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Marketing in today’s world can be challenging and confusing. As a mortgage broker running your own small business, you might get phone calls from advertising agencies who claim they can help you — but how do you know who to trust? Your image matters, and it can be a scary decision to leave your reputation in someone else’s hands.
Never fear, there are some simple ways you can get your business noticed. And they won’t force you to give up control, break the bank or monopolize your time.
Below we’ll cover how to get your mortgage bond, leverage customer reviews and other great ideas to get your business on the map.
1. Show off your mortgage broker bond
As a mortgage broker, you’re required to carry a mortgage surety bond, so why not use it to your advantage?
Clients are always worried that they’ll be making a big investment without being protected. You can put them at ease from the start by showcasing that you’re bonded. Display that you’re bonded proudly on all of your advertising and your website using a prominent banner.
What if you don’t have a mortgage broker license bond yet? If you’re new to the business, getting your mortgage bond is easy.
First, research your bond requirement because it’s different state by state. Some bonding agencies have sections of their website dedicated to this step. Next, search for surety bond agencies online, and choose one you’d like to work with.
Utilizing online ratings and the Better Business Bureau are great ways to ensure you work with a reputable agency.
Finally, fill out an online application, and follow the agency’s bonding process. Some agencies provide banners of trust you can add to your website. If yours doesn’t, just find a creative way to display the fact that you’re bonded on your own.
Before you know it, you’ll be ready to move on to these other great ways to market your business.
2. Get positive online reviews
You see online reviews everywhere including Yelp, Google Plus and Facebook. Did you know that even Zillow has reviews for mortgage lenders?
More and more customers turn to the Internet for help when they’re searching for a business to work with, whether it’s on their desktop or their mobile phone. This means you should be visible when your customers are looking for help.
You don’t need to appear on every review platform, but pick one or two that fit your business model, and make sure you create a solid presence. In addition to the newer review sites, there’s always the tried-and-true Better Business Bureau.
The only tricky bit here is how to encourage your customers to leave reviews. If you have a ton of them, it’s easy — even if 1 out of a 100 post a review, you won’t have to do too much work.
However, for smaller businesses, it’s important to form close connections with your customers that will inspire them to share their experiences online.
If someone’s jubilant with your services and you explain how important this is for your business growth, it should be enough to convince them to jot down a quick review.
Procrastination is a big problem for all customers, so an easy way to gently remind them is to include a call-to-action at the bottom of your email communications requesting a review.
Customers won’t think it’s obtrusive, but at the same time, they’ll see it often and on a day when they have some extra time, they might just decide to click and write something. That’s worth a lot to an expanding business.
3. Google My Business puts you on the map, literally
Never heard of Google My Business? It’s okay. It’s an excellent tool, and the best part is — it’s free.
Google My Business presents business owners, regardless of size, with a fantastic way to get more traffic to their businesses. My Business pages show up on Google maps, search and Google Plus.
Using Google My Business is a fantastic way to make sure you appear to your customers at the right time. They can quickly and easily get information such as hours of operation, contact information and location.
It also means that consumers have a one-and-done search. They’ll find you and the information they need in just one click. In a world all about “micro-moments,” this is vital.
Another impressive feature of this tool is the bulk upload and edit options. This tool is available if you have 10 or more locations.
First, you’ll have to set up your business’s Google account. Then, directly visit Google My Business, and create your business’s page. It’s simple, easy and doesn’t require any specific technical knowledge.
4. Get social
There are many social media outlets including Instagram, Facebook and Google Plus. For many mortgage brokers, it’s hard to maintain all of these pages. Engaging users on a regular basis can be even more difficult. So, how do you plan your efforts efficiently?
First, learn to prioritize. Each interface has unique features caters to different target audiences.
In the US, Facebook users are about 40 years old on average. Many sources say that they’re also mostly female. Facebook also offers paid ads that allow you to target users in a variety of ways. Twitter and Google Plus also offer paid ads.
Some statistics say that Twitter users tend to be men more than women, and the largest percentage of users are in the 18-29 age range.
These statistics vary by the platform, but they all have specific general demographics. If you’re looking for the most-used platform, Facebook is still on top.
Once you chose the demographic, you want to target and the platform or platforms you’d like to use, the real work begins. Social media isn’t about posting a set number of times a week or gaining a certain number of followers who never had any real interest in your products and services.
Concentrate on posting tips, articles and pictures that will engage people who would typically be your customers. Don’t forget to include an image with every post.
Social media is largely a visual medium. You might not gain a large follower base, but you’ll gain an interested and engaged one — which is far better.
For an excellent beginner’s guide to social media, check out this great post by Social Media Examiner.
5. Get out there
There are some even easier things you should do to help people to find you.
For instance, be sure you use the same name, address and phone number (NAP) for all listings — online and offline. This simplifies the task of trying to find and contact you.
Second, you should register in online directories and directories that have an online component. One popular list is the Better Business Bureau. You should also list your business in mortgage broker-specific directories.
There are many ways to market your mortgage brokerage. Don’t try to use them all and end up spreading yourself too thin. Pick a few and test how they work for you.
And don’t get discouraged. It takes time to find the right outlets for your business. Start with the simplest, and move toward the complex until you find the perfect recipe.
Have you used any of these techniques before? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.