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dominate with a well thought-out localized series of Fan Pages and Groups. I bet you could even get others to post your content and the maintenance would be minimal. Tim Storm (TS): I actually don’t spend much time on Facebook or Twitter, but I do spend time blogging. I am active on My outside blog with is I probably spend less time on Facebook now than before. Except now I use it as a way to stay connected to other mortgage bloggers. We bounce ideas off each other. I’m in a couple of private groups for Wordpress and mortgage blogging. I still check out Activerain every day. I write posts for my outside blog, but also read some of the technical posts. I’m always trying to learn. Brad Yzermans (BY): Approximately 3090 min. a day. I plan to add more blogs this year. I time block an hour a day for writing a post. I have blocked out time for each blog in order to make sure nothing sits too long. Some blogs I write a post every other week, and some get a new post every week. The multi-user blogs are powerful because of their “Google Juice,” so I make sure to contribute solid content on those blogs that link back to my other blogs and Web sites. Some niche blogs I’ve left alone; I’d rather focus on FHA and VA than the Homepath program. I have recently started, which is beginning to generate leads as well. BY: I write approximately two to six articles per month. I feed in other articles to compliment my blog. Writing blog posts probably takes me longer than others … maybe one hour total for a complete article.

How many loans do you close from the social media-generated leads? PD: Enough … social media is the source for all of my closings. I have met the Realtors I work with now through my online campaigns. When you control the lead, it is much easier to choose or fire your Realtors. TS: Through blogging, I get around nine to 10 leads per month, counting the Realtors who find me through blogging and then send leads. Many turn into pre-approvals and then it’s a matter of finding a home and getting an offer accepted. That has been the difficult part. I just keep preapproving as many as possible. It’s a numbers game. It seems like I need 10 active pre-approvals for every deal that actually goes into escrow. I try to maintain about 50 pre-approvals. I still get Realtors who find me on the Web and then refer deals to me. That is actually my primary source of new Realtors since I rarely go out in the field or

hit the weekend open houses. I have Realtors referring me deals who I’ve never met. Typically, I try to meet a good referring Realtor at least once a year. That probably sounds terrible, but if I’m out in the field, then I’m not on the computer, which is how I get leads. BY: In 2010, I closed 13 loans directly attributed to blogging. What system or process do you use to follow up with the leads captured through social media? PD: Usually they come in two forms. The first, the potential customer will fill out the online application and then wait for me to call them or second, the potential customer will call me then fill out the online application. I find I have more success when they call before filling out the application because it is easy to put off that call when you are swamped, right? After they fill out the application they are sent a link to my credit agency where they can pull continued on page 34


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How long have you been working social media angle? What sites do you use the most? PD: I don’t think of social media quite the PD: I use my own network of sites. I use same way others think about it or use it. To You Tube the most for me, it is simply a tool to social media. drive traffic to a conversion engine. If it requires makTS: Besides my own blogs, I ing friends, then it is too write on a few multi-user much effort and the return blogs; is most likely too low and unless it can be automatI still learn from Mark ed. I like to think of it as Madsen, the master. creating a footprint that will drive traffic for the BY: I now contribute to long term. I first started three blog sites. Most of my using social media back time is focused on blogging. in 2006 or 2007 … not “…you have to know sure. How many articles/blogs that the use of social do you write in a month media can be a huge TS: I’ve been actively waste of time if you and how much time does blogging since November don’t understand it take? of 2008, which is about how it works and PD: When it’s time to kick when Mark Madsen’s off a new campaign, I will have a detailed plan MyFHAMortgageBlog startof execution.” write an article. A 400-word ed. I have learned quite a article takes about 10-15 bit from Mark. min. At this point, I’m only writing a maintenance article every couple of weeks. But BY: Since June of 2009. when I need to make a quick campaign, I may write one a day and set to auto-pub- How many leads do you generate lish to release them over a week. You can monthly from social media? write them over some spare time during PD: A lot. I don’t call on Realtors. All of my the weekend and schedule them to be business comes from online activity. My published at a later date. When I build a business attire is shorts and flip-flops. I have new site, I will spend three to five hours not met a borrower face-to-face in years. creating the content. TS: From blogging, I generate approxiTS: I have seven of my own blogs which mately 30-40 leads per month. Some are I also write on. Some are tied to a spe- just gathering info, but many are very good cific program, like OrangeCountyHome- leads. and, while oth- BY: I generate about 10 lead inquiries per ers are tied to a specific city, like month … not all are eligible to qualify

now, but I add them to my database and stay in touch until they are eligible.