As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, January 2012.
The mortgage business has changed in the past few years. Closing loans has become tougher, and this has led much of the competition to leave the industry. This is helpful to those who remain, but mortgage brokers and originators still must market themselves to get business.
Previously, simple networking with Realtors could net you new business, but now you must earn that business. One way to do that is to highlight your expertise through blogging. A blog is basically an article that you have written and published on a website. Blogging seems simple, but you have to be committed and proactive to get results. Here are six steps to make sure your blog is effective.
1. Choose a platform: A platform is any website where you can post your blog. This can be your own page or an outside website, like ActiveRain.com or Trulia.com. It is great to blog on your own website, but don’t stop there. Blog on other sites that get more traffic than your own. By building name recognition at an already popular site, you can begin to drive more traffic to your own website.
2. Be informative: Your articles must inform and educate. Don’t just ask for business, but give helpful information. Write about mortgage rates, real estate market changes, social media tips — anything that is relevant to your clients. Include local information, as well, to help market your business to Realtors and borrowers in your area.
3. Spread the word: When you publish a post, make sure you spread the news by posting a link to the article on Facebook and Twitter, or e-mailing the link out to your database. This will increase traffic to the post.
4. Use search-engine keywords: Keywords are the words that someone types into a search engine when researching a topic. These keywords should lead readers to your blog. Make sure your article and the article’s title include relevant keywords. Along with the amount of traffic your blog gets, keywords are what determine your place in search-engine results. Getting found on the first page of results should be your goal, as it will increase traffic — and hopefully increase your business.
5. Create a standard signature: A signature line at the end of each post is a great place to advertise yourself. When someone reads your article, you want it to be easy for them to find out more information about you. The signature should include your name, e-mail address, phone number, links to your website, and buttons that link to your Facebook or Twitter pages.
6. Commit: You have to be patient. You may not get your first closing from blogging for six months or longer, but you shouldn’t get frustrated and quit. Stick with it. If you stay committed to blogging, you likely will see increased leads and business.
Creating an effective blog can take time, but if you commit to it, the benefits are significant. There is no better way to market yourself for little to no cost. There are many things that go into a successful blog, but these six steps will get you started. As you blog, monitor your progress to improve your results. Examine which blog topics are the most popular on your website. Monitor how much traffic you get from search engines and which posts get the most traffic. By committing to blogging as a marketing tool, you will increase your Web presence and likely your business, as well.
David Krichmar is a mortgage banker with America Home Key Inc. in Texas. He has been in the mortgage business for more than 10 years and has experience in all aspects of the lending industry. Krichmar blogs for Realtor magazine’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) and Houston Agent Magazine. He also teaches a class on social media to Realtors.
For more information, visit DaveYourMortgageGuy.com. Reach Krichmar at (832) 689-6012 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/DaveMortgageGuy.