Have you ever noticed how short videos are taking over the Internet, the news and social media sites?
And if you are a Facebook user, you may have noticed that you can now easily create a short video of your family, friends and events. And Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook encourage the posting of videos. The reason? People would rather watch a short video than read or listen to audio only.
Many of you know that I really like to fish. I just liked the thrill of catching and eating them — but never wanted to clean them.
Then one day I caught several pan fish, and when I went to find my husband so he could do the dirty work, he had gone to the store. Then it was up to me to figure out how to clean those darn things.
So, what I did was fire up my laptop, log onto YouTube and view an instructional video on how to clean them. Dang, it was so easy that from that day forward, I clean them myself.
And if you watch the morning or evening news, the TV station will play a couple of videos to reinforce the story of the day. And even with news articles on line, you'll find links to videos.
Oh, and one more fun fact about Facebook, they have updated their pages so that when a video is posted, it automatically plays. So, if it’s something you are interested in, all you have to do is click on the sound button.
Real estate agents know the power of posting video home tours online.
However, the mortgage industry has been slow to adapt to the power of using videos to educate consumers on the mortgage process and help them understand things like the purpose of getting an appraisal or why they need to set up an escrow account, all the way to who qualifies for an FHA, VA or USDA loan.
So, why should you consider adding mortgage education classes to your marketing tool kit?
First of all, it saves you time. I'm sure that as a loan originator, clients keep asking you the same questions over and over again. Wouldn't it be great if you could give them a short answer and then direct them to a mortgage education class that goes into greater detail?
You save time by providing your clients with a link for more information and detailed explanations, including illustrations and pictures for a better understanding of what you are trying to explain to them.
Now, because you are providing clients with links to classes, it gives you the opportunity to get their email address — because after all, you may want to email them a link to view it. Or direct them to a website or blog page with your contact info. So you now have their email address for future marketing purposes.
Next, by recording a class, you are consistent with your information, saying the same thing over and over again the same way to everyone. While I know that clients can misinterpret what you say either face to face or over the phone, it could also happen when they are viewing a class — but the difference is that it's easier to take them back through the class they viewed and explain what you meant rather than defending yourself as to who said what to whom.
With all the new social media monitoring rules, the consumer protection laws, and the compliance issues, your education classes should also be crafted to be totally compliant with all of them, and if you are ever audited or have to answer to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because of client complaints, you have recorded classes of what you taught them.
So, that's one of the reasons to get your compliance department involved if you are planning to created consumer education classes.
The next thing is to record your video. It you'd like to view a free video on how to do it, check out www.LoanOfficerTraining.com. Okay, let's assume you've completed your video. The next hurdle is — how do you go about letting everyone know that you have these educational classes?
So, I'd like to share with you six ways to get the word out using email, blogs, website, social media, YouTube channel, and basic training for new real estate agents.
- Send out an email to everyone in your database telling them that you have new mortgage educational classes and provide the link. You may want to list all the classes — or email one class every other week or so with a short outline of what the class is all about and why they should view it.
- When a prospect calls and asks for specific information (like who qualifies for a VA loan), ask for their email and tell them that you will be sending an email with a link to view a short video on the subject.
- Email links to the classes to your real estate agents and ask them to forward on to home buyers they are working with—to help educate them on the home-buying process.
First of all, you can use the scripts as your written content when posting to your blog page. Or ask someone if you can be a "guest" blogger on their blog page.
Write your own blog post and provide a link to the classes for readers to view. For example:
Someone asked me the other day about escrow accounts and when they are needed, so I created an educational class, What Is an Escrow Account and Why Do I Need One, for new home buyers.
Speaking of blogs, have you considering using ActiveRain.com? It's a blogging site for people in the real estate and mortgage industry where you can post your content for agents and consumers to read.
You can also add a toolbar on the home page of your website so when consumers click on it, it will take them to classes they can view. List the name of the class with a short description of each, including the time length of the video. Each of these classes runs less than four minutes.
You may also want to create an "opt in" section or a pop-up to capture their name and email address before they are allowed to view the classes.
Another option would be to feature your mortgage educational classes prominently on your home page, again using the title and short description of what they will learn.
Social Media Pages
Once you have chosen an online space to host your classes, you can use the links on your social media pages. Facebook Fan or Facebook personal pages will allow you to post links to videos — so the links are permanent and you can direct home buyers, friends and family to your Facebook pages to view.
Or, consider writing a post announcing that you have a new video (provide the title) with a short description why they should view it.
Do the same for Twitter and LinkedIn.
While you can use YouTube to post individual classes, consider creating your own YouTube Channel kind of like your own TV station. You could label it something like, "Mary Jones, Mortgage Loan Officer Home-Buyer Education Classes," and then post all the classes under that name. When you direct people to your channel (with a link), they will be able to view all the classes listed there. Oh, and did I mention that it’s great for SEO, too?
Basic Training for New Real Estate Agents
Okay, so you've found out that a batch of new real estate agents have just joined MLS or one of the real estate companies that you do business with.
Send an email, introduce yourself and give them a link to one (yes, just one) of your classes. Follow up and offer to meet with them to view other classes, where you provide further explanation on the topic.
Send an email to all the managing brokers in your community, with a list of classes available for their new agents.
It's another way to get more leads, because you could be the best and smartest loan officer in the entire world, but if nobody knows about you — you'll go broke.