When a borrower is looking for a new loan, more goes into their decision than just a low-interest rate (although we can't lie, that does help). They explore what options have little to no service fees, rely on reviews and company reputation, and whether or not the red carpet of customer service is rolled out. With countless options, setting yourself apart from the competition will be paramount to your success in snagging that customer now or down the road.
It's easy to get in the habit of depending on your current strategy; however, here are eight common pitfalls you'll want to dodge so that you don't lose your prospects to the competition.
Plain Jane Website
We've all been there. You click on a link on a Google Search and are horrified by what you see on the other end. A website that looks like it was last updated in 2010. Although it can be taxing to keep an updated site (especially if you are a smaller-scale lender), hiring a professional web developer is worth every penny. Today, websites are interactive, boost colorful images, and an array of typography (we're not talking about your Ma and Pa's Arial or Times New Roman). You'll want to emulate that in your aesthetic and keep up with the latest website marketing trends.
What's more alarming is when a user logs onto a website that isn't mobile-friendly. A study conducted by Kinsta found that approximately 55% of all website traffic in the world comes from a mobile device. If a borrower is on the prowl to secure a new loan, they might conduct some of their lender prospectings via their mobile device. Suppose they can't read your body copy, easily click your CTAs, or automatically click on your phone number and get connected to a rep. In that case, they may pass on you as a lender (and question what era you are living in).
Pooh-pooh social media
Creating human experiences captivates customers and secures them as loyal customers for life. As much as you might like to ignore the excess chatter, it's hard to deny social media's role in consumer buying power.
Here's a great example of what Atlantic Coast Mortgage posted on their Instagram account:
It’s a succinct, less than 60-second video that shares Britt-Marie’s experience of working with a loan officer at Atlantic Coast Mortgage. Sharing content like a customer success story is one of the best ways to provide a human experience. Not everyone who is perusing your social accounts wants to know what your loan officers had for lunch. But, what they do want to know is the experience other people like them have had with your organization.
Bail on tech
Pinpointing the right tools can set in paralysis when there are so many options. How do you choose the right tools when on a budget? How do you assure your team has the best technology at their disposal so you can retain top talent? And, with so many choices, how do you make a decision?
One of the easiest ways to secure your mortgage leads is to keep tabs on your current list of prospects and past customers.
If you aren't sure how an automated borrower retention system works, here is a quick rundown of a proven solution. For instance, Sales Boomerang scours mortgage lenders' customer databases for missed loan opportunities. By collating and analyzing numerous sources of borrower intelligence — including credit history, property listings, consumer debt load, loan payment history, accumulated home equity, and major life events — Sales Boomerang helps lenders identify precisely when a past customer is ready for a loan again. In many cases, Sales Boomerang identifies opportunities before the borrower is even aware they are a candidate for a loan and before they have a chance to shop with a competitor.
Turn a blind eye to Referral Partners
Did you know that two-thirds of homebuyers work with a Realtor to select their lender? And, to add to that, they typically send that business to one single lender?
There are several ways you can ensure this business by working closely with your referral partners. Here's how you can start:
- Analyze your current relationship (if any) that you have with your realtors.
- Share costs. Marketing isn't cheap. Working in tandem to ensure that the quality of leads will guarantee both parties are putting their best foot forward.
- Keep up-to-date databases so you both can have access to real-time info.
Think Cold Calling is Your Best Friend
Out of every call you make, how many people answer? Today, individuals can block unknown numbers, so the call goes directly to voicemail. How do you expect to reach someone you've never spoken to if that's the case?
A study from Kenan-Flagler Business School found that "cold calling has only a 2.5 percent success rate."
This is one of the biggest mortgage lead generation mistakes you can make that will cost you money and time. We recommend calling with intention. Leave a voicemail with relevant news to that borrower and their situation. Chances are, they will want to call you back to learn more.
Overpay for Leads
It can be tempting to pay for a hot lead. While the cost of a lead varies (for example, exclusive leads cost more), Fast Company estimates that lenders spend an average of $350 to $750 per purchased lead, a figure that's been corroborated by online lender Sofi. Advisory services firm Richey May clocked the per-lead cost at a heftier $800 to $1,200 per loan.
Meanwhile, investing in an automated borrower retention system will cost approximately $299 per borrower. It goes without saying; if you're focusing all of your attention on net new, not only are you making your job more difficult, but you are also losing easy business.
Shy Away From Email Marketing
When you can't get a prospect on the phone, you can test plenty of other avenues when trying to find traction. Emails are one medium that you'll want to dip your toes into. It doesn't matter if this person is looking for a loan today or just completed a transaction. You'll want to stay on your borrower's radar.
Psst. We'll even let you in on a secret. All marketing does not have to involve a hard sale. Education is one of the most powerful tools you can armor your borrowers with to gain clarity on their options in the future.
For instance, try sending a monthly newsletter that gives borrowers tips on how to help lower their payments, home improvement trends, or design tips and tricks that will be sure to increase resale value.
Fail to Embrace Local Community
A new park is opening in your county. Do you go? How about a new grocery store? Chances are, many families in your community might be there. Go where the locals go. It's another excellent way to stay at the forefront of the borrower's mind. It will show that you are local and involved, but it will establish you and your company as someone who takes pride in their community. It's one of the best ways to generate business and community referrals.
Don’t Invest in retargeting ads
It's easy to start going down a rabbit hole when starting a Google Search. Something that should have taken minutes has now turned into a two-hour saga. If someone takes note of your company, you'll want to make sure they remember your name. Although costly, there is nothing like brand recognition to help drive customers back to your website.
Like anything, when creating a campaign, start by establishing goals. You can launch a targeted campaign via email marketing, Google/Facebook/Instagram ads, etc. Make sure to track your progress to see the underlining value of these ads and determine whether or not you want to expand them.
Poof, mortgage lead gen mistakes are gone.
Trust us; it's not as overwhelming as it may sound. As you try and strategize a plan of attack, make sure you are implementing some of these steps. Add a few more of these techniques once you get into the swing of things. If you solely rely on cold calling for all of your mortgage lead generation, you'll likely get smoked by a competitor.