5 Ways Mortgage Leads From Google Ads Eat Facebook Leads for Breakfast

5 Ways Mortgage Leads From Google Ads Eat Facebook Leads for Breakfast

Updated September 2018 – Let me preface this article by clarifying that reverse mortgage leads are the exception to this situation, as reverse mortgage prospects are not using the loan as a means of closing on a home.  This makes the window of opportunity much wider to capture reverse mortgage prospects.  If you are seeking reverse mortgage business, skip this gigantic article and get right to the September 2018 good stuff.

You’ve searched high and low to find a consistent supply of high-quality/exclusive mortgage leads but your mission continues to fall short.

With every new attempt returning more of the same, your optimism leads you to hope that you are one more attempt closer to finding the holy grail of mortgage lead generation.

Maybe this sounds familiar.  “I’ve tried generating leads with IDX websites and the leads were crap.  I’ve paid Facebook lead generation companies to generate leads and it didn’t work out.  I’m starting to wonder if high-quality mortgage leads are even a real thing or if this whole situation is some kind of mythical Sasquatch.”

If you have never run a single Facebook advertising campaign, simply replace the ‘Facebook ads’ with whatever means of advertising you have tried in the past.  The reason they all fall short is essentially the same – across the board.

Whether you have actually run any advertising or not, there is a wealth of mortgage business wisdom to be obtained with the information I have to share with you today.

I’ve generated many thousands of mortgage leads using both Facebook Ads and Google PPC ads, and if you have hired me for Facebook lead generation, there is an apology in order.

While I do feel that I made a valiant effort to emphasize the right way of handling the leads generated with Facebook ads, which is to use them as a resource for building referral relationships, I don’t feel that the message was clear enough.

In taking a step back to re-evaluate the entire situation. clarity has emerged.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 5 ways mortgage leads generated with Google ads eat Facebook leads as part of a balanced breakfast.

5 Ways Google Leads Eat Facebook Leads for Breakfast

1. Google ads enable you to deliver a specific solution to a specific intention/question/problem.

Facebook advertising is designed to target a specific audience based on their demographics/interests/behaviors.

Google search network advertising is designed to target people making specific searches at the exact moment they are ready to receive information.  Having that information handy, it’s best practice (and expected) that you will utilize the searcher’s intent to craft your landing page content specifically for that.

If somebody searches for ‘lowest mortgage rates in Idaho’, this is not where you want to show them ads or landing pages talking about ‘fast and easy online prequalification’.   You could definitely mention that, but it should not be the focus of the page.  It would be an even greater mistake to run the ads to any pre-existing page on your website that has not been optimized for AdWords conversions specifically.

Google’s objective is to show relevant information to searchers.  They even rank the ads based on the ad copy/landing pages/overall situation being directly relevant to the search.

If your ads and landing pages are not directly relevant to the specific keywords being searched for, you will be (and may have already been) witness to the fastest way to waste an ad budget ever created.  It’s not the right way to approach this situation.

Leads generated with Google Adwords have shown a specific buying intent immediately prior to seeing your ad. They are looking for a solution to their mortgage financing right at that moment, but they are looking for it based on the type of search they are making.

2. High-quality borrowers are not spending more time than necessary shopping for home financing.  Your window of opportunity is equally narrow.

Let’s talk briefly about a hypothetical family with a sizable bank account, consistent revolving credit lines, and zero credit issues at all.  Your dream borrower.

If they do not have a pre-established relationship with a mortgage loan originator they trust in a meaningful way, how do you suppose they will go about finding one?

Or better yet, here is a hint/question.  When was the last time you helped a family obtain a mortgage in a situation where nobody used search engines?

This Pew Internet survey from 7 years ago (most recent I could find) showed that 92% of internet users used search engines to obtain information.  It’s fairly safe to assume that this number has increased since 2011.  There is no way to use a mobile phone these days and get around using a search engine.   That’s the world we live in.

Combine that wisdom with this research from the Consumer Finance Protectiontal Bureau, “Seventy-seven percent of borrowers only end up applying with a single lender or broker, instead of filling out applications with multiple lenders or brokers to see which can offer the best deal.”

Now let’s throw in the CFPB’s 2,000 pages of regulations, a shorter attention span than ever known to the human race, concerns about personal data leaks, concerns about getting SPAMMED to death for the next five years, and concerns about the impacts of multiple credit inquiries on credit, and you have a perfect storm.

People have changed the way they do everything.
Shopping for mortgages is not fun.
High-quality borrowers are not interested in spending any more time on it than they have to. And they are not.

The reason your lead generation efforts continue to fall short is because you are not reaching borrower prospects who are searching.

If high-quality borrower prospects obtained information about businesses using the old school Yellow Pages book, we would be having a different conversation.

The mortgage process is, after all, the least fun aspect of the entire homebuying process (other than possibly moving).

High-quality borrowers who know they can get the best rates are looking for financing they can live with.  Something that allows them to get their family into their new home and move on with their life.  That’s it.

This makes the window of opportunity to catch a prospect at the right time extremely narrow. As narrow as a single moment.

Since Facebook ads are not displayed based on specific behavioral timing (such as conducting a search), you might as well be playing the high-quality mortgage lead lottery.   And even if you do find them, how is offering information about downpayment assistance or hot deals on the market going to help you find borrowers that have selected homes already and who have money for a downpayment?

If you want to get leads using a Facebook campaign, you cannot assume that anybody has found a home, because the vast majority have not – and will never.  Its a basic choice between zero leads, crappy leads, and righteous leads – and the choice is yours alone.

If you have a $20 sunglasses business, we are going to have a completely different conversation. Almost anybody can be in the market for a $20 pair of cool sunglasses at any moment in their life.  The timing is not so important.

Facebook leads for Realtors can even be effective because Realtors generally have a wider window of opportunity. In fact, our entire Facebook mortgage lead generation strategy was based on the idea of generating leads for Realtors in an effort to establish a referral relationship. And if the leads are used in that way, they CAN work.  It’s just not a short-term strategy.

After all, people can be house hunting for two years without having even talked to a Realtor.  Unless they have significant problems, they are not spending two years finding a mortgage.

Google search network ads ensure the timing of your information is always delivered at an appropriate time.

3. Since the relevancy and timing situations are corrected with Google ads, you can get paid back faster.

For example’s sake, let’s say you’re a mortgage broker and you are looking for mortgage prospects which are planning on & capable of closing on a home loan in the next 60 days.

Since Facebook users have not shown any specific buying intent, the ad must be delivered with a very low perceived threat level.  Considering a very small percentage of any audience is going to be in a position to close on a home in the next 60 days, we are disadvantaged from the very start if we run Facebook advertising to get mortgage leads.

If you want to connect with people, you have to give them something to help them in their situation.  If you start telling people about your fast and easy online mortgage pre-qualification you are going to scare them – nobody wants to get a mortgage and when they are on Facebook they are not looking for one.   You’re scaring them!

Two often-effective Facebook mortgage advertising strategies include offering exclusive access to the best deals on the market (delivered through a Realtor) and offering information about government assistance programs.

Since both of these approaches assume that the prospect has not already found a home or has not researched enough to know about these programs, you can safely scale realistic loan closing timelines to match.

These leads can be used effectively but in order to do that, you must be prepared to focus on generating referrals for insurance companies, Realtors, contractors, and anybody else.

Even if you decide to prioritize building referral relationships – it takes time.  And you are not in a position to make referral demands in return. This is, after all, an indirect growth strategy.

The problem is that your window of opportunity is much smaller than every other service provider I just listed.

On the other hand, if you are running Google Adwords campaigns to generate mortgage leads, and your landing pages/ads/and keyword targeting are all optimized in the right way, your landing pages are linked to your privacy policies, you have a chatbot designed to engage potential customers, and you are good at what you do – prepare for an avalanche of high-quality mortgage leads, because that is how this works when it is done properly.

You will still get the occasional lead who has not found a Realtor, providing you the opportunity to refer them to one – but properly generated Google AdWords leads are going to be of a much higher quality in general.  You won’t have to spend as much time strategizing a year of follow-up emails to each person, and figuring out how to do that in a way that doesn’t piss them off (good luck).

