How to Create Marketing Personas for Commercial Mortgage Prospects: Part 1

How much do you know about your customers?  Do you only know what kinds of loan products they need, or do you actually have a firm understanding of who they are, where they’re from, and what personal motivations are leading them to seek your assistance?

Gaining a deep understanding of the business owners or investors who comprise your client base not only helps you better serve them, but it also gives you the insight you need to develop customer profiles that can improve your marketing strategy and generate more leads.

These customer profiles, called Personas, are collections of characteristics that detail a specific type of customer you want to reach through your marketing efforts.  Ideally, you would consult your personas before developing material for any marketing campaign – that way, you could ensure that your message is appropriate and positioned to increase conversion.

If you don’t have a set list of marketing personas right now, you could be dooming certain campaigns from the start – either by pushing a message in front of the wrong audience or by articulating a value proposition that does not match an audience’s specific motivations.

Creating a marketing persona takes a little time and research, but even the development process has value.  As you work to learn more about your existing customers, you’ll discover commonalities and trends that you never knew existed.  These nuggets of insight eventually help you make big informed decisions when it comes time to formulate new tactics for business growth.

So stop guessing during your strategic planning sessions – develop marketing personas and get smarter about your target audience.

Getting Started with Personas

Here are the different categories of information that will make up your marketing persona:

  1. Demographic Identifiers

Have you noticed that the borrowers you work with share certain characteristics?  If you use application data from past closed loans to review the types of business owners and investors who regularly do business with you, you can identify commonalities and produce demographic insight for a target audience.  Try building your demographics category with the following information:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Annual salary
  • Employment
  • Experience

Why does this information matter?  If your typical borrower is an experienced investor in their 60s, you may not find value in producing high-level, “how-to” content or promoting your business through a social media channel like Snapchat.

  1. Goals & Motivations

One of the biggest marketing mistakes you can make is to communicate a message that attempts to solve for a problem your target audience does not have.  By drilling into the key motivations your clients share, you can learn how to position new product offerings in a way that maximizes conversion.

Your clients are obviously seeking a loan.  But what is their inner motivation for doing so?  Do the majority of your clients need to take cash out of an existing mortgage to improve their business?  Or do you primarily work with real estate investors looking to build their portfolio with new assets?

Having a firm grip on this kind of information helps to keep your messaging focused.  Prospective clients who see how you identify with their short and long-term goals are more likely to rely on you to help them succeed.

  1. Business Challenges

Mortgage professionals are problem solvers.  If you don’t clearly understand the difficulties borrowers experience while hunting for a mortgage solution, you will never be able to sufficiently portray the value your services add to the process.

One of the most common challenges has to do with getting approved for a loan.  If you’re creating a persona for an investor client, perhaps you would include tax return documentation difficulties as well.

Once you have a set list of challenges, you can formulate messaging that describes your specific solutions.  If you take the time to build a persona, the solution content will have a much better chance of resonating with prospective clients.

  1. Sales Objections

You’ve surely noticed patterns when talking with prospective clients.  In fact, you can probably identify an objection before someone raises it.

This kind of information strengthens a persona because it sheds light on how a target audience thinks.  You may already know how to overcome certain objections when communicating with a prospective client, but writing the information down helps solidify your overall messaging.


Of course, it is one thing to list the important categories that make up a persona, and quite another to actually get the information you need to complete each section.  In future posts, we will detail various strategies for procuring the quantitative and qualitative data needed to build strong, actionable marketing personas.