Content marketing and other marketing strategies can help loan officers and mortgage brokers connect with prospective home buyers.
The home-buying and financing process can be confusing and fraught with stress; after all, this is likely the most expensive purchase that most consumers will ever make. Furthermore, the sheer amount of mortgage lending options that are available—fixed, adjustable, 15-year, 30-year, etc.—can make buyers feel like they are reading another language.
For mortgage lenders and brokers, first impressions are everything—but you may not even be aware of whether a prospect is considering your business for help with a mortgage loan or home refinance until they’re close to making a decision. That’s because given the tight housing market, the majority of home buyers choose to seek a pre-approval from a loan officer to help strengthen their offer.
That means it’s more important than ever to build an engaging mortgage marketing strategy that helps educate consumers and builds trust in your brand, so that when buyers are ready to purchase a home, they’ll already be committed to working with your company. Here are five ways mortgage brokers and lenders can market their services so they are top-of-mind at the time buyers are making their decisions.
1. Hold informational sessions.
Holding educational sessions, either in-person or via webinars, to help walk would-be home buyers through the process will help them understand the mortgage industry and assure them they are in good hands while strengthening your relationship.
Make sure to capture your attendees’ contact details at the event—you’ll then be able to add them to your email marketing campaigns and continue the conversation until they’re ready to buy a home.
When a prospective home buyer approaches a real estate agent, the first recommended step is likely to seek a pre-approval for a home loan to bolster their offer. That’s why building relationships and aligning with real estate agents and brokerages can pay dividends.
2. Align with real estate professionals.
Start with good old-fashioned networking, such as attending local Realtor-sponsored events or visiting open houses. You also might consider creating website content and email marketing campaigns specifically for real estate professionals. They want to feel knowledgeable when talking to their own clients, so provide educational information that helps them better understand the nuts and bolts of the mortgage industry. In addition you can create a personal connection by offering broker profiles, much as you do with the customer-focused side of your website, to assure agents their clients are in good hands.
3. Become a go-to source for local news outlets.
Another best practice is to promote your real estate agent partners on digital marketing channels. When a deal closes, tag realtors on social media to thank them for their hard work, or share their new listing with your followers. It’s important to forge strong bonds with this important source of referrals so that they’ll keep you top of mind for future opportunities.
If you’re comfortable with broadcast media, do the same for local radio and TV programs, reaching out to the producers of the morning show or evening newscast, who are always looking for local guests who can share timely trends about the mortgage business. Just remember that your goal is to share educational news with their audience, rather than be overly self-promotional.
The best way to build your credibility with local news outlets is to be available on their schedule—often their deadlines are tight, and they will turn to the person who answers their call first. Perform well, and they will call on you time and again. And of course, don’t forget to share the resulting content on your social media channels, website and email marketing campaigns. Consider subscribing to the HARO newsletter, and follow our tips for becoming a go-to source.
4. Seek referrals.
A satisfied homebuyer is your best source of future business. Of course, you hope to work with them again, but in the meantime, you want to seek business from their family and friends. That’s why the relationship doesn’t end once the documents are signed. Create a special follow-up content campaign for these important relationships by offering tips on home maintenance and information on considering a refinance or HELOC, so you stay top-of-mind with existing customers as the months move on.
And don’t forget to seek testimonials to showcase on your website and in your content marketing. Prospective homebuyers will place great weight on hearing from another consumer that you patiently helped them make the right choice for their personal situation, then made the entire process seamless.
As potential customers are clicking around the web looking at houses, chances are good they are going to land on a mortgage lender website, too, to find out more about the process and see how much house they can afford. That’s where your site has to speak for itself, offering a repository of information that can help them make a sound decision. Successful sites should include a wide range of content types, including blog content that explains complex terms like amortization and adjustable-rate mortgages for first-time homebuyers; interactive calculators that help consumers understand their home-buying budgets; and opt-in resources such as ebooks, that will allow you to initiate an ongoing marketing campaign. Make sure that you focus on SEO in your marketing efforts, including a local focus so that regional home buyers will find you through Google and other search engines. You might even consider investing in paid promotion for your content on Facebook or Google‘s PPC ads.
5. Create a robust content portal on your website.
Consumers won’t give up their email address without a reason, so focus on developing a content marketing strategy that convinces them. You’ll need to provide content with genuine value to build your list of mortgage leads—for example, Arcus Lending offers ebooks with titles such as “How to Shop Mortgage Loan Rates Like a Pro,” and “Mortgage Preapproval 101.” While you may generate some traffic from organic SEO efforts and your existing contact list, it often makes sense to promote your content with targeted Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, or Google PPC ads.
Once you have your prospective customers’ email address, you can continue to market your services by providing useful, SEO-optimized mortgage industry content throughout the buying cycle, providing customized interactions based on their engagement with your site and content. Consider pieces on local housing trends, interviews with real estate agents, tips on polishing up your credit to help with their mortgage approval, and details on the various loan programs available.
Build a list of journalists, bloggers, influencers, and media contacts to pitch to generate press coverage for your startup.
Employer brand marketing is crucial for recruiting and retaining top talent.
If you're debating hiring an entry-level content marketing manager, focus your budget on a content marketing consultant instead.