The mortgage industry is a highly competitive market and, as a loan officer or mortgage broker, you have to constantly be generating new leads in order to achieve your business goals. Generating a steady lead flow requires a strong marketing plan with key strategies that work well for your business and in your current market. But how do you develop the right strategy and how do you know what strategies will really work for lead generation? Here we take a closer look at some of the top lead generation strategies, how to implement them into your marketing plan, and how you can tell if they are working.
- Understand the importance of lead generation
- Learn new lead generation strategies to implement into your marketing plan
- Understand the importance of strategy tracking in order to ensure your efforts are creating the lead generation you need
What are leads in mortgage?
A mortgage lead refers to people who are interested in obtaining a mortgage or someone looking to do business with a mortgage broker or loan officer. Lead generation is the process of gaining the interest and contact information of potential customers, thus creating a stream of leads into your pipeline, with the end goal of turning them into a customer or closed deal.
Why are leads important?
As a mortgage broker or loan officer, your goal is to convert leads into customers. Without a steady stream of leads coming into your business, it becomes challenging to maximize growth and revenue in your business. The right lead generation process works to build visibility, credibility, trust, and interest by consumers, helping to bring in a regular stream of potential leads who are ready to convert and close the deal.
15 ways to generate mortgage leads
So how do you generate a steady stream of leads? Here we take a closer look at 15 common lead-generation strategies that work for mortgage brokers and loan officers. Keep in mind that not every strategy will be successful for every business, so it is important to determine which strategies work best for your target audience and create the lead generation numbers you need to achieve success. In most cases, mortgage brokers and loan officers use many, if not all, of these key lead-generation strategies.
1. Use offline lead generation strategies.
Before the digital age, loan officers and mortgage brokers relied on traditional forms of marketing, such as cold calls and mailed material. While cold calling has seen better days, there are offline lead-generation strategies that still work in today’s digital climate.
2. Create printed marketing tools and campaigns.
In a world where it is quicker and cheaper to create an email marketing campaign, many loan officers and mortgage brokers forget about traditional printed marketing material, such as flyers, postcards, and even business cards. But take a moment to think about your personal email account. How many unopened promotion emails do you have that are often left sitting or even deleted without a second thought? Unfortunately, most people’s inboxes are full already and email marketing campaigns don’t always hit their mark. Direct mailings, such as flyers or postcards, that contain important information with an eye-catching design are often more likely to be read by prospective clients than random marketing emails.
In addition, while it may seem easier to enter contact information directly into a phone, it is still recommended to carry business cards with you wherever you go. You never know when you might run into a potential lead and offering a business card is a quick and professional way to share information.
3. Attend networking events.
With your business cards in hand, seek out regular networking events. These can be anything from local Chamber of Commerce business events to real estate networking events. Attending such events allows you to meet and develop relationships with other professionals in your area that can turn into quality leads or referral partners.
4. Grow your referral stream.
Referrals are often the backbone of any successful loan officer or mortgage broker. Developing relationships with referral partners, such as real estate agents or title companies, can be a great way to start. But don’t forget to ask your previous clients for referrals, as well as testimonials.
5. Create educational content for publications.
One of the best ways to get your name out there as the go-to loan officer is to highlight your knowledge and establish yourself as an industry leader. A great way to do that is to share your knowledge through printed material. Creating an article that covers topics such as “how to improve your credit score” or a step-by-step walk through the mortgage process that you offer for publication in a local paper or real estate magazine allows you to share your knowledge and showcase your business in front of many new potential leads.
6. Offer educational seminars.
If writing isn’t your strong suit, consider offering community-based educational seminars or classes that cover key topics in the mortgage industry, such as “repairing your credit” or “how to buy your first home.” Oftentimes, the Chamber of Commerce is a great place to hold these classes, but local community colleges or libraries are other great places to contact.
7. Purchase mortgage leads.
If you have enough in your marketing budget and want to get a jumpstart on lead generation, purchasing mortgage leads from a lead seller is another option. When deciding to purchase leads, always consider:
- Your budget: Set a budget and find a company that provides quality leads within that budget.
- Lead quality: When it comes to leads, more is not always better. You want to focus more on the quality of the leads provided than how many leads you get, as the more qualified the leads are, the more likely they are to convert.
- Exclusive or not: Who will receive the leads you purchase? If the leads are exclusive, you should be the only loan officer or mortgage broker receiving the leads. If they are non-exclusive, chances are your competition is receiving the same leads.
To learn more about purchasing mortgage leads, read 8 Things to Consider When Buying Mortgage Leads.
8. Online lead generation
Digital technology has transformed a lead generation, offering a wealth of different lead generation opportunities. Adding a mixture of these tools to your overall lead generation strategy works to help ensure you create a steady stream of leads.
9. Create a professional website that includes forms.
If you don’t already have a website, then now is the time to create one. At the same time, if you have had a website for decades that hasn’t seen a recent update, it may be time to give it some attention. You want to create a professional-looking website that is crisp and clean in design and includes the information potential leads will be searching for. You want to make sure the site is easy to navigate and leads viewers through to what they should do next with a strong call to action. Create a form that collects the viewers’ contact information. This can be a simple “sign up for more information” or can include a lead magnet, such as a free guide to improving your credit that they receive as a free download.
In addition, you may also want to consider adding an online mortgage application if possible. Forbes reports that 58% of borrowers are more likely to choose a loan officer or mortgage broker based on the availability of an online application process.
10. Create email marketing campaigns.
Email marketing campaigns can be a powerful tool for loan officers and mortgage brokers, especially when implemented through a quality CRM platform that allows for automation. You are able to create different email marketing campaigns that address anything from educational newsletters to refinancing information and anniversary or birthday greetings that can be sent out automatically through your CRM. For connecting with new leads, you can connect your website forms directly to your CRM and have welcoming emails sent out to the lead immediately after they request information.
