For years, the Golden Rule has been applied to the realm of marketing and selling. Treating people like you would like to be treated seems not only morally right but a good practice in the business world. Throughout history, this maxim has been upheld as a key to professional and personal success. But, when it comes to today’s marketing efforts, it doesn’t apply as it once did. What has happened to diminish the Golden Rule in selling?
Social media has forever changed the way consumers purchase products, including home loans. In mortgage banking, the average age of originators is between the late 40s and early 50s. Experian notes that the median age of first-time home buyers is 34. According to Smart Insights, there are significant differences between how specific age groups use social media to discover and research products. The Smart Insights chart below clearly shows these disparities. The bottomline: Older originators who assume that younger prospects use the same social media platforms they do risk disconnecting from an important target audience.
This is not surprising, but it is an overlooked topic by many lenders, especially banks, that often dictate what social media platforms and content the sales force can use. Case in point: While the originators’ age group (45 to 54) researches products via social media 33% of the time, younger prospects (25-34) do so 50% of the time. For originators concentrating on purchase money and first-time home buyer loans, not being active on the same social media platforms as prospects will hamper sales performance. This becomes even more problematic when lenders provide generic content that is not personalized for prospects and referral sources.
Once our current refinance market inevitably shifts to a purchase money environment, it will be critical for originators to align their social media marketing efforts with the usage patterns of prospects in order to succeed.
Social media platform preferences are only part of the picture. Just as important is the type of content being published. Consumer demand for online video content has grown exponentially, a trend that will undoubtedly continue. Faster download speeds and cost-effective production have made it easier than ever for sales professionals to harness the power of video for their marketing efforts.
While COVID-19 restrictions forced many originators to make video sales presentations instead of meeting prospects in person, this format is here to stay. The issue is no longer whether originators should be on video, but how good they are at convincing prospects to do business with them via this medium. Moving forward, while AI can streamline product selection and loan processing tasks, a computer can’t duplicate the warmth, interest and caring that a salesperson can convey in a video presentation.
Originators who put the time and effort into developing and perfecting video presentation skills will win in today’s marketplace. This isn’t about being a Hollywood movie star but more about a salesperson being real, current, and tech-savvy. This one skill will separate better originators from the rest of the pack.
Are your originators meeting customers where they are? Are they providing marketing content in a way that consumers want to receive it? These are critical considerations for producers who want to connect with their best prospects.