Google Adwords campaigns allow you to track your investment much more closely, scale it accordingly, and pay yourself back for your investment in a much shorter time frame.

4.  Consider the quality and consistency of the market/audience data you are working with.

According to the Genworth Mortgage Insurance First Time Homebuyers Report, “Between 1994 and 2016, first-time homebuyers purchased on average 1.8 million single-family homes each year, accounting for over one in three of all single-family homes sold, and 45 percent of the purchase mortgages originated. “

Add in this Statistica research showing Facebook’s US market penetration at around 63% in 2018.  If we assume the data is even among users and non-users, that should mean somewhere around 1.134 million first time homebuyers are at least monthly Facebook users.

That’s fine and dandy until we build a first-time homebuyer audience in Facebook ad manager consisting of people who live in the USA, excluding people who work in the real estate industry and those who own homes already.  In doing that, our potential reach is 68,000. That’s a long way from 1,134,000 (63% of 1.8 million).

Mortgage Leads Facebook First Time Homebuyers

This implies that either the Facebook data is massively inaccurate and/or that somehow people who have been labeled as likely to be a first-time homebuyer, are also getting labeled as homeowners (also… inaccurate).

The truth is that we may never know the truth because the data being used is proprietary.  Considering the recent heat Facebook has been receiving about its use of data collected, its safe to assume their market data is not going to get a significant quality boost any time soon.

Google search network ads, in contrast, are shown when people are interested in your product/service, in their search results, before the actual search results.

Google Search Network Ads for Mortgage Leads

5. Is the context/means of communication you are using appropriate?

Many people (including myself) are not prepared to make a large financial decision based on an ad that popped up on their Facebook newsfeed.  Not everybody is me, obviously, but I would personally go out of my way to avoid the ad in order to keep somebody from soliciting me over a personal communication app, like Facebook Messenger.

Even if a prospect likes you, it would be wise to assume there will be at least one Google search conducted at some point along the way – and it’s likely to be right when they are ready to have a real conversation.

If you have not prepared a strategy for remaining in front of these prospects every few days, for at least a year or so, without bothering them (fine line to walk), how are you going to stay relevant in their minds when the right time arrives?

If anything, generating Facebook leads that are earlier in the process than they would ideally be, is more likely to take you out of the running than it is to keep you in it.

If you fail to seal the deal, they are likely to move on.

You could try snail mailing a refrigerator magnet to each one.  It’s worth a shot.  If you do, please let me know how that goes.

If leads generated through Google search are so much better, why does it seem like fewer mortgage companies use them?

Three primary reasons.

1. Google Adwords campaigns require more work to implement.

In order to run a Facebook ad campaign, you have to create a Facebook page, be able to navigate the Facebook business manager/ad manager backend, and understand the audience targeting.

After that, you are well on your way to generating lead form leads. You don’t even need an external website in place at all.  Up and running in about 10 minutes, if you have an ad template that works.

On the other hand, generating leads using Google Adwords requires more work.  Outside of simply running the ads to the right audience, Google uses a quality score rating to rank your ad among other keyword competitors.

In order to obtain a high AdWords quality score, your ad must match the intent of the search term.  The landing page the ad directs visitors to must match the ad copy.  You have to have a consistent, and highly relevant message.

Your privacy policies must be linked to your landing page.  Your various calendar scheduling, email follow up, and chatbot creation/integration must be created and implemented accordingly.

This can create a large number of needed landing pages, relevant content, and corresponding tracking/conversion codes to follow the conversions and ad remarketing throughout Google’s display network avenues and even to follow people back onto Facebook with retargeted advertising.

One possible solution to minimize some of this is to use landing page personalization with dynamic page content, which adjusts the content of the page to match the ad link clicked on.  It can also use a number of other knowable details about a prospect and change the page content based on that information.

The content still must be created and the dynamic pages still must be tested and set up.

In order to get an Adwords campaign up and running, all items mentioned above must be addressed, in addition to landing page design considerations, keyword metrics to decipher, domain name/website hosting situations to set up, a variety of thank you page/tracking code implementations, call tracking systems to integrate, and A/B tests to run on all of it.

I said the mortgage leads generated are higher quality, I didn’t say they were easier to generate.

2. Adwords campaigns can require a greater upfront (and even ongoing) investment.  

Since the work required to implement the Adwords lead generation campaigns, the cost to implement has a tendency to scale accordingly.

In addition to requiring more work, people who are capable of and willing to do everything needed to run an Adwords mortgage lead generation campaign are much fewer and far between than those who can watch a quick Youtube video to learn how to run Facebook ads.

Google Adwords campaigns should start slowly, then budgets should steadily increase as results begin to come through. This is not a place to cut corners in regard to data collection, testing, etc… It’s also not a place to try and rush the results.

3. Like everything that is worth doing in life, this takes time.  Most companies want to see something immediately.  If you want something immediate, buy more leads from Experian and see how it goes.  Maybe the 5th time will be a charm. 

This is a quality of life issue for me.  If you can’t afford to start running Google AdWords campaigns, do not start.  Putting pressure on anybody responsible for your campaigns would be the wrong way to approach this.  You want this person to be in the right state of mind at all times.  Any additional pressure would be a mistake.

That said, you are going to be excited when results begin rolling in.  That’s normal.

It’s not OK or normal to check in every hour for status updates.  There is no amount of money that will make it OK, either (don’t believe so anyway).

‘Patience, young grasshoppa.’

– Mr. Miyagi

How are the top mortgage lenders generating mortgage leads? 

Might be a coincidence (probably not) but, 6 of these top 10 mortgage lenders dominating the mortgage market all appeared just on the first page of this PPC competitor analysis created with SEMrush.

The others are further down the list and are all included in this single report. This was the first one I ran, actually.

mortgage leads google ppc ads

In fact, the lowest estimated Adwords ad budget, of all top 10 lenders specified, is Flagstar with an estimated $67,400 monthly Adwords budget.  They also closed only $26 Billion in loans in 2016. Poor guys.

These companies are not blowing money on AdWords just for the fun of it.  It’s also no coincidence they all appear in this SEMrush PPC competitor list.

They just have the resources to take a sip from the fountain of high-quality mortgage leads.

A couple detail disclaimers/clarifications.  

All statements made here are, of course, assuming that a strategic keyword/ad/landing page analysis has been conducted and that ads/keywords/landing pages you put into place have been created with success in mind, based upon those findings.

You have to know what you are doing, or hire somebody who does.  Otherwise, you will be witness to the fastest waste of an ad budget you have ever laid eyes upon.

If you go out and run Google PPC ads to your homepage or some other random page, do not expect better results.  This is the most common AdWords mistake I see, and I see it more often than not.

Sure, both Facebook leads and Google leads are capable of coming fully equipped with prospect phone numbers, email addresses, and much more.  Ultimately, the lead quality varies substantially between the two advertising channels.  Particularly if you are in the mortgage business.

Also, for comparison’s sake, I am simply comparing Google Adwords search network ads to Facebook ads, and am assuming for the sake of personal sanity, that there is no prior Facebook Pixel / Google remarketing data which has been previously been collected to use.

If you are looking for somebody who has experience with every aspect of generating high-quality mortgage leads using AdWords and other PPC advertising, who has also been licensed as a mortgage loan originator and real estate agent, you found me.  Feel free to reach out.


September 2018 - Reverse Mortgage Lead Generation  Update

If you are looking for reverse mortgage leads, I have a system which is generating them for under $5 each (ad spend).  The setup for the campaign is $1,000. I recommend a $500 ad budget for the first month. 

This particular method allows for prospects to be called even if they don't answer any qualifying questions. 

The ongoing maintenance, testing, and optimization of campaigns is $750/month.  

This is only available in open states - Florida, Arizona, Illinois, and New York are spoken for as of the time I am writing this.  I will be announcing slowly and strategically moving forward.  There will not be an email blast, as protecting from an overlap between clients is essential to ensure ongoing success.

If you are interested in further exploring this please do these 2 things.

#1 - Email me and tell me you are interested in talking about this.  Also, tell me where you are located and licensed.

