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The average Facebook user now has about 338 friends.
And those friends have an average of 338 friends. That’s
114,244 friends of friends. According to a report from
GlobalWebIndex, the average person now has 7. 6
active social media accounts, with 98 percent of people having at least one social network account.
SocialSurvey conducted a recent survey of several
thousand users who shared their reviews on at least
one social channel. The internal data shows an average of 13. 7 percent in new business creation from this
In the mortgage industry, you are impacting lives
in a big way. You are creating stories and every story
is a unique one worth telling. My favorite example
involved a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
loan in early 2017. A woman was married to an active-duty military man who was deployed overseas. She
reported that her husband had always handled these
types of things and she could not have closed the loan
without the mortgage originator going above and
beyond at every turn.
Think about the impact this review had in creating
new business. Every military family would love to have
this experience. User stories can be business-creating
gold if shared properly.
n n n
In the mortgage industry, your other “customers” and
best sources for new future business are the real estate
agents involved in the transaction. Sometimes the
client was referred to you by the buyer’s agent. Other
times, you might be working with a real estate agent
for the first time.
In any case, giving them a great experience is often
the key to getting more business from them in the
future. You can even use great agent reviews to win
another agent in the same office. n
for choosing you may be the referral, they will validate
that referral with a Google search before they call.
What happens when someone refers you? Google
your name and find out.
Google dominates online search — 63. 5 percent of
all U.S. desktop-computer search queries, to be exact.
The good news is they are all about local searches.
Think about it like this: If someone in Newport Beach,
California, is looking for a Mexican restaurant, Google
doesn’t show them one in Macon, Georgia. It shows
Focus on the Google local three-pack, a group of
three local businesses that show up in any search on
the search engine. You want to win the three-pack
when people are looking on Google for a mortgage in
your area. Assuming listing data, photos and hours of
business are all accurate, what makes companies that
land in the three-pack different from hundreds of others that gives them an advantage on a Google search?
Clearly, an important factor is volume and frequency
of local reviews. It makes sense if you think about it.
Google wants to give the best possible answer. First,
it wants to make sure it has found a verified business
with a real physical address. Next, it relies on signals
such as local people waving the “this is the best answer”
flag by writing reviews after visiting the business.
Impact of story
If the true voice of the client was present online, the
average mortgage originator and company would
have lots of reviews everywhere (Google, Zillow, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, Yelp) averaging more
than 4. 8 stars (out of a possible five). Reviews are the
natural evolution of referrals from the past. Instead of
simply relying on your clients to tell their friends, digitize their voice and amplify it.
Scott Harris is the CEO and founder of SocialSurvey and co-founder of Buyer’s
Road Inc. He has held senior executive positions in both mortgage lending
and real estate companies. Harris has been creating technology solutions in
the mortgage and real estate industries for more than 15 years. Reach Harris
ASanta Ana, California, mortgage company is a great example: it ranked highly in both volume and client satisfaction Before the company could implement a
plan to collect and share the true voices of their clients,
however, Google reported 48 total reviews with only
a 1.7-star average.
All this, while reporting roughly 900,000 loans
closed since 2001 on their website. Not to worry, the
mortgage company figured it out and is now sending
requests to all retail customers with closed loans. They
have seen a 56 percent response rate and are averaging 4. 9 stars across nearly 8,000 reviews and counting.
The story points out an important fact: If you’re not
managing your online reputation, your unhappy clients
will do it for you.
Need for reviews
While many mortgage originators are W-2 employees,
they are still the primary route to the market for most
mortgage companies. This means the originator’s
online reputation can be just as important as the company’s. Here’s the reason this is so important: If most
loan originators still rely on referrals, what do you
think today’s borrower is doing after someone refers
you? Looking you up online.
According to a local consumer-review survey by
online search company BrightLocal, 85 percent of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations
from friends or family. Although their primary reason