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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   November 2016

Building Marketing Pillars

Focus on lead-generation efforts to strengthen your business foundation

There are many avenues you can explore when generating leads in the mortgage industry, including both free and paid systems. You can connect with other industry leaders at events or search the web for “how to drive more traffic to your mortgage business.” You probably even receive unsolicited e-mails on how to easily generate leads.

With so many ways to increase your leads, it can be hard to determine which ones will work for you, but you have to do something to drive traffic to your door. Borrowers are not just going to walk into your office looking for a loan. You have to get your name out there to market your services.

There are so many ways to generate business that it can sometimes be daunting to get started. Or, even worse, you can fall into the “shiny new object” syndrome, where you move from gimmick to gimmick, never taking the time to build out an idea into a system that will keep generating business for you. Flitting from one idea to the next will cost you time, money and energy.

Building pillars

Instead of trying to hit every marketing media outlet all at once, or jumping on the latest bandwagon for a short ride, look at building pillars of marketing that will continue working for you long term. This process takes time, however. When building a pillar to generate business, you need to stick with it for at least 90 days. Don’t try it once and give up on it. Marketing is about testing and refining; not everything works right out of the gate.

The question, then, is which pillar should you work on first? One way to choose is to determine which idea will cost the least amount of money and provide the biggest return on time invested. Here are several free online marketing avenues that can have a positive impact on your business that many loan originators do not implement.

  • Set up a YouTube channel. Focus on a catchy channel name and be sure to use your key search terms. Then populate the channel with videos you create that showcase your expertise.
  • Create a blog. Write once a week or every other week about mortgage industry news, your niches and loan programs, and the loan process.
  • Market to your e-mail list. You should already have an e-mail list of clients, Realtors, escrow officers, home inspectors, insurance agents and other professionals. Use it to send out e-mail updates on a regular basis.
  • Cultivate online reviews. If you don’t have a Yelp page or a Google Business page, create one, and ask for reviews from your clients to help build your online reputation.

If you set aside some time each day or block out time once a week to focus 100 percent of your attention on one of these new projects, you can have them up and running in no time. Make sure you take the time to figure out the best way to set everything up so you don’t waste time and money. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time building a marketing pillar and then find out you did not follow a blueprint, so you have to deconstruct that pillar and start over. And don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand how to do something. Many online sites have customer help pages, FAQs, and even live-chat support to help people who get stuck.

The most important part is simply to get started and then stick with it until you completely build out each pillar. Don’t leave a pillar after you get it halfway done. Complete it 100 percent to make it as effective as possible. Once you complete one marketing pillar, set it on auto pilot and move on to the next pillar.

Realtor pillar

Whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to the mortgage industry, at some point your branch manager or another loan originator probably advised you to go after Realtors. Even in this age of online media, Realtors are still one of the best avenues for building business. In fact, they often are already out there on social media.

Establishing relationships with Realtors in your local market is a free pillar you can build through cold calling, e-mailing, going to open houses and attending real estate events. Building this pillar can be a lot like blogging: You just need the right message. Take what you have learned from building your other pillars and pass that experience along to your agents to help them with their marketing. This will go a long way toward building their business and your relationship with them.

Remember that real estate agents want their mortgage loan partners to return calls, e-mails and texts, so make sure you communicate with them on the leads they give you. It’s that simple. Just like anyone else, once a Realtor finds a mortgage originator they like to work with, cost is no longer the biggest determining factor in the relationship. It is communication.

•  •  •

Pillar marketing works when implemented correctly. Pick something you enjoy doing when building your pillars and that enjoyment will show in your work, which will help you see faster and better results. After you have built several pillars, you will make a mark on your local market that will last for years to come, and you will close more loans in your office than any other originator — all because you took action and stuck with it. Happy building.


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