#2 - Schedule a meeting with me, here.

If you do not originate reverse mortgages, your best bet right now is to run Google PPC campaigns.  They require a variety of components and start at $10,000 including adspend.  $5,000 minimum adspend per month ongoing.  If you are not prepared to spend $20k/month on ads to maximize returns, I wouldn't even mess with it - honestly.

If you are a lender and you do not originate reverse mortgage loans but you are prepared for this type of investment into a high-quality lead generation system - feel free to reach out.  I am fairly selective on new clients for these services right now, but it's worth a shot.  Follow the same 2 steps described above, if this is you. 

Thank you


5 Ways Mortgage Leads From Google Ads Eat Facebook Leads for Breakfast

  Updated September 2018 - Let me preface this article by clarifying that reverse mortgage leads are the exception to this situation, as reverse mortgage prospects are not using the loan as a means of closing on a home.  This makes the window of opportunity much wider...

Best Mortgage & Real Estate Leads in 2018

Before we get into (Facebook ad) campaign results, answer the following questions for yourself, truthfully.   At the bottom of this page, you will find screenshots from a variety of our mortgage and real estate lead generation/sales funnel campaigns.  If you are...

Recruiting Mortgage Loan Originators To Generate Leads? Stop.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in.” ― Isaac Asimov Have you had the feeling that the mortgage business has become increasingly complicated over the past 5-10 years? You put all of your...

Generate Exclusive Mortgage Refinance Leads Online [Strategies + Video]

Without experience, generating exclusive mortgage refinance leads is always easier said than done.  You likely already figured that out.   While it may not be easy or cheap, it is definitely worth it if you have patience, a marketing budget,...

Exclusive Mortgage Lead Generation Formula [6 Steps + Infographic]

Last month we generated 196 exclusive leads for our client using an exclusive mortgage lead generation system we created and implemented on their behalf. Our target audience consisted of homebuyers and alternative lending candidates who were unable to obtain...
Best Mortgage & Real Estate Leads in 2018

Best Mortgage & Real Estate Leads in 2018

Before we get into (Facebook ad) campaign results, answer the following questions for yourself, truthfully.   At the bottom of this page, you will find screenshots from a variety of our mortgage and real estate lead generation/sales funnel campaigns.  If you are looking for the best mortgage and real estate leads, we have a solution for you

Don’t skip ahead.  Answer these questions, first.

  • How many deals could you close if you had a consistent supply of real estate/mortgage leads to work with?
  • What difference would that make in your life?
  • How much time are you wasting by not having a steady supply of exclusive leads to work with?
  • How much more time would you have to spend with your family, go on vacation, or just relax – if you no longer had to worry about generating leads?
  • How much is it costing you by NOT having this type of a system in place?


Deep down, you know that if you had a consistent supply of exclusive, quality mortgage/real estate leads your income would multiply and your time would be used so much more effectively.

Rather than spinning your wheels researching the top mortgage lead generation agencies and sales funnel strategies, you would be able to dedicate your work time to do what makes you money.  Closing deals.

Take Your Business to the Next Level With a Revolutionary Mortgage & Real Estate Lead Generation System

You’ve heard legends of a system that produces consistent, exclusive, quality, affordable mortgage/real estate leads.  But after all of the money you have spent on crappy lead generation systems, you reluctantly search for something that works, hoping it’s not an elusive lead generation unicorn that only exists in Narnia. You’ve tried Trulia, Zillow, buying lead lists, and maybe even live transfer leads.  Nothing but frustration and an occassional good lead – but lots of money and time spent getting there.

The problem isn’t you or your business.  The problem is that there has been a shift in the way buyers make significant financial decisions.  The information age has also overwhelmed potential clients with too many options for their brains to manage.

In order to prevent prospective leads from getting distracted, there has to be a very specific message and call-to-action in place.  The message needs to get straight to the point, encouraging the prospect to provide their information with a threat level to match the natue of the ad placement and the situation the potential prospect will be in, when they see it.

A New Perspective on Generating Real Estate Leads With Sales Funnels and Targeted Advertising

Rather than spending all of your time looking for a system that works, see the results for yourself below and consider yourself lucky to have discovered this.  Once you understand how it works, we are here to help you take action to correct the course of your business.

Our highly specialized sales funnel and advertising specialists manage everything for you.  They also manage campaigns for other mortgage and real estate professionals across the country, offering additional security knowing that everything is being tested and retested, in every way imaginable – giving you the most leads for your money.

You are also provided with a platform in which automated follow-ups can be used to implement an automated, yet personalized followup sequence for every lead that comes in.  The system uses text messaging, email, and can even incorporate video into your customized followup.

From first time homebuyer leads to refinance leads, our real estate sales funnel solution is designed to provide you with all of the opportunities you need to close as many deals as you can handle.  This is, in fact, the most effective mortgage and real estate lead generation/follow-up system on the market.

Below are screenshots of a variety of mortgage and real estate lead generation campaigns/sales funnels we have/are running for our clients.

Please keep in mind that the dollar amounts specified here are for the advertising expenses only, and do not include any setup or management fees.  But, as you will see, this is still one of the most affordable mortgage and real estate lead generation systems out there.  It’s also the most effective and produces the most quality, exclusive leads, for the money. 

Learn more about exclusive mortgage leads and sales funnels or real estate lead generation and sales funnels.

Real Results for Real Clients








Home Insurance Lead Generation Results



Mortgage Loan Originators/BrokersReal Estate Agents/Brokers

5 Ways Mortgage Leads From Google Ads Eat Facebook Leads for Breakfast

  Updated September 2018 - Let me preface this article by clarifying that reverse mortgage leads are the exception to this situation, as reverse mortgage prospects are not using the loan as a means of closing on a home.  This makes the window of opportunity much wider...

Best Mortgage & Real Estate Leads in 2018

Before we get into (Facebook ad) campaign results, answer the following questions for yourself, truthfully.   At the bottom of this page, you will find screenshots from a variety of our mortgage and real estate lead generation/sales funnel campaigns.  If you are...

Recruiting Mortgage Loan Originators To Generate Leads? Stop.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in.” ― Isaac Asimov Have you had the feeling that the mortgage business has become increasingly complicated over the past 5-10 years? You put all of your...

Generate Exclusive Mortgage Refinance Leads Online [Strategies + Video]

Without experience, generating exclusive mortgage refinance leads is always easier said than done.  You likely already figured that out.   While it may not be easy or cheap, it is definitely worth it if you have patience, a marketing budget,...

Exclusive Mortgage Lead Generation Formula [6 Steps + Infographic]

Last month we generated 196 exclusive leads for our client using an exclusive mortgage lead generation system we created and implemented on their behalf. Our target audience consisted of homebuyers and alternative lending candidates who were unable to obtain...
Recruiting Mortgage Loan Originators To Generate Leads? Stop.

Recruiting Mortgage Loan Originators To Generate Leads? Stop.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.”

― Isaac Asimov

Have you had the feeling that the mortgage business has become increasingly complicated over the past 5-10 years?

You put all of your energy into this business and ensuring you have the right team put together, but sometimes it feels like an uphill battle in every direction.

You have tremendous value and experience to offer borrowers but recruiting mortgage loan originators, generating exclusive leads, and closed deals feel more complicated today than it was five or ten years ago

Could it be that your perspective on recruiting mortgage loan originators and the state of the mortgage business needs a little scrubbing?

After all, hiring the right people and implementing the right systems doesn’t happen overnight. How are you supposed to create a mortgage closing machine when it feels like your loan officers keep falling short?

Something is off. You’re overwhelmed.

Your fingers are crossed that the next loan originator will break through. Hitting the quota would be great but if recruiting mortgage loan originators resulted in closing an additional 500 deals per year, your business problems would be solved. Unfortunately, the fear that this will be another turnover is far more likely.

What if that star loan officer is only in your imagination without having the resources in place to facilitate the success you are looking for? What if the loan originators you already had were actually more than plenty but they are simply spread too thin?

A Lesson About Asking the Right Questions, Borrowed From the Wealth Management Industry.

Life is all about asking the right questions. Tony Robbins has said that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask. Tony gets it.

