By Elizabeth Morales, CMO
Marketing is always changing. How to keep up with the trends is the tricky part. Let’s start with the ones you already have in place. If you don’t, this paragraph should be your guide. Every search, from the best burger joint to a private lender, starts online or ends online. People have a plethora of search engines to choose from these days. Get yourself in every directory possible. People will Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Siri, Alexa, YouTube, and more. Getting yourself in every directory could start with becoming a member of an association in your state and at the federal level as well. Being a part of these associations will catapult your status as a lender and will help you on the Search Engine Optimization, SEO, front. You should write blogs that have content people are searching for. What are people searching in your industry that is of interest? Write about that, ex: A different way of lending. Better rates. Better ways to fund a deal, different deals you are willing to fund, etc. Provide awesome customer service as we live in a world where your reputation is at the fingertips of people and their five stars, three, one, or none. Reviews are a currency today. Google is a free and great way to have reviews, and it helps with SEO. Early last year Google renamed Google My Business to Google Business Profile. (Google is not going anywhere, even with the 10,000 + layoffs they just had.) When people are searching for you, or even if they are not but they still come across your business, they will look at your reviews. Today we really have no control over who says what about your business. Anyone can leave a review. Good or bad. Hence the reason for providing great customer service. Have social media presence that represents your company, culture, and your overall business. You should have a website that is optimized for mobile and can provide a positive user experience. What is that? Make it easy for them to see who you are and what you can do for them in the first three seconds. You should keep a clean list of client email addresses and compose clever emails that speak to their needs. Clean lists mean these are folks you are in contact with. Don’t purchase lists. They violate GDPR, if you sent emails across the world. California already has a law similar to that. Look into your state on email law, but to be on the safe side, don’t purchase lists. Clever emails consist of a subject line that is enticing, no grammar, syntax, or spelling errors, body of the text with information they deem important, a clear call-to-action, and your logo for branding purposes, also a personalized email. Don’t address it to Dear Reader, Hi There, or Hi space and comma, when the first name is missing. Look at the rules for including personalization and account for addresses without a first name. Hence the importance of keeping clean lists. Email is the marketing cockroach. It will never die. Keep your readers engaged and interested in your communications. Always check open and click-through rates and see what your readers are enjoying more. You should be able to tell where they spent more time. What information they really enjoyed that made them spend more time? What email caught their attention more? Email metrics have a wealth of information that could make your business more successful. Most of the tips just mentioned you can do for free. If you wanted to try paid ads, Google and Bing will be happy to take your money. As much as you’ll want to give, they’ll take. The idea is people are going to search for “Private lender in (whatever state you are in)”. Make it easy for them to find you. The one thing you can do above all is to be transparent with investors and borrowers. How can you do that one borrower and investor at a time?
Software can be used in a variety of ways to market your lending entity through transparency. There are a few ways you can offer transparency through technology. Investors enjoy keeping track of their funds round-the-clock. Supply them with a gateway that always makes portfolio analysis available. When tax season comes along, upload tax forms to their portal to readily access them. Fresh investment opportunities available for investors? Upload images and all relevant details about the properties to the portal so they can quickly make an offer or contact you about the investment.
Software can also be used to establish transparency with your borrower base. The borrower needs an easy way to apply for your loan. Make it a link on your website. Give them a secure portal to upload documents, communicate with you and make it easy for them to always know the status of their application. Additionally, they want simple access to you. Make it possible for them to text or chat with you. Your borrowers would definitely like the ability to make recurring or one-time phone payments. During tax time, they will also want the ability to access their tax forms to download and print at their convenience.
Any digital marketing statement must be accompanied by the word cybersecurity.
Having additional levels of security is no longer a smart idea, it’s a required one given the prevalence of cybercrime. When dealing with borrowers and lenders and asking for their SS#, it is a good idea to put them at ease by letting them know the platforms they are using to upload sensitive information are monitored by the highest security available. Your customers will rest easy knowing their info is safe. A good idea is also to add a service for email encryption that you can use to send your customers secure emails. There is plenty of sensitive information going through emails these days. Make them secure and have peace of mind.
How can reports help you market your business? You can distinguish yourself from the competition and improve the reputation of your business by presenting stunning reports that accurately depict investor earnings.
How can software further help you market your business? Software remembers to pay your investors, invoice your clients, upload tax forms to their portals, tie loans to different indices, establish sophisticated amortization plans, break down construction budgets and expenses, electronically transfer cash, collect, and track escrow payments, and so forth. You being seen through your software will leave a lasting, trust-fostering impression on your clients that will make them repeat clients for years to come. How to choose the right software? Make a list of all the absolute non-negotiable things you need and, start your search. Every company will tell you they are the best. Go seek the answer for yourself. Most likely you will end up doing all the things we talked about at the beginning of the first paragraph in this article. Have fun and enjoy the search.
Whether you’re looking to streamline your operations, increase your efficiency, or simply make your life easier, Applied Business Software has the products and expertise to help.
Elizabeth Morales is the Chief Marketing Officer at Applied Business Software, makers of The Mortgage Office, the leader in loan management software in the private lending industry.
Morales has a proven record in senior operational roles and is known as an inspirational leader and a data-driven marketer. She has created full-scale marketing platforms and handles media, public relations, and brand management.
A strategic planner and forward thinker, Morales is a published author, professional translator, former adjunct faculty, and forever music lover.