Mortgage Leads – Part 1: Building the Foundation for Conversion
Consistently generating enough mortgage leads every month to keep a pipeline full is one of the most difficult aspects of the mortgage industry for loan officers. The reality of the matter is that the vast majority of LOs would tell you they have capacity to work MANY more leads than they are getting.
The most stable way to get consistent quality leads is with traditional word-of-mouth referral marketing. LOs develop relationships with real estate agents, business professionals, and former clients in order to have a steady stream of mortgage leads coming your way. That is the dream funnel of career originators.
If there is a problem with this strategy it is that it takes a long time to develop those relationships. It is also incredibly difficult to win over a referral partner that already has other preferred relationships. To bolster the stream of incoming mortgage leads while working those traditional relationships, loan officers have to employ other modern digital strategies (or spend lots of money purchasing stale lists from potentially unscrupulous sources).
There is a natural order of operations when it comes to digital marketing practices. Before you start to drive traffic towards your website, you have to spend the time making sure your site is ready to do something with those potential prospects. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting energy as your hard won traffic exits your site without taking any action.
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 – which we’ll cover in the next post in this series.
There is a ton of competition in the mortgage industry for LOs. 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. Is there a loan program in your area that you could become the authority on?
For example, there is a downpayment assistance grant program called Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus right here in Floify’s Colorado backyard. There is very little high quality content or commentary on this program. When someone interested tries to find out more, they will likely end up gravitating towards the mortgage broker in the area that took the time to write in-depth about the program. We know we did.
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 and obvious calls-to-action
- Reduce friction
Trim the clutter
The concept of trimming the clutter is quite self-explanatory. 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.
Clear and obvious calls-to-action
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.
Reducing the friction of your CTAs is vital to achieving the desired result – mortgage leads in your pipeline. Friction is anything that makes it difficult or slows down the process of completing your desired actions. 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 the long form 1003 loan application.
If a prospect that you have no relationship with is presented with a full 1003 to complete, the odds of them actually submitting that information to you will plummet. 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. Now that the base is solid, it’s time to take actions that increase the visibility and traffic to your site.