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The old adage in marketing says if you aim at everyone, you’ll miss them all. I know lenders sometimes fall into the trap of attempting to reach everyone and then scratch their heads when they only hear crickets chirping. If you are one of those (or even if you’re not), stick with me and I might just be able to help you.
Let me start with one word: Millennials—those 18 to 34 years of age.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has found that Millennials represent the largest share of recent buyers (32 percent of all buyers last year were Millennials). Are lights and bells going off in your head? If not, check your pulse.
So, a great place to sharpen your marketing aim is with Millennials. That’s half the equation—knowing who to go after. The second half is to know how to reach them. For that part, I’ll share two words: Social media. Many surveys have confirmed that social media is the Millennials’ dominant source of information, even above search engines. So the best way to build relationships and trust with Millennials first is via social media.
The true beauty of social media is not only its reach, but its implied advocacy. When Millennials find content they relate to, they often share it with their peers. So if one person shares your message, it could instantly go to hundreds (or even thousands) of people with the inferred praise of the sharer.
If you’re not using social media … again … check your pulse. Then, start learning about it and getting active on it. I promise, it’ll be well worth your time. The big ones are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. You can Google each and get a feel for which ones make the most sense for you, but all of them have something to offer mortgage lenders.
Now I’m not one to toot my own horn, but for this topic I will only with the hope that you give what I say a little more weight. Last year, National Mortgage Professional Magazine named me to its “25 Most Connected Mortgage Professionals” list. I’m proud of that because I know (and the magazine’s staff knows) in this day and age those in the mortgage industry must be open to technology and specifically to social media.
Here are some tips you can start using to reach Millennials on their terms:
1. First, take time to understand social media: Join them (they’re free!) and just take it all in. See what it’s all about and what kind of information people share. Spend at least several days learning before you share info.
2. Make sure what you share fits the specific social media outlet: For example, Facebook and Twitter are primarily personal tidbits, news and they’re both fairly casual, while Instagram is geared exclusively to photos and visuals.
3. Make sure your information is relevant and useful to improve the chance it gets shared: Millennials understand marketers and they’re open to their messages on social media if the messages are relevant to their lives. Otherwise, they simply ignore it.
4. Make it interesting: Instead of saying, ‘Gee, I can get you a great mortgage.’ Why not just share a feel-good story of you helping someone who didn’t think they could qualify for a mortgage.
Share what’s on your mind
Are you using social media as a marketing tool? If not, why not? Too much of a learning curve? Just not interested? Do you know other lenders who are using social media? What do you think of their efforts? Do you believe it would help your business if you were more active on social media?
Bubba Mills is executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting & Coaching Inc. He may be reached by phone at (800) 957-8353 or visit www.corcorancoaching.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 2015 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.