Whether you are just starting out as a loan officer or have been in the mortgage industry for decades, chances are you know the importance of high-quality leads when it comes to your success. But why are leads so important? How do you generate quality mortgage leads? Should you purchase mortgage leads from outside providers? Here we offer a modern guide to high-quality mortgage lead generation and how you can get the leads you need to boost your business today.
- Mortgage leads are potential home buyers or homeowners looking for services from a mortgage lender or loan officer.
- Leads are important because they eventually become borrowers and close loans, which generates commissions and business success for loan officers.
- Mortgage officers can find leads through various digital marketing methods such as social media, content marketing, website optimization, PPC advertising, and email marketing.
- Loan officers can also purchase mortgage leads from lead generation companies, but it is important to consider factors such as pricing, lead generation methods, return policies, quality of leads, and the company’s reputation before making a purchase.
What are mortgage leads?
Mortgage leads are a mortgage marketing term that refers to potential home buyers and homeowners looking for services, such as a new home loan or a mortgage refinance, from a mortgage lender or loan officer. In other words, mortgage leads are people interested in obtaining a new loan from you.
Why are leads important?
Mortgage leads are the people that, with nurturing, eventually become borrowers and close loans. It is these closed loans that you, as a loan officer, need to make your commissions and achieve business success. Without new mortgage leads, you have no business. For this reason, much of a loan officer’s day is focused on finding, nurturing, and converting these leads into customers.
How do mortgage officers find leads?
Mortgage loan officers can find and generate leads in a variety of different ways broken down into two main categories: Generation and Purchase. In this section, we will focus on lead generation performed by a loan officer in order to create a stream of regular leads.
This can be accomplished in a variety of different ways, with a focus on digital marketing methods.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many others offer an effective way to connect not only with your current clients but also with potential leads. On these social media platforms, you can share blog posts, create educational and informative posts, share links to industry news, and so much more. They are also a great way for leads to ask questions and get to know your business.
Potential leads are looking for a reason to trust you as a loan officer. A popular lead generation strategy that can help you do just that is content marketing. With content marketing, you are creating valuable, educational, free content on your website, blog, or social media platforms that helps provide a potential lead with the information they are looking for while also highlighting your industry expertise. The goal of any content marketing strategy is to educate and engage your audience.
Your business website is an essential marketing tool that can play a major part in your lead-generation strategy. However, when it comes to your website, a poorly created site is not going to make the cut. When creating or editing your website, you want to ensure that it meets SEO optimization standards, is mobile-friendly, and contains lead generation forms that are directly linked to your CRM in order to best acquire and manage new leads. In addition, you can implement different landing pages on your website that target specific borrowers’ needs and concerns.
Pay-per-click advertising can be highly effective for lead generation when done correctly. This advertising option is available on various social media platforms as well as through Google Ads. When creating pay-per-click ads, you want to focus your keywords on your specific target audience and even location. Keep in mind, however, that the more competitive your keywords are, the more expensive your ads will become.
Google Business Profile
For a loan officer or mortgage broker, local business is often your bread and butter, so you want to do everything you can to boost your local presence online. A good way to achieve this is through a free Google Business Profile. Creating this free business listing allows you to manage a business page that will be highlighted in local mortgage searches, as well as show your business on local Google Maps. This profile includes everything from your business phone number to your website URL, hours of operation, and location. Once created, having previous customers provide reviews through your business profile can further boost your rankings in the local search results.
I walk you through these steps in this video:
Email marketing is another tool to help nurture leads once they have shown interest in your business through another avenue. For example, if a potential lead visits your website and fills out your online form requesting additional information, email marketing kicks in to welcome them and provide the information they are looking for. With a quality CRM in place, you are able to automate many aspects of your email marketing strategy. When a new lead provides information through your website form, it is automatically transferred into your CRM, which then triggers a task, such as automatically sending out a welcome email addressed to the user.
Should you buy mortgage leads?
Buying mortgage leads is another lead-generation option for loan officers. In this case, a loan officer relies on an outside company to acquire leads and provide the lead’s information to the loan officer after purchase. This option is often popular among loan officers struggling to generate their own leads or as a fill-in when organic lead generation is slow.
How to buy quality mortgage leads
Buying leads is relatively straightforward. A mortgage lead generation company has done all the legwork to gather mortgage leads and then sells them directly to loan officers for a price. The price of a lead depends on a variety of factors, and you should consider these different factors before purchasing any leads.