I recently had dinner with a friend (we’ll call him Joe). He’s the operations manager for a branch of a fortune 500 financial services giant. This company recently began closing and consolidating offices from coast to coast. Joe’s future isn’t looking too bright.

Interestingly, the primary metric for branch performance has always been the # of advisers hired. Everything is actually based on hiring. Including all-inclusive company vacations to Cancun, bonuses, job stability, etc…

Under the heat of corporate collapse, Joe started to ask some tough questions. These questions enabled him to understand the nature of the issue. This understanding has slipped by the corporate executives for the past decade. It’s here to wreak havoc.

As it turns out, Joe’s company was measuring performance with the wrong metrics.

Joe’s branch has hired and trained 100 new financial advisers over the past 10 years. They pay new hires a non-recoverable $2,000 per month. 6 months guaranteed draw against commission. It’s the same arrangements I had as a loan officer except my employer took out taxes so they called me an employee. Joe’s office is full (empty) of independent contractors. I broke out of the draw setup the 2nd month licensed but that’s neither here nor there.

Joe knew most of the advisers they had hired over the past 10 years were gone within a year. But how many generated a profit for the company and how many were only an expense?

The picture isn’t pretty.

Joe found the company only turned a profit on 1 out of the past 100 advisers they had hired over the past 10 years. This individual hired several years ago, generated more revenue than the sum of the other 99. Additionally, had they hired 0 advisers, they would have been more profitable. It’s safe to call that a slight oversight.

Keep in mind, this is a Fortune 100 company. Their client acquisition model broke a long time ago. They train their advisers on selling to their family and friends. That hasn’t been working for the past 10 years. The company isn’t going under because they manage a whale of an investment portfolio. Mortgage brokers do not have the same luxury.

So much for 80/20. Try 99/1.

Sure it sucks to have the walls crumbling around you, but it’s even worse realizing that you have dedicated the past ten years of your life making the wheels of a broken business model turn.

Since financial advisers serve the same purpose for the wealth management industry that loan officers have in the mortgage industry, I couldn’t help but think that maybe this wasn’t an isolated situation.

The questions started rolling.

Could the same problem be running rampant in the mortgage industry? Are people still buying for the same reasons they were 10 years ago? Has Google made an impact on the conditions that lead consumers to make financial decisions? Is it time to reconsider the circumstances in which salespeople are necessary to hire?

Additionally, why would anybody invest or finance their home with their nephew just because they have a job now, anyway? It looks like they wouldn’t. Apparently, they would have a long, long time ago. Loan officer fairytales.

Doubling Loan Volume Requires Double the Qualified Leads. Not Double the LO’s.

Read it again.

If Joe would have known what he knows today back in 2007, he would have likely hired about 90 fewer people and focused the remaining time optimizing the resources those individuals had to optimize their ability to connect with other humans in meaningful ways.  He gets it now.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

If you are a loan officer, this information can be useful to you as well.  It might be the calling you needed to figure out how to differentiate yourself from every other loan officer trying to beg Realtors for leads.   It might be your calling to figure out where else your gifts can be of service to fellow Earth humans. It’s not all doom and gloom but it would be wise to prepare yourself.

Get Leads, Not Clicks!In 2016 there were 487,973 state-licensed mortgage loan originators in the US.

In 2016 the US mortgage industry processed $2.065 trillion in closed mortgage loans. If every loan originator somehow made an equal split of that business, $4,130,000 would be there for each. This wouldn’t be near enough to support Indeed.com’s data.


Its safe to say as many as half (or more) are no longer necessary.

Or rather, advances in technology have reduced the time it takes to close a loan.  It’s reduced the time quality borrowers spend looking for a loan.

More importantly, it has created means of connecting with people much more efficiently and relevantly than ever before.

With the right perspective and technology in place, companies can position themselves to dominate this industry in ways that Blockbuster Video could tell you all about.

And the beauty is, for the time being, the corporate giant lenders are missing the boat.  You have the ability to create a human connection with borrowers in ways that they can’t.  You don’t have the corporate red tape preventing you from making the changes you need to correct your course.  They do.

Regardless of the accuracy of Indeed’s salary figures, there are far more LO’s than the industry can support. Combine that with digital loan processing, a short attention span, and ad technology and you have a very small portion of the brokers producing a very large portion of the business.  And a whole lot of thumb twiddling.

A loan officer purge is imminent.  You don’t need more LO’s.  You need to figure out how to help the LO’s you already have become more.  After all, how many LO giants have you ever stumbled into while they were looking for a new job?  It’s unlikely you will find the best via their resume.  And even if you do, what do you offer to their situation that is going to make them eager to jump on board?  

You might be thinking ‘But this is the way everybody does it.’  And for the most part, as of December 14th, 2017 you are mostly right.  But I work with several exceptions personally and If I was a betting man I’d take a step back, realize what is actually taking place with humans right now, and go all-in against the grain – while I still had the opportunity to optimize the situation.

In a recent interview with Aaron Ross, David Skok brings up some interesting points that further elaborate on the shortcomings of a system relying on LO’s to do their own prospecting.  As a general rule of thumb, salespeople are not effective lead generators/prospectors.

“One of the biggest productivity killers is lumping together a mix of different responsibilities (such as raw web lead qualification, cold prospecting, closing, and account management) into one general “sales” role. This creates significant inefficiencies:

  • Lack of Motivation: Experienced salespeople hate to prospect, and are usually terrible at it.
  • Lack of Focus: Even if a salesperson does do some prospecting successfully, as soon as they generate some pipeline, they become too busy to prospect. It’s not sustainable. Any individual that tries to juggle too many responsibilities, will have a much lower ability to get things done.
  • Salespeople have a reputation for having ADD: How does adding more responsibilities help that? For example, qualifying web leads is a much lower value distraction for salespeople than managing current clients. And managing a large current client base is a distraction from closing new clients!
  • Lack of proper training and support: Their company doesn’t train them on how to prospect effectively, give them helpful tools or reasonable goals. Usually, the guidance is along the lines of “make more calls!” Wow, that’s helpful.
  • Unclear or Wrong Metrics: It’s harder to break out and keep track of key metrics (inbound leads, qualification and conversion rates, customer success rates…) if all the functions are lumped into single areas. Different roles make it much easier to break out different steps in your processes, which means better metrics.
  • Less Visibility Into Problems: When things aren’t working, lumped responsibilities obscure what’s happening and make it more difficult to isolate and fix issues with accountable follow through.”

Failing to plan is planning to fail. If you’re setting yourself up with a disadvantage, do yourself a favor and reconsider.

Recruiting Mortgage Loan Originators as a Lead Generation Strategy. Does it Work?

A report by C.M. “Corky Watts, CMB, paints an all-too-familiar picture of the mortgage industry. Below is a quote from a recent evaluation he conducted for a small mortgage shop in the Southwest.

“It was a “garden variety” mortgage bank with a net worth of around $1M, retail originations, small warehouse line with one bank and selling loans best efforts to three investors. Unlike many small mortgage banks, the CEO/part owner was not an originator; he managed the company.”

He continued…

“One of the key findings I uncovered from my interview was the number of loans each loan officer funds on average each month. The company has 50 loan officer and funds an average of $5M or 25 loans per month (average loan amount is around $200,000K). Doing the math, each loan officer funds 1 loan every 2 months. Best case scenario each loan officer might generate $3,000 in gross commissions per loan, splitting it $1,000 for the shop and $2,000 for the agent. Each month a loan officer generates $1,000 and the company generates $500 from each loan transaction (this does not include fees and gain-on-sale).”

Does that sound familiar? If so, this information is for you. Mr. Watts goes on…

“I hope these loan officers have another job or a wife that has a high paying position. I also hope the mortgage banker generates 300 basis points in gain-on-sale and fees from each loan to help pay expenses and generate some profits.

I realize that many loan officers today are struggling to originate at the levels they did several years ago. The market, products, and regulations have changed dramatically, making it more difficult to compete and generate commissions. Many mortgage professionals have left the industry and more will in the future. I expect this shop has the 80/20 rule whereby a small number of loan officers originate 80% of the loans. Most of the 50 loan officers probably need to exit the business, either voluntarily or involuntarily.”

