Online lead generation is now a critical component of a loan officer’s pipeline. When a potential prospect finds your local business listing, website, Zillow/Trulia profile, social media profile, etc., and decide to apply for a loan with you, you’re going to want to have an online 1003 application that makes it easy to capture their information. With borrower demographics slanting towards a younger profile with each passing day, borrowers are expecting to be able to transact with you in this way if they so choose.
1003 application as a lead generation tool
We just referenced four different online marketing avenues in the paragraph above. Four! And that’s not all there are or will be. As the industry becomes more digital, this will continue to be the trend.
Whether your potential prospect finds your mortgage website through a local business search on google, your social media marketing, or your Zillow profile, you still need a way to capture their information so you can follow up on the lead. The cleanest way to do this would be to embed an online 1003 application into your website, or use a contact form.
The downside of a contact form is that it adds friction to the mortgage process. Now your prospect has to wait to hear back from your office and this has added an unnecessary step that they may be averse to taking. By integrating mortgage application software into your site, you can use a short-form or full 1003 application to begin gathering the prospect’s information, while also checking off an important stepping stone in the mortgage process.
We’ve found that a short-form works best to reduce friction, as it gathers just enough information to create a useful lead to follow-up on. From there, you can transition your customer to completing the full 1003. Loan officers seem to be divided on this subject, as some that we’ve spoken to have said that would only use the full 1003. The mortgage application software you use should give you the flexibility to choose your individual preference (or change the form should your preference change).
Key features to look for in your mortgage application software
As with any new system or tool you’re looking to integrate into your business, there should be at least a few key features that you examine to make sure the software is a fit. When it comes to mortgage application software, you need a 1003 application that prospects will actually complete, and will elevate your profile as a lender.
Ease of use
Integration with existing systems
A potential prospect has visited your website, and completed the 1003 application. Now what? Where does that 1003 application go?
Some mortgage application software will deliver you an email notification with a pdf attachment, others may integrate with your CRM and create a new contact. This is an important feature to be aware of, because you’ll need to take action on prospects very quickly, and therefore need to know where the 1003 application ends up.
When lenders utilize Floify and our custom 1003 application, no matter what fields are completed by a prospect, once it is submitted from your website it is delivered into a “Prospects” area of the software to be followed up on. One of the most critical features of Floify’s online 1003 is that once it is complete and accepted, it will convert into a Fannie Mae 3.2 data file that can be uploaded into a loan officer’s LOS. This is a dynamic end-to-end feature.
Do aesthetics matter? Data has shown that you have less than 2 seconds to make an impression that will either gain or lose a visitor to your website. If it doesn’t load fast enough or looks outdated, people are likely to leave and go somewhere else.
As we’ve seen with the successes of online lenders like Quicken Loans, or digitally inclined companies like Guaranteed Rate, more and more borrowers want and expect to transact and communicate online. As loan officers take to marketing themselves digitally, the best and most consistent way to capture leads remains an online 1003 application.