Buying a house can be a stressful process, particularly for a first-time buyer.
Getting approved for a mortgage loan can be one of the greatest sources of anxiety.
One of the biggest factors for a client in choosing a loan officer is finding someone they trust. Since taking out a mortgage has such serious implications, people need to feel like they can get their questions answered by someone who has their best interest at the forefront, and has knowledge of the market.
Assuming those traits describe you, how can you market yourself in a way that demonstrates that you are a trustworthy loan officer to work with?
Here are 3 marketing ideas for loan officers to help you get more leads:
1. Be a Teacher, Not a Salesman
A strange thing happens when you become an expert on a given topic.
You often forget what it was like to not be an expert.
As a result, it’s a challenge to communicate effectively with someone who knows very little on the topic, because you assume they know more than they do.
This phenomenon is often called “familiarity blindness.”
How does this apply to loan officers?
Well, certainly everyone thinking about buying a home understands that you have to factor in the cost of home owner’s insurance, right?
I mean, that’s pretty basic stuff…
In reality, your clients may not be familiar with those costs – or even worse, may be making decisions based on inaccurate information they picked up along the way.
This is the perfect example of why you need to have a teacher’s mentality with your clients.
The good news is – being a teacher is also an outstanding marketing tactic.
Marketing by Teaching
One of the best ways to share your expertise is through your website/blog. This is also an opportunity to build your own brand, as a loan officer who is a true expert in the field and someone that will be open and honest with their clients.
This whole idea is pretty simple – people search Google for just about everything, including virtually everything you can think of about getting a mortgage and buying a house.
In fact, people are searching questions you’ve probably never even thought of…
So how can you take advantage of that?
The first way is to simply write down the most common questions you hear, and then take time to answer those questions on your website in a more general way.
For instance, if you get a phone call today and someone asks “Can I still buy a house if I don’t have a down payment?” Answer the question over the phone, then come back later and create a blog post titled “Can I Buy A House Without a Downpayment?” and write out an informative answer.
If someone asked you that question, you can rest assured that many other people are asking the same question of Google.
The second way is similar to the first. You’ll still be using your website as your platform to share information, but this time you’ll be doing keyword research to find out exactly what questions/topics you should be targeting.
Keyword research is important because it tells you how often things are searched for, and it tells you how difficult it would be to rank near the top of Google for that search phrase (AKA keyword).
The ideal strategy is to find keywords that have low competition – meaning that you can rank on page 1 of Google faster and easier.
Here’s an example:
Using our keyword research tool, Long Tail Pro, I found thousands of keyword ideas related to mortgages and home buying. Knowing that we want to target keywords with low competition (meaning I can rank for them in Google), I found this keyword: “Mortgage on a 400000 house.”
Our software uses a custom calculation that we call Keyword Competitiveness. This scores every keyword on a scale of 1 to 100, telling you very simply how hard it would be to rank for that keyword. This keyword scored an 18, which means it is very low competition. Learn more about our scoring here.
You can also see that this exact phrase gets searched about 70 times per month.
While that may not sound like a lot, if I wrote an excellent blog post explaining how mortgage payments vary based on a number of factors, which means that the payment on a $400,000 loan could be very different depending on your local taxes, your credit score, down payment, etc. – I would expect to rank for this keyword and a bunch of similar searches.[su_note]Ready to start? Click Here to take a 10 day free trial of our keyword research tool, Long Tail Pro. [/su_note]
Why it Works
There are a couple of reasons why this “long tail” keyword strategy works well for loan officers.
- You are becoming a teacher. By answering questions in a thorough and honest fashion on your website, people are ‘sold’ on you before they ever pick up the phone to call. They know that you are an expert, and they come in with a level of trust.
- These long tail keywords typically come from people who are ready to buy. They are searching things very deep in the buying funnel, so typically these visitors turn out to be solid leads.
So what are you waiting for?
This strategy won’t revolutionize your business overnight, but following a consistent long tail keyword content strategy will certainly pay off in the long run.
2. Send Lumpy Mail
Snail mail is dead, right?
You might assume that sending out direct mail would simply be wasting your money, but here’s something a little different to try:
Denielle Lue, owner of Stitch to My Lue Promotions, has found that spending a little on “lumpy” mail goes a long way. She defines lumpy mail as any traditional/snail mail that “clearly contains a “gift” inside, thus “lumpy” mail. The recipient can feel the item in the packaging, prompting them to open it! We’ve seen response rates jump from 1-2% to over 30-50% with this approach!”
Denielle gave an example of sending out a branded USB charger, but you could do anything small, creative item that might tie into buying a home.
Giving a small, thoughtful gift will get people to open your mail and make them more likely to respond since you took a ‘give first’ approach.
3. Get Free Publicity
One of my favorite marketing techniques actually doesn’t cost a dime, and it works exceptionally well for loan officers and real estate professionals.
If you’ve not heard of HARO – Help a Reporter Out – you are missing out on free publicity.
The idea is that journalists, bloggers, and others in the media use HARO to send out queries when they are up against a deadline and need a source. You simply need to sign up for their emails, and you’ll get about 3 emails per day full of questions that you can respond to in the hopes of being quoted in their story.
I’ve been on the HARO list for years, and it seems like almost every single email has at least one topic about buying a home or financing a purchase.
My suggestion is that you really give excellent answers to any query you respond to. Be thorough and in-depth, so you are more likely to be used in the story. When your quote is included, you’ll typically have a link back to your website in addition to the great publicity and notoriety you receive by being cited as an expert on a major media outlet’s story.
It’s truly a win-win.
I hope that one (or more) of these marketing ideas gets your wheels churning a little bit. The worst thing you can do is keep researching ideas and never really implement them.
Get started now by taking a 10 day free trial of Long Tail Pro and start discovering what kind of content you should be writing about on your website. If you really aren’t sure how to start a website, we’ve created a free video series that walks you through the entire process. Click here to watch the tutorials.