Loan Officer Marketing: Website 101- What to Include
This article is part of a series put together by the Total Mortgage marketing team that provides loan officers and other sales professionals with a crash course in marketing and self-promotion. To read other articles in this series, click here.
Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t, but the internet is a pretty popular place. That means that there are many benefits to having a website as a loan officer. However, every website is far from created equal, with some shining high and others drowning in a dark abyss. The following guide will help you achieve the former and avoid the latter.
The biography section is one of the most important parts of your website. It’s one of the most frequently visited places on LO websites, which makes sense–potential clients want to figure out who you are. When reviewing your bio, ask yourself if it:
Touches on your background
Here is where you paint the picture of your life before you were a loan officer. It doesn’t have to be extensive, but make sure you have something there. It’s going to be different for everyone. If you had a whole other career before becoming an LO, you’ll have more to talk about than someone who’s only beginning their working life.
Explains why you’re doing what you do
This one isn’t necessary for everyone, but if it makes you look good (e.g. both your parents were real estate professionals and you followed in their path) then by all means, share it with the world. If you threw a dart at a career path, maybe leave that out. Prospective customers and referral partners want to work with someone who is passionate about what they do, and a well-structured background story can help paint that picture.
Talks about your proven track record
Again, not everyone has a proven history. But for those who do, this is your chance to flaunt it. We’re talking numbers here–like how you’ve done over $100 billion in loans during your 15-year career (Wow, I’m impressed). Any other industry accomplishments should be noted as well. Don’t be shy about flaunting awards, certifications, media mentions, or even positive reviews. Those can be huge trust builders for potential customers or referral partners evaluating your expertise.
States your specialty
Not everyone has a specialty (first-time homebuyers, jumbo loans, FHA loans etc.)—and that’s fine—but if you do, make sure you make it known.
Does your bio have a flow to it that carries the reader to the end, or does it bumble along with clunky, impersonal facts? Remember, borrowers like to think they choose loan officers objectively, based solely on skill and experience, but the truth is that personality has a lot to do with it–so make sure your bio has some.
Starting your bio with a cliché is never a good idea. The next mistake is to fill it with generic business statements that reveal nothing about the loan officer’s personality. The whole bio feels dry and inauthentic and is unlikely to woo any potential clients.
This bio touches upon the main points above in a concise manner that is easy to read. The words flow and at the end you have a general sense of what the loan officer is like.
Educational information for borrowers
Personality is important, but you do still have to prove you know what you’re doing. One way to do that is with informative content that makes their lives better. With so much information at their disposal today, customers read content with one thing in mind—what’s in it for me (WIFM)? You don’t want to go divulging every single ingredient in your secret mortgage sauce, but you do want to provide enough details to make prospective clients realize what you’re cooking tastes good. If done right, your content will provide value to the customer and position you as an authority.
High quality content with the WIFM mentality also looks great to search engines, and can help your website rank higher on sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Higher rankings correlate to more traffic, which can help you generate additional leads at no net cost.
A Mortgage FAQ
Some example questions:
- How do lenders decide my interest rate?
- What could keep me from getting approved for a mortgage?
- Will my monthly mortgage payment ever go up?
- What’s the purpose of a refinance?
- How much does a refinance cost?
Short videos explaining mortgage topics
Definitely not necessary, but if you think you’re charming enough, having videos on your site is one way to separate yourself from the competition. You’ll only want to go this route if you have a high-quality, HD camera. The topics could be on whatever you want, but a good starting point would be to turn some of the mortgage FAQ questions into videos.
First-time homebuyer tips
Here are some sample sections:
- Know your credit score
- Having a budget
- Importance of a home inspection
- Choosing the right mortgage
- Getting pre-approved
Make sure it’s easy to connect. Whether it’s through social media platforms, email, or requesting a free rate quote, you want to make it easy for the borrower to reach you. Every barrier between you and the borrower is lost money in your pocket. You can see in the above header that there is a contact button that takes the viewer to a page dedicated to contact, with a form that allows them to reach out to you. Here is that form:
It’s straightforward and to the point. Other websites have more elaborate forms that go into the borrower’s credit score, loan amount, and down payment, but that isn’t necessary for every site. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how detailed you want to go.