11. Post and engage in social media.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, create a platform where you can not only advertise to potential leads but also engage directly with them. The average American adult spends around 82 minutes a day on social media platforms, with Facebook alone having 2.93 billion monthly active users. On these platforms, you are able to choose different paid advertising options, but you should also create a page for your business where you can share anything from blog posts to educational videos and polls for your followers to answer. Have your profile follow partner profiles and share their information with your followers. This helps extend your reach as well as your referral partners. When one of your followers asks a question, be sure to engage them back with answers as soon as possible.
12. Create a Google business profile.
Chances are your target leads are borrowers in your local area. When potential leads search for a local mortgage broker or loan officer, you want your business to come out at the top. Creating a Google Business Profile is a way to put your business at the top of search results, including a listing on the map of the local area. You can create this free business listing here and manage it directly through Google to include your business contact information, photos, and Google reviews from clients.
13. Explore advertising options.
While we touched on the ability to advertise through the different social media platforms, there are many more advertising options online. The most common online option is Google Ads. Here you create specific ads that utilize keywords that your target audience might use when searching for a local mortgage broker or loan officer. Keep in mind, however, that your competition is likely doing the same thing. This is where ad creativity is essential. Create an ad that highlights what sets you apart from your competition.
14. Write educational eBooks.
Much like we mentioned in the offline lead generation section, creating educational content for publication in an online real estate magazine can help set you apart from your competition. In addition, consider offering a guest blog post for your referral partners to publish on their blogs. This allows you to get out in front of all of your partner’s followers as well. They may offer to do the same for you, allowing you both to showcase your knowledge while boosting potential lead generation.
15. Develop a comprehensive content marketing strategy.
We have already highlighted how important creating and sharing content can be both online and offline. In order to highlight your knowledge and skills and establish yourself as a leader in the mortgage industry, it is important to establish a comprehensive content marketing strategy that allows you to share all this information across many different platforms on a regular basis. This can mean creating full-length articles or blog content as well as short informational snippets perfect for social media posts. Once you have these created, consider scheduling regular postings through your CRM so that your information is shared on a regular basis.
16. Offer a valuable lead magnet.
A lead magnet refers to an item or service that is given away for free with the sole purpose of gathering contact information from potential leads. A lead magnet can be a physical item, such as a monthly mailed newsletter but in today’s world, it is often a downloadable item such as an eBook, an industry report, a video class, a webinar, or a free app, such as a mortgage calculator. You can offer these on your website or through social media platforms as a way to gather potential lead information.
17. Create educational videos for YouTube.
While live online seminars or community classes in person are great ways to connect and meet with potential leads, not everyone is available at the times you offer these seminars. Creating online video content, however, can allow you to connect with more people at their convenience. Creating an educational video can be as simple as having someone record a live seminar or you can create video content sitting at your desk and talking directly into the camera. These videos can be uploaded to your business YouTube channel, shared on your website, streamed through social media posts, or as a lead magnet that a website visitor receives for free when they provide their contact information.
18. Measuring your lead generation efforts.
Decades ago, loan officers and mortgage brokers created lead generation campaigns with the hope that they would be successful as there was no real way to track campaign marketing success. Today, thanks to digital technology, you are able to track both online and offline lead generation efforts, allowing you to adjust your current strategy in order to eliminate unsuccessful strategies while boosting up those that are working well.
Google Analytics is often considered the King of online marketing data. By adding a short line of free code from Google to your website, Google Analytics is able to track how many users visit your website, how long they remain on the pages, what links they click on where they are from, and much more.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console, similar to Google Analytics, is a free software offered by Google that allows you to monitor how your website performs in search results. For example, this software can show you the number of times your website is displayed to users through search and how many times users clicked through to your site. Giving you your website’s click-through rate. If you find this number is low, you may want to adjust the content that appears in your listing in order to attract more users. In addition, the Google Search Console will also provide you with your average search result ranking. Again, if your rankings are lacking, you may need to invest in better search engine optimization for your website.
Social Media Analytics
Each social media platform offers some sort of analytical platform that allows you to monitor trends, click rates, advertising reach, user engagement, and more. Checking these statistics on a regular basis can show you what is working and what isn’t, allowing you to make adjustments until you find the right ads for your business.
Connecting your email marketing campaigns through a quality CRM not only allows you to automate the campaigns but also lets you track the success of your email campaign. Did the user open the email? If, yes, did they click on an included link? Email analytics will answer all these questions and show you whether a particular email message is effective or not.
Offline lead generation tracking
While tracking digital marketing efforts is expected, you are probably wondering how you can track the effectiveness of an offline lead generation tool, such as a business card or a direct mail postcard. The answer combines traditional and digital technology. For example, if you are sending out a direct mail postcard, flyer, or even a letter, you can include a specific website link or print a QR code on the material that automatically links the reader to a specific URL that is only used for printed material. This allows you to see how many users are actually reading and engaging with your offline lead-generation tools.
Implementing lead generation strategies to increase a steady lead stream
While we have listed many top marketing strategies, both offline and online, for loan officers and mortgage brokers, you will find that not every strategy will work for every business. The goal of creating a quality lead generation strategy is to find the ones that work well for your lead generation and let unsuccessful strategies go. Finding the right combination of successful lead-generation strategies is key to creating a steady stream of leads for your business.
Good Vibe Squad can help
At Good Vibe Squad, we understand the importance of a steady stream of qualified leads in order for a loan officer or mortgage broker to achieve success. If you are struggling to bring in regular qualified leads, our Unfair Advantage™ program can help. To learn how we can help you bring in a steady stream of leads, contact us today to schedule your free, guaranteed loan strategy call.