As new homebuyers increasingly turn to the internet, now is a great time to make sure your pages are attention grabbing by upgrading your social media profile to attract followers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
According to a 2018 Ellie Mae survey, 92% of borrowers did online research prior to reaching out to a lender (up from 57% five years earlier).
Not surprisingly, Millennials (ages 25–39) were twice as likely as Baby Boomers to make contact with lenders online (43% vs. 24%). Millennials account for a 53% share of mortgage originations, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Here are six ways to help put yourself in front of more potential homebuyers:
- Freshen up Your Photo
Social media is primarily visual and it’s vital to make a good first impression. Whether you hire a professional or rely on a co-worker, make sure your profile photos on Facebook®, LinkedIn® and your other social media accounts show you smiling, relaxed and approachable. Social media experts say younger customers, in particular, are likely to look you up online, sometimes before making contact with a phone call or online inquiry.
- Use Twitter® for Early Alerts
Typically, companies and individuals announce news first on Twitter. It’s easy to set up your account to get notifications when specific accounts send out a tweet. When you get these Twitter alerts about news from your favorite real estate partner or an important community figure, you can respond immediately to offer congratulations. When appropriate, you can also be also among the first to share the news to your own accounts, including Facebook and Instagram. You may choose to have Twitter send specific alerts through email or opt for a more custom feel with a free listening tool like TweetDeck.
- Become a News Resource
Help homebuyers, neighbors and real estate agents in your area by sharing news, especially when it can save your followers money. For example, as we get closer to July 15, this year’s extended due date for taxes, spotlight how eligible homeowners can potentially save hundreds of dollars each year by deducting mortgage insurance premiums on their IRS returns.
- Ask for and Share Customer Testimonials
Nothing establishes credibility more quickly than a favorable 10- or 15-word comment from a customer. When posting, many mortgage professionals omit the homebuyers’ personal details, as in this example: “Our lender representative was hugely helpful in getting us into our new home.” — Mr. and Mrs. E.J.
- Recognize Professionals
Use the National Day Calendar to salute professionals in your community throughout the year on occasions such as National Teachers Month (September) or Dental Care Month (May). These celebrations also create an opportunity to highlight AMGC Community Programs, available through Arch Mortgage Guaranty Company, which enable lenders to offer eligible borrowers affordable mortgages with modest down payments. The flexible guidelines facilitate expanded homebuying opportunities for teachers, medical professionals, members of the military and degreed professionals like accountants, architects and engineers.
- Go Live
Host a question-and-answer session or a first-time homebuyer seminar on broadcast platforms like LinkedIn Live, Facebook Live or Twitter Chats. Live events deliver the authenticity many social media users are looking for. Promote your upcoming live session on all of your social media pages and consider an ad purchase for the network where you’re hosting your event with targeting fields.
It’s important to not overextend yourself by trying to conquer every social media channel at once. After taking notice of compliance rules and regulations and your company’s social media policy (please do this); ask yourself these questions before starting: Are my followers on this network? What are my customers’ pain points and how can I address them? How often will I post? What am I known for (beyond my job)? Focus on the things you excel at. Make sure you take notice of all compliance rules and your company’s social media policy.
If you’ve tried these and are looking for more, engage your followers by asking questions. Should you need further resources, check out our Social Media Strategies for Loan Originators presentation or contact your Arch MI account manager for a personalized consultation.
Speaking of getting feedback from your followers, this blog is a way to exchange ideas. Send us an email to share actions you’ve taken to enhance your social media and how those changes created new business opportunities.