As someone who is involved in the mortgage industry, you probably realize how lenders have become more competitive than ever and this can make it difficult to attract new customers looking for a mortgage.
How hard do you work trying to gain new customers? How much of a marketing plan do you have? How many hours do you spend in front of your computer, or cold calling potential clients?
The number of brokers has increased rapidly and it can be hard for a brilliant broker to stand out from the crowd. What’s more, in today’s world of mortgage marketing strategies, many of the traditional ways of connecting with home buyers are dead. That’s why more and more independents are turning to new techniques to generate mortgage leads. For mortgage brokers just starting out in the industry, or those looking to stand head and shoulders above the competition, there are plenty of ways to get noticed and reel in those leads.
Getting Started with Mortgage Marketing Strategies
But, before you execute a marketing idea, you need to determine your objectives. Do you want to create a strategy that improves customer referrals or raises top of mind awareness? If so, email marketing could be your best option. On the other hand, you will want to build a strong media presence, particularly across social media platforms, and engage with your customers and prospects.
If you want to create more recognition and awareness of your lending company and yourself as a broker, convert prospects to applicants, close more loans, and keep in touch with applicants and prospects, there are an array of ways to market yourself.
Another important starting block in creating your marketing strategy is to spend the time updating and maintaining your databases. Just by maintaining your own database you can keep track of things like the borrower’s birthdate and anniversary which means that instead of a generic “Happy Birthday” message or “Buying Season Is Here” message, you can reach out to your contacts for other reasons. Today, people don’t just want a mortgage broker that sells to them, they want someone they can build a relationship with and grow to trust.
For that very reason, investing in modern technology is an essential cog in your mortgage marketing strategies. Three particular investments that are essential are a Customer Relationship Management tool, mobile apps, and social media.
Customer Relationship Management
When looking for a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, mortgage brokers should look for a system that meets their unique needs. You will want a tool that offers a broad library of different tools, including direct mail and email campaigns. It’s important to make use of a mortgage-specific CRM tool instead of generic software. This will save you time and money not having to convert the generic messages to mortgage-related business. It is also allows for increased efficiency.
As a broker in a world on online and mobile accessibility, you cannot ignore the rise of apps and how they can significantly boost your profile. Mobile apps that allow your borrowers to calculate various mortgage financing scenarios make you more accessible to your prospects and shows that you know how to address their needs with the click of a couple of buttons. Chances are, they will like the convenience you provide and will want to borrow from you.
Today, the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are core marketing tools for mortgage brokers. We will discuss social media a little further down, but there is no ignoring the fact that effective mortgage marketing strategies need to incorporate social media, where you do so much more than just talk to followers about your offerings. Social media goes beyond letting people know what type of loans you offer, it creates the perfect platform for potential clients to interact with you. That comes back to building trust and relationship-building. On social media, you can show your prospects that you are just like them, that you live in their community, and that you care about the same things.
Once you have your core marketing strategy elements in place, you can work on specific strategies to implement.
Mortgage Marketing Strategies to Implement Now
1. Website Development
Today, mortgage brokers cannot be without an online presence. Even if you don’t care about your clients, you still care about your reputation and a website is a great way to build credibility. Think of it as an online business card. Even if you don’t often get business through an online platform, the business you do get probably checked online to verify things like experience, credibility, professionalism, legitimacy, and even look for reviews and testimonials.
Fortunately, a website doesn’t have to eat into a large chunk of your marketing budget. There are a variety of content management systems out there that make creating your very own landing page or website a breeze. Ideally, though, you want to have a website that is properly optimized for the search engines, and that is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into it.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Mortgage SEO is all about improving your mortgage broker website for better search engine ranking and visibility. When people are able to find your site easier, you’ll notice a significant increase in website traffic. This, in turn, results in an increase in web-based leads – provided you have a lead generation strategy in place.
If implemented correctly, SEO can offer excellent returns for a lot less time and money than some other marketing methods. What’s more, unlike other marketing strategies, Search Engine Optimization offers growth in a variety of areas, including:
- Referral traffic – every link that is built to point to your website boosts domain authority and rank. Posts and external links are on the internet forever, which means they will continue to send new referral traffic to your site.
- Readership – as you continue to publish content on high profile channels, so your readership will grow. If you are dedicated, you will build your mortgage broker business up to a point where you will find new readership just because you already have tons of readers.
- Ranking – reliable and valuable content will carry on earning links indefinitely and gradually increase your page ranking. As the page ranks increase, you will see your site move to the top of the search engine results.
Depending on the SEO strategy you use, your business can reap many more benefits in the long-term.
3. Embrace Responsive and Mobile Design
As many as 66 percent of emails are read on phones or tablets. What’s more, mobile traffic to websites accounts for over 50 percent of all visits. So, mobile certainly matters. As a mortgage broker, you can benefit from having a responsive website which will aid in building your professional brand image.
A responsive website means that no matter how big or small a screen is, the website’s design and content can adapt seamlessly to be read on any device and platform. Usually, this involves the navigation buttons adjusting on smaller screens, too, to make them easy to finger tap. It is important that every page of your website is tested on different devices and browsers to ensure it is as responsive as you need it to be.
Emails that you send out should also be designed with responsiveness in mind so that they can be read on any size device or on any email client.
4. Social Networking
Traditional marketing techniques, like placing adverts in mass publications or buying commercials, isn’t particularly effective when you want to focus on a smaller and more specialized audience. Instead, social networking is a better way to spread the word about your products and offerings. LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter are all good options for mortgage marketing strategies. Not only to do get to interact with your followers and build their trust in you and your brand, but you can offer exclusive deals, encouraging more leads to join your networks.
