How can mortgage brokers optimize their marketing?

CMBA-BC conference panel explores strategies, insights

How can mortgage brokers optimize their marketing?

Ask any mortgage professional about the most important aspects of winning clients and growing business, and it’s safe to say marketing will feature prominently near the top of many lists.

The value of brand recognition and cultivating a strong reputation as a mortgage expert has only risen amid the market slowdown of recent years – and last week’s Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association – BC (CMBA-BC) conference in Vancouver saw top brokers take to the stage to share insights on their current approach to marketing.

Chaired by MCAP director of sales Lee-Ann McEllister (pictured top), the discussion featured contributions from Jamie Ushko (Mortgage Architects), Livian Smith (Dominion Lending Centres), Rich Ulvid (My Lending Experts), and Dean Lawton (A Better Way Mortgages).

For Lawton, consistency of approach is an essential component of a successful marketing strategy, whether it’s being conducted externally or by employees within the company itself.

“I look at marketing the same way we built our business,” he explained. “We have our process, and we follow the same thing every single time. We do create our own content internally – we have somebody that works within our company to help us with that – but we always have a plan for the month. We know what content we’re building, and then we make sure it’s scheduled.”

It’s also important to be versatile, he emphasized, catering both to brokers at the organization who are carving out their own brand identity and those who prefer a less tailored approach.

“A lot of brokers are building their own brand. They’re incorporated, they’re doing their own thing,” he said. “But for a lot of our other brokers, they wanted that support and to be able to attach to our brand.

“We just make it something that anyone can attach to. So the idea there was just to keep things really simple.”

Promoting strong client feedback as valuable as ever

Smith said being able to delegate a marketing approach is a useful way for brokers to focus on other things while leaving content creation in safe hands – and stressed the importance of having everything in order when it comes to online presence.

“A referral partner, client or source refers somebody, and what’s the first thing that they’re going to do? They’re going to look online and see your Google business page, see what your clients are saying about you,” she said.

“Then they’re going to look on your social media to see where you’re posting, whether the content is relevant, if it’s up to date, if it looks good.”

For Ulvid, securing a glowing client testimonial on a successful or well-managed file is one of the best means of optimizing a company or broker’s online presence.

“Whenever we’ve included a client testimonial, we’re making sure that we’re doing the best job that we possibly can. Get the answer ‘really good job,’” he said. “When they can provide a testimonial that’s from their heart as well, it really confers status and confers trust within your clients and the population in general because they’ve seen other people use you, and they’re hearing it firsthand from them.”

Will AI revolutionize marketing and content strategy in the mortgage industry?

Of course, automation – and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) across all aspects of day-to-day work – have emerged as much-discussed topics in the mortgage industry in recent times, with the rise of ChatGPT heralding a wave of speculation about what’s in store down the line.

Ushko said it’s incumbent on all mortgage professionals to embrace AI if they want to continue growing their business and staying ahead of the game.

“If you’re not using AI – if you’re not using it every day for half an hour – you will fall behind,” she said. “I think it’s the next big thing. It’s going to change the way we do everything.”

“How can we use it? For personalization – it’s predictive. We can use AI to sync with our databases, to find out more about our clients, more about our target audience. It’s conversational – chatbots have evolved in such a way now where it’s a lot harder to tell if you’re talking to a robot or not.

“They can grade you sales-wise – or just simply increase your SEO and make sure you’re putting stuff out there regularly. So that’s crucial.”

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