Mortgage

How lenders are using TikTok to reach Gen Z mortgage borrowers

How lenders are using TikTok to reach Gen Z mortgage borrowers
Written by Publishing Team

Short one-person videos on social media channels like TikTok are closely associated with the generation of budding homebuyers born after 1996, and a small but growing group of mortgage “influencers” are creating content in this format to reach them.

Leading content creators with mortgage related handles have successfully grown thousands of followers and millions of likes on TikTok, a platform where 60% of users are Generation Zers. While this is far from the size of the crowd The best creators On the podium, it’s the beginning.

In a broader context, influential social media personalities have millions of followers and billions of likes. “I don’t think anyone in the mortgage business has that,” Shashank Shekhar, CEO and founder of digital lending platform InstaMortgage, said in an interview.

So while these short, fun and often irreverent clips have partly helped define Generation Z, the lenders’ access to the nearly 68 million up-and-coming homebuyers in this age group so far has been limited.

To reach a wider audience in the short term, a strategy such as diversification of employment To reverse better The demographics of this age group Shekhar said he goes much further for housing loans. But in the long run, this form of social media can bode well for those who discover the right approach to it.

It can be deceiving for a number of reasons, one of which is that this generation is too The marketing skepticHowever, it may be a good time to step into the ground floor to see how far this method of reaching budding homebuyers can go.

“Overall, we know that Generation Z is really affected by social media,” Shekhar said. “But mortgages are a serious topic at the end of the day, and some of the videos on TikTok can be very entertaining. So if I was someone who was thinking about buying a house and watching a house, do I think I would trust you to buy my half a million dollar home?”

He said that this is one of the main questions that mortgage professionals need to ask themselves and take into account when preparing this content.

What works for loan officers
Scott Petley, the designer who on Deadline got the most followers and likes (nearly 720,000 and 7.5 million respectively) in a search for mortgage users on TikTok, said he’s found an “edutainment” approach that strikes the right balance to achieve these goals. the aim.

With a single video titled Rent vs. Buy, it highlights the potential savings of home ownership with scrambled text over a series of short seconds-long scenes in line with the typical TikTok format. As the music plays with the overlaid text, Betley personifies a friend of a homebuyer he worked with considering the fact that his friend now pays $500 a month less than he used to rent. In the final scene, Betley personifies the homeowner, nodding and counting his money. There is a brief side note posted alongside the video stating that it is a true story related to a home in Maryland. In line with many TikTok videos, it’s a one-man business, which explains its popularity amid a pandemic that has necessitated some social distancing.

“Some of it is just comedy, but I’d say 60%-70% of the content I provide has information associated with it that highlights something first-time homebuyers may not be aware of,” Petley said, Influencers Unit Heads In NFM Lending and TikTok uses handlethatmortgageguy.

Frustration spread with Rising rents It’s been a particularly hot button recently, said Heidi Leonard, branch manager at Embrace Home Loans. Leonard is part of a support group the company provides to help retail loan officers test the capabilities of social media. The group participated in challenges involving three social media channels, specifically TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. Prizes such as a ring light, which can be used to shoot videos, can be presented to the winner of the challenges involved.

“One of the videos that got the most views was that I put my thumbs up and say, ‘Do you pay more than $1,200 in rent a month? Leonard said, noting that she found this type of message resonating not only with potential clients, but also with referral partners in real estate.

Making home loans entertaining can be challenging and takes some work, said Nate Fine, chief loan officer at Supreme London, which posts videos under the headline @mortgages.are.boring.

“You have to address the elephant in the room, right?” Fine said, when asked for his handle.

It’s the kind of brand that seems to work relatively well with the context of TikTok videos that pop up in the mortgage search. Fain had the 3rd most followers (246000) and likes (1.9 million) on TikTok by Deadline.

While that may not match the numbers generated by top TikTok influencers, for LOs with a local or regional market to tackle, it can be an audience enough – if they can find ways to position their content to attract people from the areas they want to reach. .

“I think about 92% of my followers are from the United States. I’m licensed in six states, all of which are in the Southeast,” Fine said in an interview. Basically, if there are mosquitoes in there, I can lend there. That’s what I tell people.”

To ensure it reaches potential borrowers in those areas, Fain will post some content on state-specific topics.

