The Most Effective Mortgage Lead Generation System in 2018
Table of Contents
Introducing… The FogPusher Home Buyer Magnet:
Before we get into the details of the two primary systems which you need to understand if you wish to generate high-quality mortgage leads using social media or search engine advertising, let’s talk about how all of this came to be.
As you will learn today, I take what I do very seriously, and I am passionate about what I do. For that reason, I view every campaign as a learning opportunity and also as a way to improve upon every other setup which I have created. The system is continuously involving and improving. After all, there isn’t exactly an instruction manual. I have had to test and build these systems myself, and I’ve been fortunate to have had some great clients willing to be guinea pigs for the cause.
As you embark upon this mission, of generating high-quality prospects for your mortgage business, it is essential to keep the following fact in mind.
Many digital marketing specialists are more than willing to offer their services to mortgage industry professionals, but very few of them have the necessary understanding of the loan products, experience working with the loan products, and track record required to formulate a campaign about the loan products capable of producing results.
I’ve run into these people time and time again since I started down this path. Today you will learn about an easier way. Use the time, money, and energy I have invested in the development of the greatest mortgage lead generation system to formulate your own method that works for your business. Or, save money and time and you can reach out to me about doing it for you.
The systems described here have come about as a result of hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars invested in the optimation of the ultimate mortgage lead generation system.
Let’s discuss the story about how this came to be, as that paints a clearer picture of why it is the way it is, and most importantly, why it works.
As a former loan officer, I was exposed first hand to the shortcomings most loan originators face when generating mortgage leads. Fortunately, my prior experience as a Realtor and project manager for a high-end home builder in NE Ohio, and managing lead generation/nurturing all prospects in each position gave me the first-hand knowledge I needed to excel in a short timeframe.
Before leaving the position in 2013 due to a nearly fatal car accident, only one loan officer was generating more business than I was. That was out of 12 Southwest US offices with 40 other loan originators. I had just held that position for about a year.
Several months after the accident I launched FogPusher on a full-time basis, specializing in search engine optimization and web design. Since my doctor had been pretty clear about how important it was for me to leave the stress of the mortgage industry behind me for at least 18 months, it didn’t even cross my mind at that time to work with mortgage or real estate companies. I specialized in working with vape shops.
I focused on providing these SEO and web design skills for about two years. Then in early 2017, I began extending this digital marketing wisdom to mortgage and real estate industry businesses and professionals.
Since then, I have learned a lot. I’ve generated many thousands of mortgage leads and have absorbed a library of wisdom about the way humans go about their home buying and mortgage acquisition journies & how to go about attracting their attention and segmenting their intent as they embark upon that life objective.
In May of 2018, after becoming clear about a systematic lead generation model designed specifically for the mortgage industry, I launched ifunnel Inc. – a more official and focused extension of what I started with FogPusher as a freelance project.
If you have been following me for some time, you might raise your eyebrows to discover that Facebook advertising is at the center of one of the strategies.
You see, several months ago I had entirely written off Facebook ads as a consistent means of generating high-quality forward purchase mortgage leads.
So I went about my way, accepting the idea that Facebook ads were not ideal to use as a means of generating consistently high-quality mortgage leads and that was that.
Then, in June 2018, a client approached me looking to set up a system which produced a consistent flow of Realtor leads, which he could use to help his referral network generate new business.
Since over the past year, a significant portion of my focus has been on the creation of lead generation chatbots, I opted to dive into the world of Messenger chatbots to carry out the lead generation function of this campaign.
Once I made this decision, I asked myself, ‘Is this the solution to the Facebook lead quality problem I had discovered previously?’
Come to find out it was the problem.
By using Facebook Messenger as the lead capture, engagement, and segmentation tool, you obtain this magical ability to ask better questions. So this, in turn, enables you to (more-or-less) automatically qualify and segment any given audience.
The problem in the past was not the fact that Facebook traffic was shit, it was the fact that using lead forms to collect the leads prevented the right questions from being asked. This, in turn, prevented the audience from being segmented properly.
