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Finance of America’s Jim Anderson on building customer relationships

HW Marketing Leaders address the top trends, changes and shifts in marketing

The HousingWire award spotlight series highlights the individuals who have been recognized through our Editors’ Choice Awards. Nominations for HousingWire’s Marketing Leaders award are now open through Friday, March 25, 2022.  Click here to nominate someone you know — it can even be you!

As the housing market continues to move from last year’s refinance boom, lenders’ ability to identify customers and maintain consumer relationships has become more important than ever in not only securing loans but also ensuring they make it to close. 

“Marketers and loan officers need to be prepared for a longer lead-nurture timeline today than the refi market frenzy we experienced the last two years,” said Jim Anderson, chief marketing officer at Finance of America Mortgage. “From the bottom up, our goal is to build a lifelong relationship around mortgage lending.”

Lenders like Finance of America need to be ready to engage with potential and past customers at all points of the home-buying journey across web, mobile and social, added Anderson. That’s where marketing teams like Anderson’s are working to support loan officers in initiating and building on a consultative relationship with their customers, versus the transactional approach many lenders are often known for. 

Jim Anderson was honored as a 2021 HW Marketing Leader, an award that celebrates the most creative and influential marketing execs of the housing economy. HousingWire reached out to Anderson to learn more about how lenders and marketers can prepare for the current housing market and to hear about what’s to come at Finance of America in 2022.

HousingWire: What projects are you working on that you’re most excited about in 2022?  

Jim Anderson: We’ve just kicked off a customer segmentation project to identify purchase patterns and to group customers into personas with behavioral attributes. We’re also developing an algorithm to identify future customers’ personas quickly. Understanding our customers and their motivations will allow us to tailor personalized messages and content on their preferred platform to drive increased engagement. From the bottom up, our goal is to build a lifelong relationship around mortgage lending. We want to support our loan advisors in building a consultative relationship with their customers, versus the transactional approach many lenders employ.  

HousingWire: How is your team handling the compliance aspects of the digital marketing space?  

Jim Anderson: Finance of America Mortgage’s field marketing team continually coaches and consults with our branches and loan advisors to maximize the marketing potential and ensure marketing meets all federal and local compliance guidelines. Our internal marketing QC team reviews and consults all materials and the compliance team actively monitors social media and the web to ensure compliance. Finance of America offers a robust mar-tech stack, working with the best technology partners in the business. We constantly evaluate new vendors to ensure our loan advisors have options that complement their unique business.   

HousingWire: What role are marketers playing in this current  purchase-driven market and in what ways can marketing act as a revenue driver right now?  

Jim Anderson: With the decrease in refinance volume, you’ll see a shift to driving top-of-funnel purchase leads. Homebuyers often search for financing online before engaging a Realtor. This provides an opportunity for mortgage lenders to engage with customers as they evaluate how much home they can afford. However, marketers and loan officers need to be prepared for a longer lead-nurture timeline today than the refi market frenzy we experienced the last two years. We’re ready to engage with potential and past customers at all points of the home-buying journey across web, mobile and social. Plus, our marketing team actively monitors our past customers to funnel leads for referrals, purchases and refinances to our loan advisors. We leverage propensity models to proactively identify customers ready for another transaction, combined with ongoing credit and listing monitors to re-engage with our past customers. 

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