As the leading mortgage book valuer and lender in Australia, we see a tremendous range of mortgage broking businesses come across our desks. Some have lost the way or stagnated and are worth little more than the value of the underlying trail book. However, others continue to power on and create a business model that keeps refreshing and enhancing the value of their book and their business. The difference can be stark. Now more than ever, we are living in a digital age.
With customers seeking financial advice and services online at unprecedented rates, it is essential that brokers keep up to speed with the latest innovations and strategies in the digital marketing sphere and cleverly use these resources to steer some of this traffic to them.But with so many digital avenues one can pursue for marketing purposes, how do you know which ones will earn the greatest return on investment, particularly when marketing spend is limited? We are acutely aware of this as we fund marketing spend and therefore take a keen interest in what works, because if it works for you it works for us. Here are our top four tips on how to navigate the digital sphere successfully, and get the most bang for your buck:
1. Search Engine Optimisation
Many businesses and brokers will invest thousands of dollars into online advertising, but there is a clever technique that is far more cost effective and will help generate leads faster than any traditional advertisement. Search engine optimisation relies upon you using targeted keywords about your services and strengths to boost your website’s ranking on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, allowing your business to appear higher up on organic searches.For example, if you want to attract young professionals searching for their first home loan, making sure that your website HTML and description contains terms such as “first time buyer” and “best value home loans,”. This will optimise your page to achieve maximum leads. Whilst the top spots are competitive and expensive, the return on investment for this strategy is huge and arguably very worthwhile.
2. Social Media
In the twenty-first century, having a strong social-media presence is crucial for successful brokers to flourish and attract leads and thereby grow. Advertising on Facebook via targeted advertisements is a smart and effective way to attract your desired clientele, as the network’s massive user-base means that your message can be disseminated across thousands of interested people. Whether your target audience is a rural community or inner-city professionals, the best way to engage with your niche market via Facebook is to set up a public page and disseminate online marketing material that is tailored toward their interests and desires. Twitter is another excellent social network to utilise in order to build client trust and engagement. Creating a Twitter page for your business is very simple, and regularly maintaining it with Tweets that communicate what new ventures your brokerage is embarking on is a great way to build a digital relationship with warm leads.
As the ultimate networking hub for business-people and the finance sector, LinkedIn is a valuable tool to help you generate consumer leads. Whilst LinkedIn does have a targeted advertising function, it is arguably better utilised to track “trigger events” in the lives of business professionals- such as receiving a big promotion or relocating to a new area- which may indicate that this person is likely to be in the market for a home loan soon. By connecting with these professionals, many of whom are high-powered business people, you will be able to generate some potential leads for your brokerage.
4. Pimp your website
Your website is the face of your brokerage, and is often the first thing a potential client will see when they are searching for information about your services. Therefore, optimising your website is essential for generating valuable leads. Communicating your services clearly and having a simple, attractive user interface is key to gripping the attention of potential leads. Additionally, maintaining a blog on your website is a vital tool that the best brokers use to showcase their expertise, address common concerns of their target audience, and help to generate content for their social media presence.
There is no one “magic bullet solution”, but if you are serious about growing the value of your business you need to invest in at least some of these strategies.Don’t be afraid to experiment cautiously and learn. In this way increasing awareness increases leads. It is then up to you to convert these leads to clients and in so doing the value of that upfront and ongoing trail is worth a multiple of up to 18 times what you receive on a monthly basis. With this value accrediting incentive, it makes sense to dedicate some time and capital to building your business as an asset.
About Jeff Zulman
Jeff Zulman studied at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and then read law at Oxford University in England. After graduating, he joined Goldman Sachs, where he was trained on Wall Street, and then worked in their wealth management division in London. Jeff immigrated to Australia where he has founded, run and successfully sold several businesses. Jeff now runs TrailBlazer Finance, an M&A advisory and finance firm focused on brokers and a partner with Connective in delivering the Connective Broker Funding Program.