If you’re looking for ways to stand out as a loan officer in the new year, we’ve got five tips that will help you outshine your competitors in 2022. The mortgage industry is full of loan officers who offer pretty much the same information and similar loan programs, products, and interest rates—so offering a unique value proposition is important to your success. Luckily, with just a little effort, you’ll stand out over your competitors in no time!
Tip 1: Create a Strong Personal Brand
Our first tip is to create a strong, consistent, visual, and personal brand. The visual presentation of your brand should be consistent and the same in print and online so people can easily recognize you in their feed or in their mailbox. Your branding should reflect your personality and what’s important to you, and it should be appropriate for the clients you serve. Your visual identity should highlight what makes you, you.
The next part is making your brand personal. The more personal you get, the more people will connect with you and your services. In today’s world, a crucial piece of branding is how it connects with your audience. We’re inundated with content in our inbox, in our feeds, and even our text messages, but what gets people’s attention is content that makes them feel that they are connected with a person, not a mortgage company.
Branding for the mortgage industry does not have to be boring. In fact, the more personal you get, the less boring it is. First, think about your audience’s needs and wants and how you want them to feel when they come across your content.
What’s your story, and how do you want it to be reflected? Think of the people you’re speaking to: their age, gender, income, occupation, education level, etc.
How to develop a personal brand:
- Create a brand statement or tagline that demonstrates how you help your clients.
- Instead of standard headshots, use lifestyle photos that show off your personality.
- Weave your personal story into your visual and written content whenever possible.
- Use both professional and amateur photos and videos—carefully curated photos and videos you create yourself often get better engagement because they’re authentic.
A cohesive and authentic brand will go a long way toward making you quickly recognizable among other loan officers and mortgage companies. Remember, it’s easy to forget a loan officer who is only posting company content; it’s hard to forget a loan officer who is sharing real life and their expertise.
Tip 2: Develop a Niche and Become Known for It
Many loan officers are afraid to pick a niche because they don’t want to lose business by catering to a select group of people. Surprisingly, narrowing your focus can actually be the thing that brings you a lot of new opportunities. For many loan officers, the saying “If you try to market to everyone, you’ll market to no one” couldn’t be more true.
Creating a niche for yourself gives you a competitive edge because it helps you hone your messaging and marketing. Realtors and borrowers alike will have a better experience when you make your talking points more specific.
Are you the VA lender? Or maybe you know FHA loans like the back of your hand. Do you have a knack for helping first-time home buyers navigate purchasing a home in a competitive market? This is what makes you unique, so sell yourself as that lender.
Think about your specific market, your ideal client, and your personal expertise. What makes you different? What do you want to make you different? What types of clients do you want to work with?
You likely have a geographic niche of some kind already, unless you’re licensed in all 50 states! You may want to narrow that down further to focus on a radius around your area. Realtors and clients often prefer to work with a local lender who has a feel for the market around them.
You may want to market to a particular group of customers. This can increase engagement from your clients because you can offer specific messaging they can identify with.
Maybe you’re an expert in a particular product, and you know a lot more about getting those loans done than many other loan officers do. If you specialize in FHA, USDA loans, or investment properties, don’t hesitate to let people know why.
Once you have a niche, work on connecting the dots between your audience’s needs and how your services help them (if you have a brand statement like we talked about above, this is likely very similar).
Tip 3: Personalize Your Automated Marketing
By now, you likely know what a timesaver automated marketing is. You don’t have time to spend all day marketing, and you shouldn’t. If you did, you’d be a marketer rather than a loan officer!
But a common pitfall of automated marketing is that it starts to sound like … well, automated marketing. That canned content doesn’t do much to establish rapport with clients, and many loan officers let the pendulum swing too far toward automation.
Here are some unexpected ways to create a personalized experience for your clients:
- Sprinkle some personal touches into automations. If you’ve sent out an email nurturing sequence for new leads, that’s great! But you should also have a real, live person follow up at some point—it’ll make the emails seem much more personal.
- Adding a video to your emails and social posts can make them seem more personal because they feel more like you are actually talking to the people listening.
- Build customer personas by asking people questions in your sign-up forms and emails about their interests and needs. Pay attention to your engagement on social media. With that data, you can create buckets of people and serve them content that meets their needs.
- Set up automatic texting so leads hear from you within the first five minutes, and then have a real person ready to respond. Today’s tech-savvy generation expects to be contacted more quickly than ever. Otherwise, you risk them moving on to someone else.
Automation can help you get someone’s attention, but you’ll need to add some personal touches to keep your clients more engaged.
Tip 4: Use Video to Connect with Your Audience
You may already be using various video platforms to nurture relationships with your prospective and repeat clients in the mortgage industry. But if you’re not using video, you need to keep reading. Video is heavily prioritized by social media platforms’ algorithms, and people often are more interested in consuming video than they are in consuming written media.
Here are a few ways you can stand out using video:
- Go live. Now you can go live on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok. Live video certainly has a place in a loan officer’s marketing plan for 2022, and switching up the platforms might be something worth considering.
- Micro video content. Short, personal, and fun video content has become hugely popular (and some of the most viewed content) with the popularity of Stories and now TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube shorts. If you’ve been resisting jumping on the Instagram Reel bandwagon, it is time.
- Caption your videos. Believe it or not, the majority of video is viewed without sound. Make sure you’re catering to your whole audience by adding captions to your videos.
Video changes all the time, but one thing we feel confident in saying is that you should be doing a lot of it in the new year.
Tip 5: Build Relationships
Today’s marketing is all about who you can build relationships with, including past clients, current clients, referral partners, and real estate agents. Anyone can take a loan application, but not everyone will invest the time in building and nurturing long-term relationships. Are you taking the time to nurture those relationships?
If clients or real estate agents know, like, and trust you, they’ll be much more likely to work with you than a loan officer they know nothing about. Maintaining and building online and in-person connections is well worth your time.
One of the best ways to do this is to share personal tidbits from your life, which people have an easier time engaging with than mortgage-related content (and frankly, they often find it more interesting). By sharing things outside of your industry (in addition to mortgage content), you give people a reason to continue to pay attention to you. To like you, they have to get to know you.
It’s also crucial to remember that no matter whom you’re trying to build a relationship with, think about how you can serve them. Realtors are used to being bombarded by loan officers interested in working with them, so this is particularly true for them. For more ideas about marketing effectively to realtors, see this article.
We hope this helps give you some good ideas for standing out among other loan officers in a competitive 2022 market. Any of these tactics are sure to give you an edge!
**This article has been updated from its original publish date of May 17, 2020.