The broking industry has come a long way over the past decade. Establishing a strong referral network has traditionally been the go-to for brokers to drive new business and generate traction. As the industry becomes more and more digital, however, establishing an online presence has become just as important. MPA spoke with 2018 Young Gun Jonathan Preston from Home Loan Experts for his top tips on digital marketing and why he started his own podcast.
The power of Google and online reviews.
While most people would say referrals are the best way to bring in new business, Preston says the digital world offers plenty of potential.
“Our big thing is online presence in terms of SEO.”
“That’s what generates the vast majority of our leads.”
He adds that online reviews have also become increasingly important over the past few years; something that many brokers are not yet focused on.
“That really seems to resonate with people, to be able to look up reviews about you and about your company online.”
“People love that, but not enough brokers are doing that at the moment.”
While many brokers may be nervous about asking their clients to write reviews, Preston says it should be the opposite. Instead, they should be nervous that they will get one bad review from a customer without having any good ones to mitigate against the effects of this.
“If one person leaves one bad review and they don’t have any good ones in there, then that looks terrible for them.”
Having plenty of good reviews online, however, creates a better impression for the client – even if there are one or two bad ones thrown into the mix.
The future of lead generation.
When it comes to posting on social media, Preston believes Facebook is the best space to focus on.
“A large portion of the developed world are on Facebook now.”
“People check Facebook very regularly, it covers all age groups effectively and people are open to almost any kind of content.”
He adds that the platform could well offer the strongest lead generation at the lowest cost as we move into the future.
Email send-outs are another effective way of reaching a large audience, and have the potential to keep you top of the client’s mind until they are ready to take action.
“Emails are an interesting thing because they reach a lot more people than you hear back from.”
He says you may send out an email to 100 people and find that only one or two get back to you, but there could be another 10 or 20 waiting in the wings who will contact you at a later date.
The power of podcasts.
A few years ago, Preston started his own podcast aimed at savvy investors and people who wanted to build property portfolios. Inspired by a business podcast he used to watch, he found that there were not too many people covering property in an in-depth, technical way.
“What I wanted to aim for was the edgier out of the box teaching.”
He started out doing five episodes a week for the first couple of years.
“It actually took a long time to get traction. I believe I did 200 episodes before a single client contacted me.”
He says, while it has helped to create more authority in his brand as a broker, it hasn’t been the most direct path to generating new leads.
“It’s more useful in terms of giving customers comfort in dealing with you, as opposed to actually generating leads.”
It has also connected him with a good network of likeminded individuals and investors, including some more sophisticated clientele looking for creative solutions.