local lenders need to redefine local
The industry is changing and you know it.
Big-tech companies are drooling over the opportunity in the mortgage industry.
Things aren’t going to get easier.
No need to panic… but you should definitely get your systems dialed in.
There will always be a place for the local lenders… but they can’t stay local.
LOs need to become national lenders.
Big-tech companies will target easy loans. This leaves a massive market share for the rest of us. They are getting better at marketing to realtors, but big-tech will never have the value propositions local lenders can create. This means you need to be intentional with your branding and your brand promise. Once you have this system nailed down, you can start expanding to additional zip codes.
Intentional branding is pretty simple. You help (blank) people achieve (blank). This statement sounds simple, but it tells your audience exactly what they want to know.
- Is this loan officer for me?
- Can they solve my problem?
The real issue is deciding who you want your branding to cater to… Realtors? Borrowers? Investors? The correct choice comes down to where you plan to do your marketing/networking (online, over the phone, social media) and who you enjoy speaking to. Once you know WHO you help and THE PROBLEM you solve, it makes going national that much easier.
Now that you have their attention, the next step is to develop a value proposition. You need to give them a reason to call you. What can you offer them that sets you apart or speaks directly to their current need?
Don’t over-complicate this. You are probably already using your unique value without even knowing it. It doesn’t have to be new or complicated. Some of the most successful value propositions are simply social gatherings. My most successful marketing campaign was Taco Tuesday! I invited referral partners once a month to a local restaurant to eat tacos and drink margaritas. This campaign made me millions over the years and didn’t cost me a cent (that’s right! I made them buy their own damn tacos!). Sometimes people just want to get to know you better and have a casual conversation.
Your unique value could be a monthly zoom class you teach. Or maybe it’s a blog you email to your audience. The point is, do something unique that adds value to their lives. Do this regularly and build it into your brand.
The final step is to build systems. This step is necessary if you plan to expand nationally. Again, don’t overcomplicate this. Do the same thing you did locally but do it in another zip code. The online world is limitless! If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that we can run mortgage businesses virtually!