William Underwood has been in the real estate game since 2008, having more than 20 years of experience in all phases of consumer and corporate financial services. He currently works as a loan officer for American Financial Network, Inc., based in Levittown, Pa.
“When I decided to buy my home, a mortgage broker could not finance $ 90,000, and I got quite frustrated,” says Underwood. “In talking with people, they persuaded me to become a mortgage loan officer, so that’s what I did. I got licensed in 2015, and the first year was a nightmare. I knew how to buy properties, but I didn’t know how to finance them. Writing a loan is totally different than qualifying for a loan.”
Since that time, Underwood has found great success using Homes.com’s Mortgage County Pro, a comprehensive campaign for local mortgage companies that combines community-targeted advertising with real-time loan requests.
“One day, Fitema Benson from Homes.com contacted me, and even though I was getting tons of solicitations, I decided to reach out,” says Underwood. “She explained the program, and it sounded great. I didn’t have a lot of money for marketing, so I asked my mortgage company to partner with me so that we both paid half, and I’ve had quite a bit of success.”
Mortgage County Pro was created to increase branding and connections with a loan officer’s target audience by county, with a mobile component that allows consumers to call loan officers directly or by filling out a form so that the loan officer can contact them back.
“What interested me most was the fact that they told me they would target potential first-time homebuyers,” says Underwood, who goes on to explain that a marketing program was structured for him based on his exclusive area. “What also struck me was the fact that they were going to give me leads, and if it wasn’t what they said it would be, they would credit my account”—something Underwood didn’t think was possible after less than stellar experiences with other services in the past.
“Homes.com did a great job,” says Underwood. “When I tried another company that marketed the same thing, the way they put it together was totally different, and I got no response, which made me value Homes.com even more.”
Of the initial leads that Homes.com supplied Underwood, he saw a 5 percent conversion rate. And he’s done even better since then.
“One of the things I have learned is the importance of increasing my follow-up, a challenge I was experiencing,” he says. “I’ve also worked to improve my social media presence and to come across as confident and positive.”
Underwood believes all mortgage loan officers should be utilizing Mortgage County Pro and reaping the benefits it offers.
“We’re all business people, and real estate professionals are going through a litany of mortgage people—some of whom they have relationships with—but brokers are limited in terms of who they can get in contact with,” says Underwood. “You want people who are specifically looking for you. Homes.com created a marketing niche for those not only looking for homes, but also looking for answers to their questions.”
For more information on Homes.com’s mortgage solutions, please visit connect.homes.com/mortgage/.
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