Spring is in the air! It’s a time for blooming flowers and trees, warmer temperatures and outdoor activities. Spring represents a fresh start, and for many people, that means finding a home to call their own. Home ownership has long been associated with the American Dream. After all, owning a home is a symbol of upward mobility - it represents, among other things, career achievements and financial stability. These days, however, many Americans’ dreams of home ownership are fading.
U.S. Census Bureau data published in Bloomberg shows that more people are opting for a lease over a loan. Out of the 100 largest U.S. cities, 52 were classified as majority renter in 2015, and 21 of those cities shifted to renter domination since 2009. What created such a large pool of renters? Several factors, including demographic shifts, rising ethnic populations and continued fallout from the foreclosure crisis a decade ago.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could help potential home buyers achieve their dreams? You can, and it starts with using social media.
How can you use social media to find potential home buyers?
Social media can be a great tool for finding potential home buyers and refinancers. As a loan officer, you can use social media platforms to stay in touch with people in your network and add value in as many ways as possible. Read an interesting article about the housing market? Stumble upon some tips for home buyers? Learn some new home decorating tips? Let your network know. While interior design may not be your bailiwick, it can help potential home buyers in your network picture the possibilities in their own new home. Posting tips and current industry news to your social media channels can help you stay engaged with your network and let them know you’re invested in the process.
Which social media platforms should you use?
There are numerous social media channels you could use, but not all are created equally. To really know which channels are going to resonate with your network, you should understand some online behaviors of consumers. The Digital in 2016 report from We Are Social found that there are more than two billion active social media users today, and that number is expected to increase to 2.44 billion by 2018. A study by the National Association of Realtors found that 90 percent of home buyers begin their research online. Another study from Pew Research found that one out of three seniors uses social media sites. Different sites serve different purposes, but they all have one thing in common: they can help you engage with your customers. Three of the most popular sites for loan officers are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
The professional networking site LinkedIn currently has 467 million users worldwide. The site enables a user to Like, Post and Share content with others but, unlike other sites, LinkedIn is strictly professional. You’ll want to make sure your posts are relevant to your business and your personal brand. The site also offers several features designed to help you grow your network, including Groups, InMail and Connected.
With Facebook, you can reach a broad audience of potential clients. While LinkedIn is all business, Facebook allows for a little more flexibility. Keep in mind that Facebook does not limit the number of accounts you can have, so it may be a good idea to create a professional Facebook page separate from any personal page you may currently have. Another option is to create a business page, which offers tools for businesses, brands and organizations. Some features within Facebook that can help grow your network include Advertising and Groups.
Twitter is a real-time communications network that allows its users to send messages called tweets. In fact, the site has 319 million monthly active users who send out 500 million tweets per day! Twitter has several features that can help you engage with your network. These include hashtags, chat and search.
Our infographic shows how you can turn social media “likes” into loans!
Adding social media to your networking strategy showcases your professional abilities and ensures that when the time comes for consumers to choose, it won’t be a matter of which loan officer to use, but which loan to select. We’ve put together a guide that walks you through social media account set up and advice on how you can leverage those accounts for prospecting, networking and nurturing relationships to closed deals. This spring, grow your outreach strategy to include social media and watch your network of home buyers and refinancers blossom.