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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   September 2018

Build Your Brand Based on Trust

The first step toward marketing success is to make a plan and follow it

Marketing can be a powerful tool for mortgage originators looking to stand out in this increasingly competitive industry. Whether you’re pursuing new leads, staying connected with past clients or building bonds with business partners, your personal brand is critically important. r_2018-09_Moffat-spot

The best foundation for a brand is one built on trust, credibility and recognition. Establishing such a reputation won’t happen overnight, regardless of your experience.

Still, it can be accomplished, if you are willing to be methodical and strategic about your approach. To start, take the time to develop a thoughtful marketing campaign. Define your authentic persona and identify the unique perspective that you bring to your clients to determine how you can deliver optimal value. Focus on your strengths and figure out the best way to communicate them to your target audience.

Make your personal network your salesforce. Reach out to family members and friends for referrals and turn the people you know best into your advocates. Create personalized postcards, print ads and e-mails to promote your business to a wider audience. Co-brand flyers with referral partners that highlight both of your businesses.

Following are some additional suggestions that will help you expedite the execution of your personal marketing plan.

Host events

Events offer a personal and intimate opportunity to build rapport with business partners. An event can be anything you want it to be. Whether it’s a lunch, a wine tasting, a spa day or a golf outing, get out there and interact with people. As an originator, you’re always looking for a reason to contact a potential referral partner, such as a real estate agent. A great way to do that is to invite them to a fun event.

Host events regularly and give your business partners something to look forward to. If you have an events team within your company, use that to your advantage and have them handle the logistical work.

Remember, events are about boosting your business and developing relationships. Build lasting bonds by delivering a memorable experience for everyone. Let your guests know you’ll provide the best experience for their clients by getting to know them and discussing the latest products and tools that could help their business in return.

Still, don’t talk too much business. They’ll remember you if your event does the talking. By hosting an event, you’re demonstrating how much you care for your clients and referral partners.

Know your audience

You can’t hit the bullseye on a dart board if you aren’t aiming for the target. In marketing, it’s crucial to understand your target audience, if you want to create an effective and credible marketing plan.

Do your homework. The due diligence will make it easier to develop a memorable campaign that resonates with consumers. Make sure the messaging for every piece you publish is on target.

Your business will only go as far as your reputation takes you.

Consider what type of homebuyer you’re aiming to work with. A marketing initiative for first-time homebuyers will be drastically different than one aimed at luxury clients. Pair loan products with the needs of your audience. Show what options are available if they work with you, and convince them you’ll do a better job fulfilling their needs than anyone else.

Use social media

Being social isn’t limited to the events you attend. Social media has emerged as an instrumental marketing tool across the industry.

Social media is particularly valuable for connecting with younger clients who are seemingly always connected online. If you can win them over, you’ll develop a pipeline of clients for years to come.

If your company has a dedicated social media team, utilize it. If not, spend some time each week sharing news items, announcements and product information with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers or LinkedIn connections.

Mix up the content you publish with fun, general stories. The quickest way to lose a following is to post too much about the minutia of complex industry dynamics. Keep it light.

 

KEY POINTS  

Effective marketing involves:

■ Creating a good plan.

■ Organizing fun events.

■ Understanding your audience.

■ Building relationships.

■ Employing social media.

■ Earning trust.

Use social media to interact directly with past clients and referral partners. Like, comment or share posts to stay on the radar. Offer congratulations or birthday wishes by commenting on a Facebook post. Check in with people with personal messages. While you might not go viral like a Hollywood celebrity, posting relevant, thoughtful content regularly on social media can help you gain popularity in your market.

Manage relationships

Maintaining and strengthening the relationships you’ve built might be the most important step in marketing your business. Turn your hard-earned customers and referral partners into your advocates.

Don’t be shy. Touch base with past clients and follow up to inquire how they’ve settled into their new homes. Invite them to coffee or send them a personalized message. For example, if you know a client is a sports fan, send them a joking e-mail before and after their favorite team squares off with yours.

Keep in contact with real estate agents and let them know you’re available to help them close a deal. Maximize the power of your customer-relationship management (CRM) system.

Relationships are essential in real estate. Prove to clients and referral partners that you’re there for them beyond a singular transaction. Create lifetime advocates who can fill your referral pipeline for the duration of your career.

Be a trusted adviser

Your business will only go as far as your reputation takes you. Your greatest goal is to establish yourself as a reliable mortgage originator who is genuinely devoted to helping borrowers achieve their homeownership dreams.

Utilize past customers for testimonials to prove your expertise. In a world where review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor impact dinner reservations and travel plans, positive feedback is pivotal for growing your business.

Express that sentiment in every flyer you produce, every event you host and every piece of social media content you post. Show your clients, agents and other referral partners they can trust you, and prove you’re invested in their success.

Technology, CRM systems, social media and events can all help that cause. In the end, however, it’s up to you to inspire that confidence. Market yourself as a trusted mortgage adviser and professional growth is sure to follow.


 


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