Michael Deery: ‘If you want to explode your business, get online’

by Ryan Smith20 Dec 2013
Born and raised in Donegal, Ireland, Michael Deery moved to the U.S. in 1994 to play soccer for the University of San Diego, and he’s brought that winning attitude to his work. Deery, president of Citywide Financial Corp. in San Diego, Calif., was one of the top originators in the country last year, funding more than $89 million in loans.

The secret to his success, Deery says, is combining traditional marketing and social media to create a powerful presence in the marketplace.

“I would say having an online presence these days is huge, and I do a lot of writing. That’s been giving me a lot of exposure and credibility,” Deery says. “If you don’t have a good website these days and a good social media presence, you almost don’t exist. There’s only so much business you can get from word on the street. … I do get a lot of referrals, and they’re happy with a handshake; they don’t need to go online. But if you want to explode your business, you’ve got to get online.”

But getting online is just the first step. A website won’t do any good if it’s not easy to use and informative, Deery says.

“You’ve got to assume that somebody who’s trying to get a loan has never done it before,” Deery says. “A lot of them are not finance-savvy and want everything simplified. That’s why I’ve tried to make my website really user-friendly. Everybody’s probably already asked you the same questions a hundred times, so you should have those answers on your website.”

That means your website should be a one-stop shop for all the mortgage info a borrower could want, Deery says.

“Your website is basically your resume,” he says. “The Millennials are search-savvy. When they contact you, they’ve already done their research. If today’s loan officer doesn’t have that information for them to do their homework, he’s just going to lose that business.”

Deery also recommends keeping a lively social media presence in addition to a company website. He maintains a Facebook group with 7,200 members and posts frequently.

“How much money and time would it take to get your message in front of 7,200 agents by mail?” he says. “Whereas with this Facebook page, people read your posts, share them with friends. … In the space of one day, your posts can potentially reach 15,000 or 20,000 people for free.”

Michael Deery is one of MPA’s Hot 100 – the movers and shakers who are making waves in the mortgage industry. To find out who else made the list, check out the latest issue of MPA Magazine.
 

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