I have a tip on social media marketing for loan officers to help you earn more business from today’s first-time homebuyers — one that even the most stringent compliance officer would have trouble finding issue with because it has absolutely nothing to do with you using social media.

But first let me ask you a question: Are you friends with your friends?

According to Statista, as of February 2014, the average number of Facebook friends for 18- to 24-year-olds was well over 600 ; for 25- to 34-year-olds, 360 friends. Which got me wondering, just who are they friends with? Luckily, Pew Research shared some insights on that.

Not surprisingly, 91% of Facebook users say they are friends with their current friends. (It amazes me that we have actually gotten to a point in society where that statement makes sense… “I’m friends with my current friends.”) Just as unsurprising, a large majority — 87% — are friends with former high school or college classmates, and 58% are friends with work colleagues.

The surprise to me is nearly 4 out of 10 (39%) say they are friends with people they have never met in person.

What if you could find a way to be referred to people who your first-time homebuyers have never met — just by showing up and having your picture taken?

Picture this

It’s sort of like the old Woody Allen line, “80% of success is showing up.” Loan officers who show up at their closings have a tremendous marketing opportunity — to put first-time homebuyers’ social media behavior to work for them.

Next time you attend a closing, ask your buyers if they would like you to snap a photo of the happy event with their phone. Then ask if you can get in the photo with them for a group selfie. Then — and this is the clincher — ask them to tag you in the photo.

What just happened?

Well, you just got introduced to hundreds of their friends. True, many of these friends may have already known your borrowers were buying a home, but they probably didn’t know how you helped make it happen. Also, quite a few of them probably didn’t even realize their friends were buying a home.

Like their work colleagues, who may also be interested in buying a home but didn’t think they could get a loan. Perhaps they will be motivated to act when they realize they earn the same amount as their new-home-buying friend. And the next day at work, they ask how the process went and how to get started. And your name comes up, and your contact information gets shared!

Or how about your borrowers’ former college classmates, who likewise have home-buying aspirations, but have yet to explore the process because they thought they had to wait because of their student debt? Suddenly, those people also have new reason to seriously consider buying now rather than waiting.

And then there’s that last group, those Facebook friends your borrowers have never met — and never would have thought to refer you to.

Take it even further and invite the real estate agent into the photo. Now you’ve just been introduced to the agent’s friends, including work colleagues, who may like the fact that this loan officer cares enough to show up at closings.

Plus, it costs you absolutely nothing, and that alone should be something to smile about.

Vance Edwards, CMB

Vance Edwards, CMB - MGIC Marketing Program Director

Vance Edwards joined MGIC in 1999 and currently serves as MGIC's Marketing Program Director. Among Vance’s responsibilities is heading up MGIC’s Marketing Promotions Team which oversees MGIC sales training efforts, marketing of MGIC programs and co-branding efforts with MGIC customers.

In addition, Vance leads MGIC initiatives with Realtors and consumers, especially first-time homebuyers. He has spoken numerous times to Realtors® and loan originator audiences on topics including: first-time homebuyers, QM, economic overview, mortgage industry, and sales skills.

Vance lives in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin with his wife Carrie and children Hailey and Trevan.

Vance is a certified FICO professional and earned a Certified Mortgage Banker ("CMB") designation from the MBA.

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