ithin an effective strategic marketing approach, there are two main
things to keep top of mind. You
must identify a brand message
that resonates with target audiences, including employees, clients, real estate agents, builders and recruits.
In addition, you should implement national and
market-specific plans to drive lead generation. The
goal of those plans should be to drive more leads to
A CHANGING BUYER
The makeup of today’s homebuyer market is changing
dramatically as millennials enter the homebuying arena,
the Hispanic population continues to grow, and baby
boomers and the succeeding Generation X continue to
buy new or second homes. With these changes in demographics, it’s important to look at each of the target
audiences and how they relate to a company’s brand.
The median age of first-time homebuyers last year,
32, was at the upper range of the millennial genera-
tion, according to the National Association of Realtors’
(NAR’s) 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Millen-
nials are the generation following Gen X and are also
known as Generation Y. Millennials have represented
the largest share of homebuyers for the last several
years, the association’s 2018 Home Buyer and Seller
Generational Trends study found.
Following millennials is Generation Z, defined as
anyone born between 1995 and 2010. Generation Z is
the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in
our history, and its members are beginning to enter
the housing market as renters. Fifty-seven percent of
Generation Z considered buying a home while searching for their last rental, according to the Zillow Group
Report on Consumer and Housing Trends 2017.
Mortgage company brands need to resonate with
these younger growing homebuyer segments while
also reaching Generation X and baby boomers. It
starts with the company’s brand and how that brand
connects with today’s homebuyers.
A company’s brand, brand identity and value
proposition — what makes the company appeal to
clients — help position the business as trustworthy
and able to provide guidance and information that
keep homebuyers informed and engaged through
the homebuying process.
According to Fiserv Inc.’s 2017 Expectations &
Experiences: Borrowing and Wealth Management
survey, 70 percent of respondents said the lender’s
reputation is an important factor. It will determine
whether people will buy a product, invest in a company
or consider employment.
DEFINE THE BRAND
Brand identity is a vital part of the strategic framework for a successful marketing campaign. First,
evaluate the landscape to identify the competitive
set, opportunities and strengths as well as the gaps
in the market.
By using this information, mortgage companies can
identify their core strengths, their value proposition
and how their business delivers on their promise.
It is helpful to bring in outside experts to help with
defining the brand. There are some key elements in all
branding exercises, however.
Starting with data from past customers can provide a snapshot of the current buyer attracted to a
brand. This data also provides an excellent source to
ask questions about their connection with the brand
through post-closing surveys.
Companies also can run a promotion to survey past
customers and gain insight into the brand strengths
and opportunities. A great question to pose is to ask
for a word that best describes the brand. Following
the identification of brand strengths and opportunities, companies can establish their brand positioning,
which will lay the foundation for the overall brand
Armed with this information, companies should
review and revise as needed their mission statement
(or purpose), vision statement (where they want to go
in the future) and messaging strategy (how to communicate the brand) to ensure that all audiences are
receiving the same message about the brand.
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