered mortgage eight, nine years ago, from a marketing perspective, one of the things I never understood was how people went from the realtor to the loan officer, but also just how simple conversation can be when you’re not really sure what your goals are. So, if you’re living, if you’re renting a house, you’re renting a town house, whatever you’re renting right now, and you’re thinking to yourself, “I wanna make this move, but I don’t know how,” a conversation with a loan officer can change your life, right?
0:16:50.0 AD: Oh, for sure. And it’s like 10 minutes, in 10 minutes we can say, “Okay, hey, this is definitely an option for you, or not quite yet, but these are the steps that you can take to get where you need to be, so that when you’re ready to pull the trigger and buy a home, you’re in the best financial situation, and you’ve got the best credit possible, so that you get the best terms.”
0:17:10.3 Kelly: I think people are like, they feel like somehow, if they have that conversation, that they have to have awkward conversations about their credit score or whatever it is, but you don’t have to do that…[overlapping conversation]
0:17:25.2 AD: It’s just literally like a 10-minute intro call to just kinda figure out where you stand and answer your questions, and then if it sounds like you’re a candidate that should proceed with pre-approving, then you just do a little application again, it’s like 10 minutes super quick. And then you can figure out what your parameters are, what programs are available to you, what your max price is, more important than that, figuring out what price point you should shop in to have a payment that’s gonna be in your comfort zone, all those things. And whenever you talk to a loan officer, there’s not a commitment, there’s not a cost, it’s just, we’re paid to try and help you figure out how to get on the path to home ownership.
0:18:03.5 Kelly: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So, I would love just to end with one question, which is, what would you say is your biggest personal win for 2020?
0:18:17.1 AD: I would say the biggest… It’s not work related?
0:18:19.4 Kelly: Not work-related.
0:18:22.7 AD: Oh, I feel like work has consumed my 2020 ’cause I’ve been so busy. Personal, I would say just keeping a positive attitude, despite all of the hurdles that we’ve been thrown through 2020, obviously it’s been such a weird year with a lot of uncertainty for people, related to the health and their finances, and the election, and just all of the things that are going on, I feel like my biggest win of 2020 is just being able to keep a general positive attitude throughout the whole process, and I’ve had a good year despite all of the craziness, I feel like it’s still been a good year. That’s a win for me.
0:19:03.9 Kelly: That’s awesome. Well, listen, I so appreciate you taking a little bit of time because I know there’s a lot of young people, young women who are thinking about going into the business or new to the business, who are trying to get their foot on the door, and trying to figure it out, in fact… And you’re just one of those people, we had dinner a couple of months ago with a young lady who is just an EVAC going out on her own, and you were so happy just to pour into her, and those are the kinds of situations that these videos are great for people who maybe don’t have those resources. And I think people just love to learn from people who have [0:19:36.0] ____ that have been really successful. And like I said, I just couldn’t be prouder. And if people wanna get a hold of you, they can always look you up @alidubois, you work for Atlantic Bay Mortgage, but tell us what your email address is.
0:19:48.6 AD: It’s firstname.lastname@example.org, or just DM me at the Queen City Lender on Instagram.
0:20:00.2 Kelly: And just follower Queen City lender, honestly, because it should give you a lot of tips on some really fun ways that you can make your audience interact with you about a topic that no one wants to talk about, because how can you make mortgages fun? I’m not really sure, we try our best, but I love when you ask a random question, you’re like, true or false, is this thing and I’ll answer false and it’s true, and I’m like, “Oh, I gotta quit my job. I didn’t know the answer to that.” That was true. Yeah, alright, from a… But making it fun, I love it. Alright, thanks so much, friend.
0:20:31.4 AD: Thank you, bye.
Approachable Mortgages – An Interview with Ali Dubois
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