Internet Marketing For Mortgage Brokers Part 1 Websitesgary
Over the last 10 years now we have seen Social media and the internet generally, gradually becoming some of the most effective marketing areas for small to medium businesses. However, the current pandemic and its associated captive audience has massively accelerated this process, Facebook for example have increased their traffic by over 78% and more than 92% of adults in the UK now use the internet.
Having said that, although the vast majority of mortgage brokers now are internet savvy, we still come across a lot of firms that are missing opportunities and could do much more. The following article is one of a series on internet marketing covering the need for a website as well as the basics of getting it up and running but even with over 20 years’ experience in promoting business on the internet including Which Network and my own independent mortgage brokerage back in the day when you could type a question into a search engine and not get an avalanche of adverts and porn sites in the results, I’m not pretending to be an expert.
You need a decent website!
“Gor blimey, talk about bleedin obvious”. True, but within that blindingly obvious statement the gold nugget is “decent”. A brochure page type site might be OK as a contact point for prospects who want to look you up, maybe for contact details, but it isn’t going to bring in business. For the first 8 years of Which Network’s existence, I produced my own website with the help of Webplus a software package designed for that purpose, until that fateful day when my son who looked after all my Google advertising etc and has an SEO consultancy looked at the site and uttered those faithful words “dad it’s crap”. Well as soon as I calmed down a bit and he got out of intensive care we had a long discussion about my beautiful website, my brainchild, the fruit of my imagination which I had lovingly, constantly updated and nurtured more than any royal baby had ever been tended to, for all of those years and I had to agree with him. It was in fact “crap”. There is an important lesson here, if you’re a mortgage broker don’t waste tens or hundreds of hours messing about with your own website!
Gone are the days when most people can fix their own car, you wouldn’t build your own house, write your own software or do a quick course in “brain surgery for beginners” and then set about with a hammer and chisel in an attempt to raise your IQ. If you’re a mortgage broker then mortgages are your thing, so it makes sense to use those skills to generate money and pay some of that money to an expert to produce an amazing, functional website for your business.
A professional website doesn’t need to cost you an arm and leg. The Which Network website for example was created by a designer in Macedonia which to my eternal shame I must admit, geographically I don’t even know where it is?
I used a service call Upwork, and although I’m sure there are many other such websites, this worked just fine for me. Basically it’s an agency for freelancers. You register with them which is free, then look around the internet for the type of website you want, or maybe a mixture of elements. The Which Network site for example is a mix of ideas from a wheat wholesaler, a printer and an American legal firm. Not a direct rip off you understand “thought I’d better make that clear in case I get sued for a billion dollars” but rather general ideas for what works or looks pretty and what doesn’t.
You then put a general spec on Upwork and invite tenders. You’ll find you get a lot of new freelancers with no real track record offering to do it for $20 “they always seem to work in dollars”, so you ignore them along with the couple of silicon valley guys who want to make you the best website in the world for $30,000 and check out the middle ground. With the ones who are left you can look at their history, actually see the previous sites they have made and check out their feedback from previous clients.
Maybe contact the top 3 or 4 and give them a more detailed spec and see what they come back with. I must say, I don’t know if the process is fool proof, but with all the safeguards in place and the fact that you don’t pay until the work is finished to your satisfaction it’s always worked out for me and I’ve used it for 3 different projects now.
Other things to keep in mind include you need to have a mobile friendly site as so many people now use their smart phone for everything, Check out our article from 2017, increase the figures by at least 15% and you’ll see what I’m getting at. Also, be sure to register the domain ASAP. It costs about £12.00 per annum to register a .co.uk domain, but if you don’t register your domain and a predatory internet firm sees your business exists, be it via Companies House or the FCA register, they will buy the domain and offer to resell it to you for about £5,000. Don’t feed the sharks, register your domain as soon as you know what name you will be trading under.