Mr. Watts is onto something. Introducing specialization at each point of the borrower’s journey could rock your world.

Enable LO’s to focus on what makes you money, what makes them money, and what enables them to be productive.

Top mortgage loan originators are closing three to four loans per day. If your LO’s are not closing 5 per month, it’s time to stop looking for more and start looking in the mirror. This will seem counter-intuitive but at some point, there has to be a realization. It’s not that every LO is incompetent. It could very well be your system.

Let’s say the broker in the example has a monthly goal of 100 closed loans per month (4x their current situation). If they are still processing loans on paper, they are particularly ripe for change. If they were to immediately identify the 20 loan officers who will produce 5 loans per month – then invest in generating high-quality mortgage leads – they could contribute to their team’s success, save money, and improve morale. All in one swoop. Not to mention the creation of an environment in which LO’s are proud of their work.

With the right technology and back-end help, these numbers could multiply. And everybody would work 40 hours per week.

If you are an LO, keep in mind there are there are 502 active job listings on Indeed for ‘loan officer leads provided.’ Consider me to be the messenger that helped you make the leap. There are industries and companies out there who are willing to support your success. Don’t settle for less.

Change is never easy. Sooner is always better than later when it comes to making the necessary change.

Would You Rather Have 5 Loan Originators Closing 5 Deals Per Month or 50 LO’s Closing 1 Every 2 Months?

‘What’s the difference?’

About 45 desperate loan officers wondering around trying to figure out lead generation. They have to keep their lights on, after all. By narrowing to 5, the remaining LO’s would be happier & more enthusiastic. Desperate salespeople are not effective, regardless of what they do.

I’ll take a leap here. The ‘lead generation strategy’ used by the struggling brokerage mentioned above is likely pretty close to Joe’s. The failing financial advisory strategy relying on salespeople to generate their own prospects. If it wasn’t they wouldn’t be in that situation.

If it’s not already clear, now is the ideal time to stop hiring more LO’s to bring in leads.

How much is this costing you anyway? Get into the books and look it up for yourself if you have to.  That’s what Joe did.

In my experience, most brokers are recruiting loan officers to boost sales. It’s easy to see why somebody would assume that some of the LO’s will generate enough loans to make it worthwhile.

Are the loan officers on staff closing at least 5 loans per month? If not, hiring should be the last thing on your mind.

You need more high-quality/exclusive mortgage leads, not more loan officers.

And hiring more loan officers to bring in leads is costing you money, peace of mind, and office morale. Not to mention, it’s a very ineffective round-about way of approaching lead generation.

90% of the time there is a shortage of quality leads – there are already plenty of people.

Relying on loan originators for mortgage lead generation actually silly. It makes as much sense as it does for any company to rely on people who don’t understand lead generation to be in charge of it. In the past, hiring LO’s was a reasonable way to reel in high-quality, exclusive mortgage leads. People used to have real relationships. Times have changed. Social media has changed everything. 

If the LO’s do not have the experience they need to generate leads, it’s not happening. And very few have this experience or understanding. Lack of education, understanding, or training plus responsibility = frustration and desperation.

Even many of the lead generation companies out there, don’t actually know how to generate high-quality mortgage leads that close within 90 days.  It’s not an easy thing to figure out.  

At some point, the smart LO’s figure out that if they don’t have the financial resources to hire it out, they have to do it themselves. And if they are not already tech-savvy, we wish them well. It’s not one specific skill set. It’s a bundle. I recommend general advertising strategy, web design & development, and Google Analytics. Plus Facebook Pixel Integration, PPC advertising strategy, and social media marketing – for starters.

Let’s say you’re hiring loan officers with a Master of Business Administration degree from Notre Dame. They still won’t have the skills they need to generate leads to support their business. Sure they might know a couple things about finance, business management, and ‘marketing’. What does that do for you?

Marketing and lead generation are two different animals. They happen to have some overlapping features, like capturing and managing attention.

So, under what circumstances would it make sense to rely on LO’s, without the MBA, to generate their own leads?

Mortgage Marketing Has Changed But It’s Still About Connecting With People.

In the past, a half-page yellow pages ad could fill your pipeline all year. The problem is, people don’t pay attention the yellow pages anymore.

Personal relationships used to drive sales. Now, information (aka, Google) is much more available to borrowers. Establishing trustworthiness and expertise is still applicable. The difference is in the perception. Now there are many more ways to try to capture audience attention. , And just as many to try to capture/keep it.

Let’s look at some stats around how humans are interfacing with the world around them. Things should begin to fall into perspective if they have not already.

Find more statistics at Statista

Prepare for Profitability.

Effective advertising campaigns, mortgage sales funnels, and mortgage chat bots serve many purposes. Not only do they generate leads but they also allow for more the collection of more info from the start. This enables LO’s to get more work done in less time as they can rank their leads by priority.

Where are your current loan officers spending their time? Are they spending their time doing the same thing you’re doing right now? Wouldn’t it make more sense to work as a team, save some time, and get on the same page? Let the salespeople close deals instead of wasting their time weaseling them. If you have to, let the participating LO’s split the investment. Make arrangements for round-robin style lead distribution.

Make them pay for it if you have to – that’s not the point. The point is having a plan for them to succeed. And that is where most are lacking at the moment.

If the financial industry provides any kind of a viable hint, consider a new approach.  What is the worst that can happen?  You help your loan officers by organizing a system for them to have exclusive mortgage leads and they don’t close deals, I suppose.  They are

The ‘recruiting mortgage loan officers’ hoping that they figure it out is a system that might allow you to scrape by for just a little while longer. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Don’t Take My Word For It.

Here are a few questions to get you started. Answering these will help you determine the extent of the course correction needed. Question everything you don’t know certainly.

These questions may lead you to the conclusion that your course needs minimal correction, and that would be fantastic. But if you don’t answer them for yourself, you are assuming that’s the case.  Ask the tough questions.

How much have you invested in the form of guaranteed draws against commission/salary payments over the past five years?  Money, Time, Human Resources, Mental Health, etc..

How much company profit have those individuals generated?

Has recruiting mortgage loan originators proven itself to be profitable for you in the recent past?

If it has been profitable, how could that potentially change in the next 5-10 years? Technology is rapidly evolving all around us.  If not, how much of a loss has it generated? And how else could that investment generate business through your existing team? Is the problem with the loan originators we are hiring or is it something else?

What could be done to improve the lives and job satisfaction for my existing team?

How can you help your team connect with people in real, meaningful, and valuable ways?

Is your training establishing realistic expectations? Do your LO’s have skill sets they need to meet the expectations of their position?  Is there a more effective way to structure their role that might make sense to consider?

How could training be better?

Why are loan originators expected to generate their own leads? Is there a better way?  Are there other industries that can be looked at for answers?

In reviewing the past 25 closed loans, why did the clients make the decision they did? Is there a way to optimize this kind of exposure?

Analytics and tracking technology, combined with ad targeting technology has changed the game. Today it’s possible to generate higher-quality mortgage leads and real estate buyer leads more consistently than ever before. Don’t be Joe’s crumbling wealth management company.

How will you proceed?

The choice is yours. Choose righteously.

5 Ways Mortgage Leads From Google Ads Eat Facebook Leads for Breakfast

  Updated September 2018 - Let me preface this article by clarifying that reverse mortgage leads are the exception to this situation, as reverse mortgage prospects are not using the loan as a means of closing on a home.  This makes the window of opportunity much wider...

Best Mortgage & Real Estate Leads in 2018

Before we get into (Facebook ad) campaign results, answer the following questions for yourself, truthfully.   At the bottom of this page, you will find screenshots from a variety of our mortgage and real estate lead generation/sales funnel campaigns.  If you are...

Recruiting Mortgage Loan Originators To Generate Leads? Stop.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in.” ― Isaac Asimov Have you had the feeling that the mortgage business has become increasingly complicated over the past 5-10 years? You put all of your...

