As a loan officer, marketing is crucial to your business success. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends. More importantly, it can be hard to decide where to focus your time and efforts to maximize results.
The three most common questions we get asked are:
- Where to show up (platforms)
- How to show up (medium of delivery)
- How often to show up (marketing schedule)
To answer your burning questions about loan originator marketing, we’ve put together a list of APM’s top marketing recommendations for loan originators who want to grow their businesses.
Social Media Marketing
Regular Posting on Social Platforms
We wrote an extensive article about social media marketing for loan officers, and we hope you’ll take the time to check it out.
The most important type of marketing you can do is to your existing customer base. Use every opportunity you can to stay connected with them because they already know, like, and trust you. They should be your #1 source of future business—whether they bring you repeat business or refer someone else. Social media is one of the best ways to maintain those connections but continue to showcase your expertise in way that isn’t pushy or salesy.
Our first recommendation for loan officer marketing on social media is to pick the platform where your ideal clients and/or referral partners are hanging out. This could look slightly different for each age demographic.
- Facebook: Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world with 2.27 billion active monthly users and 1.495 billion active daily users. It reaches more 45 to 65+ year-olds than any other platform. (Stats from statista.com)
- LinkedIn: There are 260 million LinkedIn users each month, and 40% of those use LinkedIn daily. It’s the #1 channel for B2B marketers. (Stats from foundationinc.co)
- YouTube: There are 1.9 billion monthly YouTube Users and 30 million daily YouTube users. It’s growly quickly for the 35 to 55+ age group. (Stats from statista.com)
- Instagram: Over 60% of users log into Instagram daily and spend an average of 55 minutes on the platform. It’s the second-most engaged with platform (after Facebook). (Stats from techcrunch.com and brandwatch.com)
Our second tip for successful social media marketing as a loan officer is consistent posting. The one thing we DON’T RECOMMEND is posting every day for a few weeks and then posting nothing for the next six months. Post three to five days a week on a consistent basis to see the best results.
It’s especially important to focus on building personal relationships with potential clients rather than focusing on a possible transaction. This is easy to do on social media! Be sure to comment on people’s posts, respond when they ask a question, and wish them a happy birthday or happy anniversary. These kinds of small interactions are meaningful to people and help cement the relationship they have with you.
When it’s time to get a new loan or recommend a loan officer to a friend or family member, you’ll be the one that’s top of mind because you’ve built up that relationship outside of a business transaction while also continuing to showcase your expertise as a lender.
Facebook and Instagram Ads
Facebook and Instagram ads can help increase reach and build up your brand as well as generate leads. They’re a key part of any social media marketing strategy because Facebook is, at its core, an advertising company. You have to pay to play, and a modest ad budget can go a long way toward getting your name in front of people who don’t know about you yet.
Putting money behind your posts can increase engagement and visibility with those who already like your page. Facebook has many sophisticated targeting options that will help your money go as far as possible.
Email Marketing to your Database
Email marketing to your database or leads, past clients and referral partners is another wonderful way to stay in close contact with past clients and to stay in touch with potential clients. You can provide valuable advice and help, like offering an annual mortgage checkup or educating about refinance opportunities. Email marketing also provides a way to stay connected and acknowledge birthdays, anniversary and homeownership milestones.
Segment Your Email Database
Once you have an updated list of contacts, segment the people in it into different lists. Many loan officers have a large database of contacts who have some similarities and many differences. Think about it—you’d market to a group of homeowners differently than you’d market to a group of renters. What if you were marketing to a group of commercial real estate investors? The content would be completely different.
Send Client-Specific Emails
Segmenting an email database means you can send more relevant emails to people and do a better job of commanding attention. It’s also much less likely that people will unsubscribe or unfollow because they’re getting such relevant information from you. For instance, you’ll send info about lower rates and it being a great time to refinance to homeowners but never to renters on your list.
Clean Out Your Database
An outdated database isn’t much help when it comes to marketing. Clean out your database and update all the information in it. You might be surprised by how many email addresses don’t work anymore, for instance, or how many addresses have changed.
Offline marketing is also important for staying in touch with past clients and for reaching new ones. Here are some things you can do.
Host a Client Appreciation Event
Most people love a free party more than just about anything. It’s a good way to connect with people in a fun atmosphere and have an opportunity for some face-to-face interaction. These events can also be a chance to help people out with tasks they don’t want to complete.
Here are a few client appreciation ideas we love (of course, always think about your particular client demographics when planning an event for them).
- Weekend Donation Pickup: Offer to pick up items people don’t want any more from their homes and taken them to a local charity or Goodwill.
- Earth Day: Let people come to your office and shred documents, recycle old electronics, and properly dispose of prescription medication.
- Ice Cream Social: This is an especially fun one if there will be a lot of families coming. Have a wide variety of ice cream and toppings and hold the event outside on a warm summer day.
