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Leveraging Instagram to Grow Your Mortgage Brand with Andrew Edwards


Ben: I know you've had an extensive background in the, in the mortgage space, specifically in business development, mortgage marketing. So I wanted to pick your brain on a couple of different things.

First and foremost. I've kind of shifted my messaging towards branding. And so figuring out not just the company brand, but actually like personal branding. So I'd love to kind of get your idea on like what a brand is and what it's not. And so talk to me a little bit about like your thoughts on branding and how a loan officer or even a company can shift their branding to make it more effective.

Andrew Edwards: I actually geek out just on brand and design and brand identity. The original plan was to I ended up at Nike as a university athletic department brand designer. And life takes you other directions and I'm ended up in the mortgage world somehow, but that's another story for another day. But I still love the concept of a brand and good design and I've definitely carved out a niche here in the mortgage space with that.

And so, you know, I think what a brand is. It's, it's the emotions that get evoked when you interact with that brand. So do you feel, you know, like you've got like the high end of a product and like, how does that make you feel when you get to hold like an iPhone? If you're an Apple guy there's a lot of cause marketing or companies out there that, you know, people want to do business with them because they feel good when they interact with that brand.

And so I think for an individual loan officer for a mortgage company when they think about their brand, you know, they really want to think about what people are feeling when they work with them. When you talk with your realtor partners, when you talk with your clients what is the feeling? That they're receiving when they're communicating with you and the same with your content online, what is the feeling that people are receiving when they're consuming your content that you're putting out there?

What a brand is not it's not what you do. You know, the brand is not, you know, I do mortgages. That's, that's just what you do. Recently I was watching the the Apple Keynote WW no, their iPhone launch event. I don't know if you saw it, but they did that ad with with mother earth. And they were all around the table.

And I just thought that that was such a really, really good synopsis and a view of what a brand is because that entire campaign is nothing about what they do had nothing to do with devices and nothing to do with technology. It was 100 percent about the things that they're doing in the community, the impact that they're making, and it was storytelling and it evoked a certain feeling and people felt a certain way when they engaged with that ad and that creates what your overall brand is.

Ben: Yeah, I think you, you hit it on the head. Sorry, you hit it on the head. Loan officers don't know what their brand is. The amount of times I have to tell them your, your brand is not your company. Your brand is not what you do. Your brand is not I work hard. Cause if that was your brand, everyone's got the same brand.

And then it's hard to differentiate yourself from other loan officers. So when we take a step further and we say like, why should someone actually work with you? Not not work with you because you're giving them a mortgage The the good question is why should someone come back and be a repeat customer, right?

And so my loan officer i've used him now for two homes every single year he Reaches out to me at the beginning college football because that's what we connected on connected on college football and we're not we don't S cheer for the same team. But periodically our teams like play each other, and so we're able to connect on that level.

We kind of razz each other a bit. But we've kept in touch, you know, for college football and obviously he reaches out for like birthdays and stuff like that. But he's always checking in on my team, always checking in on sports, and he always sends, you know, little things, little trinkets for my kids on their birthdays, right?

And so his brand, when I think of my loan officer lender that I've used, I don't think of, Oh yeah, he got me into my home because I don't think he did. Like obviously everything that I did got me into my home. What he did was. Educate me because I was a young homebuyer and then he also connected with me on a deeper level and got me to that point where I felt comfortable putting money down, buying a home, jumping into this American dream that has, you know, benefited me.

Immensely, especially with the way the market is. I bought three years ago and my house is blown up and inequity, right? So like he helped me get to that point. And I, you know, appreciate him on multiple levels. That's why I'm a repeat customer. He's a, he's a loan officer first. I mean, he's, he's a person first and then a loan officer and that's what he does. But that's not his brand. 

Andrew Edwards: Yeah. And you probably not consciously, but subconsciously you see a text message with his name, pop up like a feeling gets evoked. And it's a good feeling, right? Because you appreciated everything that he's done for you in the relationship that you've built. Whereas if a loan officer is a hundred percent about business and loans and transactions all the time, the feeling that somebody might get when their name pops up on a text message because they're reaching out for business again, probably not the feeling that they want them to have.

Ben: Yeah. Too many loan officers are, can I get your leads now? Can I get your referrals? They're just, see how I'm doing, man. And I have provided him with leads. Because he just checks it, right? And that's a different, different thing. 

We, we talk about different social platforms, obviously, you and I LinkedIn.

That's how we've connected. What's your go to platform when we talk about branding and actually getting your name out there?

Andrew Edwards: Yeah for me. It's still Instagram That's where I put not all my focus, but the majority of it Because it is so like content centric And it's emphasizes good aesthetic and I appreciate good aesthetic.