Generate Exclusive Mortgage Refinance Leads Online [Strategies + Video]

Without experience, generating exclusive mortgage refinance leads is always easier said than done.  You likely already figured that out.   While it may not be easy or cheap, it is definitely worth it if you have patience, a marketing budget,...

Exclusive Mortgage Lead Generation Formula [6 Steps + Infographic]

Last month we generated 196 exclusive leads for our client using an exclusive mortgage lead generation system we created and implemented on their behalf. Our target audience consisted of homebuyers and alternative lending candidates who were unable to obtain...
Generate Exclusive Mortgage Refinance Leads Online [Strategies + Video]

Generate Exclusive Mortgage Refinance Leads Online [Strategies + Video]

Without experience, generating exclusive mortgage refinance leads is always easier said than done.  You likely already figured that out.
While it may not be easy or cheap, it is definitely worth it if you have patience, a marketing budget, and dedication.
There are specific advantages working refinance deals over pursuing buyers.

Whether you decide to take advantage of my advice regarding refinance business or disregard it, creating a mortgage lead generation funnel is one of the best decisions you can make for your business. Generating exclusive mortgage refinance leads may feel complicated but really you just need to position yourself correctly and work with a mortgage lead gen specialist who has experience and knows what they are doing.

Plus, our actual client results speak for themselves.


1. Establish yourself as the refinance expert.

Invest time and money in a website/sales funnel that serves as an authoritative resource for any prospective clients seeking to learn more about mortgage refinancing. This part of the strategy is the same for generating commercial and residential refinance leads.  This part of the process is essential to maximizing your success everywhere else.
Get Leads, Not Clicks!
After all, people don’t want a loan to refinance their home, they want financial freedom, cash to solve their specific problems, etc…  In order to ensure that you get a shot at helping them, you need to establish comfort in your person, pricing, and product – online.  Display refinance testimonials (preferably video) and help people feel comfortable with you, your mortgage refinances products and your rates.

Keep track of your wins on your website, social media, etc… and generate fresh content everywhere.  If you are not accustomed to generating original video or blog content, this may feel like a daunting task – but with the right marketing and content creation tools, it’s really not so bad.   Some of my favorite/free resources for creating content are below.

Every time you are able to save a client money or put them in a better situation in their life, you should be documenting this publicly so people can see what kind of results you’re producing.

Identify your target audience (buyer personas) and specific areas of expertise.  Create video and original blog content answering questions for prospects in this space.  #2 explains how to find the right questions.

2. Figure out what questions your ideal prospects are asking.  Answer these questions and deliver the content.

It’s as easy as recording a video of yourself on your smartphone than using very simple phone apps to edit.  Then share this content in a way that is likely to be seen by prospects who can benefit from it.

YouTube is now the largest search engine for people looking to learn things and it’s your perfect opportunity to put yourself out there in a way that establishes credibility and trustworthiness at the same time.

For example, whether you’re targeting residential or commercial refinance prospects, brainstorm a list of questions your prospects are most likely to be asking. You can also use websites like Quora to find out the exact questions people are asking.

I find more often than not that mortgage professionals forget that the general public does not understand mortgage terms and lingo like they do. The idea is to explain things like you’re talking to an 8-year-old. This is very important. If you go over their head they will be instantly turned off. The same goes, in many cases, for commercial property owners as well.

Some common property refinance questions might include:
“Are penalties generally paid during refinance transactions?”
“What are the primary benefits of refinancing?”
“What are the downsides of refinancing?”
“Is my original mortgage paid off when I get a refinance loan?
“What’s the difference between a HELOC and a straight refinance?”
“Is it a bad idea to refinance a home in order to pay for various life emergencies?”
“What’s the financial difference between paying closing costs and any additional fees to refinance versus using a credit card or personal loan?”

Conduct some YouTube research to see what other types of competition you have out there answered these questions. Throw in your local geographical area and see how many people are asking these questions for your particular area. There may be some people making videos of these sorts but what I often find is that the presentations are very boring and the tone of voice is generally extremely monotone and the vocabulary is over the average watcher’s head.

You can tell how effective these videos are as many of them have less than 10 views after being up for a year.

3. Create and deliver your original content to a highly targeted audience group using social media advertising.

Instead of sending out postcards, use better and more comprehensive technology to reach out two potential refinance clients.

Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest are all actively collecting information about the behavior of their users, in order to enable more accurate advertising efforts. Each has their own special way of gathering information and making it available to advertisers.

Just keep in mind, many people use particular social media services in order to avoid advertising rather than to be bombarded by it, so proceed with caution. Your social media ads should not feel like advertisements and there must be constructed in a way that is not perceived as advertising.  Not only is this true for generating mortgage leads, but it also applies equally to generating leads for real estate agents/brokers.

If you don’t have full mortgage sales funnel up and running, you will run into significant challenges capturing the lead information. Lead capturing is an art and a science. Once you have professional sales funnel in place, this process will go much smoother.

4. Take advantage of search engine PPC advertising to catch mortgage refinance leads at the right time.

Social media ads can be great at getting the right message in front of the right person but search engine marketing has a tremendous advantage in that it allows you to get your targeted message in front of the right person while they’re looking for the information you have to give them.

Social media ads are geared towards catching a highly specific audience.  PPC ads, on the other hand, target an audience showing intent to receive your information.  PPC ads don’t use the same type of audience targeting, so the key is to create a highly targeted ad, landing page, and offer geared very specifically to the search terms identified.

Since PPC advertising is fairly competitive it can also be one of the more expensive strategies to generate mortgage leads online.  The key is to start slow, make test groups for everything, and as your tests give you feedback – slowly ramp up your ad spend according to the results you receive.

Using tools like SemRush, Keywordtool.io, Google AdWords Keyword Planner, and Quora, you should be able to come up with some strategic angles which are not being competed for heavily – but these things take time.

Always consider double meanings in Search terms and keep in mind that just because somebody is searching a certain way does not mean they have the same objective in mind that you think they have.

5. Install tracking and remarketing codes on your website. This enables you to remarket visitors who stopped in to see your refinance page but didn’t convert.

There’s an old saying that a prospect has to see an ad 7 times before they take action.

Fortunately, technology has dramatically reduced this figure and allows us to get highly targeted messages in front of prospect in a way that helps them convert much faster.

The most important retargeting / tracking codes to install on your website are the Google remarketing tag, the Google analytics tag, and the Facebook pixel.  If you use these strategically, you will be better-positioned to generate high-quality mortgage leads.

If you have plans to Target LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Twitter, there are also tracking codes available through these websites which enable you to gather additional Insight on your website visitors and continue your remarketing efforts.

There’s always another possibility which would make life easier for you.  Having us take care of this entire process for you would save you significant time and headaches.  In addition to having personal experience as a Realtor and as a mortgage loan originator, our team is also highly specialized, making it able for us to achieve some of the incredible mortgage lead generation results our clients are currently experiencing.  Our entire team is highly experienced in mortgage lead generation, social media marketing, and mortgage and real estate sales funnel creation and implementation, etc.

Ready to Re-Gain Control of Your Business?

Please fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

5 Ways Mortgage Leads From Google Ads Eat Facebook Leads for Breakfast

  Updated September 2018 - Let me preface this article by clarifying that reverse mortgage leads are the exception to this situation, as reverse mortgage prospects are not using the loan as a means of closing on a home.  This makes the window of opportunity much wider...

Best Mortgage & Real Estate Leads in 2018

Before we get into (Facebook ad) campaign results, answer the following questions for yourself, truthfully.   At the bottom of this page, you will find screenshots from a variety of our mortgage and real estate lead generation/sales funnel campaigns.  If you are...

Recruiting Mortgage Loan Originators To Generate Leads? Stop.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in.” ― Isaac Asimov Have you had the feeling that the mortgage business has become increasingly complicated over the past 5-10 years? You put all of your...

Generate Exclusive Mortgage Refinance Leads Online [Strategies + Video]

Without experience, generating exclusive mortgage refinance leads is always easier said than done.  You likely already figured that out.   While it may not be easy or cheap, it is definitely worth it if you have patience, a marketing budget,...

