When it comes to leveraging social media to generate more loans and originate more business, there are few people who do it better than Chris Patille, co-founder of Modern Mortgage Mastery, a Facebook training program for loan officers.
Why Use Social Media for Growing Your Loan Originations?
Social media can grow your business unlike almost anything else that’s available to us right now. Chris uses a social media strategy that has helped him increase his business and has had a significant impact on originating more leads and clients. His business went to a whole new level when he started going live on Facebook consistently every Monday night from 6-7pm with his Mortgage Talk Show. Because of the level of visibility that a consistent (and very useful) presence on social media is giving him, his business has really become recognizable and has grown at an unprecedented rate.
As part of his strategy, Chris also uses a mixture of Facebook advertising and employs multiple strategies for targeting leads. It’s not just about the loans, it’s about finding people interested homes lists, and open houses, looking for sellers and buyers to build depth in his leads. He interviews other people who bring value to the conversation, like experts to talk about credit, he visits businesses around his local area and goes live from different venues, and he really tries to have fun with his topic. And, of course, he’s bringing mad value to a not-so-sexy but really important topic.
A Big Part of A Successful Growth Strategy is Creating Relationships
How do we create relationships? And even more importantly, meaningful relationships that lead to business?
Chris states that it’s important to actually go out and make things happen, work hard, put in the effort, make your brand KNOWN and back that with a solid business strategy. But the key piece that will take your business to the next level is by adding in the next part: relationships. When you build relationships with people, you’re unstoppable. Sales are founded on relationships. Obviously for loan officers, some of the best relationships that can be built are with real estate agents. You want to create a relationship deep enough that they’ll continue to bring referrals your way.
To do this, Chris emphasizes the need for a service-oriented approach. This means, a mentality of putting the client first; putting the best interests of the real estate agent first. Work hard for them. Be available to them. Make them know they are your priority. Then combine the service attitude with a solid social media strategy to stay in front of those people and find new leads. Christ travels to local hotspots and shoots videos and networks at those places. He’s making his brand known. His work ethic stands behind his brand and his customer/client-first attitude is what is really making the difference in growing his business.
What are some of the ways to find the agents to make relationships with?
Chris has a specific strategy for finding and creating relationships with real estate agents who are cold contacts. He uses two techniques. The first is to go online to sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor.com, and take a look at any open houses that are on the MLS for the upcoming weekend. He reaches out to that real estate agent, introduces himself and explains what he does. He strikes up a conversation and invites himself to join the agent and help explain mortgage lending at the event.
Chris: “Hey, my name is Christopher Patille with GSF Mortgage. I’m a local lender here in New Castle Delaware. I see that you’re hosting an open house on Saturday from one to three. I wanted to see, have you ever had a mortgage lender accompany you at this open house?”
Agent: “No, I haven’t. How does that work?”
Chris: “Okay, well great. Well, you ever get a bunch of clients at one time to where you’re not really focusing on multiple people? You’re just spending all your time with one person? That happens a lot. So what I can do is I can help take that burden off of the real estate agent. I can talk to people as well and then also answer any and all mortgage questions that they may have as well. What better than to be able to write a preapproval on the spot and then actually be able to submit that offer right then and there? And I’ve seen it happen and I’ve done it.”
If the agent agrees, he joins them and helps make the real estate agent’s open house a bigger success.
But it doesn’t end there. To really build the referral pipeline, you’ve got to keep the relationship with the agent beyond the one open house.
How do you keep those relationships?
Once you’ve gotten the attention of a new person, it’s important to get to know them. It’s more than just taking someone out to lunch and assuming that the relationship is solid. Chris really gets to know his leads. It’s all about the follow up. Especially if the first encounter does not lead to a deal. Become a part of that person’s life. Get to know them. What makes them tick? Build and nurture the relationship. It will pay big dividends in the long run resulting in repeat business and more referrals.
Facebook Leads are Long-term Play
Using leads from social media to generate relationships with real estate agents to develop a robust network of leads coming in, loans getting closed, preapprovals going out, etc. requires an investment of time and energy. It’s not a get rich quick scheme. You have to work. You have to learn about all the systems and processes that he’s put in place in his training program, Modern Mortgage Mastery. You have to develop the leads into long lasting relationships. But once you’ve done the work, it should just be a matter of “rinse and repeat”. For anyone that isn’t getting success from Facebook leads, it’s primarily because they’re unwilling to put in the level of effort required to get to the end-game. They give up too easily and don’t invest enough in growing the lead.
To see long-term success, you have to play the long game. It’s possible to be very successful with an online marketing strategy and social media, but it’s not an overnight, quick strategy. Put in the effort, make the relationships, have a great work ethic and your business will flourish.