Commercial Magazine

A Platform With a Purpose

Mortgage professionals should use social media to increase their business connections

By Tyler Stone

Social media is a blessing and a curse in today’s society. It delivers us any kind of information we are seeking within seconds, it provides us with entertainment, and in some ways makes communication infinitely easier and more complicated simultaneously. And social media gives us an often-needed distraction from our everyday lives, which can be good or bad, depending on how one looks at it.

Social media platforms also have proven to be increasingly popular ways to get more business in the door. This is true for commercial mortgage lenders and brokers, large and small. They can reap the benefits of social media if they implement the correct strategies.

Short sound bites

A good example is the popular social networking platform TikTok, in which viewers watch short videos of 30 seconds to three minutes. If you are on TikTok, you may think that it is only comprised of quick videos of silly human tricks. But there is a lot more to this platform that boasts more than 1 billion users in more than 150 countries.
There are literally hundreds of accounts dealing directly with commercial real estate that use quick videos with clever graphics and action shots to grab the viewer’s attention. These include the popular “realestatesource,” which has more than 850,000 followers. The site posts short and sometimes funny videos that give advice on many aspects of commercial real estate. Other sites include lectures by successful real estate investors and even videos of actual properties for sale.
The right kind of promotion on sites such as TikTok can provide huge growth potential for personal ventures and business opportunities. One real estate developer who is using the TikTok platform is Andy Zhu. His “genzrebuilds” account focuses on stock market, real estate and cryptocurrency trends. He uploads videos that aim to teach members of Generation Z about financial literacy, fixing and flipping homes, and first-time homebuying. Zhu began his TikTok account in January 2021 and has already amassed more than 115,000 followers.
One technique he uses to stay relevant among the countless creators who post about the same topics is that he “goes live” on his account. He uses the livestream function on TikTok to interact directly with users and he answers any questions that get asked through these livestreams.

Choose the right site

TikTok, of course, is only one of many social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat are some of the immensely popular platforms that can be used to execute successful marketing campaigns for commercial mortgage professionals.

Utilizing social media to grow a business has never been easier. These sites allow a business to broadcast anything it wants across a variety of platforms.

The choice depends on which platform best suits the business being marketed. To successfully use social media for business growth, it’s important to choose the right message and envision the end goal. Identifying a target audience helps to clarify this goal. Who are these business posts for? What is the business promoting, and how can it present its products and services to the right audience?
Next, select the platforms that will be used to promote the business. If the owner wants to create a video-based campaign, YouTube and TikTok are the best platforms for this objective. Instagram and Twitter, meanwhile, are better suited for image- and text-based campaigns.
Once the platform choices have been made, focus on the details, such as using hashtags to reach the target audience. Remember that quantity and quality go hand in hand when it comes to social media. When using these platforms, a business should post as often as possible. They shouldn’t post a major announcement and then log off the account for the next few weeks. But a business needs to avoid posting too much content that comes across as unorganized and overwhelming. Work on finding a balance that suits the abilities of your business and create content that someone would be proud of.
Posting quality content on a semiregular basis will consistently expose a business to its audience and attract these people’s interest. An example of this in the commercial real estate field is Cushman & Wakefield’s Twitter account. Their social media managers post valuable information concerning company announcements, breaking news and market reports. While they do post frequently on their Twitter page, this content is always something that their audience of real estate investors, bankers and brokers may find valuable.

Position your brand

Another aspect of social media marketing is to consider the competition. Social media’s ease of access has led to countless markets becoming oversaturated, and differentiating one company from the rest can be difficult. Broadcasting a compelling message is crucial to drawing an audience.
In the case of commercial mortgage originators and lenders, they need to focus on how they are positioning their business as a brand in the overall marketplace. Positioning is an essential concept for marketers because it allows a company or individual to paint their operation in the best light possible. A business needs to be positioned correctly to be seen.
It’s important, however, to be sure that this positioning makes sense for what the business is promoting. The business also must deliver on whatever value-add propositions it is communicating to its prospective clients. If a company fails to deliver, it could attract negative social media attention. Nowadays, one disappointing post can spark a wildfire of hatefulness toward a brand.
Commercial mortgage companies can use social media to interact with current and potential clients, and this is important for retaining business. An example of a brand creating content for the purpose of engaging clients is the commercial real estate services company CBRE, which has developed a social media following and launched several successful social media marketing campaigns. Its LinkedIn site has more than 950,000 followers.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, CBRE sponsored an “Urban Photographer of the Year” competition. This competition was promoted on all of CBRE’s social medial channels. It called for novice and professional photographers to capture the urban environment. CBRE marketers discovered that LinkedIn’s InMail feature would be most useful in reaching new audience members because this feature is only available on active LinkedIn accounts. During the 2016 competition, CBRE solicited more than 29,000 entries, a 41% increase from the previous year. This competition introduced CBRE to new audiences and ultimately spread awareness of the brand to these people.

Poll your clients

Any type of business model can utilize social media to gain an advantage over the competition. An important method for attracting the attention of current and prospective clients is by creating polls that ask simple questions (and these can be about any relevant topic). Polls engage people because they are a way to share opinions about something. These types of posts encourage room for discussion in the comments section.
Current clients benefit because they can voice any concerns or comments, while potential clients benefit from discovering the company’s brand. Their curiosity leads them to ask questions and find out if what is being offered is a good fit for their needs. There are online videos that show how to create polls across many platforms. YouTube, for instance, offers videos that demonstrate how to create polls on Facebook. SurveyMonkey is another website that offers free poll-making resources. Virtually all social media platforms offer poll-making tools.
Various companies, ranging from Microsoft to Wells Fargo, have found success on social media by offering different types of content, including discussions of their company histories, as well as employee and customer testimonials. Oracle, for instance, uses its social media accounts to highlight the philanthropic activities the company has initiated.
These examples go to show that social media, when used correctly, can help any company market its products and gain more clients. It’s also important to remember that any company information or activity can be broadcast, whether it’s new initiatives, testimonials or philanthropic works.
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Utilizing social media to grow a business has never been easier. These sites allow a business to broadcast anything it wants across a variety of platforms.
The pandemic has only increased the business world’s reliance on social media to help broadcast marketing messages. And when commercial mortgage companies spend the time to promote themselves through a well-planned social media strategy, the potential for client growth and engagement is limitless. ●


  • Tyler Stone

    Tyler Stone is the founder and president of Capstone Financial, which specializes in privately funded loans for commercial and fix-and-flip investment properties. A national direct lender launched in 2010, Capstone has simplified underwriting processes for first-lien position investment and bridge financing. Programs range from streamlined fix-and-flip rehab loans to one-off funding for “makes-sense” deals.

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