Marketing: Social Media in the Reverse Mortgage Industry

Written by Seamus McKeon, as originally published in The Reverse Review.

Social media is all the buzz in the advertising and marketing worlds, and nowhere is this talked about more than on social media itself. Facebook is one of the fastest growing companies; Twitter has played a vital role in revolutions both successful and unsuccessful; and Google+, well, they made pretty nifty commercials for a little while. But what place does social media have in the reverse mortgage industry?

The mortgage industry is huge. It’s large enough to have had its very own financial crisis that became the most centrally discussed issue in America for a number of years. It acted as a linchpin of the economy at a time when the economy outweighed almost every other concern for most Americans during a pivotal presidential election. The reverse mortgage industry is, naturally, a smaller slice of that pie. It caters to the needs of a portion of Americans who are unlikely to utilize the Internet, and thus social media, although that number is certainly growing.

So who within the reverse mortgage industry utilizes and benefits from social media? Is it loan originators? Appraisers? Borrowers? Lenders? The answer depends on how one defines “benefits” and the scope of the industry itself.

Borrowers are people. They want information and they want it accurately and instantly. Companies are made of people, and

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they have a message. These institutions want to get their messages out in real time to as broad a segment of the population as possible, and specifically to those looking for information about services they provide. With the advent of individualized marketing, companies can design and deliver advertising campaigns directly to the browsers of people already engaging in similar services or topics their companies address. If you read a blog about reverse mortgages, your browser’s cookies will likely be accessed by companies like Google that will then tack on advertisements for reverse mortgages to your future search results. Lenders are now able to zero in on a market of people who are already actively looking for their services. That’s a pretty big bonus.

Similarly, borrowers have the ability to narrow down their decisions on lenders based not only on the sweetest deal, but also a growing sense of familiarity and trust with the different companies that are reaching out to them via social media. The recommendations of friends are now much more easily accessible, and your cousin’s best friend’s word often means a little more than the promises of a loan officer with a large advertising budget.

Blogs can provide content that readers are looking for, and most of this content can be disseminated piecemeal as users share the information most pertinent to them. This can push information around and around, potentially influencing industry thought as more people view it. By utilizing social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or even traditional blogs, you can weave a web of information, creating familiarity between reverse mortgage providers, potential borrowers and even the family members who influence potential borrowers. Familiarity with any source of information breeds trust, and this sense of connection can be essential to

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generating business.

It’s hard to determine exactly who benefits most from social media use in the reverse mortgage industry. When you look at all of the individual parts, identifying the most value from social media is hard to pin down. But when you back up, zoom out and look at the industry as a whole, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a loan officer, a borrower, an appraiser or even a company blogger, the person social media benefits the most in this market is you. So what are you looking to get out of it today? Why not tweet about it? We will.

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