Asking the Right Questions Makes the Entire Difference Between Your Success and Failure Using Facebook Ads to Generate Quality Mortgage Leads
In August 2018, Facebook stopped collecting (allowing access to) third-party data about its users.
Since Facebook eliminated its third-party data in August 2018 the audience targeting has been scaled back enormously, making it impossible to target renters, homeowners, or people who are likely to be first-time homebuyers, like you could in the past.
Today, for this reason, you have to use broader audience targeting.
However, so long as you are asking the right questions of the prospects, and doing so in the right way (Messenger chatbots), you can automatically qualify, segment, and understand your prospective mortgage audience in a much easier and engaging way than what would be possible using lead form leads.
Failure to approach this situation in this specific way puts you in a position where all of your leads include only the prospect’s name, email address, and phone number. They all appear to be the same, and as a result, you have no idea where they are along their home buying journey. You don’t know what they are up to, why they are up to it, and most importantly, you don’t know how you can further help them when you generate mortgage leads in this way.
Looking back, of course. It’s an obvious route to generating crappy leads. But really, its not that the leads themselves are crap. It’s just that, without asking the right questions, all leads generated in this way are bound to be crap.
If you follow up with a person who has already found a home and who needs an immediate quote the same way you do with the people who are just aimlessly clicking stuff on facebook, you are going to spin your wheels and burn out before you make anything work. A phone call is a waste of time, actually, because you don’t know anything about who you are calling. They just clicked to learn about the free money in your ad.
There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that, unless you are asking the right questions, you are not putting yourself in a position to offer value in direct accordance with a prospects specific situation.
The other is that, as a result of failing to qualify and segment the audience appropriately, it becomes impossible to prioritize your time according to a priority level of the lead.
Not only does generating leads in this way prevent you from offering value to these prospects, but it also makes it impossible for you to prioritize your time trying to do so. You don’t know what they are dealing with and where they are along that journey, so you cannot help them, and it’s a waste of your time trying to do so.
If you are going to use Facebook ads to generate mortgage leads, you have to do it the right way. Period. It’s all about asking the right questions and asking them the right way.
While this may seem like a silly question, it’s the right place to start.
If you are familiar with the old system of buying lists of mortgage prospects, there is a good chance you are familiar with this approach, and possibly even looking for that exact thing.
We don’t sell lists of mortgage leads. We set up and manage systems that generate lists of exclusive mortgage leads, on your behalf. The leads are only available to you. They are not available for purchase.
If you are here to find lists of leads to purchase, you are in the wrong place. But before you leave, I would highly encourage you to consider a better alternative.
Many of my clients who have contacted me looking for lists of mortgage leads have started out doing that because that is the only thing they were familiar with having access to in the past.
In many cases, these people have had business models which depend on a call center approach, in which their employees spend all of their time calling databases of mortgage leads, which have been sold to them and to every other company willing to purchase them.
While keeping your staff busy, or more accurately, making it look like your team is working, is a novel idea, it’s far from an ideal approach. I am here to help you discover a better way.
Today there are two primary mortgage lead generation systems we are using to generate highly-quality, exclusive borrower leads with the best ROI & conversion ratios you will find anywhere.
System #1 – for medium to large-size mortgage companies, brokerages, lenders, etc.. who have also invested in digital mortgage 1003’s and technology and that have prepared themselves for internet mortgage leads that have shown a high level of intent to obtain mortgage financing.
This system is generally designed to attract the attention of search engine traffic and capture their information using conversational engagement forms, set up on landing pages which are relevant and directly related to the intent of the various search inquiries.
Since you can expect a lead generation system utilizing this type of setup to start with about a $10,000 minimum investment, it makes the approach less than ideal for the majority of individual loan originators.
Since all campaign components of this are explicitly designed to match the value of each mortgage provider and match that to a specific search intent of their prospects, campaigns must be custom designed to suit each unique situation.
