Dakotah Kutz, mortgage TikTok influencer (@your.mortgage.mom) and loan officer at NFM Lending, shares her growth on the social media sensation, TikTok, and the evolution of her content. Dakotah describes the sense of community within the app and the trust that was quickly generated just through resonating with a video. Don’t miss this second episode of NextGen Influence to learn more about your future homebuyers!


INTERVIEW EXCERPT 

Kristin Messerli: Thank you so much, Dakotah for joining me today. I’m super excited about chatting about your journey in the mortgage influencer space. 

Dakotah Kutz: Me too. I’m super excited. Thank you so much for having me. 

Kristin Messerli: Yeah. So you were just telling me that you joined NFM Lending pretty recently…because of the influencer marketing type of support that they provide. And you grew your TikTok following from what was it? 2,000 to about 12,000 people.

Dakotah Kutz: Yeah. In about 2 months.

Kristin Messerli: In two months. Amazing. So tell me a little bit about you, how you got started in that space and kind of how it’s supporting your business right now.

Dakotah Kutz: Yeah, so I started in mortgage lending about two years ago and I had always followed on TikTok Scott Betley, who is in TikTok and very into influencer marketing. I think he was the OG, the first one to do it. And so he really had kind of helped me with my business without of course knowing me, but I would follow his content and really get kind of like these key triggers that people seem to care about when they’re buying their home and have questions about when they’re buying their home. So it started off with me just following him. And then as I kind of started getting more comfortable in my business, I would post some kind of fun things. And my goal was always to just target the people that I knew and my agents that I already worked with. I never even thought big picture of being able to generate business from TikTok, but I had commented on one of Scott’s posts and he replied back and said, join my team. 

And he had just been starting, I think there right now, I believe there’s five of us on our team. And he had, I think had one person that had joined so far. And so it was very beginning stages, but I loved what they were doing. And I, it took me about six months to come over, started on December 6th and ever since then, it’s like, I’ve been, he’s been coaching me and kind of helping me with the content strategy and how much to post and things like that. And it’s really just, you know, I think it’s consistency over content kinda and posting a lot of things because you just never know what’s gonna be a pinpoint trigger for people and what they’re dealing with to be able to buy a house, you know. 

Kristin Messerli: And, you know, in addition to it helping you generate more business, which is a new thing for you, what else has it done for your business? 

Dakotah Kutz: I think that it’s given me a voice in the space and I’ve noticed that people are reaching out to me that I don’t think would’ve reached out to me otherwise because they’re kind of seeing what I’m doing and it’s out there. My numbers are kind of more public and I think it makes people trust you a little bit more. And so I’m having real estate agents that I would have killed to work with, you know, a year ago that I would be taking them to lunch, to wanna work with them. I’m having them reach out to me and see how they can work with me and how we can come up with a partnership together. So I think that that has just been huge for me to be able to kind of have this voice in this space that is typically kind of like male dominated, older. And now here I am, you know, a young mom giving advice on how to buy a house for the first time investors for the first time, rent your house out, buy another one. And in more like simple terms. And I think people kind of resonate with that.
                                
Kristin Messerli: Absolutely. I mean, that’s what I’m really passionate about is helping to, or us understanding as an industry, how to communicate these things in a way that resonates and, and really translates over because it’s such a complicated and stressful process that a lot of people really back out without even giving it much of a shot, cause it’s just, or, or just without knowing, because they don’t have someone that they trust or they don’t understand the process. 

Dakotah Kutz: Yes, totally. 

Kristin Messerli: What do you, what do you feel like are some of the big fears or questions that come up in that you’ve, you know, maybe created content around or heard from your viewers that you’re trying to respond to? 

Dakotah Kutz: I would say anytime I post something about down payment assistance. I get people saying, there’s no way you can buy a house with no money down or little money down. There’s no way that you can do that. It’s impossible. You need 20% down to buy a house, we’re too broke for that. You know, and I think that kind of like the Millennial/Gen Z mindset around money is kind of like the government has held us down and we can’t, you know, do anything about it. And I’m trying to break that a little bit because I bought my first house at 23, I used down payment assistance. I bought it for $3,500. I used that house to as a rental, bought my second house. I’m under contract on my first, second home investment property house in another state right now. And I never, would’ve been in the financial position that I’m in. If I hadn’t known that I could use down payment assistance to buy that first house, I didn’t have any money either. You know.

Kristin Messerli: That’s an incredible story. I had not heard that. And I, yeah, I feel like people really need to hear that it’s, it’s not impossible to do. And it’s that 20,000 or 20% down payment is a huge barrier. In fact, in the last year we did a study with NextGen home buyers and found that it was, I think it was over 50% said that they thought that they needed 20% to buy a home. And, you know, these are all people that were either in the process of buying or had recently bought. So you can imagine just general consumers, obviously that’s gonna be a higher percentage too. 

Dakotah Kutz: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that sometimes we’re scared. Like when I first started putting myself out there in a way, like I started off with very safe things that I was like, okay, this isn’t controversial at all. You know? And then as I’m getting more comfortable, I am posting these things where I’m like, no, you know what, this is the truth. And it’s okay if people don’t wanna, you know, believe that it is true. And of course there’s nuances and every situation is different. And a loan officer needs to look at everything and you can’t get that all into a sixty second video or whatever it is. But I think just giving people that in like kind of light to try and call someone, to see if it’s possible for them is kind of the goal behind what I do, you know? 

Kristin Messerli: Yes. I love that you bring that up because we, I mean, we changed the way that we consume information and I don’t know. Do you do any YouTube content? 

Dakotah Kutz: No, not yet.

Kristin Messerli: Okay. Yeah. That’s a, I mean, that’s a totally different game and I think people lump it all together, but you, I think you really have to understand how to communicate across different mediums and TikTok, I think. And a lot of, you know, Instagram content, that kind of stuff is very good for capturing the audience and getting some quick messages across. It’s great for dispelling some quick myths and, and just building that trust, cause you’re showing up consistently, whereas YouTube, it would be where someone wants to dig in a little bit deeper and we found that 74% of people go to YouTube for personal finance information, which just tells you of the NextGen audience, which is tells you how much people have shifted the way that they do research and the way that we consume information. So, but you’re doing content in an area that I think is very much overlooked and, and it tells us a lot about the way again that this generation is kind of, or the younger generation anyway is really consuming information. 

Dakotah Kutz: Yeah. And I’m so surprised at, you know, the amount of people that trust me through a TikTok video to actually apply and trust me with their social security number and with all of their financial information to help them buy a home. And a lot of these people are not in my state. Like I’ve never met them. And so my team is licensed in 47 states. I’m only licensed in Colorado. And so I’m able to kind of help walk them through that process in another state, but I will never meet those people face to face, but I think we feel like we know each other through social media and it’s that relatability thing. Cause I think that it used to be that the more professional you were and like suit and tie was what won people over. And now I think it’s shifting to who can you connect to and who is more relatable to you and who went through the same thing that I went through and is in the same stage of life as me. And so I try to kind of like hone in on those people.                                 

Kristin Messerli: Yeah. Absolutely, that’s amazing. And there’s such a huge audience there that I think is really underserved.
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