Having accurate information online builds trust with clients who have been referred to you, and allows you to optimize for a better client experience, which will help grow your mortgage business.
If the goal is an optimized mortgage process, it only makes sense to start by optimizing the journey for the client you want to work with. The best client is one who has been referred to you. You’re likely to close a referral at a considerably higher rate than any other type of mortgage lead.
This is because people prefer to do business with people they trust. And getting a referral includes a transfer of trust at the outset of the relationship, which sets you up for success. So if you're looking to grow your business, focusing on how referable you are is a great place to start.
Now, being referable is more than just wowing existing clients and getting them to tell everyone about you. It includes a lot of things behind the scenes as well. Just because someone has been referred to you doesn’t always mean they’ll contact you.
So let’s walk through this client referral journey together.
Let’s say that a friend, family member, business partner, or past client had a great experience working with you. They know someone looking for a mortgage and pass your name along. What happens next?
The potential client gets your business card, and they phone you immediately. Nope, it’s not 1996; they google you. You can expect that anyone who has been referred to you will check you out online well before contacting you. So in an effort to walk this path in your clients’ virtual shoes...
Have you ever googled yourself? Have you ever taken the time to see what clients find when they search for you online? If not, you might have a real problem. If a potential client can’t find you online or finds inaccurate information and can’t contact you, that’s a lost opportunity; their journey with you is over before it even started.
So if you haven’t ever googled yourself, start now. Seriously, once you finish reading this article, open a new tab and google yourself. Include your name, the term “mortgage,” and maybe the city you work in. You might be shocked by what you find or don’t find online.
You work hard to generate referrals; you owe it to yourself and the person referring to you to be found online. The referral relationship starts with a transfer of trust; your job is to build on that trust, not lose it.
How clients find you online is really a conversation about:
SEO can mean a lot of different things, depending on the context. There are many different products and services grouped under the SEO umbrella, and if you’ve always found SEO a little confusing, you’re not alone.
A common understanding of SEO is that it’s used to increase traffic to your website by using keywords, backlinks, design, and several other things. It usually stands in contrast to paid advertising. The problem is that in the mortgage industry specifically, SEO is hard to measure, can cost a small fortune, and usually results in driving leads that don’t convert all that well. But it doesn’t have to.
Citation management is the study/science/art of manipulating information displayed in an online search. This is the SEO you should consider investing in. Having clean citations makes you more referable online by ensuring potential clients find the information you want them to find at the very time they’re looking for you.
Citations are any reference to your business online. When you do a google search, the results are either paid advertisements or citations. Citation data includes any combination of your name, your company name, address, phone number, description, and email address.
Your website is likely your most important citation; ideally, it will come up first when someone searches for you. However, your Google My Business listing, where you collect 5 star-Google reviews, is pretty important as well. Other citations include social media accounts, online directories, review websites, maps, podcast sites, or any references to your name in publications, news articles, or blogs.
Now, performing a quick google search is a good way to get an overview of what your clients see when they search for you, but if you're serious about optimizing your mortgage process, you’ll want to invest in building clean citations. To do this, you’ll need a citation assessment report.
Lendesk has partnered with Deploy.Online to provide you with a free citation assessment report. This report will find all your existing citations, identify any conflicting data, and suggest several places online you should build new citations.
To get your free report, please complete this form. The report will be emailed to you, no strings attached. After receiving the report, we'll provide you the option to action the findings yourself, or opt for support in doing so.
Don’t make the mistake of believing that there are no good online leads. Being present online and investing in SEO isn’t about driving generic leads; it's about being present and capturing those people who’ve been referred to you, but “check you out online” before making contact.
Ensuring the accuracy of your information online through citation management is an important first step in building trust with potential clients and is the starting point of optimizing your mortgage process. Being referable online will help grow your mortgage business.
In the next article of this series, we’ll take it a step further and discuss what building a solid online presence looks like and how you can motivate clients to take action.