Social media is also fantastic for running target market-focused adverts. So, if you want to offer mortgage loans to first-time buyers in their 20’s, for instance, don’t just create a social media page and hope they will find you. Instead, formulate a plan on how you can use the page the generate interest in your offering. Besides targeted Twitter and Facebook ads, try to get people involved and ask them to post reviews and testimonials online. The reviews can reach niche markets a lot quicker than a broad-based marketing campaign.
5. Pay Per Click Advertising
As a mortgage broker, you offer products to a small market, and that means that paid search, or PPC advertising, is essential. Perhaps you are already convinced of the benefits of PPC. If not, let’s discuss it. You know that there are people out there who want, and indeed need, what you offer.
PPC is ideal for niche marketing campaigns. The trick is to include high commercial intent keywords, long-tail queries, ensure your campaigns are optimized for mobile, and use the appropriate ad extensions, and get your message in front of the people you want to market to.
Testimonials are incredibly powerful as part of your mortgage marketing strategies. Testimonials are personal referrals that every one of your potential clients will see, watch or read. If you ask clients for testimonials, make sure you market them.
Start making it a habit to ask your clients for written or video testimonials. Typically, testimonials rank well when accompanied by a full name and picture, so make sure you ask for those details each time you ask a client for their testimonial. You can then include a testimonial at the bottom of each page of your site and promote video testimonials on your social networking platforms and on your business profiles.
7. Content Marketing
Are you a leader in the mortgage industry? Do you want to be? Then you should be blogging. A business blog is an effective way to show off your knowledge of mortgage brokering and related topics. Take the time to think about what your audience is interested in reading and also let them know what you do by offering an in-depth explanation of your services. Then, research what your audience’s mortgage needs are and write to them directly.
If there is just one marketing strategy you want to implement, this should be it. A well-executed campaign can produce a lot more leads than several traditional marketing strategies combined. The secret to many a mortgage broker’s successful marketing strategy aimed at generating more purchases and refinancing leads is blogging.
Most brokers will already have a well-established website in place, but how many have a program in place to aggressively grow their site through topical content? Content creation is a highly affordable and easy-to-execute internet marketing strategy for mortgage brokers. What’s more, it is an incredibly important part of your SEO strategy. Blogging is also one of the easiest ways to generate website content. When we combine the simplicity of blogging with huge traffic-building potential, you have an extremely powerful marketing idea right at your fingertips.
When it comes to home loans, the first place consumers do their research is online. According to Google’s keyword-research tool, internet users conduct over 10 million searches every month for mortgage-related keywords and phrases. The top searches are for topics such as “mortgage lenders” and “mortgage rates.” But the list is far more extensive.
The whole point is that there are thousands of different topics to write about for your blog to attract people looking for loans to your website. For instance, you may want to write about the difference between conventional home loans and government-insured FHA loans. Just that topic has the potential to generate a steam of traffic for you.
Blogging is a favorite among mortgage brokers as it is a straightforward and low-tech way to generate a huge volume of keyword-rich content on your website. It is this type of content that can attract a steady stream of visitors who could become leads and, in turn, those leads could become qualified borrowers. There really is no limit to how far you can take your content marketing and blogging strategy. After all, content marketing is free advertising for your business and the chance for you to create a genuine connection with people.
8. Email Lists
An email list is going to be one of the most important assets to your mortgage broker business, and it should form part of your marketing strategy. Email marketing has the potential to convert potential customers more so than many other online marketing channels. Like social media and blogging, it allows you to engage with your audience in a more personal, and creative, way. Perhaps even more so than a tweet.
Sending out bi-monthly or even weekly emails to your list can have a big impact on your brokerage, just as long as you are doing it the right way. You need to provide valuable and relevant content to your email list if you want them to take notice. By doing so, potential customers will grow to look forward to your emails and they will make time to read them as they know that you can improve their current situation.
Another powerful way to harness the impact of your email list is to use it in conjunction with Facebook Ads and Google AdWords. This works particularly well if you are purchasing a leads list that has email addresses. You can upload the list directly to Google or Facebook and each platform will search for the users on that list that are registered on its platform. Once the platform has matched the email list to its users, you can create highly relevant ads for them and then watch your conversion rate shoot through the roof.
9. Video Content
Of course, you want people to stop and listen when they land on your website. Video content is just the answer. It can help you showcase yourself as an expert in the industry and connect with potential home buyers. Make sure your videos are professionally shot and edited as tardy production will do more harm than good for your professional brand image. When creating your video, think about what home buyers and people looking for loans want to see and hear. You may even want to show a few “in action” scenes that show you helping clients overcome a problem.
10. Consider the Client’s Digital UX
Make sure your mortgage website is filled with engagement options. Your content should be objective, useful, and fresh, but it also needs to be sprinkled with engagement opportunities. These are hooks that will entice people to click on a button or take a certain action, such as subscribe to your rate watch, get the latest lending rates, call with an inquiry, fill in a pre-application form, or calculate a loan payment.
These engagement points are valuable for two reasons: they help you determine where a person stands on the path to a loan application and they screen potential clients that are worth cultivating. Knowing where your prospect is, be it in the midst of completing a pre-application or reading rate watch alerts, gives the opportunity to send a customized text or even give them a call offering to help.
Is Your Marketing Strategy in Place?
Have you been thinking of ways to spruce up your mortgage marketing strategies? You need to be thinking bigger, acting bigger, and performing better. Use these strategies to increase your local market presence, bring in new customers, remain top-of-mind for leads and customers alike, and get more pre-approval applications. Cold-calling is dead, long-live these marketing strategies!
Need some help understanding digital? Send us a message below. We offer free consultations for Canadian mortgage professionals.