Ken Williams' Music Video Spurs Bank of America to Close Loan
When banks drag their feet in the loan process, most borrowers probably feel like there's little they can do to move things along. But one Georgia couple may have hit on a way for borrowers to get results.
Ken and Meredith Williams launched a full-on social media onslaught -- capped by the lovable music video above -- in an attempt to persuade Bank of America to finally close a loan that had been delayed for more than two months.
In late September, a senior mortgage officer told the Williamses that the $203,000 loan they had applied for to buy a home in Decatur, Ga., would close on October 31st, according to a timeline the couple posted on closeourloan.wordpress.com, a blog they created to broadcast their plight.
But after numerous delays, the loan was still pending as of mid-December. What's more, the couple was now being charged $50 a day by the home's seller for not having closed the deal earlier, WSB-TV reported.
That's when Ken and Meredith decided to make some noise: Ken made a theatrical appeal through a YouTube music video while Meredith banged the social media drums of Twitter and WordPress. She tweeted to @BofA_help, Bank of America's customer service Twitter handle, got her friends to send similar tweets, and created the "Close Our Loan" blog to host the couple's YouTube escapades and a timeline detailing their loan troubles.
"Why can't a house go fast when a buyer's got cash, preapproval and two cats," sings Williams, as he dances in front of a Bank of America office. "It takes time, obviously, a month or even two, but now we're looking at three!"
Ken posted the music video on Dec. 11, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The video generated a flurry of media reports in the following days, while Meredith's Twitter offensive spurred Bank of America's social media team to relay the couple's complaints. And it all paid off. On Dec. 16, Bank of America closed on the couple's loan and agreed to pay the late fees charged to the Williamses by the seller of the home.
"The Williams' loan closed December 16. We apologize for the delay in closing, and for the inconvenience, we provided a credit at closing," Bank of America conveyed in a statement to AOL Real Estate.
The couple broadcast the news with a little more oomph. "CLOSED THE LOAN. KEYS IN HAND. PER DIEM FEES PAID FOR BY BANK OF AMERICA," trumpets a Dec. 16 entry in their blog's timeline.
The Williamses aren't the only ones in the real estate world to leverage social media to achieve their goals, but it's not a typical buyer tactic. Sellers--and their agents--are the ones better known for firing up their social networks to make deals happen.
Realtors, for instance, have taken to social media like ducks to water. And while the adoption of digital platforms doesn't always play in their favor, it certainly delivers some hilarious marketing stunts.
Just recently, AOL Real Estate dug up a cheeky Australian ad campaign that tours a luxury property from the business end of a nude male model.
"With 80 percent of home purchases influenced by women, this one is for the girls," reads the video's description.
The video shows its barrel-chested stag drape a blanket over a dozing –- and equally naked –- companion, skinny-dip in the home's pool and lift weights.
And perhaps more doofus than Don Juan, another YouTube video features a Realtor wiping out while running viewers through a fast-paced house tour (our clearly frazzled tour guide promises at the outset not to take too much of our time).