An independent provider of valuation and closing services supporting the residential real estate mortgage industry, Solidifi oversees a technology-based marketplace where independent field professionals consistently elevate their performance and deliver better results while competing for business. Having partnered with tens of thousands of qualified independent field professionals, Solidifi bills itself as the preferred mortgage service provider for more than 60 of the top 100 lenders in 2019.
From the corporate headquarters in Buffalo, New York along with offices in Denver, Colorado, Middletown, Rhode Island and Greenwood Village, Colorado, the people of Solidifi work together to optimize technology that will boost productivity both internally and for all clients. Consisting of mortgage industry specialists and technology innovators, Solifi has invested millions of dollars in its flagship product — a SaaS-based platform supported by a team of technology professionals.
Solidifi’s overall product offerings can be broken down into four categories: valuation services, flood services, title services, and closing & escrow services. Solidifi’s valuation services include but are not limited to traditional appraisal products, inspection solutions, broker price opinions and home equity solutions.\n\nThe company’s flood resources are centered around delivering accurate and timely flood determinations, along with life-of-loan monitoring.\n\nOn the title services side, Solidifi offers highly efficient solutions for nationwide title insurance. More specifically, the company provides title and closing services for refinance, purchase, commercial, short sale and REO transactions. Meanwhile, Soldifi’s closing & escrow services are centered around an expedited process aimed at increasing performance for the company’s clients and handling all aspects of the closing and escrow transaction on time, with ease. The end result is swift turn times, extraordinary due diligence reviews, and accurate execution and disbursements of documents.
Solidifi’s parent company, Real Matters, was established in 2004 and has since morphed into one of North America’s fastest growing, innovative technology companies. Real Matters combines proprietary technology and network management tools with thousands of independent qualified field professionals to form a marketplace for mortgage lending and insurance industry services. These field professionals, such as residential real estate appraisers, compete to deliver performance-driven services. To learn more about Solidifi, 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.
Blogging is one of the best ways to enhance your digital mortgage marketing efforts and make your business thrive. Blogging delivers numerous benefits, which include drawing more traffic to your website, converting that traffic into leads, developing relationships, keeping customers engaged, establishing your business, and connecting with people.
Posting blogs on your mortgage marketing website allows you to equip your clients with home buying answers and advice as well as offer information during the home loan process. Blogging gives customers the opportunity to engage in conversation and lean on you for advice about the mortgage industry. Here are some of the top reasons for sharing blogs on your website:
Boosting Search Engine Optimization
Blogging will significantly enhance your search engine rankings over time if you are consistent. Search engines love fresh, valuable content, and the easiest way to get the search engine’s attention is fun new blogs. More content added to your website will help improve your search visibility and inevitably increase website traffic to your domain. Make a habit of using SEO-friendly words and phrases such as “mortgage,” “digital mortgage marketing,” “home ownership,” “home loans,” and “buying a home,” to improve your chances of being found in a Google search.
Building Relationships And Sales
Blogging will make clients look to you as a reliable resource for information about the mortgage industry. Blogs help you stay on top of the game, offering the latest trends, news and guidance that are very helpful for your clients and future clients. The more information people get out of you, the more they will want to buy from you.
Increasing Brand Awareness
Well-written blogs demonstrate that your company’s goal is to build and maintain your brand identity. As a mortgage company, it is important to provide instant exposure for your company so your clients will feel comfortable working with you. Blogging makes it easier to close deals with the right clients and allows you to put your company out there for your clients to see how you establish your brand identity.
Utilizing Social Media
Social media is the perfect way to share your blogs with customers and future clients. Regularly posting content in places such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google My Business is an awesome way to stay in the competitive space with other mortgage companies. To close more loans, you must connect with more people, and the best way to connect with more people is using social media on a regular basis and sharing relevant content that is beneficial to your clients. Social media allows you to stay up to date with your customers and discover how to best serve them next.
When people think of successful mobile apps, Uber is perhaps one of the first that comes to mind. Through this shining example of technological advancement, some real estate and mortgage companies have attempted to create an Uber-like app to strengthen their relevance and reach. Where Uber pairs passengers with drivers, these apps connect clients and borrowers with loan officers and real estate agents. Here are a couple of mortgage and real estate apps worth checking out:
Using the non-traditional model of Uber’s independent drivers, Real seeks to allow Realtors to function more like their own boss and contractor. After signing up for this service, licensed Realtors are provided free “leads” as potential homebuyers are paired with a Realtor based on chosen criteria. With no referral-fee charges, Realtors retain more from each sale. In addition, the app enables Realtors to keep up with homebuying trends. Particularly for agents who have frequent home showings and travel to different offices to meet clients, this mobile app is a perfect way to work on the go.
