Last month we generated ninety-six exclusive leads for our client using a 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.
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 $1.24 million to $1.87 million per lead. The other fifty people either opted to not share their estimated loan amount or they just left before they were asked.
Extrapolating those numbers, the total buying intent for this campaign equates to between $120 million and $180 million total – within 30 days.
Our clients generally convert 8% to 15% of the leads into application submissions. 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 qualified 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.
How to Generate 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.
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 to 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 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? Are you competent and experienced?
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 a powerful mortgage lead funnel that engages and qualifies leads on auto-pilot, you may need to outsource the actual lead generation work. 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 find mortgage clients 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. Making the decision to work smarter is one of the best moves you will make in terms of your work and life.
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 Create Your Value Proposition:
- What do you do for your clients, specifically?
- What’s in it for the client?
- How do you do it differently?
- How do you want to be perceived?
- Whats in it for you?
- How do you make life easier for clients?
- 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
- Who is included in your target market?
- What is their demographics?
- How can your clients be identified?
- How can your clients be reached?
- How do they make decisions (as an individual, group, on a budget, with a pro forma)?
- How do they define value?
- 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:
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:
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 behind 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.
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 produce a mortgage lead generation system which produces 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.
For more information and background about me, please check out the Absolute Most Effective Mortgage Lead Generation System in 2017.