By David Lykken
Special to MPA
The mortgage industry faces a difficult dilemma in many ways more so than any other industry. Legislation with regards to how mortgage lenders communicate with their customers has always been fairly heavy. And yet, advertising has always been essential for reaching customers.
A recent settlement of $20,000 was made by a company that violated the Mortgage Acts and Practices Act. The company was using ads that were out of compliance. Yet another example of the fine line we walk in trying to market ourselves and, at the same time, meet regulatory standards.
In today's social media environment, this fine line is even thinner. How much freedom should individual lenders have in sharing content on their social media platforms? This is sort of a new question. It used to be that the lending organization's marketing department would clear all communication, and that was that. Now, it seems that--like it or not--every loan officer is part of the marketing department through the way they represent the company online.
Some organizations have gone so far as to say that loan officers cannot publish any content online without getting approval from management. This drastic measure seems to be an easy way to prevent loan originators from inadvertently creating compliance issues. However, it could really get in the way of their ability to generate business relationships in this era of new media.
I'm not sure I have the right answer. I just want to call attention to the issue. What I do believe is that it's important for companies to have a social media policy--so that lenders know the proper behavior when publishing content online. We don't want anyone to ever get caught off guard.
David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who has been an owner operator of three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Mortgage Banking Solutions, David consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking with special emphasis executive leadership development, corporate strategic direction and implementation as well as mergers & acquisitions. A regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, David also hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. Recently he started producing a 1-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper websites daily across America