Mortgage lead generation experts often send busy mortgage marketing executives and frenzied loan officers down a rabbit hole to build a social media following, pinpoint the right list to purchase, optimize ad placements, or develop niches, making them the go-to for a particular customer type.
Perhaps those strategies work on some levels, but they are expensive both in cost and in the amount of time required. Fortunately, loan officers and mortgage companies already have the leads you need at your fingertips – your own contact lists.
Getting new borrowers can cost five times more than gleaning new loans from your existing database. Plus, since a known loan adviser is more trustworthy to a client, you’re more likely to close the deal with past clients than with a cold call. In fact, the success rate when marketing to an existing contact is 60-70%, but it’s only 5-20% with new contacts.
Mortgage Lead Generation Tool #1: Alerts
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A strong mortgage CRM will alert loan officers when certain events occur that indicate a contact may be ready to finance or refinance a mortgage loan. As an LO or marketing executive, all you have to do is follow up. Even better, many of these alerts are often included with the cost of the CRM.
The most typical alert is a refinance alert. The CRM monitors loan rates in your database against current rates. Using parameters you set, the CRM alerts you when an existing borrower could save money by refinancing to a lower rate.
Another popular notification is the “just listed” alert, which tells an LO when a property in their database has been listed for sale. This information gives the LO an opportunity to follow up with the borrower and offer assistance with their next loan.
Credit alerts – such as notifications of a status change or a mortgage inquiry – are also common. When a borrower has been turned down for a loan due to credit issues, a notification of credit improvement can trigger the LO to deliver the good news and start working with the client again. When an existing client has made a mortgage inquiry elsewhere, a savvy LO can check in on the client and recapture the business.
If desired, marketing executives or LOs can set up automated follow-up messages in the CRM system to guarantee a fast response time.
Tool #2: Searches and Segmentation
From an Excel spreadsheet to the most complicated CRM software, any database management system should provide the ability to search your database for factors that might indicate a borrower is ready for a loan. A CRM system will then allow you to segment your database into groups based on those factors so you can market to them en masse if you want.
Here are some ideas of potential searches/segmentations and appropriate messaging (you’re going to see why it’s important to collect LOTS of information on your contacts!):
Loan program: Announce program updates—market-related programs, such as FHA Streamline Refi or 203K to FHA borrowers.
Career, job title, employer or similar: Market programs specific to certain groups, such as first responders, doctors or teachers.
Contact’s age or kids’ ages: For contacts ages 62 and older or for “sandwich generation” adults, promote reverse mortgage programs for the borrowers themselves or their parents. For contacts with high school or college-aged children, promote HELOCs or cash-out refinances to help pay for tuition or weddings. Suggest a switch from a 15-year term to a 30-year to help with cash flow.
Age of Mortgage: Suggest refinances, PMI elimination, purchases for a move up, or even second home mortgages for borrowers who have had their current mortgages several years.
Tool #3: Reviews and Referrals
Online reviews and referrals are perhaps the most powerful mortgage lead generation tools. People trust people they know, and increasingly, they trust strangers on the internet who give good reviews.
To encourage referrals, include a line in your transactional and marketing emails reminding contacts that you appreciate referrals. You are happy to provide the same excellent service level to their friends and family. As part of your email signature, include a button with a simple “refer a friend” call to action. You can also send a referral generation email or postcard that expresses your appreciation for their business and any referrals they can send.
Reminders like this will not always prompt immediate action, but they will keep the idea top of mind next time your contact is talking to a friend who needs a loan.
Reviews can be gathered in much the same way. When you’re in conversation with your borrowers after closing, express how much reviews mean to your business. Tell them where they can see your reviews and how to add one. Include a link to your favorite review sites in your email signature.
Tool #4: Cross-Selling
For banks and credit unions that sell multiple products, cross-selling is a great tool for mortgage lead generation.
When others in the organization learn that a contact may require a mortgage product, they can alert the loan officer. For example, let’s say a bank or credit union provides an auto loan for a couple expecting a baby. The provider might trigger an alert to the mortgage loan officer and start an appropriate marketing campaign that promotes a HELOC or cash-out refi for consolidating debts or making home improvements – like an upgrade to the nursery.
As the mortgage loan officer, you need to give the same cross-selling opportunities to others in your company. Did the couple come to you first? Then you trigger the alert, and now your bank or credit union can market auto loans or 529 plans or life insurance.
Tool #5: Referral Sources
Just as you mine your database for direct mortgage leads, mine each transaction for referral sources. Look beyond the buying agent who sent you the deal to the listing agent, attorney, and other professionals involved in the deal.
Through direct contact with them, including conversations over the closing table, a brief text message, or even an email campaign introducing yourself and your services, you can build a relationship that will bring in more leads over time.
Again, for these relationships to be successful, be sure you’re doing your part to share leads, too.
But your work doesn’t stop with mortgage lead generation.
Once you’ve identified leads in your database, you must actually ask for the business. Here are a few tips.
First, remember that all of your communication doesn’t have to be email. With a strong mortgage CRM, you can set up automatic communications to go through text messaging, too.
And don’t forget the power of a phone call or the offer of an online meeting. Some people like to text, but others still value an in-person touch. No matter how you make the first contact, remind your leads you can continue the discussion over their preferred channel.
For less time-sensitive pushes, think about going postal. Large, glossy, eye-catching postcards are a showstopper in mailboxes these days when most communication has gone digital.
Finally, make it easy for your contacts to complete the “contact us” or “more information” forms on your landing pages and in your signature box. Don’t ask for a lot of personal information up front, as many people will simply abandon the form.
Your Ultimate Mortgage Lead Generation Tool: Your Mortgage CRM
A strong, experienced mortgage CRM company can make lead generation and follow-up marketing effortless. Sign up today to take a tour of the mortgage industry’s most-used mortgage CRM, Surefire. While you’re here, take a look at Top of Mind’s Mortgage Marketing University, too. It’s a free online curriculum to help mortgage professionals improve their marketing.