Gone are the days of plentiful refinance loan opportunities. Once-abundant refis have dwindled because of rising interest rates, and mortgage loan officers are now competing in a higher-cost purchase mortgage market with limited homebuyer demand.
The market downturn has made effective mortgage marketing central to maintaining volume and staying relevant in today’s competitive purchase market. But for mortgage professionals who are just starting in the industry and haven’t established a solid marketing strategy, the current economic circumstances are particularly difficult.
Fortunately for entry-level loan officers, success is much more easily achievable with strategies and tools in place that engage leads and act fast when opportunity strikes. Here are five tips for new loan officers as they take on the 2023 housing market:
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While mortgage lending opportunities are still available, competition in a high-price, low-inventory housing market is especially fierce. To come out on top, mortgage loan officers that are just starting out would be wise to dedicate as much time as possible to finding and cultivating leads.
While some loan officers elect to buy leads from third-party vendors, this lead generation tactic can be incredibly costly, and store-bought leads don’t always result in a sale. Building personal relationships with homebuyers through engaging, timely and relevant outreach is an excellent way to establish trust with potential customers. Additionally, following up and providing an outstanding borrower journey all the way to closing and beyond can lead to new business through referrals.
Secure Purchase Opportunities Before Your Competitors
Purchase lending opportunities now outweigh refinance opportunities, so one of the most important considerations for new loan officers is adopting a purchase-focused marketing strategy backed by engaging content that targets prospective homebuyers.
Powerful customer relationship management (CRM) solutions like Surefire℠ CRM and Mortgage Marketing Engine by Black Knight give mortgage loan officers a user-friendly platform to automate personalized, timely outreach that both engages and educates purchase borrowers and referral partners with little effort required. For new loan officers, this automation is beneficial for generating leads while affording them the extra time they need to become initiated into the mortgage industry.
Forge Lasting Relationships with Real Estate Referral Partners
Referral partners are an excellent, cost-free source of high-intent purchase leads, though finding and connecting with the right referral partners can be intimidating when you are first starting your career. Powerful tech pairings like the one between Mortgage Market Intelligence (MMI) and Surefire CRM take some of the pressure off of uninitiated loan officers by pointing out which referral relationships would be most lucrative.
Once partnered with a real estate agent, communications designed to help real estate agents build their prospect lists not only offer a unique value to referral partners — they set the stage for those opportunities to trickle down to loan officers. For example, Surefire’s informative single property websites are especially effective for drawing in high-intent prospects and can even include educational interactives like mortgage calculators that encourage leads to share their information and get pre-qualified for a loan.
Another valuable referral marketing strategy that new loan officers should consider is social media. Social media platforms can help newer loan officers who haven’t developed a strong network reach a wider audience and generate leads. For instance, mortgage professionals can create targeted ads for Facebook and Instagram that reach users based on specific characteristics — such as their location, age, interests and even behaviors. LinkedIn can also be a useful platform for connecting with potential real estate agent partners and establishing a strong reputation in your market.
Keep in mind that when using social media for mortgage marketing, it’s crucial for loan officers to adhere to marketing compliance guidelines and avoid making any false or misleading claims. Loan officers should also ensure that their social media profiles are consistent and feature accurate information about their services.
Engage Borrowers with Tappable Equity
Record home price appreciation has created record levels of home equity, with Black Knight reporting that homeowners had $9.3 trillion in tappable equity available as of February 2023. What’s more, rates for home equity loans are still favorable compared to other home financing options. This rate environment makes products like cash-out refinances, debt-consolidation refinances, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and reverse mortgage loans an excellent way for new loan officers to help consumers tap into their equity to fund a renovation, afford a move-up purchase and more.
With award-winning content from the Surefire Creative library, loan officers can send branded, equity-focused mortgage marketing across all outreach channels with ease. Plus, this marketing can even be automated using Surefire CRM’s plug-and-play workflows, saving entry-level loan officers considerable time and effort compared to manual outreach.
Maintain a Connection with Past Borrowers
Many of the purchase loans that a loan officer closes today may lead to repeat business in the form of refinances. That’s why nurturing relationships with past borrowers with a robust post-close marketing strategy is an excellent way for forward-thinking loan officer to earn repeat business.
Surefire CRM makes post-close marketing trouble-free with its powerfully automated Client for Life workflows. While automating digital post-close marketing is an easy way to engage past borrowers via their mobile devices, print marketing can be just as effective. For example, postcards generated with Surefire CRM feature a loan officer’s branding and personalized messaging for situations like a loan anniversary, birthday or refinance opportunity. Unlike generic postcards that get thrown away, timely communications with relevant content better your chances of repeat and referral business.
For even more strategies for breaking into the mortgage industry during this time of economic uncertainty, read our complete guide to becoming a loan officer in 2023.
As content manager at Top of Mind Networks, Renita develops award-winning marketing materials and strategies for mortgage companies. Throughout her career, Renita has managed public relations and produced both printed and online content for clients in the home building, affordable housing, real estate, mortgage lending, financial planning, and
environmental industries. As a ghostwriter, she has contributed to two books on social media marketing. Her work has also been published in numerous print and online trade publications for industries she supports.
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