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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   September 2017

Get Into the Headlines

Personal branding helps the community learn who you are

It is important for mortgage originators to build a personal identity and relate to their customers. Personal branding is a great tool for building business and furthering a career. It allows potential customers to recognize the originator when they are ready to become borrowers.

In addition, marketing a personal brand can bring in more recommendations and referrals as an originator’s local recognition increases. Understanding the advantages of a personal brand helps originators develop their careers and stay a step ahead of the competition.

Company branding concerns

Many originators tend to rely on their mortgage company to brand and market for them. This makes it easier for them to focus on processing loans and replying to the demands of borrowers who need guidance. Relying solely on the company marketing arm, however, presents issues that can limit an originator’s long-term production growth. 

By only using the marketing and branding provided by the company, originators will get limited recognition outside their company, won’t be able to develop and highlight their personal expertise, get fewer opportunities to expand their recognition as an originator, and could end up getting stuck on the ladder — instead of opening up potential career opportunities.

It is important to begin finding a personal voice and identity as an originator. This gives originators the capacity of breaking through the limitations of working for one company while strengthening their options with personalization.

Even though working for a company can provide job stability, it also can limit employees when they fall under the company brand umbrella. If something happens to the company, unbranded originators often have to start their search over again while proving their expertise to new superiors and, potentially, new markets. For many originators, this limits their capacity to develop.

Ambitious originators who want to expand their careers can suffer if they rely solely on company marketing, even if their companies are stable. Options for developing a career by working with different types of clients, creating personal niches or focusing on new opportunities are limited for originators who aren’t recognized names in the industry.

Personal branding benefits

With personal branding, originators can effectively promote their own personal expertise, both to potential new clients and to peers across the mortgage industry. The benefits of personal branding are numerous. Here are, perhaps, the top five:

  1. Get recognized by clients. Borrowers and referral sources all look for originators they can trust. Finding someone with expertise who can provide the best offers and service is essential, especially when it comes to monetary needs. A personal touch here can increase referrals and client loyalty.
  2. Stand apart from the crowd. Every originator has an area of expertise. Branding this difference can help originators get noticed and drive borrowers in that target market to contact them.
  3. Open new career doorways. By only relying on company marketing and branding, originators can limit their development to just within that company. To effectively develop their careers, originators need a known personal name that can carry them to the next level of success.
  4. Boost industry position. Whether motivated by financial gain or a desire for recognition within the industry, a personal brand can help originators develop to the next level. By positioning themselves as experts within the industry, they can find greater returns on both fronts.
  5. Develop more opportunities. From clients to referrals to career choices, the path to increased opportunities for success goes through an originator’s personal identity. While a company may provide a stable job, the next level can’t be reached without developing a personal brand.

Branding for success

Even though there are many benefits to personal branding, many mortgage originators still rely on their company brand. Some may think that traditional marketing methods won’t work in the mortgage industry. Others may worry that the time needed to build a brand will impact their ability to work with clients. Many originators, however, are simply not aware of the easy steps they can take to get out of the box and begin building their personal brand.

It is important to begin funding a personal voice and identity as an originator.

The first step is to define your expertise. You want to define what sets you apart from other lending officers. The programs you offer, individuals you are interested in helping and the support you provide should all be listed. Determine what you are passionate about first, and use this as your central message to draw potential clients to you.

Next, you need to place value in your name. When building a personal brand, you will want to create everything around your name. To compliment this, build pages on popular social networks with your name, set up social profiles with your name and relate all of these back to the lending expertise you offer.

Third, don’t be afraid to get personal. You will want to use a central photo that is warm and welcoming to your community. A professional photo that develops a first impression for others can help you to begin building your brand. You will want to use this for every online profile to create a consistent look that potential clients can relate to.

Finally, start sharing. Let others in the community know who you are and what you are doing. Using social media, blogs and a website you can quickly build recognition with those who are interested in the loan programs you offer. Providing expert advice and building personal relationships through your platform will begin to create the brand recognition you need.

•  •  •

Building a personal identity as a loan originator allows you to exceed your current status. Working in today’s professional climate requires ambition, a competitive edge and expertise. You can set yourself apart from others in your industry by building a personal brand. With simple steps and communication, you can open up new opportunities and develop your career.


 


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