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.
Will massive stimulus spending spike inflation?
The chaos and legal disputes in the wake of the presidential election have nearly eclipsed the earlier debate on additional coronavirus economic stimulus payments. As a society, these are uncertain times. Economically we face the prospects of continued GDP growth, a recession, and most importantly the true cost of economic stimulus and trillions of dollars of debt incurred from the pandemic. First, the Federal Reserve slashed rates to zero to one-quarter of a percent. Next came the PPP or the Paycheck Protection Program which was allocated approximately $349 billion of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid and Relief & Economic Security Act or CARES Act. While the sheer amount of money sloshing around in the gas tank of our economy is frightening the U.S. fiscal stimulus is a mere fraction of what other developed nations have paid with the U.S. stimulus representing only 13% of our GDP, compared to 33% for Germany, and 42% of Japan’s gross domestic product. However, the sheer size of our GDP when compared to other developed countries should be considered.
While economic stimulus measures stopped further economic damage in the early days of the pandemic it certainly comes at a cost. That cost is inflation should there be too many dollars chasing American goods and services. However, almost as if defying economic gravity U.S. inflation remains below its two-percent target. Certainly, there was a noticeable spike in food prices early this spring in the wake of supply chain interruptions, but beyond that inflation as broadly defined appears to be somewhat disconnected from extreme quantitative easing. The question is how long will these economic antibodies last? Some say for the foreseeable future. Others point to the 30-year U.S. Treasuries being particularly sensitive to inflation showing expectations of rising food and energy inflation.
But alas there are signs of inflation of another variety. No other segment of the economy has been more inflated than housing values thanks to extremely low interest rates. However as we’ve discussed repeatedly on this show, a backlog of postponed foreclosures may act as the proverbial needle popping the housing bubble.
All of which brings us back to mid-November 2020. Setting aside what appears to be an ugly general election likely to be settled in the courts in the coming weeks or months, what can we do to prepare for 2021 and beyond? What do YOU control? One, if you haven’t already brush up on your CMT knowledge. HECM professionals who worked prior to 2009 are familiar with the Constant Maturity Treasury Rate. Second- anticipate some short-term pricing volatility in the secondary markets until tranches of HECM mortgage-backed securities tied to the CMT are sold. Of course in the short-term, this may impact your compensation. Third, know that the Fed and other world banks across the globe plan to keep interest rates near zero until the economy gains a solid fiscal footing. That means barring any structural changes to the HECM borrowers stand to net significantly more dollars from their home’s value. However, the HECM’s available principal limit or line of credit growth will slow to a near crawl. Fourth, plan on selling from a distance using remote technology until mid-2021. Until a COVID-19 vaccine is available senior homeowners will be understandably reluctant to meet face to face. Perhaps now is the time to invest in professional lighting and an improved camera to increase the effectiveness of your remote sales.
Resources mentioned in this episode: