Like It Or Not We Are Being Judged On Our Virtual Image

By Byron G. Torres

When visiting 100 search results for “local” loan originators throughout the county I found a disturbing trend. Either the websites were not maintained and looked “aged” or they were replicated websites with multiple calculators and a link to fill out a full or mini 1003.

For some reason it seems as if lending professionals are not adapting to the ever changing Internet. While I admit, that is a generalized statement, but of the more than 100 websites visited maybe 7 were well maintained and not packed with information overload.

Think of your website as your brick and mortar office. If it is over cluttered, filled with brochures and applications on the table for a consumer to fill out on their own, what image do you think you are portraying to the customers walking through your door?

The loan originator business still relies on research, thorough processing and most importantly it relies on trust. You may be the most experienced loan originator in the state but if your website portrays you as otherwise; your trust factor may not be shining through.

The solution could be as straightforward as simplifying and maintaining your website on a regular basis. Keep it simple. No need to have tons of generic calculators and applications. A contact form with general information should replace a full or mini 1003.

If your website is maintained and up to date, your visitors are more likely to spend a longer time on your site getting to know you. Tell your story and invite people to get to know you as a person and as a professional. If you do not have the option to update your website, look at building a new website that allows you to make changes using an online Content Management System (CMS). A CMS is a tool that enables site administrators to edit text, add images, add pages and even embed video.

If you are a broker with multiple agents, give each of them their own dedicated page on your website. Your potential customers will appreciate it and it will make your office more approachable.

Social Networks And Your Business

I am often asked about how social networking will help financial professionals. My thinking is that “you” are the best reporter on “you” that you will ever find. Update your Facebook, Twitter and/or Blog on things you accomplish. Link to these pages from your main website to give your visitors a chance to learn more about what you are doing. If your visitors start reading things that you do, they will feel as if they know you and that is a good thing in marketing.

Make your site visitors comfortable with you and invite them to do business with you. Share your knowledge through videos and updates to website and social network pages. Tell your story and become the source of information. You will have a chance to discuss rates and home values at some point down the road but make your first (virtual) introduction a pleasant and welcoming experience.

Byron G. Torres is the founder and creative director of Pritzer Media (www.pritzer.com). As a former originator, Byron understands the needs of mortgage professionals. Pritzer’s services include: website design, mobile marketing, videos for the web and video-SEO. Byron G. Torres can be reached at 909-743-5812 Ext 525

Pritzer Media on Twitter(@pritzermedia)

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