The “Wake Up Call”​ for the Mortgage Industry that May Already Be Too Late

Mortgage Loan Officers are doing stuff backwards, despite the feedback from the market that… it doesn’t work anymore!

Disruption.

A buzzword thrown around so often these days (especially in the real estate industry), that we don’t really even know what it means anymore.

Disruption is happening in many ways in the real estate industry right now, many of which we don’t fully grasp or haven’t noticed yet. **Mortgage loan officers, and mortgage execs, you better pay attention to this next part, because some of you are about to get a swift kick in the ass. And yes, it will probably sting.

For this article, I’ll focus on one specific type of disruption, happening in one section of the real estate industry. I’m talking about disruption in the mortgage world, specifically marketing and lead generation. The mortgage industry was basically begging for disruption, thanks to the gray-haired, veteran mortgage execs who refused to adopt the latest technology and modern ways of marketing, because “that’s not the way they’ve done things in the past.” While they dig in their heels and “stay focused on what got them to this point,” they’re watching their business fall apart. Now they’re getting their asses kicked by young, agile digital mortgage shops who learned to generate leads online, systemized it, and took all their market share.

I’m talking about those veteran loan officers perfectly content with their heads in the sand, while their real estate agent partners started making adjustments years ago in how they market themselves and generate leads online.

I’m talking about the loan officers who don’t know any better than to look up to and follow their mentors and the veterans in the company, who are actually the ones with their heads in the sand… still focused on begging Realtors for clients to work with, offering nothing in return except for “fancy” co-marketing flyers and another frickin’ lunch & learn invite. Ohh, and a promise that “you’re a great LO who always answers your phone, and can close in X days.” What a tantalizing proposition! Where do I find me one of these amazing new LO’s who… does their damn job?

Look, if I’m stepping on your toes here… good (I’m actually giggling a bit, thinking of your fragile little toes. God help you if you’re wearing open-toed sandals). You need to hear this. You need this swift kick in the ass, because I promise… getting your ego bruised a bit now, and possibly letting yourself be “offended” is much easier to get over than having your business dry up, going bankrupt, and having to get a day job as a bank teller… if they even need bank tellers anymore by the time you read this! More on you in a minute, and… a solution. A path forward. But first, context.

A few weeks back, I spoke at Housing Wire’s engage.marketing summit in Dallas about the Relationship between a Lender and Real Estate Agent. There were actually only three agents in the room, and I was one of them. The rest of the room was packed with mostly loan officers and some mortgage company executives. We started the panel off with basically the same tone as I started this article. And you know what? There were a whole crap load of heads nodding in agreement. I don’t think anyone was too surprised when I told them that I need another flyer or co-branded app like I need a hole in the head.

They knew. They seemingly all knew they’ve been going at it all wrong. Why? Because it wasn’t working! They knew they’ve been trying to build their businesses in all the wrong ways; ways that used to work decades ago, or even 5, 6, 7 years ago. But their old school LO mentors and branch managers never bothered to train them on what works NOW. Why? I don’t think they really have a clue what works now themselves. That’s why they continue to preach that Realtors will work with you and send clients your way if you just put some colorful flyers in their hands and take them golfing.

Good thing I’m here to tell you what DOES work now, so you can right the ship before it’s too late. Because I’ll tell you right now, your competition is starting to wake up too. I saw it in the room at the Housing Wire summit. I heard it in the conversations I had with LO’s and marketing directors at some of the biggest mortgage names in the industry. The mortgage industry is definitely waking up.

You see, years ago a fair amount of Real Estate Agents (and very few forward-thinking LO’s and mortgage execs) started to see the writing on the wall. They realized that what gets the consumer’s attention had already changed. They noticed that cold calling, door knocking, and direct mail postcards were just not working that well anymore. They realized that consumers don’t like to be bothered with junk mail anymore. Do you? Consumers certainly don’t like being interrupted by a phone call from a stranger, or an unexpected knock at the door from, for all they know, is a frickin’ serial killer or home invader. Seriously though… who randomly knocks on your door anymore unless they’re selling something?

If you’re a listener of my weekly podcast, the Massive Agent Podcast, you already know what to do. You already know the solution. You’ve learned some new, specific, actionable marketing ideas and strategies that real estate agents and mortgage loan officers can do, right now, to generate more business. If you’re just reading this now, the fog lifting from your mind, but you’re still left wondering WHAT to do, I’ll sum it all up for you: content marketing (aka “attraction marketing”) and Facebook Ads. Running Facebook Ads requires some time learning how to do them effectively, and some money to run the ads. So for now I’ll just focus on what you can do for free. Create entertaining, educational, humorous, and/or valuable mostly non-real estate related content that makes the consumer seek YOU out, because they see you as the local expert. There are many different ways you can deliver your content; blogging, video on YouTube or IGTV, Instagram and Instagram Stories, Alexa Flash Briefings, podcasting, starting a local show for Facebook and YouTube, and more.

Total mind blower, huh!? That’s right, you can actually get clients coming to YOU and asking you to work with them. No more chasing and convincing. If you can master content marketing, and position yourself as the loan officer or Realtor who is the local expert in your town… you’ll win. It’s true for the solo loan officer, or the big regional mortgage company that’s been around for decades. Your business will thrive like never before, and it’s all because you GAVE VALUE first, and people naturally gravitated to you. THAT is what works in 2018, and that’s what will work in 2019 and 2020. Attract business by first being so damn helpful, or funny, or educational that people seek you out and hire you without ever interviewing anyone else. Because in their eyes, you’re the expert that they trust. If you can become the trusted, likable local expert in your area, who just happens to sell real estate or do mortgages, then you will win.

I know it may be a lot to take in, learning that you can in fact ATTRACT business to you, organically, and not have to convince them why they should hire you. If it sounds too good to be true, I completely understand. I was skeptical too before I committed to content marketing. But know this… it takes a hell of a lot of hard work and consistency to get to where you’re seeing steady returns on all that effort and content. But… it’s 1000% worth it. Episodes 8 and 15 of the podcast are good places to start if you want to get caught up. There are a ton of other great resources out there to learn as well, but like anything worthwhile, it takes some effort, time, and commitment.

Loan officers, start generating your own leads now, yourself, and then approach that big shot agent in town you’ve been trying to get to work with you. Give to get. That’s the only way an experienced agent will ever listen to you. It’s much easier to get an agent’s attention if you say “Hey, I have 4 pre-approved Buyers here for you, we should work together” No agent in their right mind will turn that down. But they’ll sure as hell turn down your unpersonalized, canned out-of-the-blue LinkedIn message asking for their clients in return for “a great experience”… and some frickin’ flyers. Give to get, not the other way around.

If you’re a loan officer, mortgage company exec, or real estate agent who is just now starting to wake up, know it’s really not too late… unless you decide it is. Sure, you may be behind some of your competitors, but you’re still way ahead of the majority of them. There is so much abundance out there, and so much business to go around that you can still get yours. Make the adjustments that you need to make now, and stay woke. Take lead generation into your own hands. Make whatever investments you need to make to start generating your own leads. You can absolutely transform your dying, outdated business into one of the fastest growing, most cutting edge mortgage companies or real estate teams around if you’d just take this wake up call seriously.

Winning is nothing more than a choice.

About the Author

Dustin Brohm is the host of the popular Massive Agent Podcast, as well as a national speaker and trainer for real estate and mortgage companies on effective real estate marketing. Dustin is an online entrepreneur, having started numerous media companies and an online Facebook Ads training course for real estate agents and loan officers. He is also a Realtor with eXp Realty in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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*Originally published on LinkedIn