By Doug Wilber
HHistorically low mortgage rates have recentlyopened the doorsfor many to enter the housing market, but new home hunters are embarking on their home-buying journeys in uncharted waters during the pandemic.Economic uncertainty persists, and many potential buyers are feeling more nervous than usual about taking the first step towards homeownership.
For bank loan officers who can help put buyers at ease and make the process as smooth and clear as possible, there are plenty of opportunities to close more deals. And the best place for loan officers to educate and lend a helping hand to potential clients is on social media. Here’s how you can capitalize on historically low rates while building trusting relationships with your prospects digitally:
Use social media to build relationships that you can’t in person. Even as states lift stay-at-home restrictions, many financial institutions still restrict in-person interactions and require social distancing. This represents a change of strategy for loan officers accustomed to building relationships and establishing face-to-face relationships.
The good news is that your customers and prospects are already online. In fact, a 2019 survey shows that 89% of respondents of all agesrely on mobile banking services– so they are familiar with digital interaction. Meeting them where they are on social media only makes things more convenient for them.
Face the elephant in the room. Going on business as usual without addressing what has changed in the world is a sure-fire way to appear disconnected. COVID-19 has affected almost every area of people’s lives, and ignoring it won’t do anything for you or them. Social media can be a great platform to recognize your customers’ challenges and offer a helping hand.
Share empathetic information with prospects and customers. Anticipate and answer their questions by sharing useful and credible articles. If you show that you understand how the virus impacts people financially, are honest about the current mortgage environment, and are there to help, prospects will see you as a trustworthy source when they come. will need it.
Use your platform to educate, not to market. Aspecial report on coronavirusesEdelman points out that 85% of consumers want brands to play a role in education during this difficult time. People are confused, but loan officers have the knowledge and resources to dispel the confusion surrounding the mortgage landscape and the housing market for people looking to buy.
You should be sharing credible and informative news and content on your page, but don’t stop there. Break down complex points into easy-to-understand articles and offer valuable insights to help your audience digest the information. Not only will your audience members see you as an expert, but they’ll also trust you to be a useful resource.
Feed the public need for positivity. When much of your post is about navigating the woes surrounding a pandemic, it’s easy to create disaster without realizing it. Temper that by also sharing good news.
For example: Share photos of a happy family celebrating the purchase of a new home or stories of buyers who have had great experiences. While these feel-good and relatable moments can help lift your spirits in your relationships, they also show the humanity behind your expertise and also serve as an additional point of trust.
Don’t forget about compliance. While your team may be eager to get started on social media in this hot market, that doesn’t mean you have to take risks. Remember that a single non-compliant item could put your institution in regulatory hot water. You will need to start with a social media policy and define social media access and control. Social media compliance for mortgage lendersIt may seem daunting, but software tools can help your team approve, monitor, and archive activity.
The mortgage environment is more favorable than ever for buyers, but it is also much more confusing and difficult to navigate. When loan officers use social media to educate, dispel confusion, and offer advice, they can be a source of good in tough times while building trust and closing more deals.
Doug Wilberis the CEO ofSocial Denim, a social media management software company that provides tools to enable marketers in regulated industries to manage organic social media content and paid social media advertising on a single platform.