“I’m going to put a video like, ‘The Top Five Reasons to Buy a Home in Florida,’ or ‘The Top Five Landmarks in Alabama,’ or ‘The Top Five Things to Do in Kentucky,’ knowing that these videos aren’t going to blow up, but they’re going to pull people out of Those places are inward,” he said.

How Shared Zoomer
As Zoomers are just beginning to enter the prime of their home buying age, Fain said the number they have reached has been limited, but he considers the time to be an early adopter of potentially more influential media in the future.

“I bought my first home at the age of 23, so you are at least catering to members of the older generation now. I have shut down many Gen Z clients from Instagram, YouTube and TikTok,” Fine said.

Such platforms will be especially important when it comes to reaching these buyers in the future, said Craig Martin, managing director at JD Power.

“You must be prepared to participate online. Social media plays a much more meaningful role in influencing the choice of customers among the younger generation,” he said in an email.

said Fobby Naghmi, Executive Vice President at First Mortgage.

“TikTok has Gen Z in its audience, but these people haven’t really spent money yet. The Facebook audience is all about spending money, but Generation Z type of abandoned FacebookMy star said. “Gen Zers are really fascinated with TikTok so far, and they don’t seem to be getting out of it as quickly as they did from Facebook. And while people in Generation Z aren’t really buying yet, they’re about to.”

His company started making a short video meant to entice this generation to put it on TikTok, but it might have been trying something that wasn’t necessarily done in an influential format.

“We will only shoot video on the phone with no green screens or lights. I want it to be as real as possible,” Naghmi said. “We found something this simple that could grab their attention.”

Influencer-focused videos are not the only way to interact with Generation Z and the latter can be used for linking and other forms of content that may appeal to this age group.

“We were thinking about creating a game like, ‘What kind of home buyer are you? “Categories will be ranked horizontally, so that no one is better than another, such as in the personality type test, where a home buyer can identify himself as picky or desire a particular feature of homes,” Shekhar said. This is a social media play that works well on TikTok or Instagram, as it tries to get people to sort themselves out.”

TikTok-style videos are useful not only when it comes to engaging potential Zoomer customers but also bringing loan officers from their peer group with whom they are most likely to build a relationship. Given The average age of LO is in the mid-40sIt’s a group that can be sought.

Jack Jarvis, a General Zer and LO at Westridge Financial who owns the handle @mortgage_yack on TikTok (ranked 10th on Deadline with 13,200 followers and 300,400 likes) thought his social media experience was a plus when he applied for his current job based on a referral.

“I think I’m the youngest person in my company and I kind of offered a presence on social media when they hired me, and I think that had a role in that,” he said.

Some other things creators should know
Convenience with social media and a strong following may be an added advantage for potential job candidates in the mortgage industry, but applicants must ensure that their content is in line with the corporate culture of the company they will be working for and show them that they will attract the most diverse emerging generations in the market.

“I would probably hire an influencer, as long as that person’s social media values ​​also align with my company, and showcase things like how we are inclusive,” Shekhar said.

Compliance must also be considered as loan officers must have numbers on file with the nationwide mortgage licensing system, and some forms of housing finance information, particularly offer rates, are regulated. Perhaps, since the role of LO is structured and focused primarily on ensuring that borrowers’ loans are objectively aligned with their ability to repay, some mortgage originators like Fain prefer not to use the term influencer to describe their role on social media.

Since the role of LO is limited to mortgages and the Generation Z audience tends to be more interested in a topic such as housing, their social media platforms can be a place to develop leads with referral partners as well as potential borrowers.

“I got relationships with many brokers because of TikTok,” Jarvis said. “It really benefited me from these two methods.”

Another thing you should realize is that with this form of social media, which is very visual, making these videos opens up the creators an opportunity to randomly interact with the strangers who viewed them.

“I was once going down the escalator at the airport, when someone was going up the escalator next to me, and they yelled ‘Mortgage Yack,’ which is my username on TikTok,” Jarvis said.

While comments from strangers come in many forms and can be either tempting or a little uncomfortable, they prove the value of content in making connections.

“It shows they saw the post, and that’s the point,” Leonard said. “I got a huge amount of business out of it. Sometimes just showing your face with the videos gets you top of the line with someone who needs to refinance or get out of their rent and buy a house.”

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