Revealing the tricks of the mortgage industry trade

Here's how one mortgage pro does it

Revealing the tricks of the mortgage industry trade

Much has been said of the power of social media in being able to stand out in the crowd. In light of a highly competitive mortgage industry with its varied challenges, this marketing tactic is now at a premium.

Kristi Hardy (pictured) knows this all too well since joining the industry some 20 years ago from the staid world of finance that was her original career. After becoming a mother during the Great Recession, she gradually became aware of the importance of social media to differentiate herself from her counterparts. Her focus with the tactic is helping educate on wealth-building through home equity, which manifests itself as a series of short videos showcasing what she calls tricks of the trade.

“I’m doing mostly reels, short-form reels, on Instagram,” she told Mortgage Professional America during a recent telephone interview. “Mostly, I’m just doing 30-second or less quick tips and tricks. They’re there to help realtors and clients, potential homebuyers – anyone who’s interested in little tricks about the mortgage business. “They’re very much to the point,” she said.

Forget Johnny B. Goode. Think instead of Kristi B. Hardy, which is her handle. It’s run together on Instagram, as kristibhardy.

“I’m really focused on social media right now and helping people create wealth,” Hardy said. “I do believe that homeownership is the first step to creating individual wealth, family wealth. I love it when I know we’re giving somebody’s family a leg up. Maybe it’s the first generation buying.”

It’s hard not to click on these videos

A quick perusal of the kristibhardy page reveals nothing short of digital pearls of wisdom, complete with compelling captions ripped from today’s headlines, cute graphics, clever editing and even background music that heightens the entertainment value of each mini-movie. Take “How $700 is costing $100,000.” What?!?! It really does make you want to watch, no?

“What if I told you that a $700 car payment was costing you $100,000 in buying power?” she asks in the video. “This is no joke – I’ll show you the math.” And she proceeds to do just that. The lender, she explains, takes the monthly debt and compares it to the monthly household income in determining homeownership eligibility. “This is how they determine how much house you can afford,” she says on the video.

Back to that $700 car payment. “If you didn’t have that debt or got rid of it, that means you can afford $700 in your house payment. At today’s rate, that works out to be $100,000 in buying power.”

All that information is conveyed in just over 30 seconds. The information in the video is helpful advice to would-be homeowners, but also positions Hardy as a telegenic and authoritative voice – yielding referrals in the process.

Other video snippets feature equally compelling captions that beg for a click. To wit: “The difference between the rich and not-so-rich.” “The house market already crashed.” “How to come up with a down payment?” “When will mortgage rates come down?” Here’s an eye-grabber: “Is the American Dream dead?”

As far as the market crash, Hardy says: “The housing bubble already popped and most people missed it,” she said. “Home prices peaked in June 2022 and have pulled back since then. This is actually healthy because they had spiraled during 2020 and 2022, and nothing can go up in a straight line. Over the last year, we actually saw a decent correction, meaning prices have come down in many markets across the country.”

It could be a matter of perception versus reality, she suggests: “The problem is many people wanted the prices to completely crash and had predicted this. But now it looks like prices have started to stabilize and in some markets we actually just saw a very small uptick in home prices.”

There is no profit motive here

Asked if she’s able to gauge interest – and potential business – because of the videos, the senior loan officer at Atlantic Coast Mortgage suggested profit motive is not what drives her educational outreach. “I am hearing from a lot of people that they’ve seen the videos and that they’re learning. That’s really what my goal is. I’m not attached to any outcome, I’m not attached to gaining a whole lot of business from them. Really my goal is to be seen as an educator and trusted advisor. People can know and learn from me.”

Spoken like a true teacher.

Want to make your inbox flourish with mortgage-focused news content? Get exclusive interviews, breaking news, industry events in your inbox, and always be the first to know by subscribing to our FREE daily newsletter.