Exclusive Mortgage Lead Generation Formula [6 Steps + Infographic]

Last month we generated 196 exclusive leads for our client using an exclusive mortgage lead generation system we created and implemented on their behalf. Our target audience consisted of homebuyers and alternative lending candidates who were unable to obtain...
Exclusive Mortgage Lead Generation Formula [6 Steps + Infographic]

Exclusive Mortgage Lead Generation Formula [6 Steps + Infographic]

Last month we generated 196 exclusive leads for our client using an exclusive mortgage lead generation system we created and implemented on their behalf. Our target audience consisted of homebuyers and alternative lending candidates who were unable to obtain traditional bank financing.  Please keep that in mind before you see the screenshot.

Forty-six of those leads equated to a specified buying intent between $57 million-ish and $86.3 million (see image below from the campaign)- an average of $620k to $900k per lead.   The other fifty people either opted to not share their estimated loan amount or they just left before they were asked.

Our clients generally convert 8% to 15% of the leads into application submissions.  In this case, 11 of the leads opted to fill out an app prior to having any human contact.  By combining our mortgage strategy with a real estate lead generation strategy, these campaigns can be extremely powerful, even leading to total market domination.

Many of the leads have been somewhat qualified upon hitting the inbox, but others still required a conversation to get them warmed up.  Generating high-quality mortgage leads is always easier said than done – but we have a consistent system figured out which is generating hundreds of closed deals for our clients.

With proper ongoing optimization and adjustments, the system we created for this client will continue to produce qualified client prospects for the foreseeable future.

Mortgage Lead Generation: 6 Steps to Market Domination

A sample from our recent mortgage lead generation work. Some of the lead capture systems we use to give the prospect the ability to communicate to the extent which they feel comfortable. Keep in mind, this was for a direct lender who specializes in providing financing that banks are unable to offer (People with lots of cash and credit issues are the target market).

How to Generate Exclusive Mortgage Leads Online

Success in the mortgage industry is dictated – to some degree – by to your ability to implement a consistent lead generation system online.  You have to capture the attention of your target audience where they are paying attention.  Online is where you can find it.

Lead generation isn’t everything, though.  You must also be likable, good at what you do, and have competitive loan products and services to offer.  Make yourself a resource for clients who need your services.  Make videos, blog posts, etc…

It’s almost 2018. Purchasing large ad spaces in the old school yellow pages is longer a viable method for attracting qualified borrowers.  The keys to success lie in your ability to capture the attention of qualified borrowers, in a relevant and meaningful way.  You may have the best loan programs and personality in the entire mortgage industry but if nobody knows about it, what difference does it make?

Who is this Google mortgage lead generation formula designed for? Mortgage origination professionals who are dedicated to their success.  Ask yourself the following questions:  Do you offer competitive loan products? Are you easy to work with?

If you answered yes, the rest of this should not be rocket science.  That doesn’t mean you won’t have to step outside of your comfort zone, however.

You might have the lowest rates and best client intake process in the world but if nobody knows about it, what difference does it make?

Can I Do This Work Myself?

If your objective is to generate powerful mortgage sales funnel that engages and qualifies leads on auto-pilot, it may be worth considering hiring a professional who works with mortgage and real estate companies on a daily basis.

If automation is your objective, it would be wise to consider hiring someone with mortgage origination experience who also has a strong track record generating mortgage leads (myself and my partner, for example).   If possible, stay away from hiring a digital marketing company lacking this experience to figure out how to generate exclusive mortgage leads on your dime.

That isn’t out of personal interest, but rather out of personal experience.  I have run into more than a few situations where writing ad copy would have been absolutely impossible without understanding the loan products I was making the ads about.  If you hire digital marketing companies who do not have industry experience, expect issues.  The further outside of traditional home loan products you go, the less concrete the concepts become, and the more challenged a person without actual industry experience will be.

If you’re going to do this the right way, it’s not going to be cheap or happen overnight, but it can happen quickly if you are diligent and have the right help.  Making the decision to work smarter is one of the best moves you will make in terms of your work and life.  You can use this formula to generate whatever kind of exclusive mortgage leads you desire including refinance leads, commercial mortgage leads, reverse mortgage leads, etc…

The Path to Success:  Mortgage Lead Generation for Lenders, Brokers, and Loan Officers

Step 1: Identify your value proposition.

What makes you stand out from every other mortgage broker out there?  You might be surprised as to how many mortgage brokers skip this altogether.  This step is really tied in with step 2 because, in order to determine your client’s definition of value, you must know your ideal client.  But before you define your client, you should really understand what it is that you do best.  It really doesn’t make sense to generate mortgage leads without having a clear understanding of your value proposition.

In order to set up a system that generates consistent exclusive qualified mortgage leads, you must determine what sets you apart from everyone else.  You will be lead to discover (or create) your value proposition by answering the questions below.

Questions to Define Your Value Proposition:

  1. What do you do for your clients, specifically?
  2. What’s in it for the client?
  3. How do you do it differently?
  4. How do you want to be perceived?
  5. Whats in it for you?
  6. How do you make life easier for clients?
  7. How do you make life easier for realtors?

Some Benefits of Creating a Value Proposition (Other Than Necessity) Include:

  • Increasing (or creating) an ability to attract the attention of your ideal client.
  • Having the ability to differentiate your offering.
  • Enabling a client to justify their decision now, and to work with you.
  • Shortening the sales cycle.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction.

Figure this out before you move on to the next step. Spread your value proposition throughout the media you create.

Step 2: Define your ideal client and create a buyer persona.

The next step is to identify your ideal client.  The value you have to offer should be in line with the ideal client you wish to work with. If it’s not, you may need to work with another person who has more experience in that area.  Build up your confidence and competence to accelerate your path to success.  You can generate leads all day but if you are not confident with your abilities its not going to matter.

For example, you are an FHA home loan expert and your value is being the most resourceful, johnny-on-the-spot FHA mortgage professional out there.  Your ideal clients invest in office buildings. That means now is a good time to learn as much as you can about commercial real estate investing, pro forma, and everything your ideal client is involved in on a daily basis.  You should be able to speak their language.

Some Questions to Help You Create a Buyer Persona

  1. Who is included in your target market?
  2. What is their demographics?
  3. How can your clients be identified?
  4. How can your clients be reached?
  5. How do they make decisions (as an individual, group, on a budget, with a pro forma)?
  6. How do they define value?
  7. What is their primary purchase criteria?  (Why, Who, Where, When, How)

Now put yourself in their shoes.  Make a list of where your ideal client is likely to fix their attention on a regular basis.  Some ideas may include:

  • Social media platforms:  With 80% of the world having a Facebook account, this is probably a good place to start.  Do they use Twitter, Quora, LinkedIn, etc…?  Create an account on all of the platforms you are Target client is likely to be using. Get familiar with how people make posts, the type of posts people make, and the overall etiquette for the platform.
  • Search engines: I’ll make this one easy. They probably use Google or  Bing. Most likely Google. Use Google to help you figure out the rest of these items you need help with.
  • Publications, websites, etc…:  Most areas seem to be dominated by people in certain industries.  If you originate loans for residential buyers in an area which employs mostly healthcare professionals, bookmark some websites that keep you up to date on the healthcare industry in your area or in general.  If you live in an area where people are involved in technology, get yourself into a routine of staying on top of the tech world.  People will be pleasantly surprised if you know about the things that they spend their time doing.  It won’t go unnoticed.

Additional resources for creating buyer personas:

The Complete, Actionable Guide to Marketing Personas (BufferApp)

How to Develop Your Buyer Persona and Reel in Better Customers (Forbes)

Step 3: Position yourself as the expert by giving value and establishing trust. 

The beauty of the digital evolution era is in the fact that there are now more ways to reach your target clients than ever before.  You can deliver valuable video content using only your mobile phone.  Consider your answers from the previous sections and figure out what kind of questions your target audience is likely to be asking. Match that up with the answers you are most suited to provide and generate content in a way they can understand and digest.

It doesn’t have to be a big production and really, it shouldn’t be.  You can literally take your phone, point it at your face, and get real with people.  Don’t try to BS.  People will smell right through that. Just provide some genuine insightful content for your target audience to consume.  Give them information or insight which will make their process easier, save them money, give them resources they otherwise would not know about, etc…  Tell them about common mistakes you see buyers making.  Help them understand what they are getting into.