With a growing database of interested borrowers, Mortgage Lead allows both the client and the lender to enter information that will be used to create a perfect match. After submitting their product offerings and licensed locations, lenders can target specific borrowers based on additional search criteria. This advanced filtering technology delivers successful leads at an efficient rate.
Uber itself has also joined with Realtors to assist in house showings. Paired with certain real estate agencies, Uber allows Realtors to become “drivers” in specific instances to resolve issues such as a client’s lack of transportation. Although relatively new, this concept has been well-received and could be a sign of what’s to come in replacing specified home viewing appointments to meet homebuyers’ schedules.
The world of real estate and mortgage marketing has reached a point where consumers are in a position of greater power than ever. Most potential customers conduct thorough research before deciding to do or not do business with a mortgage professional. Along with scouring the web to find the best mortgage and real estate professionals in their area, potential buyers are asking family members and friends for recommendations. According to a Nielsen poll, 82% of Americans seek recommendations from family members and friends when considering a purchase. Additionally, Podium conducted a study in which 93 percent of consumers said their purchases are influenced by online reviews.
One of the simplest ways to drive referrals is asking for them. Tell the customers with whom you’ve worked that the best compliment they can give you is a referral to a friend or family member. Then when someone sends you a referral, remember to recognize them. A simple phone call, email or note in the mail is a great way to express appreciation as well as encourage additional referrals.
The same tactic applies for soliciting online reviews. Ask past customers if they would mind leaving you an online review and send them the link to do so. Perhaps also offer an incentive such as a giveaway drawing for all customers who give a review in a specific month or quarter. Remember, when collecting online reviews, it is best to focus on a specific platform. With multiple platforms available for reviews, efforts are best-served when concentrated in one place.
At the end of the day, providing a positive experience is the best way to ensure your past customers and business partners speak positively about you to their peers. Word of mouth is dependent on loyalty, which must be earned. Be sure to go above and beyond for your customers and business partners by posting favorably about them on social media, citing them in your online blog content, and being a resource on whom they can count.
Having the right head shot in your marketing materials, email signature and social media profiles is a very important component to attracting more business. The style and quality of your head shot can say a lot about who you are and how you conduct your business. It’s only natural for customers to feel more comfortable working with someone who has a photo that looks both friendly and professional. This kind of photo will likely attract more business than a photo that is outdated or that has clearly been cropped. For business head shots, one of the most important rules of the road is hiring a professional. While selfies and cropped photos may work for personal social media accounts, hiring a professional photographer will make all the difference when it comes to business.
When searching for a professional photographer, be sure to look at a photographer’s previous work. A photographer may offer a great price, but if he or she doesn’t have a solid portfolio of head shots available for you to view, you may want to find someone else. Here are some other points to consider when it comes to taking a head shot that will help you win business:
- Use a recent photo. Toss the 20-year-old glamour shots and keep head shots no more than three or four years old. While it may seem appealing to use a younger photo of yourself, potential customers who meet you face-to-face won’t recognize you.
- Go light on the retouches. While removing a blemish or two is OK, going overboard on effects and filters will remove a level of professionalism and create a misleading representation of yourself.
- Make sure your attire is professional but also similar to what you typically wear. If you attend client meetings in business casual attire, there’s no need to wear a suit in your head shot. However, no matter what you wear, make sure it looks clean and professional.
For more guidelines on great headshots, click here.
Bankers Insurance Service, the leading provider of insurance for mortgage lending operations in the United States, has been innovating, serving, protecting and advising the mortgage lending and mortgage servicing communities for more than 65 years. In 1952, Bankers Insurance Service developed the Mortgage Bankers Bond (MBB) program in conjunction with the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Today, Bankers Insurance Service continually updates its program to keep up with changes in the industry. Bankers Insurance Service has developed a portfolio of custom insurance programs to meet the needs of the mortgage lending and mortgage servicing communities. Its products include: fidelity bond and E&O insurance; professional liability insurance; cyber liability; state licensing/surety bonds; directors & officers (D&O) liability; mortgage impairment; a global portfolio protection program (mortgage impairment, E&O, forced placed, foreclosed) and renewable energy loan coverage. To learn more about Bankers Insurance Service, click here.
In a world where technology is at the center of almost everything, many homes are equipped with surveillance cameras ranging from basic “nanny cams” to high-tech motion sensors. From a real estate perspective, it is becoming increasingly popular for home sellers to utilize these devices to ensure the security of their home as it is shown to prospective buyers.
