Listen up, mortgage brokers — the pathway to sustained success is easier than you think, but you first need to learn how to market yourself as a well-rounded originator. What exactly does that look like in 2020?
It’s a broker who has a diversified business. It’s also a mortgage professional who has established relationships with multiple lenders and can find the best solutions for borrowers. Last, but certainly not least, it’s someone who knows how to adapt to the marketing landscape.
In today’s mortgage industry, the competition is fierce. For that reason, it’s important that brokers find ways to successfully stand out from the crowd. These guidelines can be just the tools needed to revamp your mortgage strategy and welcome in a new era of business.
First of all, mortgage originators should consider taking on both residential and commercial real estate lending opportunities. Let’s say you’re a residential expert but lacking in commercial real estate knowledge. Chances are your clients will search for another mortgage professional if they are ever interested in purchasing commercial property.
Sure, you can present a client with the perfect financing solution for their home, but can you also help that same borrower execute a cash-out refinance on the office property they own? Instead of letting your clients seek help elsewhere, add another skill set to your professional arsenal. This will not only help your business expand, it also will make it easier for borrowers to stay with you when it comes to their different needs.
You might be thinking, “How can I transition from brokering residential to commercial properties?” Begin by tapping into multifamily housing. Multifamily properties are simply defined by the number of dwelling units (five or more), making them a great starting point for brokers because they are similar enough to multiunit residential homes.
For education, brokers should reach out to commercial mortgage lenders directly. These lenders often offer online courses and webinars. Mortgage and real estate associations or publications offer training as well.
Since all residential mortgage originators need to be licensed before they can do business in their state, many assume they will need to obtain a license to close commercial mortgages as well. That isn’t always the case. The truth is, it isn’t always clear if a state requires a license in order to broker commercial real estate loans. Brokers should either consult with their attorney or search the online database of the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) to determine whether a license is required to broker commercial mortgages in states where they conduct business.
One way to ensure you provide your clients with the best possible loan solution is by having solid relationships with a wide range of lenders. Not surprisingly, borrowers tend to seek out conventional banks when applying for a loan, but that doesn’t always work out. Banks, which generally have stricter guidelines, are more likely to turn down borrowers for a number of reasons having to do with credit or documentation requirements.
As an originator, it’s up to you to steer these borrowers in another direction if they get rejected. An alternative route you can propose is to apply for a loan with a nonbank lender. Although borrowers may not know about alternative lending options, these lenders are often a better choice because they offer greater flexibility on terms and loan solutions along with alternative or reduced documentation.
Knowing about these options also adds value to your business because clients know they can trust you when it comes to their lending needs. For instance, you may have two different clients — one who can provide tax returns and has a perfect credit score, while the other has a low credit score and cannot provide documentation. Every mortgage broker knows how to deal with the former — you take them to the bank. The mark of a great broker, however, is revealed in the way they deal with the latter scenario.
Establishing relationships with these nonbank lenders is simple. Brokers can visit the lender’s corporate website and find a contact page. You’ll typically find a list of loan officers separated by geographic region. Another option is to connect with lenders on a social media channel such as LinkedIn.
Establishing referral relationships and generating more borrower leads are only a couple of ways that social media can benefit your business.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial for mortgage brokers to have social media savvy. There are professionals who still exclusively network in person but, more often than not, originators are using this medium to explore new opportunities, connect with fellow professionals and ultimately expand their business.
Believe it or not, these platforms aren’t just about posting #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) vacation photos. When used correctly, social media can present brokers with vast opportunities. Establishing referral relationships and generating more borrower leads are only a couple of ways that social media can benefit your business. Keep in mind, each platform can (and should) be utilized in different ways. Some relevant social media platforms for brokers are YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
The mortgage industry can be difficult to understand for some borrowers. To make things easier for your clients, consider filming short “how-to” videos and uploading them on your YouTube channel. Subjects can range from real estate basics to the different processes borrowers can expect when applying for a loan. This will properly prepare clients when they consider various lending solutions. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert at video editing. Many lenders offer help with videos and scripts as part of their marketing toolkit for brokers.
Although you probably won’t get as many likes on this platform, LinkedIn is a great tool for connecting with other professionals in the mortgage industry. More importantly, this is where you can discover different lenders and begin to establish relationships with them. Share your success stories with your connections. Posting actual case studies adds legitimacy to your online brand and gives your audience a clear picture of the benefits you provide.
One of Facebook’s hidden gems is the groups feature. There seems to be a group for just about everything, from 18th century Victorian literature fanatics to millennials looking to buy real estate. The fact that these groups are so niche can work in your favor.
Once you find the group you want to communicate with about your mortgage business, target their page with your business proposals. Make sure to spread out your messages, because no one likes a spam artist.
• • •
The mortgage industry is an ever-changing landscape. It’s vital that you continually revamp your business. Not only will this keep your current clients happy, it will surely present you with new and fruitful opportunities. •