Easy mobile apps to use for video recording/editing:

Android: VivaVideo

Apple: Power Director

Either: Youtube Director

Step 4: Engage in strategic referral reciprocity.  If you want to receive lead referrals, give them away first.  

Although I no longer work with newbies in the mortgage industry, I was approached by many when I first started this project.  I discovered very quickly that there are many more aspects involved in establishing a successful, consistent mortgage lead funnel.  Surprisingly, many new loan officers have been trained with realtor referral solicitation as their primary strategy for success.  Many of these loan officers have not been advised regarding how or why Realtors should agree to give them business or why that might be in their best interest.  In reality, it’s probably not in most cases.

As a mortgage broker, this concept is of particular importance, especially if you have loan officers working on your team. Hopefully, you have a clever strategy of portraying how you will make a Realtor’s life better if you are going to be soliciting business without having business to give.

How can you get referrals from Realtors if you have never closed a loan and don’t have business to give?

If you’re new to the industry, good luck.  Why would a realtor put their reputation on the line to refer you business if you have never written up a single loan?  If you’re new to the industry,  you should consider working under the wing of a very successful mortgage professional you can learn from.  I encourage you to establish some experience before you spend time soliciting Realtors.  You only get one chance to make a first impression and if you have not established yourself as a resourceful expert who is going to make their life easier, give them more business, or help them close more houses, then it’s not going to happen.

If you want leads, give them away first.

The reality is you can generate referral business from Realtors all day.  You just need to have quality leads – that have not been purchased – to give them first.  If you are purchasing leads, there is a good chance those poor people are getting calls at all hours of the day by other people who have also purchased those leads, trying to do the same thing you are doing.  You don’t want to give the Realtor more work to chase, you want to give them quality business.  If you set expectations with them, in person, and have found the right Realtors to do this with, there is a good chance they will reciprocate.

Identify strategic Realtor referral prospects.

In order to do this the right way, first, you want to identify and screen the best Realtors to work with. You want to find Realtors who are diligent but not annoying, who will show properties to the clients that fall within their capacity to purchase, who understand the local market, and who basically just know what they are doing. Generally speaking, the Realtors who have the most listings and sell the most properties tend to fall within these parameters, but not always.  There’s a fine line between persistence and being annoying and you want to stay away from anybody who is going to annoy the people you send, or you will start losing deals as a result.

If you specialize in VA loans you need to identify and meet Realtors who are experts VA regulations and who can help clients find properties that fall within VA guidelines.  If you specialize in financing apartment complexes you want to find the best apartment realtors. And so on…

You also want to find Realtors who are on top of the game in areas outside of your expertise.

Turn dead mortgage leads into referral opportunities.

Many of the leads that come your way will end up making other arrangements or they might be looking for products you can’t compete with or offer.  You still want to have resources to give those people, even if they turn out to not be a good fit for you. If you can still help them by providing resources that will make their Journey easier, and create a referral relationship with a realtor in the process, you are winning.

Once your exclusive generation system is up and running, you’re going to receive leads at all different phases of the buying process. You want to be very careful giving away leads that have not made any kind of commitment to you as you don’t know what type of arrangements the realtor has previously made with other brokers.

Step 5: Put a human face on your business.

People want to work with other people who have their best interests at heart and who can relate to them.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of allowing a company logo to become the face of a company and assume that a brand will provide confidence to clients – unless you specifically take action to put a face in front of your business.  The truth is people need to see faces and know there is another human there to help them. Tell them your story in a way that shows them you understand where they’re coming from.

Establish trust with prospective clients.

This is why I previously recommended video content over everything else.  Buyers don’t know who they can or should trust.  They’re generally not too excited about dealing with the mortgage process.  There’s a lot of money on the line and most people have heard about horror predatory lending practices. Nobody wants to be the next victim or, more likely, to be pressured into anything they are not 100% comfortable with – but a lot of people have a stigma around the fact that might end up happening.

So ask yourself, why should people trust me?  And, if I was in their shoes what would it take to trust me?

Having nice pictures of you smiling preferably is a good start. Creating videos that provide value to your target audience is really where it’s at.  Additionally, if you get happy clients to film themselves sharing their testimonial about you, it will go a long way.  The next best thing will be Facebook reviews (from real people), then Google my business reviews, Yelp, and any other credible review websites.

Step 6: Implement a mortgage lead generation system. Download our Free E-Book Including 42 Mortgage and Real Estate Lead Generation Tips and Strategies! 

With the rest of these items in place, a highly effective lead generation system can be established which will produce consistent leads, belonging to you. In addition to providing an opportunity for closed loans, the leads can (and should) be used to create working referral relationships.  The process involved in creating a successful lead generation system for mortgage brokers is described below.


Capture the attention of your target audience by creating media that answers questions they are likely to have in a way that portrays your expertise and helps them understand who you are.

Produce advertising which is targeted utilizing advanced market data and search intent targeting.  Also, utilize remarketing technology to target prospects after they have left your website or social media pages.  Sometimes it will take more than one visit for visitors to convert into mortgage leads.  Keep building trust.


Once the attention has been captured, drive the prospect to a page or platform which enables you to capture their contact information to take the next step.  The threat level of your call to action here needs to match the intent that the visitor was making (or wasn’t) when their attention was grabbed.  If the visitor was simply surfing the internet or on a social media page, you don’t want to try to get their name and phone number from the first step. By offering a deliverable that requires a lower Threat Level, an attempt can be made to collect more information from the confirmation page they land on.

We tend to use a combination of a few different to give the visitor the opportunity to choose whichever they are most comfortable with.


If the visitor was showed search intent or there’s reason to believe they would have specifically been looking for information when they found you, it’s possible you will be able to further qualify here.  The more questions you ask the lower your conversion rate will be.  The idea is to find a good balance that converts and collects enough information so you know the gist of the situation.


Once the lead has been captured your real work begins. If the lead was gathered without additional qualification information you would likely want to start the process there. That way you can ensure the best use of your time and the client’s time.  If you work with residential buyers they are naturally going to have some questions and concerns along the way.  Communicate with them in a way that shows them you are working on their behalf but don’t annoy them. Ideally, you will use a CRM system to keep track of your conversations and follow-ups so you can be automatically reminded and maintain consistency in your communication.


You made it this far, now it’s time to help the client get what they need and collect some lunch money. If you have set proper expectations from the start and have done your job in building a relationship and holding their hand, there shouldn’t be any surprises here and everything should go smoothly.

In my experience, closings that don’t go well are usually caused by a failure to set proper expectations. Nobody wants to be surprised when it comes time to sign paperwork.


Once we have some data to work with and have generated some leads and closings it’s time to optimize our efforts. By reviewing the best leads and closed deals to determine exactly how they were generated, we can continue optimizing the systems to further expand those avenues of client acquisition.


Follow the steps detailed above to position your lead generation system in a way that allows you to generate exclusive qualified leads consistently.  It will take a while to organize your thoughts on everything but the time will be well spent.

There is also a possibility we can help you, however, we are only accepting new clients under very specific circumstances.  If you feel you meet the following criteria, fill out the form below and we will evaluate your situation for suitability.  The requirements we have in place for new clients are designed to ensure success and that our time is being used effectively.  This is also due to the manner in which we are generating leads for you.  We are not fabricating a reputation or details about the situation to make this work, therefore we need a positive, established reputation to work with.

Requirements of new lead generation clients:

  • Established mortgage industry experience.
  • Positive overall reputation online.
  • Ability to effectively process an additional 50-100 leads/month.
  • The willingness to create video content and assist with media as needed to facilitate mortgage lead generation efforts.
  • The ability to invest $3,000 – $10,000 for setup and a similar amount for ongoing management.  This will vary depending on the situation and what needs to take place.

If you feel you meet these requirements and are interested in further discussion, please fill out the form below including as much relevant information as necessary to answer the questions. Learn more about our team here.

For more information and background about me, please check out the Absolute Most Effective Mortgage Lead Generation System in 2017.