There was so much content that users found it difficult to actually sift the pearls of wisdom that they wanted from a general morass of sometimes conflicting information, to find something that was reliable, interesting, relevant to why they were searching, and that they did not know already. Why would you be searching otherwise? The technology giants of the internet began to see their business at risk if no-one saw the value of the good content out there because no-one could ever find it. So, search tools changed, and continue to evolve still, to help people find fresh, relevant and interesting content. And they began to provide data that allowed people to understand what was going on around the internet, to help them find their way to the content they needed - the advent of Google Analytics. Moreover, it was made free to keep people using it.
The internet shifted from a one-way, out-bound mechanism, to become a two-way communications medium. Users were not content to simply 'receive' content (pardon the pun!) that others had written, they wanted to put their own content somewhere that it could have a voice, and be shared. User-generated content quickly morphed into Social Networks, and sharing of content amongst individuals and their networks of friends.
The model continues to evolve, particularly with content becoming more audio-visual in nature as people give up on the willingness to actually read. But it remains the case that the internet is all about 'content' - about finding it, sharing it, contributing to it.
So for loan officers, the internet has much become much more than just a collection of brochure websites. Yet many loan officers still have websites that were built for the original model. If you haven't updated yours in years, it's likely your website will be an 'online brochure'. It might be a nice looking one, but in an age where the internet enables people to talk to each other about you, your products and your Client service, you are missing a trick or two if you still rely on a brochure website for all your online marketing. Today, marketing is as much about listening to what your market says, not what you say. And where competition drives everything in a tough economy, you risk being left behind in the competitive battle if you still rely on an old-style brochure website.
(1) Defining Your Objectives - sorting out the role of the site in your marketing strategy and business plan
(2) The Home Buying Cycle - responding to the needs of different buyer types and their human characteristics
(3) Physical Design - how your objectives inform the design, content and layout of a website
(4) Marketing The Mortgage - organizing your site around the roles of your other pieces of web technology
(5) Web Analytics - measuring what you've got and the results you are getting
Whether you're just starting out as a new loan officer or have been in the mortgage business for a while, having a website is important. Your current and future clients come to expect it from the business they patronize, so if you don't have a company website, you may be missing a lot of deals.
The number of loan officers that are on the Web has increased dramatically and you can be sure that your competitors' websites are online too. So, why allow your competitor to beat you to a sale just because your business doesn't have a website. Websites are not just for large businesses. They are a must-have for small and mid-sized businesses too.
Millions of people surf the Internet daily, searching to find solutions to their every day needs. Some surf the web to make online purchases because it saves them time, energy, and money. Surfers visit websites to learn more about a business, and they can do so from any location and at any time. Your virtual store is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even when your office is closed. Think of your website as a great Client service representative, sales representative, and marketing agent. It won't get tired or go on vacation even when you do. So, you can rest assured your website continues to work for you.
As a loan officer, your website answers questions about your company's hours and location, what products and services you offer, and any minor details people would usually call your office to get. This will reduce tons of phone calls to your office and allow you and your staff to focus on other aspects of your business. Your website should be designed to reflect the professional image you want to convey. It should be easy to navigate, so surfers can. Good design is not only the ability to make a site pretty, it also has to provide a user interface that people of many different ages and levels of computer literacy find intuitive.
Your website allows you to reach out to people not just in your local community, but throughout the world. Your website will save you tons of money you would have otherwise spent on postage, paper, or advertisement. Many businesses include a contact or feedback form on their website which helps them generate leads. Visitors to their site can be included in subscriptions or advertisements that are emailed about new company products and services.
Additionally, if you need to communicate news or information to vendors, clients, or the general public, you can add the content to your website right away and post it online for all to see. You can easily direct friends, family, and future clients to your website by simply adding your website address to your business cards. A website is a great tool that promotes your company and enhances word-of-mouth. So, why is a website important for your business? Because it's exactly what your mortgage business needs to thrive in this day in age.
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