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The Big Story: Brokers "anti-social" networking

Mortgage brokers haven't yet embraced social media as a marketing tool and they're being warned it's essential for their survival.

Video transcript below:

Donna Sawyer, Australian Broker News TV
Donna Sawyer:
 Hello, I am Donna Sawyer and you are watching the Big Story on Australian Broker News TV.

Mortgage brokers are lagging behind when it comes to using social media as a marketing tool.  The latest MFAA research shows that less than 30% of brokers are using facebook or LinkedIn as part of their business strategy.  Phil Naylor of the MFAA says brokers who embrace social media, have an opportunity to connect with a large audience.  
Phil Naylor, MFAA
Phil Naylor:  Well I think the key is to encourage that they use for a start because I think a lot of them are still sceptical.  What we found out in our research is that there are as many people now using, getting involved with facebook as there are watching TV, so you’ve got a massive audience there.  
Sarah Wells, redconcierge
Sarah Wells:  It’s been a bit of an evolution actually understanding how social media can work within my business.  It’s certainly not going to generate significant amounts of leads, but it’s certainly a way that I can touch base with my clients and also educate people that may have an interest in either buying a property or having a home loan.
Doug Mathlin, FrontRunner Consulting Group
Doug Mathlin:  I don’t see the main population of brokers really embracing it, but I guess that’s probably indicative of the average age of the broker.  Lot of people are probably a little bit let’s say old for the social media side of things.  A lot of them are probably anti-facebook, anti-Twitter, these type of things.
Donna Sawyer:  But brokers beware, there is a right and a wrong way to use social media.  Doug Mathlin of FrontRunner Consulting Group says it’s vital to take a professional approach.  
Doug Mathlin:  I have actually heard of examples where clients have been disappointed with mortgage brokers value proposition or service when they see a whole lot of personal information about what the broker is doing.  For example, if a client is waiting for docs to come back or a decision to be made from the broker or from the lender and then they go on to the facebook page to keep uptodate and they see that the broker is out at the pub or at a meeting or surfing, all these kind of things that you see them posted on a personal facebook page, that can be detrimental to brand and detrimental to the service proposition.
Phil Naylor:  Again a venture into facebook or LinkedIn or any other social media, you really have to do it properly, it’s not something you just set up and forget about it.  You really have to make sure that you maintain it, you are constantly monitoring it because it’s your way of addressing directly to consumers.
Sarah Wells:  Let’s say probably the big four banks are definitely using social media effectively.  I know from experience myself, when I have been trying to find information direct from a bank, if you do send a direct message through Twitter they will answer fairly quickly.  
Donna Sawyer:  Sarah Wells of redconcierge says social media is likely to be a critical part of brokers’ marketing strategy in the future, particularly for generating referral business.
Sarah Wells:  The social networking side of things and referrals that way is certainly part of the industry that we need to capitalise on.
Doug Mathlin:  It’s probably a matter of how you communicate your value proposition and maybe even talk about how your referral program works which will help your social media strategy.  If it’s purely about this is which lenders I can use and this is who has got a special on, this is our first home buyer offering, yeah that’s okay, that’s informative, but why not ask for referrals or tell people about the referral program that you have and that your business is built on the recommendations of others.
Donna Sawyer:  Doug Mathlin of FrontRunner Consulting says brokers can set themselves apart by creating videos and using social media platforms such as YouTube.  
Doug Mathlin:  I think the key is variety.  If people are just seeing the written word from you, maybe it’s time to put a video together and even if it’s something that you are thinking, look I don’t want to do social media, I don’t want my company on a facebook page, I don’t want Twitter or that kind of thing.  If you are going to be in business in 5 years time, I think you are probably going to have to embrace it at some stage.  Therefore why not try and start to embrace some of the mediums out there.
Donna Sawyer:  For more on social media and other marketing tools, click around the Australian Brokers News website.  I am Donna Sawyer and I will see you again next week with the Big Story.