Non-exclusive leads are the most common and lowest-price lead options available. However, they can be sold to numerous loan officers, giving you a high level of competition when it comes to securing a new lead.
Semi-exclusive leads are those that are sold to two or three different loan companies, meaning the faster you connect with the potential lead, the better chance you have of acquiring a new client. These can be effective if you have your CRM set up to automatically send a welcome email when the lead comes in.
Exclusive mortgage leads
Exclusive leads are sold only to one loan officer, meaning if you purchase these leads, you will be the only loan officer to contact the potential borrower from the lead provided. While these types of leads often offer a higher closing rate, they also come with a higher purchase cost.
Fresh leads vs. Aged leads
A fresh lead is a lead that comes in within the last 48 hours, such as a real-time lead. These are borrowers that were looking for information recently and are more likely to respond to you reaching out. Aged leads are leads over 48 hours old that the lead generation company did not sell right away. These leads are often cheaper, but there is a chance the borrower has already found another option.
Tips on how to buy quality mortgage leads
When deciding to purchase mortgage leads, there are a few tips to consider when choosing a lead generation company to purchase from that can include:
- Pricing: What is the per-lead price and what type of leads are you buying? Is there a purchase minimum? Is a deposit required?
- Lead generation: How does the company acquire its leads? Do they do their own lead generation or purchase from other lead generation companies?
- Return policy: Do they have a return policy for bad leads? For example, if the contact information provided is bad, do you get your money back?
- Quality of leads: While you may be able to purchase larger amounts of leads for a reduced price, is it really worth it? Are you better off buying a few selective leads that are more likely to close?
- Exclusive vs Non-exclusive: What type of leads are being offered?
- Choose leads: Many lead generation companies allow you to search through and manually pick leads from what they have available. This can allow you to target more specific leads.
Where to buy quality mortgage leads
There are many different companies out there that sell mortgage leads, with two of the main companies being Zillow and LendingTree. Many of these companies have been in business for generations and have a high recognition rate in the mortgage industry for both mortgage professionals and borrowers.
- Lending Tree
- Best Rate Referrals
- Lead Planet
- Inbound Prospect
- The Lender’s Network
4 things to consider when buying leads
While the comprehensive list of mortgage lead companies above provides a great place to start, there are some factors to consider when choosing which company will provide the best leads for your business.
1. The company you are buying from
While you likely recognize the names of some of the companies above, it is still important to do your research when choosing which company is the best fit for your business. Read customer reviews to get a good idea of what borrowers think of the company. This can help you gauge the quality of the potential leads they will provide. Ask questions before you commit to any purchase. Are the leads fresh? Are they exclusive or non-exclusive? Can you choose your leads or are they provided at random?
2. Types of leads you want to buy
Before shopping for leads, it is important to determine which type of leads you want to buy. Can you stand above the local competition and win the business of non-exclusive leads in your area or would you prefer exclusive leads?
3. Your per-lead budget
Price is an essential component of any marketing strategy and that includes the purchase of leads. What is your budget? Will you be able to purchase enough quality leads within your budget? While your budget may go further in purchasing aged or non-exclusive leads, do you have the ability to nurture and convert those lead types to justify their cost?
4. A follow-up plan for the leads you receive
Before you commit to purchasing leads, you need to ensure you have the right plan in place to quickly provide contact to your new leads. Do you have a CRM in place that can send out a welcome email or trigger a task, such as a phone call, immediately after the lead enters your system? Do you have a plan in place to further the new lead relationship and keep them from moving on to the competition? Once these methods are in place, you are ready to add new leads.
Should you use a mortgage lead provider or generate your own
Deciding whether or not to buy leads or implement your own lead generation strategies depends on your business and your personal strengths and weaknesses. In most cases, a combination of both options can be beneficial. During times when your lead generation strategies may not be delivering the leads you need, purchasing selected leads may be a good option. However, if you have a quality lead generation strategy in place that is successfully driving leads to your business on a steady basis, purchasing leads may not be necessary.
High-quality lead generation is essential for success
Quality lead generation is essential for a loan officer’s success. Bringing in a steady stream of fresh leads, while nurturing your current lead relationships, will help drive more borrowers to the closing table. Deciding which method works best for your lead generation can take time and, in many cases, you may discover that your best option is a combination of organic lead generation and lead purchasing.
Good Vibe Squad can make a difference
At Good Vibe Squad, we know how important quality lead generation is for the mortgage industry. Our Unfair Advantage™ program caters to the unique needs of the mortgage industry and can help you significantly boost your lead generation. To learn more about how we can help, book a strategy call today.