Today’s retail loan officers are often considered “hunters” — they are one of lending teams’ greatest assets when it comes to seeking out and closing business. And one of the strongest assets hunters can rely on in their quest to drive new leads is visibility.
With this in mind, effective marketing is key.
At Blend, we have a team of experienced marketers, but we know that isn’t necessarily the case for all businesses — and we’re here to help. That’s why we have pulled together some advice to help you understand how marketing can support the hunter mentality that is prized in the industry.
Here we outline a strategic foundation to get you started and key loan officer marketing tools that can help you maximize your exposure and really market yourself effectively.
We suggest you start with the basics: the 4Ps of marketing. Then you can build on your offer from there.
What are the 4Ps of marketing?
The 4Ps of marketing are product, place, price, and promotion.
Perhaps the most important area to focus on is the product. Think about your specific loan offering, including the specific loan types that your organization specializes in and the rates they can offer. What’s more, think about you. You are selling yourself as much as your product. How do you stand out against the competition? Why would a borrower come to you as opposed to one of your peers?
The second ‘P’ is place. Where are customers looking for loans? How can you make it easier for borrowers to find you?
Third is price. How do your prices or rates stack up against the competition? What added value do you bring?
Finally, we have promotion. How will you get borrowers to do business with you? What marketing strategy will you use?
Once you have answers to the 4Ps, you are in a great position to leverage loan officer marketing tools and to start promoting your services.
6 of the best loan officer marketing tools today
There are many different loan officer marketing tools, but here’s our pick of the most impactful tools that are at your disposal:
1) Your website
Over half (58%) of homebuyers look to a lender for advice on planning and budgeting. By creating a website that offers useful and practical advice, you can foster relationships and build trust early on. Consider adding a blog so that you can deliver a regular flow of information in an accessible way.
Networking is not only important for finding end customers but it’s also vital for building relationships with real estate agents, who are a valuable source of leads. In fact, in a recent survey, almost all (96%) top loan officers said that real estate agents are one of their best sources of referrals. Open houses, loan closings, training events, and conferences are all good places for effective networking. 53% of top loan officers attend at least one closing per week.
“I attend closings because they help me to build relationships,” said a loan officer contributing to MGIC’s 2021 survey. “I get to spend time with clients as well as real estate agents. It’s such an exciting and memorable time for most. And being able to make a lasting impression can create repeat business.”
3) Social media
The majority (78%) of salespeople who use social media are outselling peers who don’t. Facebook (60%) is the most widely used social media platform by LOs, followed by LinkedIn (27%) and Instagram (20%).
Some LOs are even experiencing success with YouTube, which is no surprise considering that 73% of US adults use the platform — and that rises to 90% for the 18-24 year-old age bracket.
“Instead of making calls and doing happy hours, I use YouTube to tell stories about what my team and I have done for customers that week,” explained one loan officer in the MGIC survey. “It allows my subscribers to see my creative side. Sure, it requires planning and work, but it keeps me current with people in the industry.”
4) Email and Phone
84% of the top LOs use email to communicate and re-engage with past clients, and 51% use the phone. Regular connection using these methods can lead to valuable repeat business. In fact, in a research study, half of homebuyers received a check-in call after loan closing, and 52% of these say they are very likely to reuse that lender. Meanwhile, of those who didn’t receive a call, just 23% said they were very likely to reuse that lender.
5) Customer relationship management
A customer relationship management (CRM) system can be a useful tool to manage customer data and relationships, and it can even connect to your lending platform. It helps you track customer interactions and automate common sales and marketing tasks leading to stronger relationships and valuable marketing insights. 93% of LOs use a CRM tool.
6) Technology to capture applications and close loans
The experience you provide consumers is possibly the best marketing tactic you have at your disposal, since positive associations with you and your services promote repeat business and positive word of mouth. The best experiences are those that are modern, intuitive, and aligned with consumers’ expectations — and these are all things that great technology can facilitate.