Right now, there are about 315,000 licensed mortgage professionals in the U.S., as well as countless more lenders working for banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions.
And while there were about 5.5 million purchase loans and over $2 trillion in mortgage originations this year, banks are looking to take on a bigger share of in-house origination in 2018. Combined with gradual rate increases that dry up the refinance market, and competition will be stiffer than ever for lenders.
So how will you make 2018 your best year yet?
It’s critical for lenders to have their online marketing strategy firing on all cylinders this year and beyond. The good news is that marketing for real estate professionals offers a huge Return on Investment, with thousands of dollars to be made every time you earn a new client. Additionally, mortgage professionals are in a unique position to market to two broad audiences, both home buyers in the general public and Realtors, who can offer steady referrals.
In this white paper, we’re going to cover the six essentials of online marketing for any loan officer or mortgage broker.
Implementing these correctly and efficiently will ensure that you have your most profitable year ever in 2018!
Here are the six pillars of digital marketing every mortgage broker and lender needs:
1. Social media campaign It’s important that you offer your social media audience content on a daily basis. But instead of just more white noise, post things that interest, engage, and help your social media followers. That can include your custom blog posts, images, and videos, but also industry news, events, Q and A’s, testimonials, how-to guides, tips, etc. Always try to post something of value and you can’t go wrong. Make sure you also ask a lot of questions and solicit opinions via social media to foster engagement.
Of course, you’ll want to mix in some advertising and sales messages, but these should only constitute about 20% of your total social media messages.
Which social media platform should you advertise on? They each offer distinct advantages.
Facebook is by far the largest social media platform on the planet, with so many users (1.39 billion) that it would be the largest nation on earth if all its users formed a country.
Twitter has the best chance of a post going viral and reaching huge numbers in the world outside your immediate circle of friends and clients.
Instagram was made for images, and it now has 77.6 million users in the U.S. alone – 27.6% of our population. Instagram boasts a 4.21% engagement rate, 58 times higher than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter and is the social media of choice for most Millennials - a great way to reach potential home buyers under 30.
LinkedIn is an ideal place for loan officers to connect with Realtors and other high-end professionals.
Pinterest is often ignored by real estate professionals, but it's the 4th largest driver of internet traffic worldwide, and 93% of all Pinterest users use the site to plan or make purchase decisions!
2. Blogging Your audience wants to hear from you on a regular basis with information and analysis that's substantive, and that's where a blog comes in. By writing blogs that educate, inform, discuss options and benefits, and cover industry news, you’ll soon become the trusted go-to mortgage authority in your area.
Search engines like Google are looking for custom, well-written, and helpful content around certain mortgage keywords, too, and that is actually what your potential clients are searching – and where you’ll soon appear high in the rankings.
Too often, real estate and mortgage professionals are active on social media but they only post links to content on someone else's website, page, or blog. It's critical that you write and produce your own content, too (or have a great marketing company do it for you).
Studies show that if you blog consistently, your website and social media pages will receive 55% more visitors and 88% more leads than lenders in your area who don’t blog. Likewise, 78% of mortgage pros that blog regularly have acquired at least one client from that blog, and 90% of U.S. consumers say that mortgage and real estate blogs are useful.
3. Custom images and graphics There are about 30 billion posts shared on Facebook every day – and that's only one of a handful of wildly popular social media platforms in existence. Getting your business to stand out and gain attention among that tidal wave of social media content is a daunting task. Luckily, you have a secret weapon in your online and social media marketing: images.
Images have a huge advantage over messages that only contain text: when you scroll through your Facebook or social media feed or open an email, you can choose NOT to read words – but your eye automatically takes in the visual of an image. In fact, scientists have found that our brains process visual content 60,000 times faster than text. And with 40% of the population responding better to images than text alone, visuals are a part of marketing you can’t ignore.
Articles and blogs with images receive 94% more views than those with just text.
98% of posts with photos receive more comments and posts with links have a 200% higher engagement rate.
4. Email marketing The goal of any marketing funnel is to attract an audience via social media and then convert them to a more focused one-on-one conversation via email. Therefore, regular email newsletters, educational pieces, special offers, surveys, etc. serve as the perfect complement to social media and other marketing.
In fact, email messages are 5x more likely to be seen than social media messages, and 72% of consumers prefer promotional content via email instead of through social media.
Even better, a client you gain through email is 6x more valuable over their lifespan than one gained through social media. Email marketing for loan officers grants an average 174% total conversion rate (compared to just 50% for real estate marketing) and a 3,800 ROI – bringing in $38 for every $1 spent.
5. Video marketing Did you know that YouTube reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.?
We watch 100 million hours of videos on Facebook and other social media platforms daily, and in 2017, 74% of all Internet traffic was video!
Video marketing gets more clicks, likes, and shares. Video also makes a more immediate and lasting impression. According to Forrester Research, just one minute of video is the equivalent to 1.8 million words to the human brain – about the same amount of content as about 3,600 web pages filled with text!
However, according to research, only 15% of real estate professionals are using videos for marketing, and only 5% are active on YouTube.
6. Lead capture system Any efficient marketing funnel includes a way to tie all of your social media, website, and email marketing together. A lead capture system attracts a large audience to your platform, offers something of value for free, and then gives you a chance to connect with them via email or even by phone.
Lead capture systems for Realtors are often home search functions on their website. But for mortgage professionals, landing pages that offer free giveaways, eBooks, reports, guides, and other items of value serve that same important purpose.
What's the current state of online marketing for home loan professionals?
According to surveys, the average loan officer or mortgage broker spends only about 3.7 hours every month on their online marketing (which is understandable – you’re all very busy!).
But 72% of real estate pros say that they’re dissatisfied with the number of leads they get from social media and their website.
In 2017, Millennials comprised about 35% of the entire home buying market. Going forward, that number will increase significantly, making them the largest demographic in the market for home loans.
Mortgage professionals are also falling way behind real estate agents in online marketing, with 91% of Realtors using social media to some extent and most having home searches and email newsletters.
According to data by the U.S. labor bureau, Realtor.com and others, the typical mortgage broker also makes about 21% less annually than the average real estate broker in the United States!
Loan officers and mortgage brokers have some catching up to do, starting with their online marketing in 2018!
This special report is brought to you by The Real Estate Marketing Bulletin.
Do you need help with your online marketing? For customized, affordable, and extremely effective online marketing services, contact Norm Schriever at the Real Estate Marketing Bulletin at sales@REMbulletin.com.