The Mortgage Movie Competition

BLOG VIEW: Today begins a new chapter in the history of filmmaking: a mortgage banking film festival. Shore Mortgage, based in Birmingham, Mich., has launched a competition called ‘Show Us Your Shore’ that consists of three-minute videos detailing what homeownership means to current and potential borrowers.

Okay, this won't be easily confused with the Cannes International Film Festival (another cinematic event taking place this month). And the winners won't receive an Academy Award for their work. But Shore Mortgage isn't being cheap about judging the submissions: The competition's three categories each carry a $3,000 prize, and an additional $3,000 viewer's choice prize will be voted on by the general public that views the entries on the Shore Mortgage website.

‘Because homeownership is so important to us, as mortgage originators, and to the public at large, we want to focus on the emotions, the creativity and the heartfelt communication of the potential and current homeowner publics,’ says Robert Rahal, president of Shore Mortgage. ‘It is with great pleasure that we offer our filmmakers' competition to draw out that interactive, fun commentary on life in 2010.’

I believe that an endeavor like ‘Show Us Your Shore’ could not have come at a better time. It is difficult not to turn on the television news programs without encountering some segment about homeowners in various degrees of distress and despair. Yes, the housing markets are in a rough environment, and the news deserves to be broadcast. But if one were to believe everything that they saw on television, the impression might be that homeownership is a curse, rather than a blessing.

In this case, the video competition turns the tables – or, in this case, turns the cameras – on the perceived negativity relating to homeownership today. By having current homeowners who are very happy with their state of residence and future homeowners who are eager to pursue the chance to acquire their own property, Shore Mortgage is giving a voice to the people that never get camera-and-microphone time with the television news shows.

Also, having the online voting capacity on the Shore Mortgage website serves the double purpose of building Web traffic for the company – which is good for the company – while giving mortgage banking a foothold in the online video orbit. The mortgage banking industry is still in the process of trying to come to terms with how to best use the growing popularity of online video to their advantage. Last week, MortgageOrb spoke with Dan Green, author of The Mortgage Reports blog, about his efforts to set up a YouTube channel to discuss residential home loans.

‘Video is a tricky medium, especially in the mortgage space,’ Green said. ‘Mortgages and mortgage-related talk are inherently boring, so unless your video is Visual Candy, the audience is going to click away before you've ever made your point.’

I can't imagine what kind of videos Shore Mortgage is going to receive for this event, but I would like to think that there is going to be a great deal of entertaining and affirmative messages from its current and future customer base. I hope that other lenders pay attention to this competition and consider creating marketing outreach that is similar to this strategy. After all, any effort that places a positive emphasis on homeownership deserves to be in the spotlight.

– Phil Hall, editor, [b][i]Secondary Marketing Executive[/i][/b]

[i] (Please address all comments regarding this opinion column to[/i]


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