It’s the online classifieds that road reps swear by, although skeptical brokers have been reluctant to follow their lead.
“It doesn’t sacrifice professionalism. It’s free, easy to set up your ads. Why wouldn’t you use a Kijiji or a Craigslist?” asks Cristiano Vilela, a Kingston, Ont., mobile mortgage specialist with BMO. “Anywhere you can interact with people who may be interested in your service is a good thing.”
Vilela is one of a growing number of bank road reps who advertise their wares on Kijiji. A quick look at the site suggests they outnumber brokers in this free online ad space.
Still, more and more brokers are pointing to their own successes stemming from both the free and paid listings.
Uttam Partab, a Woodbridge, Ont-based broker with Oriana Financial who has been advertising on Kijiji for the last six months reported that the site has help bump up his business.
“Kijiji has been great for exposure. I think I got a 5 per cent spike in clients since using the site,” said Partab.
Michelle Mohr, an Invis mortgage broker in Prince George has been advertising in Kijiji for the last two years, suggesting brokers who shun Kijiji based on the assumption it won’t reach their market may, in fact, be missing the boats.
“Sure I get a lot of calls from people who just want to ask questions about mortgage after they’ve seen my ads,” she told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “But I also get a lot of leads and some business from these callers. Answering these calls or emails is not wasted time. Every caller is a potential client.”
She does, however, vary her ads and post them in one month intervals, a way of maximizing their pulling power.
Mohr is also offering the following top three tips for brokers who want to dip their feet into the free online classifieds pool:
1) Don’t make it a banner ad. Focus on service you offer. For example headline mortgage refinancing service. “People go to Kijiji looking for a specific product or service. Tailor your ad to cater to your potential clients’ needs or what you can do for them,” said Mohr.
2) Include your full contact information. You want potential clients to be able to contact you so be sure to include your office, mobile phone number, e-mail address and Web site link.
3) Make it visual. Put appropriate images or even your picture in your ad. “I find that adding my own photo to the helps potential clients connect with me. They see a person not just an ad,” said Mohr.