- Holiday Events: There are many activities you can do around the holidays. You can have a Santa day with pictures (don’t forget to serve milk and cookies). You could even have a Valentine’s day dance for older couples. The possibilities are endless.
Use Cross-Channel Marketing
Most loan officers still use some forms of offline marketing in addition to their online marketing strategy. Digital marketing and print marketing should work in tandem so that all of your efforts reach further.
If you use direct mailers of any kind, make sure to provide your website and encourage people to go there for more information or to take action. Encourage people to check out your social media channels and follow you if they’re so inclined.
It’s helpful to have a broad look to all of your marketing efforts, both online and offline, to create consistent brand recognition no matter where people find you.
Market to Real Estate Agents
Loan originators know how important it is to consistently market to real estate agents, and we wrote an article specifically about marketing to real estate agents if you’re looking for some fresh ideas. There are many ways you can support real estate agents through your marketing efforts, which is a win-win for both parties.
Attend Open Houses
Attending a weekend open house is a nice way to show a realtor support. If asked, you can also be on hand to answer questions about the lending process for potential buyers. It’s always good to take advantage of face-to-face opportunities to remind agents you’re there to help.
Host Events that Benefit Realtors
Think about hosting events that directly benefit realtors in some way. Sponsor some of their required training classes or host a real estate coaching series. Lunch and learn events can help realtors learn things they need to know. Consider hosting broker open houses with a luncheon for agents who come tour the house.
Co-Market with Realtors
Make agents look good with little effort on their part by co-branding marketing with them. Our APM Mobile app lets you co-brand the user’s experience and helps everyone know what’s going on with the loan at all times. We also have many marketing materials ready to co-brand, including listing fliers, loan program fliers that can help their clients get into homes, and more.
You may also decide to collaborate on social media posts, reaching twice as many followers as you’d be able to on your own. A video collaboration for social media is an especially good idea.
If a realtor is hosting an event, offer to help them out with the marketing for that event. Spread the word with a flier, social media post, video, and more. They’ll appreciate any help you can give in making their own marketing efforts go further.
Home Buyer Workshops
There is a great need for workshops for home buyers, and you can help by offering to teach these classes in conjunction with realtors who need them for their clients. It’s another way to showcase your expertise and get in front of more people who need a loan.
Marketing Yourself as the Expert
We’ve gone over marketing yourself to past and potential clients and about marketing to real estate agents. But no matter whom you’re marketing to, it’s a smart move to position yourself as the subject matter expert. Here are some ways to do just that.
Host Virtual Courses
Many loan originators are licensed in multiple states, but it can be hard to get new business in areas that are far from your physical location.
One inexpensive solution is to host virtual seminars for home buyers. Help customers through an in-depth look at what it’s like to buy a home from beginning to end and encourage them to submit a mortgage application when the seminar is over. You could host virtual courses on other topics related to finance and mortgage, as well.
Blogging is another way to share mortgage expertise in multiple formats. Blog posts are versatile because they can also be turned into emails, social media posts, and videos. We suggest blogging about things that affect your clients in the real world, giving them the information they need to make important financial decisions.
If you’re going to blog, consider search engine optimization for your posts and the pages on your website. Think of search engine optimization as free advertising. Create a Google My Business profile (which allows you to control how you appear in Google searches and on Google Maps) to increase visibility when people search for keywords related to your business.
Create a Library of Resources for Clients
All clients (past, present, and future) should view you as their most valuable resource for mortgage- and home-related information. Providing free resources cements you as the mortgage expert and also ensures that people will come to you when they need help.
Create a library of free checklists and courses for people to download or view on your website. Here are some ideas for information you could have on your site:
- How to improve credit
- How to save up a down payment
- Projects that increase a home’s value
- How to get a refinance
- Documents needed for preapproval
If you decide to require people to give you an email address or other information to access the information, it’s called a lead magnet. It can be an important part of a sales funnel if you’re running ads and trying to generate leads.
If you really like giving people information in a video format, consider setting up a YouTube channel and posting to it regularly. Quick, casual videos an engaging way to share tidbits of information with people in a way they can easily digest. These videos are also perfect for sharing to social media channels.
Start a Podcast
Have you ever thought about staring a podcast? Podcasts are all rage right now, and if you have a fun and engaging personality, this can be a fantastic way to give your audience critical information about finances and mortgages.
Track ALL Lead Sources
A final note about marketing. Do you know where your clients come from? It’s critically important to ask every single lead how they heard about you (and train your team to do the same).
While people may not always know exactly how they heard about you, they will likely have at least a vague idea. If you don’t know how people heard about and subsequently decided to use you, ROI will be difficult to determine. Tracking also provides insight to how your marketing is performing and provides a clear picture of where you should focus your market efforts and budget.
There are so many exciting ways to market yourself as a lender. These activities are a fantastic place to start (and if you got all of these down, you would likely have all the business you could ever want). We hope this encourages you to take action on your marketing to keep your mortgage career thriving!