A common temptation is to just throw up your contact information on the “Contact” page, and wait for the calls to come in. Remember that the entire goal of your website is to drive customers down a mini sales funnel that will eventually result in them taking a contact action on your site. Most, if not all, of those contact actions will happen through your “Contact” page, so make sure you put the necessary time and effort into that page to make it as easy and enticing as possible for the visitor to contact you.
How to leverage for business
Having killer content is crucial to driving traffic to your site, but there are further steps to take to help visitors convert. They might seem subtle, but every aspect of your website has an effect on your visitors, so you want to make sure that you’re influencing them in a way that makes them want to do business with you.
The colors you use on your website are incredibly important. Consider the facts:
- 92.6% of people say the visual dimension is the #1 influencing factor affecting their purchase decision.
- Studies suggest that people make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of initial viewing. Up to 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.
- One study found that magazine readers recognize full-color ads 26% more often than black-and-white ads.
- 85% of shoppers place color as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product
Clearly, color is a big deal. Of course, color preferences have a subjective element to that can vary depending on gender, culture, age, and individuality. That makes it important to identify your target audience so you implement the proper color conversion strategy.
One universal truth in the mortgage industry is that customers need to be able to trust lenders and loan officers as they make one of, if not the, biggest transactions of their lives. They need to feel safe and reassured that the company and loan officer can both be relied on to protect their interests.
That means that you’ll most likely want to stick with blue and green. Blue is associated with trust, strength, security, and green is associated with wealth, stability, renewal, and nature. Using a color scheme involving one or both can subconsciously set the tone for your visitors and help them convert into clients. If you felt it met your needs, you could include a color scheme based around the color red. It has a more powerful connotation than blue and green, and signals a sense of urgency, but it could work.
Buttons are another aspect of your website that you don’t want to overlook. They often lead to things like contact and apply forms, so it’s crucial for you to do everything you can to nudge visitors into clicking them. And the good thing is, there a few simple steps you can take to optimize your button’s performance.
1. Make it stand out with color
You want people to see your button, right? Then choose a contrasting color so it pops off the page. What that color will be depends on the color scheme you’ve decided on. The last thing you want is a camouflaged button that nobody sees.
2. Use enticing copy
You’re trying to grab people’s attention and make them click. Using dry copy like the word “submit” isn’t going to sway those visitors who are on the cusp of converting to take that final step. Instead, focus on the benefit that the customer will get by submitting. For instance, you could have your buttons say “Get a Free Rate Quote,” “Apply Now,” or even “Start Pre-approval.”
3. Properly place the buttons
Okay, you’ve found the perfect button color and copy. Now it’s time to make sure it gets seen, and that all boils down to placement. Generally, you want your call-to-action to align with the flow of the page. If there’s content you want them to read before they see the button, then make sure you put the button below that content. If your content doesn’t have great places to insert a call to action, it could be best to keep an action button in the sidebar. This is a simple concept, but some websites still manage to mess it up.
4. Don’t crowd out your button
The call-to-action button shouldn’t have to compete with too much copy. It should be very prominent on the page and steal the attention of your visitors.
Once you have your website up, visitors will flow to your site in one of three ways:
- Organic searches (e.g. Google),
- Referral traffic (most likely from yourself or from other places on the internet that link to your site, e.g. Facebook)
- Paid media (e.g. advertisements on Google or third party websites)
While having a website to guide prospective clients to will increase your perceived authority and lead to an increase in business, having a strong organic presence and profitable digital advertising strategy is what will truly grow your online business.
It’s no easy feat to get sustainable paid and organic traffic to your website. Having a solid, workable grasp of search engine optimization (SEO) and digital pay-per-click advertising (PPC) will allow you to influence and manipulate traffic flow to your benefit. These tools can seem daunting to the uninitiated, but fortunately for loan officers here at Total Mortgage, we have a team of in-house specialists that manage these traffic-drivers for you. With countless hours under our belt, we know what it takes to craft a winning strategy that will help your site stand above the rest.
If you’re not lucky enough to be a Total Mortgage loan officer, you can check out some of the other guides in this ongoing series here.
The bottom line:
Careful planning goes a long way toward having a successful web presence as a loan officer. If you take your time, put in the work, and adhere to these basic fundamentals, your website will start becoming a powerful tool on your path toward success.
Carter Wessman is originally from the charming town of Norfolk, Massachusetts. When he isn’t busy writing about mortgage related topics, you can find him playing table tennis, or jamming on his bass guitar.