When it comes to creating or sharing content with referral partners, there are two different thoughts on what kind of content than an originator’s audience will want to consume.
Some originators are fans of providing strictly mortgage-related content. This includes anything related to their individual housing markets as well as the housing industry as a whole, and interpreting information for the benefit of their audience. This goes along with the ‘be the expert’ strategy, where an originator becomes the ultimate source of information, expertise, and advice on the mortgage and housing industry.
“If you don’t show up online, or you don’t have that credibility built up, you’re never going to be able to grow your business,” said Shelby Elias, founding partner at United Lending Partners. “You’ve got to become attractive, and how you do that is, write a book. Be on some major publications, get on your local news station. You can go to your local news station and do a paid endorsement to where it looks like you’re on the news, and you just pay them, it’s $1,400. I’ve done it. You’ve got to build up that credibility so everyone in your local market looks at you as the leader.”
Another tactic, however, is for originators to share anything and everything that they think their readers and partners would enjoy.
Because consumers ingest so much information on a daily (even hourly) basis, there is a chance that clients and partners alike will tune out any extraneous messaging that they don’t find directly relevant to their needs from a mortgage professional. The key, then, is to make the content so compelling and valuable that they actually to click on the link, watch the video, or hear what it is—whatever it is.
Originators who are tapped into various media platforms are always in search of content that can keep them in front of their borrowers and partners. Even though the mortgage market is always moving and changing, the vast majority of an originator’s audience doesn’t really want to hear about new guidelines or company consolidations. A new cleaning service that can help them around the house, however, or a new app that can help them with meal planning has appeal to everyone.
On a panel at the AIME Mortgage Expert Workshop in Irvine, California, Elias said that his efforts on Instagram, for example, are completely focused on helping real estate agents in every single aspect of their lives, from establishing a morning routine to being a good partner, to helping their children go confidently out into the world.
“Single-handedly, the biggest way that you can help real estate agents provide value for their business is understanding social media: how to use it,” Elias said. “On social media, now you have the opportunity to be able to project whatever you want onto that platform and control their emotions, their perceptions of who you are, what your values are, and that’s going to attract real estate agents. Once you provide real estate agents with value and some good content, at that point they’re drawn to you, and you completely flipped the switch. You’re no longer calling real estate agents and begging them to get a shot, or to take you out to lunch. They’re now calling you because you have something that they want. And they all want to know: how do I connect with my clients on a deeper level?”
The most valuable thing that originators have, Elias said, especially independent originators, is the ability to focus on a local market and get in front of every single real estate agent, controlling their perception and mindset.
When an originator shares what’s important and relevant in their lives, they’re also relaying information about their lives to their audience. This gets to the heart of what many originators are trying to do in today’s market, which is to find a connection with their clients and partners. That connection gives both parties a reason to choose one originator over the other, and build a stronger bond.
Whether an originator decides to only share mortgage-related content or to share any good content depends on their brand and business model. Both strategies share a common goal, and that is to show up online or in the media and build up credibility in the eyes of consumers and partners alike.