And until you have purchased enough data from Google about the performance of the ad campaigns you are running, it is impossible to optimize the ads in a way that maximizes our certainty that they will perform.
Additionally, when analyzing human behavior, it is not until we have large datasets to work with that we can make reliable predictions of how humans will likely respond to stimuli (our advertising campaigns, landing pages, and means of engagement) moving forward.
There is actually a name for this law, but I am drawing a blank on its name at the moment, and my Google searches are also falling short. Mostly, human behavior, when analyzed in small data sets, will appear to be random, but when examined in larger groups it tends to follow reasonably clear patterns.
Don’t make the mistake of half-assing your Google Ads campaign, without having the appropriate keyword groups and landing pages in order, and analyzing the performance of these campaigns using less than complete data sets. You will end up wasting your money, sinking it into the abyss of the bottomless advertising dollar money pits.
There is a way to do it but it has to be right. Moreover, it has to be thorough.
System #2 – for loan originators, mortgage brokers, lenders, etc…
The groups that utilize the first system can (and should) use this one. This system can just be implemented with a much smaller budget, making it within reach of the majority of LO’s and lenders.
This system utilizes a comibination of Facebook advertising, Messenger, a Messenger chatbot designed to give you the understanding about your audience that you need to have in place in order to help them,
Since the general ad copy, chatbot conversation, and overall approach can be borrowed from other campaigns I am running (as long as you are not in a competing market with my existing clients running these campaigns), we can set these up with a reasonable level of predictability in regard to the way they will perform.
Mortgage & Real Estate Experience
Web Design & Digital Marketing / Advertising Experience
Understanding & Having a Successful Track Record Utilizing the Latest in Targeted Advertising/Lead Capture Technology
- In-house marketing manager provides no guarantee of ROI. They are expensive. You hire them and they receive the consistent job security associated with their position. Who is offering you job security?
- Many mortgage loan originators fail to establish themselves as the expert. You must generate meaningful content that answers questions your target audience is asking. Put yourself in their shoes and create media that answers the questions they have. So many fail to do this even though its one of the most powerful strategies in the mortgage (really, any) business.
- Live transfers are cool and all but how many people are making calls before they do research online. Millenials are more prone to use online lead capture tools before they pick up the phone – and they may never pick up the phone. Plus, in a live transfer situation, the lead has no prior knowledge of you or your company. Your closing rate on those is not likely to be anywhere close to what it can be with we have in place. After all, with live transfers you are receiving calls as they come in, they have not been screened. How effectively are you using your time if you are receiving random leads on the phone who have no idea who you are?
- Buying mortgage leads online is also a waste of time and money. If you want to chase after leads that have been sold to literally everybody who is interested, be my guest. The key to succeeding is creating a system that generates high-quality exclusive mortgage leads.
- Lack of lead generation & capture system in place. Most mortgage brokers and real estate brokers simply do not have a consistent lead generation/ mortgage sales funnel in place.
- Prowling on Realtors for referrals is another grand waste of time, unless you have a strategic plan in place, involving offering them leads. With this system, you will have plenty of leads to send their way. If you want to get something, give it away first. Active reciprocity will change your life – not just your business.
- Networking events can be fun but they rarely result in business. The only consistency to come of networking events is potential friendships, which may lead to more opportunity down the road. There is nothing wrong with attending a networking event as a mortgage professional, but it’s not the most effective way to go about acquiring new mortgage clients.
- Many mortgage brokers spin their wheels recruiting mortgage loan officers when they really need a high-quality lead gen system in place.
- A very common misconception is that having the best mortgage website is essential to generate mortgage leads or even for effective mortgage marketing. It’s helpful if it’s used to show expertise, value, testimonials, and original content, but there are many other ways to optimize your online presence in 2018. The most important of these being, a Messenger chatbot.
- I recently found significant evidence suggesting friends and family are far less likely to borrow or invest money with friends and family as they were even 5-10 years ago. I believe Google and consumer access to information have greatly contributed to this situation. For this reason, the traditional financial services business model falling apart, even for some of the larger wealth management companies. There is reason to believe a similar situation is happening in the mortgage industry. People want to make the best financial decisions they are able to make given their particular situation. This is much different than making a decision based on where their friend or family work.
