Ask any loan officer what the most difficult aspect of the mortgage industry is for them and I bet 9 out of 10 will say, “Consistently generating enough mortgage leads every month to keep my pipeline full.”
Well, guess what? It doesn’t have to be this way.
First of all, the most stable way to get consistent high-quality leads is through traditional word-of-mouth referral marketing. LOs and brokers must develop relationships with real estate agents, business professionals, and former clients in order to have a steady stream of mortgage leads coming their way. This is any LO’s dream scenario!
However, there is one small problem with this strategy…it takes a forever to develop those relationships.
It is also incredibly difficult to win over a referral partner that already has other preferred relationships. So how do you quickly augment that gap with a healthy stream of leads, while working those traditional relationships WITHOUT spending your life savings on low quality and low return lead lists?
You build your own personal lead generation machine. Keep reading to learn how.
Build Authority and Trust with Expert-Level Content
The absolute key to making your website a high quality leads generator is to establish yourself as an authority. This helps to build trust with potential prospects. If done well, this is also one way to drive organic traffic to your site.
There is a ton of competition in the mortgage industry for leads. The best way to establish authority is to select a niche and develop content that demonstrates your expertise. You don’t have to focus only on that line of business, but well-developed niche content will become your lead magnet.
If you have great content that demonstrates your expertise, it builds authority and trust. That is the first step in developing a relationship with website visitors. Don’t be afraid to venture outside of written content. Having a mix of text, video, and infographics helps to please a broader audience with the type of content they like to consume.
Optimizing Your Site to Capture Mortgage Leads
Now that you’re establishing your expertise with high-quality content, optimize your site to make it easy for visitors to complete an action that gets them into your pipeline for follow-up. There are a few basic principles to follow in order to set yourself up for more success in converting traffic to mortgage leads:
- Trim the Clutter
- Clear Call-to-Action
- Easy Navigation
Trim the clutter
The concept of trimming, or altogether eliminating, the clutter is very important. Your site should:
- Be easily scannable
- Not have busy movements
- Not have competing calls-to-action on a single page
Every page should have a purpose and that purpose should be respected. Research has proven that you have a very small window of opportunity (a few seconds) to “not lose” the attention of a new visitor.
If your site inundates someone with disconnected and seemingly random information, they will exit. If your site loads too slowly, people will exit before even seeing the homepage.
Make sure a new visitor can clearly understand who you are and what you do within a couple of seconds of landing on your website.
A call-to-action (CTA) is simply something that prompts your visitors to take action. It can be as simple as a line of text, button, form, or otherwise. To bolster the effectiveness of your CTAs, make sure they clearly describe what the action is that someone will be taking. This will eliminate the fear of what’s to come that causes people to leave.
CTAs should be highly visible. Particularly on your homepage, you want your primary CTA to be “above the fold”. This means that a visitor does not need to scroll down the page in order to see the CTA and take the desired action. Don’t let your CTAs get lost by choosing colors, sizes, and placements that are truly unavoidable to the eye.
Make it East to Move Forward
Providing a clear specific path to your CTAs is vital to achieving the desired result – mortgage leads in your pipeline. Make completing your actions as short and quick as possible for prospects so they have less reason to exit.
The best example of this is a long form loan application.
If a prospect that you have no relationship with is presented with a full application to complete, the odds of them actually submitting that information to you will plummet. This of it in terms of dating. You wouldn’t just walk up to someone and ask them to marry you, right? No (hopefully), you would date them and learn more about that individual.
Ask as few questions as you possibly can to get the person in your pipeline. Once they’re in your pipeline, follow-up to gather the rest of their info.
If you’ve integrated these principles into your website, you’ve got the beginnings of an engine to generate mortgage leads.
Okay, now its time to drive Highly Qualified traffic to your site. And I’m going to show you exactly how. Keep reading.
Generating Organic Traffic
The following channels will show you the best results with the lowest outlay. In most cases, the only cost is your time.
As marketers say, “content is king”. Utilizing niche content that is of high-value to your potential customers to establish authority and build trust is key here. That content acts as a magnet for you in search engines. You’ll also want to share it on social media to generate traffic.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of enabling search engines, like Google or Bing, to know exactly what your content is about so that it can be appropriately delivered to individuals who are seeking related content. Traffic may be your end goal, but for Google, etc., their goal is to help people find the best content for the topic they’re looking for.
