Originators ask us plenty of questions about small-balance commercial loans and business strategies they can implement to close more deals.
We tend to get some questions more often than others – that’s why we’re publishing the 3rdedition of our Commercial Mortgage Mailbag feature. Read on to see if we have an answer for your biggest question.
How do we use LinkedIn to get business?
Silver Hill recently ran a webinar on this very subject. The short answer is to create a LinkedIn marketing strategy that focuses on 3 tactics: profile optimization, smart networking, and content publication.
Try to remember the last time you conducted an audit of your LinkedIn profile. If you’re not constantly improving the content in your profile, you’re going to show up in fewer and fewer searches from your target audience.
The key is to optimize your profile with keywords that you’d expect your audience to use when searching for the type of solution you provide. If you’re a small-balance commercial loan originator hoping to connect with new referral partners, be sure to use commercial lending-related terms in your summary, experience, and title sections. That way, LinkedIn’s search algorithm will be more likely to make your profile visible to your target audience when they search for your services.
When networking, don’t simply click “connect” and hope for the best. Instead, add a custom message to establish a personal connection with those you’re hoping to do business with down the road.
Better yet, try to add something of value in your message. Direct your potential connection to an article or video you published and let them know how you think it could help them succeed this year.
Finally, make time to publish your own content on LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn, only 1 million out of their 500 million users publish content on the platform. You can bet that your competition isn’t using LinkedIn’s publishing capabilities, and that means anything you publish will have a better chance of reaching your target audience.
When you publish content related to your industry or market, your target audience will see you as the authority in that area. You can gain instant credibility, which goes a long way when attempting to connect with professionals you don’t already know.
If you just focus on the 3 tactics listed above, you will have a solid LinkedIn strategy for gaining new business this year.
Should I publicize testimonials from happy clients?
Yes – but it’s important to consider why you should publish them and where they should live.
Your goal when releasing a testimonial should not be to tell others about how great you and your company are. Instead, the goal should be to relate a real-life experience that resonates with potential customers.
It’s a subtle, yet important difference. When potential customers read believable success stories, they can more easily visualize themselves having that same level of success with you.
Before you publish testimonials, please keep these thoughts in mind:
- Obtain written permission from your customer before publicizing their testimonial.
- Testimonials are far more powerful when they contain the customer’s name. When you ask for permission to share a testimonial, be sure to also ask whether you can use the person’s full name. If this makes the customer uneasy, you could offer to just use their first name.
- Don’t simply list testimonials on a “testimonial” page of your website. A far more effective strategy is to publish testimonials on the pages potential customers are most likely to visit. This gives you the opportunity to add an extra level of credibility to your messaging – and that could make the difference on a landing page or contact page.
A final thought on testimonials: try asking your customers for their feedback immediately after you’ve done business with them. If the experience was great, they will be more likely to share a positive message. But the longer you wait to ask for a testimonial, the less likely you are you get a response – even if the experience was a positive one.
Can you clarify what Silver Hill means by Lite Doc Solutions?
This is a good question because Silver Hill has several reduced documentation options for borrowers.
Here are our current solutions for investors and business owners:
Investor Solutions: Loans of $250,000 – $2 million
- Lite Doc Investor Program:Best for investors who may not be able to disclose certain financial information or whose properties are more valuable than a tax return might show.
Instead of tax returns, we review:Appraisal and property cash flow
Business Owner Solutions: Loans of $250,000 – $2 million
- Stated Owner-Occupied Program:Best for owner-occupied transactions where the business owner has difficulty documenting their income for traditional lenders.
Instead of tax returns, we review: Experian Business Credit Report and property cash flow
- Bank Statement Program:Best for business owners who prefer to prove business income by providing 12 consecutive months of bank statements in lieu of tax returns.
If you have any questions about our reduced documentation loan programs, be sure to reach out to your Silver Hill Regional Manager today.
Also – if you have a question you’d like us to answer in our next mailbag, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.