- Hiring a professional who understands mortgage marketing and lead generation, with a background in mortgage loan origination and real estate sales. Have us manage your advertising and sales funnels, generating leads for you while you focus on closing loans and building strategic referral relationships.
- Tracking code installation/utilization to re-target visitors with ads. Sometimes the first visit isn’t enough to make a visitor comfortable enough with you to make contact. Follow them with ads after they have visited your website (if you have one).
- Market-proven ads delivered to the highly targeted audience of potential home buyers. We utilize the latest in intent-based targeting and in-market client acquisition strategy. Ongoing A/B testing.
- A/B tested lead capture pages that capture your lead’s information. A/B testing is an ongoing process to maximize results.
- Hot sales-qualified mortgage lead funnel which produces qualified prospects that belong to you and only you.
- Implementing an automated mortgage lead generation system that enables you to generate exclusive leads for whatever your niche may be. We can generate exclusive mortgage refinance leads, commercial leads, reverse mortgage leads, etc…
The formula below is used to ensure mortgage ads are profitable for clients. It applies only to the first system, using Google pay per click ads, described above.
I always recommend brokers and MLO’s to look at their current cost/loan app with their current situation (including guaranteed draws against commission/salary payments/employee benefits) and compare this to the numbers our clients are generating. Many will find that their cost to maintain loan officers is far greater than the cost of having a dedicated lead generation agency on their team.
Ad Performance Variables
CPC – Cost per click
CTR – Click through rate
Conversion on Landing Page
Conversion on Sales Page
CPL – Cost Per Lead (applicable without running ads)
Cost Per Loan App
CPA – Cost Per Action (loan closing)
AOV – Average Order Value ( $2,000 – $6,000)
If CPA < AOV, the setup is profitable.
My Areas of Expertise & Experience
- Social Media Management, Marketing, and Lead Generation
- Messenger Chatbots
- Real Estate Sales
- Custom Home Building/Project Management/Sales
- Ad Targeting & Retargeting. Lead Funnels. Sales Funnels
- Mortgage Loan Origination
- Lead Capture / Sales Funnel Creation & Implementation
- Email Automation & Automated Prospect Engagement
- SEO / Web Design
The opportunity is here today but it won’t be around forever. It’s 2018 and it’s time to start working smarter. Before you purchase mortgage leads online, do yourself a favor and invest in a system which generates leads on your behalf.
The thing is, if you want to generate high-quality leads, you must consider how high-quality mortgage prospects go about buying, and you must be willing and able to invest the resources necessary to reach those people, at the exact time that they are willing to be reached.
Who We’re Looking For
Our objective is to create successful partnerships with mortgage professionals. We work with banks, lenders, mortgage brokers, and LO’s who meet as many of the circumstances as possible, listed below: and brokers who have as many of the following characteristics as possible:
- Industry Experience
- Money to Invest in the Generation of Exclusive Mortgage Leads – the Right Way
- Positive Online and Offline Reputation (I will not fake testimonials but they are absolutely necessary. Bonus points for video testimonials.)
- Ability to Handle and Effectively Manage the New Business Generated
- Willingness to Step Outside of Comfort Zone to Establish Oneself as an Industry Expert
- Original Content Creators (Videos, Blog Posts, Etc…)
If you feel you meet these requirements, please visit ifunnel, where you will receive additional details.
If you are looking for a solution to generate high-quality mortgage leads (reverse mortgages, residential, commercial, refinance, purchase, etc…) The pricing will vary depending on the scope of the work, but if you are going to do this right, there will need to be a budget to implement all of the necessary components required to do so.
This is not the ideal place to cut corners as it can transform your business fairly quickly. It can also be a gigantic waste of a budget if you put a person behind the wheel who should not be there.
Have questions? Feel free to reach out.