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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   December 2010

5 Tips for Effective Educational Marketing

Earn more business by adding some instruction to your marketing methods

The role of the 21st century loan officer has changed. Essentially, you must become an educational marketer to flourish.

Educational marketers are brokers and loan originators who understand that they must educate their customers and referral partners while also marketing their business.

If you look around, you will see all types of new regulations, policies and guidelines in the mortgage industry. New federal regulations now require loan-originator licensing, and brokers and loan originators must pass licensing tests. As a result, there is certainly no shortage of educational information in the market.

Today's loan originators must therefore understand how to take all these changes and present them to their marketplace — in particular, to real estate agents and other referral partners — while also marketing their business.

Here are five ways brokers and loan originators can become educational marketers and stand out from the crowd.

1. Package content wisely

You must first understand how to package content, such as rules and guideline changes, so that real estate agents and others want to know about it. For example, agents must know the new rules, but what they really want is to connect with new buyers and sellers.

So how can you take the information they must know and deliver it in a way that touches their true interests? It starts with the packaging. Let's look at two headlines that would potentially get you in front of real estate agents:

  • Local Loan Originator Teaches Agents the New Rules of Lending
  • How to Become a Six-Figure Superstar Agent in the New World of Real Estate

Which headline caught your attention? It was probably the second. Notice how we took the topic of changing guidelines and dressed it up. We all know that agents must understand the new rules so that they don't spend large amounts of time with unqualified applicants. Headlines that include references to making money, attracting buyers and selling listings often draw larger audiences.

2. Become a go-to expert

Start a blog about housing, lending and your local market. Doing so, you can become your city's go-to expert.

Blogging and video blogging are excellent ways to showcase your knowledge and credibility. Here are several keys to creating a successful blog:

  • Write great headlines. For inspiration, check out other blogs and study headlines in popular magazines.
  • Write in layman's terms. When you are trying to explain new regulations or laws, make sure you bring them to the average person's level so homebuyers understand what they mean to them.
  • Focus on what your readers want to know.
  • Write how-to articles, and use lists or bullet points.
  • When making videos, keep them entertaining, real and short. You shouldn't need any more than two to four minutes per video.

3. Speak at agent events

As you gather information, repackage it into ways real estate agents can make money. Also, get involved in local real estate associations. Ask to give presentations at association meetings. If you bring valuable information that help agents grow their business, you could be asked to present at local offices.

Here are some keys to giving great presentations:

  • Make your material relevant and interesting.
  • Learn how to tell great stories. Remember: Facts tell, but stories sell.
  • Give the agents action steps based on your presentation.

4. Get published

With real estate being on the front of nearly every local newspaper in the country, getting a newspaper reporter's attention is easier now than ever before.

Editors and reporters often need expert sources for their stories. Here are some tips for making the connection:

  • Make a list of the business and finance reporters in your city.
  • Send a press kit with your picture, bio and story ideas.
  • Follow up with phone calls.
  • Add the reporters you speak with to your database and send them regular communication.

5. Host a show or podcast

Several loan originators have started their own radio shows. Most radio stations will sell you airtime on the weekends for your show. You can then sell advertising spots to offset the cost.

Here are some tips to start your own radio show:

  • Contact the local radio stations and ask about the cost of airtime for a local show on real estate and finance.
  • Make a list of possible advertisers.
  • Plan your shows at least a month in advance.

Above all, be persistent and consistent. Becoming the educational marketer for your city won't happen overnight, but it can happen with a good plan and personal commitment.


 


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