Maria Vergara, President
Every year around Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) banks, mortgage professionals and loan officers begin to bombard potential Hispanic homeowners with special promotions, ad campaigns and cameo spots in their community outreach. While many brands take advantage of Hispanic Heritage Month to engage with the U.S. Hispanic community and celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture, I would argue that this isn’t a robust strategy! Focusing on potential Hispanic homeowners should be occurring throughout the year.
Celebrating the success and contributions of U.S. Latinos is important, especially during Hispanic Heritage month, but this is a critical consumer group deserving of your attention all year round! The Latino market represents over $2 trillion dollars of consumer buying power. In fact, if the U.S. Latino market were its own economy, it would be the seventh largest world economy. Indeed, Hispanic homeownership marketing and outreach shouldn’t be limited to 30 days. Your potential Hispanic homeowner outreach should be incorporated into your ongoing marketing efforts and dare I suggest your mainstream efforts.
Here are 4 tips that will help loan officers and mortgage professionals connect with potential Hispanic homeowners to create long-lasting authentic customer relationships:
1. Partner with local Hispanic organizations
There are many events and celebrations that take place throughout the year that support and recognize Hispanic culture. Support your local organizations and events by attending a luncheon, sponsoring a scholarship program, or providing supplies for a back-to-school drive or community event. The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, also known as NAHREP, is a perfect match for lenders and mortgage professionals. These organizations pride themselves on working to assist potential Hispanic homeowners throughout the United States. For information on a chapter near you, go to: nahrep.org
2. Know your Hispanic homebuying audience
You can’t lump all Hispanics into one bucket. Many are bicultural, bilingual and live in extended family situations that encompass many generations. First speak to the aspiration of homeownership, then discuss product specifics. It’s important that you communicate this aspiration to potential Hispanic homeowners through the right communication vehicles. For example, buying Spanish-language radio ads can help you reach an abuelita (a grandmother), but a Snapchat filter may help you reach “Bi-llenials” or Hispanic Millennials.
3. Don’t make this a niche effort
As we shift to a minority-majority nation, all marketing efforts should be inclusive of minorities. The Harvard Center for Housing Studies estimates that by 2025 three quarters of all new household formations in the United States will be by minorities. You don’t need a specific campaign to engage with potential Hispanic homeowners – as you develop “general market” campaigns, you should be inclusive of Hispanics in your efforts. For example, ensure that the images that you create are reflective of people of different races, ethnicities and cultures.
4. Be Consistent
For your company to truly connect with potential Hispanic homeowners, an important consumer segment that can positively impact your bottom line, you need to be consistent in your outreach. Remember that your goal is to develop a long-lasting relationship, and that means consistent engagement. Connecting in a meaningful way throughout the year will help potential Hispanic homeowners truly embrace your brand.
Hispanics are brand loyal, highly tech-savvy, bicultural, bilingual, and 58 million strong. To be successful a loan officer or mortgage professional you need to make engaging with the Hispanic community a year-round commitment, and the tips above make for a perfect starting point. At the end of the day, potential Hispanic homeowners interact with brands that speak to them authentically.
Infographic: 8 Things Learned from 2017 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report
The opinions and insights expressed in this blog are solely those of its author, Maria Vergara, and do not necessarily represent the views of either Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation or any of its parent, affiliates, or subsidiaries (collectively, “MGIC”). Neither MGIC nor any of its officers, directors, employees or agents makes any representations or warranties of any kind regarding the soundness, reliability, accuracy or completeness of any opinion, insight, recommendation, data, or other information contained in this blog, or its suitability for any intended purpose.
President of NAHREP Consulting Services
Luz Maria (Maria) Vergara is President of NAHREP Consulting Services (NCS), a strategy and marketing consulting firm specializing in the Hispanic segment and housing industry. She has over twenty years of experience and in depth knowledge of the financial, investment and housing industries while serving in senior management roles at organizations such as Citi, Prudential/Wachovia, and Edward Jones. Her expertise in how cultural nuances factor into buying decisions and consumer behaviors has been a critical factor to successful strategies for companies reaching diverse markets. Her bilingual and bicultural background has contributed to success in both the Anglo and Hispanic markets and in understanding the needs of underserved populations.
Maria holds a Bachelor Degree in International Relations and a Master’s degree in Marketing and has received many industry accolades and recognitions for her expertise in the areas of diversity and inclusion. She is a sought after speaker and regular contributor to many industry publications on the subject of multicultural markets. Maria is a native of Chicago and currently resides in St. Charles, MO.