Ok, so we’ve all heard the mortgage projections for 2014-2015. Yikes! The Mortgage Bankers Association forecasts overall originations will be down close to 20% this year with refinance originations down over 50% due to slowly rising interest rates.
Now is the time to get creative, get a plan, and forge ahead. Get outside your comfort zone, try a new strategy, and most importantly, be consistent.
How about Social Media? Gone are the days in which social media was merely thought of as an avenue for sharing photos and reconnecting with lost friends and classmates. Social media has transformed into a direct line into the mind of the customer, as consumers freely share their opinions on various products, services and brands with their friends, family and followers
Social media serves as an opportunity to better connect lenders with customers, and the expanding volume of available data makes social media a highly valuable resource. Utilized to its fullest, social media can help you understand and improve customer experience. Ultimately, its benefit to the business is to win new customers and keep existing ones happy. Social media like LinkedIn can also be used to deepen relationships with real estate brokers, builders, and other key B2B partners that help you to drive originations. All in all, social media can help you grow your business.
Here are some tips to help you expand your connections and garner more business than your competition in the coming years.
Set up Your Social Media Platforms
The first thing you need to do, is set up all of the different social media channels to expand your footprint. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, are just a few ways you can post informative information about Credit, Homebuying, Homeowning, etc. Let the world know what you do! Shout it out! People love knowledge, and being able to provide that to them will make you stand out. Be consistent. Use services such as Hootsuite to help you schedule your social media messages, and free up your time.
Become the Thought Leader in Your Industry
Lenders can leapfrog their competitors by consistently monitoring social media channels for unhappy customers and presenting viable alternative (and directing them to your online social media resources) to resolve the customer’s current plight. To accomplish this objective, you have to be an active thought leader. Publish useful online content via social media to draw attention to your and your company’s strengths and value propositions.
From a customer retention standpoint, lenders can personally address any issues expressed via social media. Because consumers often turn to social media to air their frustrations about the companies they work with, lenders can solidify their relationship with a given customer by engaging them directly to provide a resolution to the problem. Social media offers lenders the prime (and free) opportunity to market their products and services to existing customers while also providing a convenient communication channel for any questions or concerns.
Boost Your Brand by Engaging Influencers
Taking social media’s use as a customer acquisition tool a step further, tapping into the power of social media influencers can help you further beef up your online strategy and serve as an added advantage over the competition. But what classifies a user as an “influencer?”
While there are a multitude of factors that make up influencers, such as high social media following, Klout scores, and engagement with other users, the basic differentiator is their ability to drive action among their followers.
Spend time engaging with these influencers on industry chats. Share your knowledge and comment on theirs. Invite them to your events, blogs, and Facebook pages. You want them to be raving fans of yours and lead others to you.
Outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, can provide lenders with a constantly growing source of customer feedback as well as a free channel to proactively engage with them in real time. With the right strategy in place, social media can serve as a highly diverse tool for lenders to not only improve customer experiences, but also expand their business.
Bottom line … when used correctly, social media can be one of the most valuable business tools readily available to lenders today.