Without audience targeting are Google Ads Dead? Think again…
Early this month Google announced new restrictions for targeting specific audiences. The restrictions apply to content related to housing, employment, credit, and those who are disproportionately affected by societal biases. The news of these restrictions created quite a stir among industry brokers and lenders who heavily rely upon targeted Google ad campaigns. All which may have you asking if these changes will kill future reverse mortgage advertising on the world’s most popular search engine. In just a moment we’ll hear from our online SEO expert Josh Johnson to find out.
Google’s restrictions are not necessarily novel nor unexpected. It was just over two years ago Facebook faced scrutiny from federal regulators for allowing those offering credit or housing finance to restrict ad audiences by race or religion among other questionable metrics that would violate HUD’s fair housing rules. An investigation by ProPublica broke this news in October 2016. It was nearly two years later in August 2018 that HUD filed a formal complaint against the social media giant for discriminatory advertising practices. Seven months after HUD’s complaint Facebook announced sweeping changes. Both Facebook and later Google, took a blunt approach much to the chagrin of lenders and service providers.
What ad filters are going away? In its official release Google revealed, “credit products or services can no longer be targeted to audiences based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP code.”
Is this the end of Google ads for reverse mortgages? To answer that question I reached out to Josh Johnson who heads up Reverse Focus’ Online Dominance SEO program and Google marketing. Here’s his explanation.
Here’s what makes Google unique from other platforms and why reverse mortgage Google ads will continue to reach the intended audience.
To summarize, older homeowners are intentionally seeking out reverse mortgage information on Google which means, yes-your ads will be seen by your target audience, even though you can no longer target specific age groups.
Forbes: Covid-19 has shifted retirement preparedness
Nothing has so rapidly and dramatically transformed our social interactions, government, and business practices than the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, one impact that receives less attention in the media is the transformative effect on retirement. For that, we turn to a recent column in Forbes which reveals the ways Covid-19 has triggered a retirement rethink. Something reverse mortgage professionals like yourself will benefit in knowing.
First, a paradox.
While a recent National Institute on Retirement Security survey found roughly half of Americans are more unsettled about their retirement considering working longer, others seeing how fragile our mortal bodies are want to retire earlier. Life is short, enjoy it.
Columnists Carla Fried and Benjamin Curry suggest these crucial moves. One is to delay taking Social Security benefits until age 70 to maximize the monthly payout. Another is to review your asset allocation examining sources of income and having a stash of cash or short-term bonds to access to close any income gaps.
Next is a term familiar to many in our audience- the sequence of returns risk. Curry and Fried write, “With the stock market at record highs, it wouldn’t exactly be a shocker if there were a bear market on the near-term horizon. Anyone retiring soon, or newly retired, should therefore carefully consider how to avoid drawing down their stock portfolio during a bear market. This is where that cash hoard of at least two years of expenses can ride to the rescue. Another strategy you might consider is to open a reverse mortgage line of credit and only tap it during bear markets so you can avoid stock withdrawals.”
While it’s encouraging to see reverse mortgages embraced as a hedge against taking realized stock losses, retirees should be mindful that what goes up does come down. We are long, long overdue for a substantial market correction and retirees should reexamine their market risk.
And speaking of market corrections, stocks are not the only the only asset class poised for a reset. Today’s housing market is red-hot. Ironically the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t slow the real estate frenzy but only accelerated it as home appreciation rates soared even higher.
And it should be noted, just as there’s a sequence of returns risk with stocks the same can be said of real estate. Nothing’s worse than wanting to tap into your home’s value only to have waited until such a strategy is no longer viable. However, two factors can torpedo such plans, lower home values and higher interest rates- both which are a strong possibility thanks to a backlog of mortgage forbearances and inflationary signals. As housing inventory loosens once unavoidable foreclosures hit the market, and the Fed raises interest rates in an attempt to avoid excessive inflation older homeowners could find they no longer qualify for or desire a reverse mortgage.
The good news is we have today. The present is a wonderful gift. For the older homeowner it may be the opportunity to retire now utilizing a reverse mortgage instead of working longer, or until they die. For others it could be a means to secure a source of cash should the stock market spiral downward this spring or next year despite their best planning. The possibilities are endless for those who take the initiative before market conditions may deny them such opportunities.