AIME’s communication specialist, Kara Lester, explained the steps for pitching traditional media in our AIME Marketing Webinar. The video details the 4-steps needed to engage and successfully pitch yourself or your business to the media.
The most important step is making sure any public facing profile that mentions your name establishes you as a mortgage expert. This means updating your Facebook, LinkedIn, Website, Twitter and other channels to identify you as someone that can speak to the topic of mortgages with authority.
- Make sure your title is consistent and makes your role clear. Avoid confusing titles like “Purveyor of Mortgages” and instead use a more widely understood title like “Owner” or “Loan Originator”.
- Post consistent organic content that shares your success, knowledge, insights, and customer feedback.
Types of Media
Next, identify what media outlets would be beneficial to pitch. When you are ready to reach out to media outlets, identify what you want to gain from the coverage so you can optimize your efforts.
Televised media (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC) run consumer focused programming so you are likely to interview for a story related to homebuyers in your area for a morning or weekend segment on slower news days. To find contact information visit your local station’s website and find a “contact us” page. It’s usually linked at the bottom of the website.
Once you’re there, a “news desk” or “assignment desk” email is what you should look for. Additionally, if you are familiar with the on-air broadcasters and they include contact information for them include the consumer or business reporter. You should introduce yourself as someone willing to contribute to a future story should they ever need a mortgage expert.
Print and digital media are similarly consumer focused stories. Once you have identified the publication you want to pitch, search the “contact us” page for the real estate editor. If it is a smaller publication, the general assignments editor is a comparable option. Your outreach to any print news editor should offer availability for an interview and list topics you can speak about.
Radio is a media segment that leans towards an older audience. If you work in a market with a popular new radio station, the pitch to the news desk can be the same as the one sent to televised media.
Specialty media is on the rise with young home buyers as they share and read content about interior decorating and home renovation — websites like Apartment Therapy, Domino, and Curbed receive millions of unique visitors per month. Most of these publications have expensive paid content opportunities, but reaching out to their editorial staff to offer unique broad ranging insights could prove fruitful.
Hyper-local publications is where brokers have the best opportunity to be published. These small publications are often hungry for content and always interested in feel-good human interest stories. Approach these editors with a strong story idea related to mortgages or a more personal story — examples of a personal story might be how the local church congregation rallied to help a member move into their new home. These would be farther away from origination, but can include your role in them.
Trade media is an opportunity to lend insights to your fellow broker community. Similar to the above publication types you can offer yourself up as a general resource for the future or if you have mastered a industry relevant skill that would serve to immediately benefit others, pitch a specific story idea.
This type of outlet also is likely to accept article submissions. If you are able to write 600 words or have a friend that can, this is a great way to start. The Brokers Are Better Network partner WikiRealty also offers written content that you can use for this purpose. Learn more here.
How to Increase Getting Noticed
- The media love a low numbered list “three ways”, “five steps for approval” so try to include them in a pitch when possible.
- Avoid industry terms so it is as easy as possible to understand. Instead of saying “closing” say “moved into their home”. Always tie your messaging back to the consumer’s experience and not your experience on the origination side.
- Share an insight or observation from your local market. This will make your pitch more timely and likely to get covered.
- Follow-up is key to staying top of mind so set reminders to re-send introductory emails to news desks on a recurring basis. Since they are often revolving positions, plan to send them once a semester (September, February, and June).
Examples of Different Pitch Emails
Subject Line Sample
These should be consumer focused, eye catching and include statistics if you have access to them.
- Mortgage advice today’s home buyers need to know
- [[CITY OR REGION]] Is Experiencing a Housing Boom
- 75% of [[CITY OR REGION]] homeowners could lower their monthly expenses by doing this one thing
General Introduction Sample
I’m reaching out to offer insight as a local mortgage professional that has been serving [[YOUR CITY OR REGION]] homebuyers for [[YEARS OF EXPERIENCE]] years. I’d love to contribute to any future coverage on real estate and the ability for homebuyers to secure mortgages in the current market. Please reach me anytime at the contact info below should you ever need a contributor.
Specific Story Idea Sample
I’m a local mortgage broker in [[YOUR CITY OR REGION]] and have noticed a significant increase in [[EXAMPLE: homes being sold above list price and above appraised value. In this market shift there are THREE things that home shoppers need to know to get their offer accepted and move through the mortgage proccess.]] If you are interested in learning more about [[THIS]] or have any general mortgage coverage you need a contributor for I am available any time. I look forward to hearing from you.
Hyper-Local Media Sample
I own a local mortgage business and wanted to know if you had any interest in a story about our local real estate market? We have recently closed [[$XXX]] in our area for construction and renovation loans. As our housing options dwindle homebuyers are paving new paths and opting for alternatives to move-in ready homes. I’d be happy to elaborate on this and share with your readers ways to find a mortgage option that works for them in this difficult market. Feel free to reach me any time at the below number.
Trade Media – General Introduction Sample
I’m an independent mortgage broker with [[COMPANY]] in [[CITY, STATE]]. I wanted to reach out and introduce myself. If you ever need a local broker perspective I’d be happy to make myself available. I focus primarily on [[FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS]] and have worked with all my clients to navigate the process of homebuying in a fast-paced lending environment. Our brokerage has closed [[$LOAN VOLUME]] in 2020 and is on pace to be one of the top brokerages in the state. If you are in need of a mortgage originators perspective please feel free to reach out at any time.