In the past, close relationships between lenders and their customers (realtors and mortgage shoppers) were largely developed over a few cups of coffee or a few cold ones. In 2016, not so much. Many professional connections previously made in person, face-to-face are now made online. A striking number are created using the social network made specifically for that purpose: LinkedIn.
Like any tool, LinkedIn can be used in many different ways. What works for one profession may not work for another. Given how important it is for lenders to have close working relationships with realtors and borrowers, it’s surprising how little attention has been paid to the benefits of LinkedIn.
Image Matters for Lenders
Invest in a professional headshot. For online connections to translate into real-world relationships and real-world business, you must catch attention with your profile picture. Use a portrait that would look good on a business card—because that’s what LinkedIn really is. Make sure your picture actually looks like you too. Homeowners and other connections may not remember your name, but they will remember your face.
Who You Are and Where to Reach You
On a fundamental level, mortgage professionals are selling the same thing. That makes differentiation all the more important. Besides your profile picture, your headline and summary will draw the most attention. Many lenders get so granular listing their previous work experience that they forget to write a good headline and give the reader clear contact information. After all, what’s the point of using LinkedIn if there’s no way for people to get in touch with you besides a connection? Make it simple for realtors and customers looking for a new mortgage to get in contact with you. At a minimum, include your work email and office line.
Connect with ALL Realtors and Homeowners
Connect with all of your past clients. As a lender, you played a key role in their journey to homeownership. They’ll probably remember you. More importantly, they’ll probably give you a recommendation. Connecting with previous clients will ensure that you stay “top of mind” if they decide to refinance.
Ignore Endorsements, Aim for Recommendations
LinkedIn makes it easy to give connections endorsements on specific skills. It’s so easy, in fact, that these endorsements are of little value. In a profession where trust is the ultimate currency, only real recommendations from real clients and coworkers will make a difference. Almost everything else I’ve listed on this blog is of little value if you don’t have clients and agents writing gleaming recommendations. Don’t be shy. ASK for recommendations!
Consider an Upgrade
Yes, there is a LinkedIn 2.0 called Sales Navigator that’s been described as a game changer in the Mortgage world. It gives users full visibility beyond 3rd degree connections. Basically, Sales Navigator can be described as an MLS of people. I would recommend following the advice above, getting more active in LinkedIn, and seeing what your results are before going “”pro”.
A Resource for Mortgage Professionals
More than a premier national title and escrow company offering superior customer service, quick turnaround times, and consistently lower fees, Armour Title Company is also a hub of sales and motivational resources made for mortgage professionals. Check back often and sign up for our newsletter for more tips!
All the best,