The intersection of those two goals is where your content needs to live. Provide value on the subjects your potential prospects are interested in, then optimize it so prospects can find it in search engines. SEO can be intimidating, but by nailing a few of the on-page basics you should be able to position your content to rank well in search results.
If you don’t know where to start, here’s a good article on some basic SEO by the folks at Moz.
This is most likely the easiest recommendation to implement if you haven’t already. Make sure you’re listed on relevant local directories and that your profile has accurate information.
If you don’t have a Google My Business account yet, sign up for one ASAP. Not only is it free, but it allows the listing of your business in Google Maps. Your business will also show up in local search results. Furthermore, it allows you to collect unbiased reviews that build credibility.
Other local listing sites to consider include Zillow, Yelp!, AngiesList, and any hyper-local listings in your community.
Website Local SEO
Another low-hanging-fruit recommendation is to ensure that your website’s metadata is appropriately set up for local search. Every website has a title and description that display in search results. Dial yours into leverage keywords appropriate in your local market.
In a recent Bright Local survey, 90% of consumers reported that they “regularly” or “occasionally” read online reviews for local businesses. The ease at which business experiences are shared now has taken the concept of social proof, expanding it ten-fold to become “reputation marketing”.
Positive reviews are important to winning the 2-second battle for attention in search results, as well as via review-centric services like Yelp!. Having a review “star rating” of 4 or 5 stars is proven to be associated with trust, whereas people will skip over your website if it has 3 stars or below. How often do you eat at a poorly reviewed restaurant?
After a successful closing with a satisfied customer, ask them to share their experience with you by writing a review. Remove the friction and make it as easy as possible by sending them the direct link to write the review. Have a plan, and rotate the services in which reviews are being posted (Google, Zillow, Yelp!, Facebook).
Pro Tip: To generate even more reviews, consider rewarding reviewers with a discount or other incentive.
72% of all adult internet users are either on Facebook or Instagram, and they are spending more and more time on the platform than ever. Let’s also not discount platforms such as TikTok, Twitter and others out there that are increasingly growing and in my opinion will surpass Facebook at some point.
Social media is an interconnected network of social circles. Each person has their “friends” or “connections” in a closely-knit network. Many times, these people are connected to their own special network. This phenomenon creates a powerful opportunity for word-of-mouth marketing via your satisfied clients and their circles.
To be effective when using social media, you have to have a strategy and execute it consistently and repeatedly. Velocity is a major key to social media, so you need to post often.
In your social media posts, you can include links to your content, re-post the content of your partners (or people you’d like to be partners with), post pictures of your clients’ successful closings (make sure to tag them), or record and post short videos of yourself explaining something current and topical. The branding and networking opportunities are endless.
Facebook has become the social media network of record for B2C prospecting. However, it’s important to remember that people don’t go to Facebook to have boring ad-type content thrown in their face. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a more serious network based on professional relationships. Often, this network offers opportunities for niche marketing to professional groups in your area as well.
One rule to remember: always provide value. If you’re looking to network within a LinkedIn group of local real estate agents, for example, add value in the form of content they’re typically interested in. Don’t come across as self-serving.
Analyze and Augment Regularly
Once you’ve put in place strategies that generate traffic from these channels, you’ll need to start measuring the effectiveness of your efforts. Google Analytics is the best free resource for understanding where your traffic comes from, and how people are interacting with your website and related content.
With this user-data in hand, you can double-down on activities that promote the channels that are driving the highest quality traffic to your business.
This is the golden rule of all relationship building strategies, whether customers or former clients.
Always, ALWAYS follow-up.
You may turn off some possible customers by being, in their opinion, overly ambitious, but the payoff with everyone else will make the effort worth it. If a small handful of the potential customers you follow-up with begin to convert or just turn into one extra closing per month, you will be greatly increasing your production.
I hope you found this article helpful and worth the read. If you would like to learn more about any of the above topics, please feel free to reach out. I offer complimentary and confidential marketing and lead generation reviews and would love to show you how you could potentially be increasing the amount of quality leads in your market.
Are you ready to get exclusive mortgage leads in Buffalo, NY? Call us or schedule your appointment today!