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Defining & Growing Your Personal Mortgage Brand with Abdel Khawatmi


Welcome to another episode of Quick Hits with Ben Treadway. Today I have Abdel Khawatmi with me from PRMG. How's it going today? 

What's up, brother? Thank you. 

Creating a Personal Mortgage Brand

Good to have you on. I'm happy to have you here. I wanted to have you on because I’ve been following you for a couple of months now and love what you're doing. And I've been on your podcast and so I wanted to jump on and have you on mine just to talk a little bit about branding.

I want to talk about branding because you have a personal brand, Got Mortgages. How has building that personal brand improved your business? 

Dramatically. I've said this numerous times, obviously we're in the real estate mortgage world.

Products-wise, everyone's got their FHA, conventional, VA, USDA. We all follow Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, we follow HUD guidelines. A big push for me has been obviously when consumers want to work with you, they're not necessarily working with the mortgage company itself.

They're working with you individually, and if they have to, they have to like you – love you. Make sure you're available, accessible and all that stuff. So Got Mortgages came about, honestly, I would say almost like six years ago when I first, first got started. I ran with it and obviously I have a school called Got Originator; got the little branding thing with Got Home.

So I really took it and ran with it. And anything I wear is generally the gear with the Got Mortgages?. So it truly stands out, you know, and obviously piggybacking from the original branding with Got Milk? and all that stuff. So when you're walking by, people are seeing that and they're like, “ah, you're a mortgage guy.”

Especially over the last couple of weeks and months, right. Where they're like, oh, you must be struggling. I have seen it take that barrier of a wall that someone doesn't necessarily know you, and then it's also easier to get found too.

And that's a big part too because there's obviously so many great professionals out there, even within my individual company and other companies. And the major thing that I think separates everybody from the mix is obviously your individual brand. ABC company, XYZ company.

It's the individual branding that you have and the consistency behind the branding, right? 

ROI - Relevant, Optimized, Intimate

So you'll hear me say that a lot. It all comes down to it. And then if you're posting on social media, which I know we'll get to, it comes down to, I say your ROI. Not your return on investment. It comes down to, are you being Relevant on social media?

Are you Optimizing your posts? Are you doing a mix? 

And then it’s the intimacy of your content.

Obviously you mentioned I'm a big guy, so I'm a big gym guy. So Jim, I dance, you know, we go salsa with my wife, the kids, personal stuff. And then obviously work and you know, the biggest thing now, what's, what's really, I've tried to establish is, you know, from the mortgage world, we all come as advisors, right?

And we're advising a client and coaching a client and stuff like that. And I'm giving the same exact various technologies with Mortgage Coach and MBS Highway. Obviously we're all big tech guys. The modern day loan officer nowadays, you have to adopt tech if you don't, the new generation of clients are obviously younger.

They're on Tik Tok, Instagram and stuff like that. But I really kind of took that personal brand, adopted it, and then I just eat, sleep, breathe it with everything that we do, and push it behind it. 

So, yeah, I think it's really interesting with everything that you're doing when we look at social media.

We just met each other last week, but I already knew a lot about you and you probably knew a lot about me based on social media. Um, you do a great job of mixing in your personal stuff plus your business stuff all in the same place. Um, I know you do salsa dancing and I know that, uh, that you're big in the community.

You do a lot of community work. It just recently kind of clicked for me is the education that you're putting out with short form videos. I think you just posted about that today. 

Yeah, I do. I always do a couple little videos, you know, different professionals and stuff like that. But it's all education. I mean, I think I've got like 375 videos now on YouTube. Can I do a better job of getting more subscribers there and this and that? Yeah. But frankly, the goal is I want to cast that wider net. We'll get there. I think it's really perfecting that content. And I always used to have in my office, the green screen and this and that.

I've actually found more authenticity where literally I'm sitting here. I've actually shot, you probably recognize the back. I still have my son's happy birthday thing still literally hanging. But I think it comes down to authenticity. And I was saying the ROI, right?

So it's being relevant, optimizing, and then the intimacy with your people, right? Um, people don't want to just hear you, “just close, just close, just close, just close.” Now I've kind of noticed that, you know, I'll get some love on the first two or three, but if I keep posting it, so now I just group all of them into like one picture.

Social Media is its own business channel

Um, it's the small little things like that. And it's like anything, right? Creating social media is literally its own individual avenue of business. And in today's day and age, it's probably one of the top forms. It eliminates the need to an extent to cold call, eliminates the need to establish your credibility, right?

Because you could tell an agent, you know, you might have been on your A game meeting them at a networking event and then they go to find you on social media and you're nowhere to be found. 

I think it's a combination of all that stuff. And, you know, I haven't been doing this for a long time.

It's been about just about to be six years and I say mortgage was like dog years, right? Six years in this business is like fricking 50 in another, in another institution. And I came in prior to COVID, to COVID, to post-COVID, to obviously where we're at right now. 

But social media has truly played a massive, massive role within that stuff.

You do a good job with it. And obviously you get your message across. You get it and it's not just the message of, “Hey, I do mortgages.” Because with social media, the important part about social media is this – when people look up your page, like you said, I don't want to see just “Offer accepted!” or “Just close, just close!” Right?

People connect with you and I'm sure you get a lot of questions about, “Hey, when did you start salsa dancing? Or, “Hey, what's your bench press max, right?” Like people are asking you about that. They don't care about the mortgage stuff. Obviously they're there to get a home, but you're connecting with them on other things.

