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Are Your Mortgage Prospects "Googling" You?
It's time to "Google" yourself. Go to google.com right now and type in your name. Click "Enter" on your keyboard or "Google Search" on your screen. The result that is displayed is your online identity or profile. You can search using my name for a comparison...tom domin.
If you don't believe some of your mortgage prospects are checking you out using Google...think again! Thanks to Google, it's become ridiculously easy for prospects and customers to find out more about you as a mortgage professional, just by typing your name into the Google search engine.
Here's the thing...they're looking for search results of you on the internet, to see what third party references will reveal about your mortgage business. Essentially, they are "checking you out." They are looking to evaluate your "online identity or profile" which is a collection of all of the information about you on the Internet, and whether that information is mostly positive, or negative.
Here's a quick review of what a prospect might find when they "Google" you, and what impact that information might have on their decision to do business with you.
1. Positive identity/profile - Your prospect finds numerous mentions of you online including the website you set up using your name.com as your mortgage site. They find articles you may have written about mortgage and credit issues. They may also find your name associated with the city they live in, local newspapers, as well as any professional associations you may be connected with.
Congratulations, your prospect found you. This goes a long way in establishing credibility and trust in their eyes. I'm sure they won't hesitate contacting you and discussing their mortgage requirements with you.
2. Negative identity/profile - Your prospect found negative comments or testimonials about you from previous customers, or your name was found associated with a negative website or negative group or association.
This one is trouble...your prospect can form a pre-conceived opinion of you and may then pass you by and contact another mortgage professional.
3. Neutral identity/profile - Your prospect can't find any information about you.
Neutral is not good - Despite your attempt to make your mortgage business look successful, your prospects may decide that since they couldn't find any record of you...you are a very small cog in the big mortgage wheel...and may decide to go elsewhere. Warning...In the months and years ahead, your desire to remain anonymous on the internet will cost you and your mortgage business big bucks.
The chances are good you need to establish and/or improve your online identity/profile. The best way to do this is to focus your efforts and some time on actually building that positive online identity/profile. Here are a few ways to do that...
1. Reserve a domain name for your personal mortgage website and use your personal name. The search engines will find you in short order. When someone does Google your name, your website will come up first in the findings.
2. Write a few good mortgage and credit articles for homebuyers and homeowners and submit them to article directories, local newspapers, and community websites. Use a reference box at the end of your article which identifies both you and your mortgage website. Google will find your articles and they will eventually be listed when someone does Google your name.
3. Sponsor or help with a community event. Ask the organization you are supporting if they post information about the event online, including the names of the sponsors. A Google search that associates you with a major local charity would be viewed very positively by your mortgage prospects.
4. Start a "blog" (short for web logs). This one requires some research and a little learning curve on your part...that's why we left it for last. However, once set-up, your investment of time each week is really minimal. Search engines like Google love blogs, readily index them, and then show the results, when someone Googles your name.
OK, there you have it. Remember, it will become increasingly important for you to manage and control your online identity/profile. By increasing the positive search results of your name online, you'll give added confidence to your Google savvy prospects and customers and increase your mortgage business as a result. Your mortgage prospects and customers are definitely working smarter...so should you!
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