And so I think that is, it's a, just a wonderful tool. And I think loan officers can still utilize it incredibly well as a business building tool. 

How do you think that loan officers can utilize when you talk about building their business, finding realtors, finding consumers? I mean, Instagram, I know Instagram is like top notch right now when it comes to like B to C content.

Like how, what, what advice would you give to a loan officer who's like on Instagram and wanting to find more realtors, find more consumers?

Think of any realtor that's halfway good at what they do. And are they on Instagram? Yes. So that means every single realtor that you want to work with, you got about a 99 percent chance of them being on LinkedIn or excuse me on Instagram.

And so what I encourage loan officers to do when I, you know, have conversations with them is. Find ways to add value to people. People don't want social media to be a sales pitch over and over again and just constantly be peppered with sales pitch after sales pitch after sales pitch. You want to bring good content and you want to add value to people.

So how can you add value to your Reelers? And I love Instagram because they could not make it any easier. And I've done some recordings and some walkthroughs because man, you go to the search button. You go up to the search bar, you type in hashtag, fill in your city, your state, your area, and end it off with Realtor or Real Estate.

So for me, it would be hashtag Boise Realtor, hashtag Idaho Realtor, hashtag Boise Real Estate. You can't tell me that there's going to be individuals that are not Realtors. that are posting content using hashtag Boise real estate. Chances are very slim. So you're continuing to drill down here and you're getting to content that is pretty much exclusively posted by realtors in your community.

And it is just served up with content and they make it even easier when you go a step further, because when you go click on a post and you go through that timeline that contains post with all of those hashtags, there is a follow button right next to every single one of those accounts. And so you've got hundreds of realtors that are posting their homes, their listings, they're just sold and then you've got a follow button right next to it.

And I appreciate Instagram because every time you hit the follow button, what happens on the realtor's phone? Bing. Oh, you got a new follower that's going to trigger some endorphins in their brain because man, they just got some positive feedback from the platform seeing your name pop up. So you go through there, you hit, follow, you hit, follow, you hit, follow.

You can actually follow those hashtags as well. So it ends up in your timeline, just like any of the other accounts that you follow. Now you've got this whole database of realtors that you don't know. Pretty much any of them. You don't have a relationship with them. They're just a total cold lead right now, but man, they're serving you up content all the time with their open houses, their new listings.

And I think clients, no matter who they are, whether they are renters or their homeowners, fresh homeowners, been in their home for 20 years, people like seeing homes in their community. And so I encourage loan officers to use that little paper airplane and use realtors, open house posts to share to their Instagram stories.

One, that's great content out to your followers, but number two, you've just forced yourself into that Realtor's direct message inbox and forced another notification with your name on there. And you've also provided them with some free marketing that they didn't have to ask for, they didn't have to do anything for you, just promoted their listing for them for, for free.

Now you've kind of ingrained yourself in their brain as, wow, that was nice. Thanks, Ben Treadway, whoever the heck you are. I don't even know who you are, but like, thank you. And now you've instantly branded yourself as somebody that. adds value to people. And then there's some things that you can do ongoing to go take that offline.

But that's why I love Instagram because it's a wonderful networking tool when used the right way.

Taking it a step further. Start using those hashtags for your content because now you're not only are you utilizing the hashtag to find people, but now your con and loan officers go look at this, type in your name or type in your city and put real estate or realtor at the end.

There's no lenders posting good content with those hashtags. You slide that hashtag on a piece of content that's educational and that a realtor can send to their client. Boom. You're educating the buyers in a way that the realtors can't, right? Too often realtors are trying to post information about mortgages that they probably should have no business doing.

Right? And so if we can educate the buyers and like put it in hyper focus, our content to our areas and those realtors the likelihood of them sharing that content short form video content is getting 1200 percent more engagement than any other piece, right? They're sharing it at a much higher rate.

So if you put short form video content, hyper focus, your hashtags, And get it in front of those realtors. Super high probability that they are, they'll use those answers. They'll use that educational piece to send to their potential buyer, their buyer, and that's free marketing for you. So Instagram does a good job of patting each other's backs, especially when we work together like that.

Andrew Edwards: Absolutely.

Ben: Andrew, I really appreciate the time. We've had a good conversation here and I think there's a lot that that we can learn. Especially as we follow you on, on LinkedIn, you, you're always posting good content, always trying to find different ways and different you know, avenues to make a name for yourself and help loan officers make a name for themselves either.

So really appreciate you taking the time to jump on quick hits with me and we'll catch you next time.