In-home cameras can act as a shield to ward off criminals who may attempt to steal belongings during showings. These devices are also used to gather intel capturing the prospective home buyer’s reactions to the home, which will help the seller know whether the buyer is interested in moving forward. When a potential buyer walks into a home, their facial expression often reveals their initial impressions. As buyers walk through the home with their real estate agent, they may say things like, “I can’t live without this home,” or, “This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.” If a prospective buyer doesn’t know they are being filmed, they are more likely to make comments to the buyer’s agent that they wouldn’t make to the seller’s agent. While this may be valuable information to the home seller, it can put the buyer in a sticky situation because, if the seller knows the buyer loves the home or isn’t concerned about the price, the buyer may lose some of their negotiation leverage.
One concern with placing prospective buyers under surveillance is the legality of this practice. Laws differ from state to state on what can be recorded, where it can be recorded, and if those being recorded must be notified. In most cases, recording is prohibited in locations such as bathrooms, where a person would have “a reasonable expectation of privacy.” When offering advice to prospective buyers, most professionals suggest that buyers speak of the home during the showing as if the seller is in the room.
Mortgage professionals recommend potential buyers keep a “poker face” until they are away from the home, when, of course, it’s OK to reveal their true feelings. If you are planning to sell your home and considering video or audio surveillance, it is best to consult both your seller’s agent and a lawyer. The latter will know what you are allowed to record in your specific location, and a seller’s agent can give advice on whether recording buyers is a good idea. To read more about the practice of using surveillance with prospective home buyers, click here.
Though it may sound cliché, time truly is a valuable thing. The bottom line when it comes to time is that there are almost never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you hope to accomplish. That is particularly true in the mortgage industry, where every loan transaction requires patience, attention to detail and a great deal of time management to see it through from application to closing. From corresponding closely with referral partners to making phone calls, sending emails and texts, and using social media to convince prospective home buyers that you have the experience, knowledge and right personality to guide them through the most important financial investment of their life, a day in the life of a mortgage professional can feel like one big blur.
Thankfully, there are at least three ways that mortgage planners, or just about any person in the business sector, can optimize the time they spend on the job. John Hall, the CEO of Digital Talent Agents, a company that works with entrepreneurs, startups, consultants and executives to build their professional brands, tackled the very important topic of time management in an article recently published at Forbes.com. Here are Hall’s three keys to time management at work:
Do The “Tough” Stuff First
Hall believes the best time to get the most accomplished on the job is early in the day. He recommends resisting the urge to waste part of the morning perusing social media feeds or reading news not related to your job. Once larger and tougher tasks are out of the way, the smaller and more menial tasks will be easier to complete.
Use The Calendar
Hall is a big believer in utilizing a detailed personal calendar to list tasks or schedule events. Resisting the temptation to include only minimal information about a task or event might be the hardest part. While maintaining a detailed personal calendar can be cumbersome, Hall contends that the outcome makes the extra effort worth it. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to schedule events and tasks into your calendar for the next day.
How long does it take you to complete a task at work? Hall sees value in figuring out how much time is necessary to finish a familiar task, whether it be a planning meeting, filing a report, or something else. Once you know this, keep track of the time you spend on those tasks in the future.\n\nTo view the full article, click here.
The real estate industry is booming with technological advancements, and Amazon seems to be jumping on the new opportunity. In this industry that has mostly remained the same in routine and process for over 50 years, consumers are beginning to demand a change. With most other industries streamlining their processes through easy clicks and phone apps, home buyers are wondering why they cannot complete their housing transactions with as little effort and human interaction as it takes to now order a pizza. While nothing notable has been implemented yet to replace agents, investments in real estate startups hit an all-time high this year, and big companies are keeping a close watch.
Amazon sells manufactured homes through third-party vendors and has considered offering home insurance in the near future. This could easily be Amazon’s way of dipping toes into the larger pool of possibilities, and this theory is supported by the company’s recent partnerships. Amazon’s constant expansion of its artificial assistant, Alexa, has recently incorporated housing aspects. Partnered with Lennar, a home construction company, Amazon aimed to add smart devices controlled by Alexa to every prospective house in 2018. This included the recently acquired “Ring” app, which is a doorbell and security-camera system.
With continuing focus on voice technology, Amazon also recently partnered with Plant Prefab — a home manufacturing company specializing in sustainable construction and materials. Plant Prefab hopes to use Amazon’s technology to build houses more quickly and efficiently, as well as reduce cost for both the builder and buyer. Since Amazon, one of America’s most successful companies, has great potential to further disrupt the real estate industry and housing market, it’s no surprise that real estate-based tech startups are jumping to fulfill customer needs.