What challenges do consumer direct lenders face?
Consumer direct lenders continue to face challenges when it comes to providing the same experience to borrowers and referral agents that they can offer the same, or better, level of customer service that home buyers come to expect from retail lenders.
The difficulty for loan officers that deal in consumer direct lending is that they deal with a much higher volume of prospective clients than a traditional retail lender and need specialized toolsets to respond within the aggressive follow-up protocols laid out by their organization’s leadership. Essentially, a powerful Mortgage CRM can create those nearly instant responses to borrower inquiries required in the consumer direct model. This can be accomplished through automated marketing tools built into the CRM across text, email, or web channels or even through integrations with inbound call center systems through open data APIs.
Luckily, as technology continues to improve, the gap that once existed is beginning to narrow.
The key for consumer direct lenders to continue their growth with new home buyers is to have open and clear lines of communication.
How do consumer-direct lenders generate a higher volume of leads?
To achieve a high volume of prospective customers, consumer-direct lenders use a diversified approach incorporating technology to upgrade the results of conventional forms of marketing, including:
- Direct Mail Marketing:
A classic marketing strategy, direct mail marketing, ensures that marketing materials are delivered physically to a prospect’s mailbox. Postcards, flyers, and letters all offer a method for consumer-direct lenders to convey information to prospective borrowers properly. What makes direct mail marketing most effective is properly using demographic data to appropriately target audiences.
- Digital Media Ads:
With technology increasingly present in our daily routines, digital ads have become one of the primary methods for businesses to connect with their audiences. Digital ads can include search ads, social ads, and banner ads that incorporate imagery, text, and even video. Whatever the medium used, the goal of any digital ad is not to fully educate prospects but to convert them to leads.
- Broadcast Marketing:
Broadcast marketing includes any advertisement distributed through television, newspapers, or billboards. While this type of ad marketing does reach a vast audience, the information usually is minimal, requiring additional lead qualification post initial inquiry.
While each of the marketing strategies listed above can generate any number of leads, it is essential to remember that these leads usually are unqualified.
Not everyone who expresses interest in a home loan or refinance will be at the appropriate stage to take the next step. Lead qualification is an essential step to categorize which prospects are the best sales targets.
Fortunately, the lead qualification process is a step that can occur naturally as a part of a lead management system.
How do consumer-direct lenders manage their leads?
To ensure that their loan officers are not consistently overwhelmed with non-qualified leads, consumer-direct lenders need to develop rules for how new leads are qualified and managed throughout the loan process.
Since lead qualification is a quantitative, data-driven process, consumer-direct lenders will often devote entire departments or third-party support teams to ensure that this process is properly completed. These teams will add the information to the lender’s mortgage CRM and pass the Sales Qualified Leads (SQL’s) to the loan origination team when ready.