You've heard the saying, “When times are tough, the tough get going.” Well I say, when times are tough, think outside the box. There are a few secrets some originators aren't sharing. These secrets, once learned, will allow you to expand your market, build credibility, and win new business.
It takes dedication and effort to stay on top of all the various aspects of running a successful origination business. Keeping up with changing guidelines, new lending regulations, and the ebb and flow of wholesale participants are just some of the challenges that today's originator faces. As a result, areas like marketing and communications are often ignored for months at a time.
Many originators feel that to improve on marketing, they must spend more money. However, one way to avoid expense and still expand marketing presence is to start a blog. A blog can expand your sphere of influence, help find new prospects and turn past clients into loyal fans. Mortgage blogging is also a great way to communicate expertise and authority by creating and sharing information to customers and prospective customers in real-time. By embracing transparency and openness, and communicating that message through your blog, you will begin to win more business.
So what is a blog? The word blog is short for Web log. A blog is nothing more than a Web site. Blogs began as online diaries and journals, and as software has evolved, blogs have become more professional and have grown to cover a diverse array of purpose.
Blogs are easy to set up and are inexpensive to maintain. You can start a free blog, and begin writing content for it in less than 10 min. A great Web site to begin learning more about blogging is http://wordpress.com. There, you will find everything you need to start blogging. Wordpress will even allow you to purchase or transfer an existing domain name so that you can tap into current brand recognition or utilize a domain reserved long ago.
The main thing to understand about blogging is to be consistent and focus on providing good content. Regularly posted content about you, your services, your locality and the mortgage industry in general, will begin establishing expertise to people who visit your site. At a minimum, posting new content once a week will provide you with 52 opportunities a year to express opinions, advice and personality to your customers and potential customers.
I speak around the country about blogging and technology in the mortgage and real estate industry. I hear every excuse to avoid starting a mortgage blog … from I’m too old to I'm a poor writer to I’m too busy. The fact remains that the few originators who are actively working online channels by blogging and participating in social networking are getting new business, converting more leads and reducing the amount of effort needed to communicate their message.
Blogging may be outside the box right now, but by the time the 'herd' catches up, I believe maintaining a Web log (blog) will be an essential tool in every successful originator’s toolkit.
Jason Berman is the owner of The J. Berman Group, a mortgage and technology consultancy. Jason writes and speaks regularly on blogging, technology and social media for real estate professionals. Follow him on Twitter @jbinfrisco and @jbermangroup. He may be reached by phone at (970) 455-4131.