In today’s mortgage market, a robust online presence is indispensable for successful mortgage professionals. But many in the mortgage space are neglecting online marketing – or worse, throwing money away on ineffective strategies, according to Mikel Erdman, president of MySMARTBlog – the largest content-marketing automation service in the mortgage and real estate space.
“We help active mortgage lenders develop a highly active online presence so that they can maintain better repeat and referral relationships,” Erdman said. “The key that makes our system special is that they don’t do any of the online work themselves. Every bit of our system is completely automated for them.”
MySMARTBlog will be hosting a free webinar Aug. 6 to teach mortgage professionals how to make the most of their online presence – and what mistakes to avoid.
“The biggest most pervasive misstep that people make is not doing it – not participating (in social media),” Erdman said. “…The biggest challenge with most technology companies that offer anything to the mortgage industry in terms of marketing is that they’re all do-it-yourself programs. They build a whiz-bang new software program, but you have to log in, get your account, upload your own contacts and manage the account yourself. ... The failure is lack of participation because it’s not something they want to do themselves. They’re not going to write blog posts setting themselves up as an expert. … They just don’t have the time, the technical knowledge, or a lot of times the desire to do any of that stuff. So what ends up happening is there’s a void of information on the internet.”
Erdman said that even mortgage professionals who do try to cultivate a robust online presence often spend thousands of dollars on ineffective marketing strategy.
Want to learn more? Click here to register for the free webinar.
“They shouldn’t be paying for search-engine optimization, they shouldn’t be paying for pay-per-click campaigns setting up sales funnels for lead generation, and they shouldn’t be buying leads generated online, cold leads,” he said. “None of those things have been successful in capturing more than 10% of the overall market in any given year. Ninety percent of the mortgage industry comes from sphere-of-influence marketing, repeat and referral business – building large groups of customers who know, like and trust you, and will tell their friends and community members about you and the quality of work that you do. You have to look at, ‘What is my prospect that actually turns into a deal, how do they use technology, and how do I support that?’
“That’s what we do. It’s a series of seven steps that we call the credibility markers – and we build these seven steps into a profitable online presence. That includes us building and maintaining a Wordpress-based blog website with custom graphic design. We write and publish content for them, we syndicate it through a social channel to tie together automated email campaigns, and we have a ratings, review and testimonial software in order to cultivate those high-quality, third-party reviews of their service – which are literally the highest conversion factor of anything online.”
According to Erdman, there’s only one search-engine optimization term that really matters for mortgage originators – their name.
“It’s about quality of clicks, not quantity of clicks. If someone searches you by name, they have a very high likelihood of converting into a customer,” he said. “With regard to SEO, the thing that matters is to make sure that when someone searches your name, you’re somewhere to be found. The best way to do that is a website that you own with a custom domain that includes your name in the domain name, high-quality, industry-relevant information that’s consistently updated on that website, highly active social profiles – because those social profiles tend to rank really well for things like your name. … That’s what leads to quality clicks that lead to people who actually close loans.”
To learn more about building an effective online presence, click here to register for the free webinar, held Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. EST.
Editor’s note: Kimberly Greene contributed to this report.