Staying connected to and interacting with potential borrowers and referral sources is a big part of succeeding as a mortgage professional. For commercial mortgage brokers, one of the most valuable tools available for doing this is social media. Taking advantage of the power and potential of the various social media sites available is a great way to market yourself, grow your existing business and keep new business coming through the door.
Understanding social media
Traditional marketing is still an important factor in any mortgage broker’s success, but it’s impossible to ignore the impact that social media sites have had on marketing. It’s important for any company to embrace this technology in order to attract new mortgage leads. Here are some of the perks of using social media to market your business:
- It’s low cost. Creating a page or profile on most social media sites is free. It costs a lot less to create a company page on Facebook or LinkedIn and post regular updates than it does to pay for traditional advertising, so it’s a great way to supplement your current marketing.
- It’s an easy way to connect with potential borrowers and referral sources. Many people like to research the companies and people with whom they’re looking to work. After a quick Google search, many potential clients will look for your company on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Also, it’s virtually impossible to have daily conversations in person or over the phone with all the people in your current referral network. Social media is a great way to stay in front of your sources and remind them what you have to offer.
- It allows for interaction. Because people who follow you on social media are able to reply to or comment on your posts, these sites are a great way to begin dialogues with potential borrowers and referral sources. Through these sites, you can address borrowers’ questions and concerns about the lending process, as well as begin developing relationships with referral sources and direct lenders.
Social media is a valuable tool because it allows you to market your skills and connect with small-business owners and referral sources. In order to reap the benefits of these sites, however, you need to know which sites are best for your business.
Choosing the right channels
There are a number of social media sites to choose from when deciding to market your business digitally. It isn’t always best to be present on every site, however, particularly when you’re just beginning. You need to determine which social media sites are right for your company based on the business you want to attract. That being said, the following social media sites are particularly well-suited for mortgage brokers:
- LinkedIn: It’s a good idea to begin with sites that are oriented toward professional use, such as LinkedIn. You should create a LinkedIn page for yourself as well as your company. Be sure to join relevant groups on the site, such as groups geared toward small-business owners in your area or groups for commercial lenders and brokers. This will allow you to connect with potential borrowers, as well as develop connections with others in the industry.
- Facebook: There are more than 1.25 billion monthly active users on Facebook, and some of them are small-business owners looking to finance their properties. Like LinkedIn, Facebook offers professional groups that you may join through the site. Facebook is also an excellent tool to answer the questions of potential borrowers or referral sources who are interested in doing business with your company.
- Twitter: The microblogging site doesn’t have anywhere near the reach of Facebook, but with more than 270 million monthly active users, Twitter shouldn’t be ignored. The site is great for keeping up with relevant industry content to share with your followers, as well as for posting tidbits about deals you’ve recently closed.
Choosing industry-appropriate sites is key to your social media success. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have great reach and established presences among the public. Once you’ve decided on which social media sites to use, you need to keep your followers interested in what you’re posting.
Maintaining your followers
If you want your social media marketing to succeed, it’s important to maintain interest in your pages. You don’t want to send potential borrowers or sources to an abandoned company page or account. This means that you need to be committed to your social media channels.
- Develop a strategy. When you begin using social media to market your services as a broker, it’s important to have a plan. Make sure that you have a posting schedule and that you stick to it. Keep the writing style of your updates consistent and true to your business.
- Focus on your content. Posting relevant and compelling content is a great way to keep your followers interested. Use your sites to answer any questions that borrowers or referral sources might have, as well as for posting industry news and helpful tips for your followers. If you’re not sure what to post, ask your followers what they’d like to see.
- Interact. When your followers comment on your post or post a question on your page, don’t ignore them. Interacting with followers is an excellent way to establish your credibility. Once potential borrowers and referral sources know that you’re knowledgeable, responsive and trustworthy, they’ll be more likely to work with you.
No one likes to be sent to a social media page that hasn’t been updated in months. If you’re going to use social media as a marketing tool, you need a solid plan, ongoing content and the desire to interact with your followers. If you stick to your posting schedule and share interesting stories and industry facts, your followers will remember you and the services you provide.
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At the end of the day, you should connect with sources and borrowers to succeed as a mortgage broker. Social media is a great tool to help you achieve those ends. With their vast reach, these sites will help you make new connections and attract fresh business. When you understand the benefits of social media, how to choose the most appropriate sites for your business and how to keep your followers engaged, you’ll find it is an excellent supplement to your current marketing efforts, and may help you close more deals.
A version of this article originally appeared in the October 2014 commercial edition of Scotsman Guide.