Name: Rhonda Porter
Bio: Rhonda has been originating mortgages since April 2000 and began blogging in late 2006. At times, blogging has served as a “vent” for Rhonda, allowing her to continue to exist (and thrive) in the mortgage industry.
She enjoys learning, teaching and sharing her knowledge. She is an organizer of the Seattle ReBAR Camp and volunteers as a WSHFC instructor for home buyer classes.
Rhonda recently received the 2014 Outstanding Originator award and her blog, Mortgage Porter, was finalist in two categories at the WAMP Business and Humanitarian Awards.
On a personal note, when Rhonda is not blogging or originating mortgages, she loves to paint and draw. She even had a black velvet painting of Elvis on exhibit at the Seattle Center during the Bumbershoot Festival. She’s also an artist in the kitchen…and yes, she has a recipe blog too.
Blogger Since: 2006
We’ve all had that one post that we worked incredibly hard on. We thought it was going to catch fire and go viral, but instead it went down in flames – barely read, barely noticed. What was that post and why do you think it happened that way? What would you differently this time? What post of yours failed and why?
Blogging has changed over the years. It used to be that after publishing a post, I would be inundated with comments that I would have to manage and respond to. I think the conversation has moved more to Facebook and also that people have become more “lurkers” than wanting to comment.
Now when I write a post, I make sure that it’s sent to Google, Twitter and Facebook. And I don’t have expectations of tons of comments (or any) on the post or for it to “catch fire’ like they used years ago (before Facebook).
SuperMan is a comic book. So is WonderWoman. Everyone has a weak spot. What is that one area that you feel could use improvement? Do you avoid it, struggle through it, or know when to call in the Professionals? Have a weak spot?
Cue up Glengary Glen Ross… I am not a “closer” and in fact, I don’t consider myself to be very good at sales. I like to educate people about mortgage programs, the process and help them make informed decisions. I hope they decide to work with me because of the information and assistance I’ve provided. More often than not, they do become my clients however I know I miss out on transactions because I failed to “close the sale”.
Thinking specifically about technology and tools – what is the one thing that has had a significant and positive impact on your success and in what way? This could be a tool like Dropbox, a smartphone, social media. Something you bought, something you subscribe to, or something that was free.
My blog is my biggest asset to my business. Not only does it produce a majority of my new clients who have been “readers” just waiting to need a mortgage, it helps me with communicating with my clients throughout the process. Many of the articles I have written are pretty basic and address questions that I am often asked as a mortgage originator. I will send links to the articles to clients to provide more information about a certain program or tips like “how to write a letter of explanation”. If I’m asked a question by a client and I don’t have it addressed on my blog – I may write a post just to answer that question and send it to the client. They’re often flattered that I cared enough about their question to make it a blog post. I do everything I can to drive potential, active and past clients to my blog.
Few people blog just for the fun of it. Most have a very specific goal in mind. What’s the metric you use to determine if your blogging is reaching that goal?
I keep track of where my clients come from. They are either prompted when they start an application or request a rate quote on my website (which is my blog). My clients find me either from my blog, they are referred from real estate agents or past clients or they are returning clients. My blog typically makes up at least 50% of my source of business.
It’s not unusual to receive an email that begins with “I’ve been reading your blog for years…thank you for providing us with so much information…I am ready to buy a home in Washington, can you help me?” That’s my goal – so I try to include blog articles to attract the type of clients that I want to work with.
What is the craziest, strangest moment you’ve had as a result of your blogging efforts?
My husband used to tease me about blogging when I first started. He didn’t believe that anyone would read it (at the time, I wasn’t sure anyone would either). He felt that there were better ways for me to invest my time to increase my business (like learning how to close! LOL).
I have a neighborhood blog and I had written an article about a wine from Australia that was available at the local grocery store, Mollydooker. To my great surprise (and hubby’s), I received a phone call from the winemaker, Sparky. Sparky enjoyed my article and invited us to visit him and his wife in Australia. The best part was that my husband was sitting next to me when I received the call – he couldn’t believe it. It was so amazing that my little neighborhood blog was being read in Australia and that it prompted the winemaker to reach out to me. Let’s just say, that made my husband a believer in blogging. My husband and I met Sparky later when he invited us to a special wine event in Seattle.
Fantastic, eh? I’ve been a big fan of the way Rhonda does things for a very long time. Thanks Rhonda!
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