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.
Account-Based Marketing, or ABM, is the easiest way for mortgage brokers or mortgage companies to create meaningful marketing campaigns without the benefit of a full-time marketing department. ABM has surged in popularity across all professional fields over the past few years because it allows personal branding and individual customer experience to take center stage at a relatively low price point.
ABM is especially beneficial in a scenario where, for example, a mortgage professional is licensed in different states and wants to share with first-time homebuyers the opportunities for down payment assistance programs specific to each state. With ABM, a customer journey can be crafted for each.
Technology plays a large part in how opportunities from ABM are applied. Using a mortgage CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) or CDP (Customer Data Platform) is only one piece of the proverbial puzzle. Creating workflows with a deep understanding of the customer and their homeownership goals, as well as determining the length of the homeowner’s journey and truly giving information that is timely and valuable are what turn a lead into a loan.
There should always be alignment among your sales, marketing and technology teams, and companies like Intent show you exactly how to do that without having to hire a large staff. Take your mortgage marketing to the next level; you owe it to yourself to think bigger and better.
As the largest professional network in the world, LinkedIn is undoubtedly the most effective social media platform at helping professionals become and stay connected. LinkedIn helps users get their name in front of countless professionals in their industry as well as those in other industries. But with so many LinkedIn users worldwide, how do you make your profile stand out from the rest? It’s a good idea to make sure it has all of the following:
A Profile Picture– A photo humanizes your profile and provides your connections a visual to “put a face to a name.” Additionally, studies have shown that profiles with photos receive 21 times more views than profiles that don’t include a photo.
A Summary– A summary is an important piece of a profile, but it is often missing. A good summary shows how you present yourself as a professional and says not only what you do, but what drives you to do it. Click hereto learn how to write a great LinkedIn summary.
A Custom Headline– Make your headline memorable. While it is quite common for users to use their job title in their headline, consider spicing it up a bit. Your headline is the “so what?” of sorts to your profile, as it explains what you can do for your connections. Learn more about LinkedIn headlines, here.
Your History– Ensure that your employment history and educational history are complete and up to date. This will make you 18 times more likely to be found in a search!
Updated Information– Always keep your contact information updated on your LinkedIn profile. This info is only viewable by your connections.
In addition to all this, try to give your LinkedIn profile some “personality.” Add a background image featuring something that captures your interests and include any volunteer organizations or clubs that you are involved in outside of your job.
For more information about how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out, click here.
Hubzu is an online residential marketing platform connecting prospective home buyers with properties in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, DC. Much like eBay and other online auction platforms provide bidding capabilities with cars and other items, Hubzu enables buyers to go online to place bids on homes. In addition, real estate agents can register and submit bids on behalf of their clients. The properties listed are primarily foreclosed or bank-owned homes, but they can also include condominiums and single-family dwellings available from short-sale situations and independent sellers (non-bank owned).
Hubzu breaks down the home buying process in four steps:
- Search a property by city, state, zip code or Property ID. Once you find a property you like, sign up to start the bidding and tracking process.
- Before seeing the property in person, you will have an opportunity to review the property page and see everything from property features to rental reports. However, if the property is occupied or being renovated, the seller may not offer walk-through.
- When you are ready to start bidding, click the “Place Bid” button to go right into the auction. Make sure to periodically check your dashboard, which will keep you in the know if anything changes during the auction cycle.
- If your bid is selected by the seller, you will receive a purchase contract and request for more documents. After the documents are returned with your digital signature, a closing date will be set.
Before you start bidding, make sure you are up to speed with the conditions applied to the specific property you are eyeing. It’s always wise to visit and inspect a property prior to bidding, because auctions usually have no inspection contingency period. Also, set aside some cash for the earnest money deposit in addition to setting a budget for any possible home repairs.
Note that a “Bid Deposit” — basically a hold on your credit card — will be required to follow through with your bid. The hold will then remain in place for the duration of the auction cycle. Remember there is no guarantee the sale will occur, and the seller has the legal right to approve or reject bids, including the highest bid. Auto Bid is an interesting feature that may help you gain the upper hand when bidding on a property. Bidders can stipulate a minimum amount that an auction bid must be raised each time the current highest bid is surpassed. You may also set up a ceiling amount that you don’t want to surpass when bidding.