The fact that your daughter does your videos and that you had a birthday party last week… it's that stuff that people remember. Like you said before, everyone does the same thing in mortgage. Like you can't with the laws that we have, you can't go out and create a whole new industry, right?

What you can do is you can stand out from the crowd by showing who you are and the person that you are. And so that they can grab onto something and connect, right? People connect with me over my son and my daughter. They connect with me because I like to play golf. And they connect with me because of my social media stuff, right?

They aren’t connecting with me because I sell social media software. That's not why. 

Yeah, no, I agree. I would say about four years ago, probably right around the start of COVID, I had two separate channels, right?

I always had an Instagram personal and Instagram business. And then it became tough managing between both.

I guarantee you I'm going to be the guy that's going to educate you, advise you, set all the expectations, provide you with the proper guidelines. I own a school, so I have to know it. Proper guidelines. And I would have more than likely probably shot a video in reference to a question that you asked.

And I take that video, and it's funny, you know, now it's like, offer got accepted. The common question for a client is what's next. So I have the little PDF picture or whatever on Canva that I created. Here you go. Here's also a video where I say, “Hey, congratulations, your offer been accepted. Next step we're going to go through if it's in Jersey, you know, AR inspection, appraisal, submission, approval, stuff like that.”

So part of me did it too. To kind of anticipate the questions that's going to be asked and obviously give the content, but simultaneously again, like we were saying, brand it back to myself and kind of make those, make those necessary adjustments that we have to, and just keep scaling it and tracking it and see what works with engagements and stuff.

Last question for you: What mistakes have you made on social media? And like, what have you learned? What have you learned from those mistakes? 

Yeah, I mean, the first thing I would say is, like I said, having two different platforms, right? Personal and professional. Um, so mix the two.

You're saying yeah, definitely mix it like we were saying, right? People want to know who you are. People want to know who you are, where you're from. What do you do? You know, obviously you do mortgages. How successful are you at mortgages? Are you going to the events? Are you hosting events? Are you doing networking?

Um, are you staying consistent with your content? You know, everybody goes to a, um, A Tom Ferry or Tony Robbins event and they're fired up and they're shooting two, three videos. And then like a month later, there's no consistency. And that's probably another thing. It's staying the consistency behind it. I was always kind of into it because when I first got into mortgages, like everybody, right, you got into it part time.

We're 100 percent all in, but I still till that day, you see some videos where I was like 170 pounds in 2018. Um, and you could probably tell the difference of always being consistent, though, like I did it. The other thing too, like I was mentioning, is now my content is a little bit more authentic to where I don't necessarily have to do the green screen behind me with the cool little shindig.

You know, here I'm sitting right now at my dining room table, you're talking to me, you can do it. So any professional out there, it is 100 percent a commitment though. If, if you're looking to get a true return on it, um, you know, um, if you don't have the necessary time to say. Edit the content and stuff like that.

I think now, because I was a little bit more pushed to using BARD. With Google. Um, but now I heard it's it's more up to date. So I think it's just utilizing that concept, but truly time blocking to where, like, if I if I want to get a post out, if you're not going to post like I do 345 times a day, to be honest, um, then then, you know, having a specific time block within your calendar.

You know, I'm going to post on Monday at 9 a. m. and I'm going to post, you know, for the next month at 9, and I'm going to go back and track the engagements, whether it's Instagram, TikTok, whatever, and see that I get more engagements because I posted at 9. Maybe I should post a little earlier because people start work at 9 and they're rolling out of bed at 7 and they're seeing it.

So they're likely more, more. To see those posts and also like, I'll do a couple of Instagram lives. So like I would host Instagram lives during the week and then I would host Instagram lives on the weekend. And, you know, in the summer when I have my home buying seminars every two weeks, I was doing them in the, um, on a Saturday, nobody came, right?

Two or three people because you're busy. So I switch them to Thursdays. Um, and then you get more people out there after seven o'clock because you're probably home. Kids are, kids are, you know, you're finishing dinner and stuff. So I think that's where I've kind of learned casting the wider net. Um, again, in no way or shape or form perfect at it, I would love to have more people, more followers.

I'm not looking for bots. So you know, I'll see some people, they've got 15, 000, 20, 000, 30, 000 followers, but they have like 10 likes, you know, it kind of tells me that you probably bought your followers or that was something I was telling my wife today. I'm like, you know, should I pay a company like 500 bucks, you know, for followers?

I'm like, but for what though, I'm going to get spammed. Instagram's constantly changing their algorithm. You know, now, now they want, you know, more, uh, if you've noticed now where it's like, how long someone watched your reel that never used to be there. I know that's been a new thing. So I've been watching that right.

To keep, keep the content short. Um, and I would say, you know, as you're the biggest thing is if someone's out there, you have to make mistakes, right? It's like anything, right. You have to make the mistakes. And then you're like, all right, well, I posted that video and I spent a hundred dollars or 200 boosting it.

And I didn't get anything. So maybe I targeted the wrong area, the wrong demographic of people and stuff like that. So I think it's a constant craft. You got to just stay consistent with it. This is not something that you're going to get. In two seconds. Again, I've been doing it for like five years now consistently, and now I slowly, slowly start building relationships where people will know you.