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 2023. The mortgage industry is changing, and mortgage loan officers have an opportunity to differentiate themselves and offer unique value with less competition.
Luckily, with a little effort, you can stand out from your competitors and gain market share in the new year.
Tip 1: Create a Strong Personal Brand
Our first tip is to create a strong, consistent, visual, and personal brand. Your branding should reflect your personality and what’s important to you. It should also be appropriate for the clients you serve.
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 in 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.
Here are some ways to develop a personal brand:
- Know what makes you different, and what’s most important to you in your work and the services you provide.
- 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.
- Show your audience you. Let them see you and hear your voice—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’s only posting company content; it’s hard to forget a loan officer who’s sharing their real life and expertise.
Tip 2: Develop a Niche
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 new opportunities.
Creating a niche 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 their loan application? This is what makes you unique, so sell yourself as that lender.
You likely have a geographic niche already unless you’re licensed in all 50 states! Staying hyper-local and becoming the local subject matter expert when it comes to all things related to real estate and homeownership is worth its weight in gold. Realtors and home buyers often prefer to work with a local lender who has a hold on the market around them.
You may want to market to a particular group of customers. This strategy can increase customer engagement because you can serve up custom messaging to a specific audience.
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 or 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. That doesn’t mean you can’t promote other loans and programs; it just means you are specifically focusing on a certain type of loan.
Tip 3: Personalize Your Marketing
By now, you likely know what a time-saver automated marketing is. But a common pitfall of automated marketing is that it starts to sound…well, automated. 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 more personalized experience for your clients:
- Sprinkle some personal touches into your 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, social posts, and text campaigns can make them seem more personal because it feels like you’re 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 video to nurture relationships with your prospective and repeat clients, but are you keeping up with current video trends? Trending video is prioritized by each platform, and social media users are often more interested in consuming trending videos rather than static content in their news feed.
Here are a few ways you can stand out using video:
- Try vertical video on social. From Instagram to Facebook to TikTok, vertical video is where the viewership is at in 2023.
- Use unedited video content. Short, personal, fun, and unedited video content has become hugely popular across all social media channels
- 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 trends are constantly changing, 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 focus is on building long-lasting relationships with clients, referral partners, and real estate agents. It’s so much easier to find your next deal from people who already know, like, and trust you than from a cold lead generated online.
Are you investing your time in building and nurturing long-term relationships?
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 can build more solid connections. To like you, they have to get to know you.
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 real estate agents. For more ideas about marketing effectively to realtors, see this article.
And for more ideas and strategies on how to position your business and stand out as a loan officer in 2023, click here to download our APM Loan Officer Business Planning Guide.
**This article has been updated from its original publish date of May 17, 2020.