To learn more about Hubzu, click here.
It is no secret that a satisfied customer is much more likely to recommend a mortgage planner to their family and friends. For this reason, it is important for loan officers to take every measure possible to ensure that customers feel like their home buying experience is excellent. A big key to this? Attending closings, which is one of the most important things a loan officer can do to give their customers and business partners the impression that they are committed to a wonderful lending experience.
While loan officers are not required to be at closings, Mortgage SAT’s National Benchmark by the STRATMOR Group shows that when mortgage planners are not present, borrowers are less satisfied. According to this study, the Net Promoter Score — which is the likelihood that a borrower would recommend a loan officer in the future — drops by 11 points on a 100-point scale if the loan officer is not at the closing. Additionally, if there are unexpected rates and fees and the loan officer is not available to explain the difference, the score drops by 35 points. On the flip side, 94 percent of borrowers said they were fully satisfied with their loan officer and the closing experience when the loan officer was at the closing.
In addition to making a good impression on the borrower, a loan officer who attends closings is likely to have his or her extra effort noticed by real estate agents and other parties involved. Not only does a loan officer’s presence at closings show their interest in the well-being of their customer, but the LO can help clear up any last-minute confusion or problems, which will cause the closing to go more smoothly. In return, the loan officer’s business partners will be much more likely to refer their future customers.
If a loan officer is unable to attend a closing, it is beneficial for them to be reachable by phone during the closing so they can respond to any questions that may arise. Another option is for the LO to review the closing disclosure with the buyer before the closing date and time. Whatever the method, the goal is always to make the customer feel as valued as possible.
Social media giant Facebook has announced plans to integrate the messaging functions of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. In an effort to give friends and family members the ability to communicate across networks, the three services will remain separate apps but allow for communication among them for the first time ever.
Facebook’s family of apps has over 2.5 billion monthly users and is a dominant player in mobile traffic. This move toward integration is an effort to sway users from moving to a rival messaging service. Facebook plans to have this new integration, which is currently in the early stages of planning, completed by early 2020. Additionally, the three apps involved will install end-to-end encryption to prohibit the viewing of messages by anyone other than those sending or receiving.
When Facebook originally acquired Instagram and WhatsApp, the plan was for the platforms to remain separate apps. However, the growth of Instagram and WhatsApp prompted Facebook to rethink the model and integrate messaging.
To read more about these integration plans, click here.
It is stunning to marketers how overlooked LinkedIn remains when it comes to B2B marketing. Just consider the following LinkedIn stats:
- Over 500 million users
- Among LinkedIn users, 260 million are active on a monthly basis
- 40% of monthly users are active on a daily basis
- 63 million unique mobile users monthly
- 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, compared to 13% on Twitter and 7% on Facebook
- 59% of B2B marketers say LinkedIn is generating business, and 38% say it is generating revenue
- LinkedIn creates 3x more conversions than Twitter and Facebook
Developing your LinkedIn and becoming active on the platform can build your business as well as ramp up your mortgage marketing to drive leads and revenue.
Click here to download our free “LinkedIn 15 Minutes Per Day” guide that provides tips for successfully utilizing this social media platform on a daily basis.
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful personal branding and networking tools available in today’s digitally driven world. Particularly in an industry where business is created by networking and meeting new people, an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is of utmost importance. Even if you think your LinkedIn profile is updated, there are a few things you can still do to optimize your mortgage marketing efforts in this space.\n\nStart by making sure you have:
- A current/professional headshot and background photo
- Updated work experience
- A headline
- A summary
- A customized URL that follows this basic format: linkedin.com/in/yourfullname
The default headline for LinkedIn profiles is your title and the company for which you work. However, a custom headline describing your role and aspirations can be beneficial to your branding and mortgage marketing efforts. Not sure what to use as a profile headline? Here are a few tips:
- Your headline should be instantly recognizable and short and concise.
- Although the default headline is your current employment position, consider customizing the headline to demonstrate your expertise or vision for your role.
- Succinctly sum up your specialty or approach and support the professional brand you’re cultivating.
