Remember back when social media was used for sharing music and connecting to college classmates? Okay, so it’s still good for that, but it’s also morphed into a way to promote business and deepen connections for professional purposes.
If, that is, you know the best way to harness the technology.
In an upcoming webinar on Tuesday, August 6th, originators will learn how to develop a highly active online presence—the easy way. They will learn the most expensive mortgage marketing myths that never work to close deals, the only profitable SEO strategy for their mortgage business, and the seven steps necessary to dominate on social media and get better leads, loans that close, and more referrals.
Although the biggest mistake that mortgage originators when it comes to social media and online activity is not participating at all, another big mistake is getting a DIY technology solution and managing the process themselves. Mikel Erdman, a former originator and founder of MySMARTblog and RealtyBlogContent, says that most originators aren’t hard-wired to follow the sequence of steps necessary to get the most out of their technology.
“It’s not exciting, it’s not motivating to them, and therefore, there’s not a lot of implementation,” Erdman said. “The failure is lack of participation because it’s just not something they want to do themselves. Generally speaking, they’re not going out and they’re not going to write blog content, answering questions of the industry, setting themselves up as an expert, they’re not going to them post their stuff out to their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and particulate frequently in those environments. They just don’t have the time, the technical knowledge, or lots of times, the desire to do any of that stuff.”
Some originators are very successful with their social media marketing, and they tend to keep in mind that technology hasn’t actually changed the way that people select a mortgage originator (or any professional that they choose, for that matter). What has changed, Erdman said, is the way that people now do research and educate themselves about the mortgage process, and how they examine the referrals that they get from others.
“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, family members, and community members about you and the quality of work that you do,” Erdman said.
The way to tap into that is by reverse engineering that process, looking at how prospects use technology, how originators themselves can support that usage, and amplify that activity in their favor. In the webinar, Erdman explains seven credibility markers, including building, hosting, and maintaining a website with custom graphic design, writing and publishing content, syndicating that content through social channels, tying the content together automated newsletter campaigns, and using ratings, review and testimonials software in order to cultivate those high quality third party reviews, which have an incredible influence on conversion rates.
These markers help build the steps to a profitable online presence, but the goal isn’t to turn cold leads into closed ones. A strong online presence helps to make existing referrals stronger and avoid a vacuum of information, which can be more harmful than any number of mixed reviews or information. As the old sales acumen goes, ‘A confused mind always says no.’ People like to research referrals, even strong ones, and a lack of information associated with an originator’s name and business could lead to confusion and doubt. Ultimately, they might choose to go back to the drawing board to get another referral from someone else that they know and trust.
“If you don’t address this issue and have a full warehouse online of stuff that tells your story and why people should make the decision to use you, then you actually lose the business that otherwise would’ve just trusted the strength of the referral 15 years ago because there was no way to validate it,” Erdman said. “In order to preserve what you’ve already built in the past, you have to have this in place. In order to gain new business from referrals which will come in the future, you have to have this in place. You can’t neglect it or you are choosing to fail.”
For originators who aren’t wired, aren’t willing, or don’t have the time to create this presence themselves, the answer is to put technology on autopilot so that it’s not necessary to sit in front of a computer to make it work. The only way that originators can continue to be profitable is by building and investing in relationships in local communities, gradually expanding networks and spheres of influence, and communicating with people frequently enough to develop top of mind awareness. Technology, Erdman said, hasn’t changed the core tenants of origination, nor will it. But originators who can’t capitalize on the way that people have changed the way they research and gather information in order to make more time for the core sales business are going to fall further and further behind.
There are a handful of things that Erdman says originators definitely shouldn’t be doing, including paying for search engine optimization (SEO), paying for pay-per-click campaigns, and paying for cold leads that are generated online. There’s so much misinformation out there about technology and how it applies to the mortgage and real estate space, some originators are overwhelmed, being led down the wrong path and wasting money on systems that don’t enhance their business, or make room for the true money-making activities.
“I tell people all the time, there is no silver bullet, there is no magic pill, the internet is not the panacea that will answer and takes sales out of your sales,” Erdman said. “You still have to do the work of sales. You use the internet and technology to support and amplify the stuff you already know works offline, then you preserve and grow your business using it.”
The webinar, “7 Critical Steps to Dominate on Social Media and Get Better Leads, Loans That Close, AND More Referrals!”, will take place on Tuesday, August 6th at 2:00 p.m. ET. Register today!