Writing a good summary is often a challenge for LinkedIn users. When writing your LinkedIn summary, focus on what you really want readers to know about you, assuming they may read nothing more. Professionally-speaking, what’s your purpose? You can highlight your skills as well as developing aspirations.
For examples of headlines and summaries, click here.
Be sure to frequently update your LinkedIn profile. If you switch jobs, pick up new skills or even begin volunteering regularly with a local charity, make sure you add these changes to your profile as they occur. Your network will see that you have updated your profile, and it may spark conversation that could turn into new business!
What strikes us about lead generation in the mortgage industry is not so much how it is created (though the model could use some refinement) or the follow-up (which is decidedly interesting across the board). Rather, we are struck by how far the industry is actually behind in cultivating leads from past data and re-targeting leads on sites to build brand awareness and remind them to apply for home loans.
We teach digital marketing to our customers, and one of the “scariest” things for them is typically just how much data is out there to draw from and how “weird” it feels when they see an ad on one website that features something they were scoping on another site. Simple re-targeting of leads works. Not only does it capture attention, but when done subtly and artfully — two things that are always the most important part of marketing that involves data — it can be incredibly effective.
Intent founder Kelly Yale often tells a story in training with mortgage processionals and real estate agents about two years ago when she was building her dream house, which just happened to contain her absolute dream closet. Kelly was at Target enjoying a coffee and doing a nice, slow meander down all the aisles to consider what she would need once she and her family moved in.
In one of those aisles, Kelly spotted something she had never seen — TANK TOP HANGERS. Who knew such a thing even existed? She paused for a moment and considered picking up a pack or two but thought better of it and decided to wait until they had the house completed before filling her closet with every conceivable organizing product.
Ten minutes later, Kelly hopped in the car, opened up Facebook and found an Amazon ad for tank top hangers that was front and center in her News Feed. How could a picture of something she had never seen now be following her around the internet? Although Kelly is someone who truly understands much about how data is collected and marketed to, this simply blew her mind.
It was then that she thought about all the possibilities. Kelly had her Target Cartwheel app open when she was shopping. Had Target geo-tracked her around the store, noting where she stopped the longest? How did it pinpoint where she was looking? Did her buying behavior indicate she was looking into closet organization? Or was it possible that it just randomly happened that Amazon happened to target her with that ad?
Very little these days is unknown. We don’t fly under the radar nor do we live off the grid. We have all been stunned when a kitchen conversation turns into an online ad an hour later. It’s easy to be freaked out. It’s harder to accept that data collection is real.
But re-targeting is actually one of Kelly’s favorite things. She can’t tell you the amount of time and energy it saves her to be marketed to with ads on Instagram for things she likes and wants to buy, based off of her spending habits. Kelly happens to love when she forgets something in an online shopping cart and sees a little ad featuring the exact shirt she was buying. And if she was considering a home purchase and felt unsure of the next steps or wanted more information, she would be looking to have a branded experience built on trust and education.
Times have changed. Modern marketing is required in the mortgage industry, and it goes far beyond creating opportunities based on past databases. Loan originators should instead focus on creating the best buyer experience based off all data. If mortgage professionals want to find new business, they need to start looking outside their comfort zone and find homebuyers before those buyers are ready to offer up their data in a lead capture form on someone else’s website.
Facebook says its Page owners will soon have the ability to participate in Facebook Groups. Additionally, Facebook has introduced new posting and commenting management tools for administrators of Facebook Groups.
Previously, Facebook Page accounts couldn’t participate in Groups. However, in the coming weeks, Pages will gain that access. Facebook has been testing the feature with health and fitness company Peloton, which says it has helped with group engagement. This feature is part of a Facebook initiative to bring more brands and advertisers to Groups. Facebook has previously released features that allow Page owners to create Groups connected to their pages as well as give some Groups access to Facebook Pixel to support this initiative.
Along with Pages participating in Groups, Facebook is adding new post formatting tools and Group management tools. One of the new features allows page admins to alert users who have violated page rules. Additionally, group admins will be able to filter activity logs and search membership requests.
To learn more about Facebook’s new features, click here.