15 Jan My 3 Step Strategy To Generating Mortgage Leads Organically (Never Pay for a Lead Again)
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As a mortgage broker or lending officer you know all too well that getting leads can be the toughest part of your business. There are several different methods to choose from, and while buying leads can be tempting, it’s almost never a good long-term solution. Generating leads organically is the most reliable way to guide your business into a continual cycle of referrals that keeps you going over the long haul.
The question then becomes, how do you consistently generate organic leads? It takes more effort initially than buying leads, but has more staying power and will bring you higher quality clients with better conversion rates. Follow these straight-forward guidelines for a sustainable referral model and watch your mortgage business grow.
Identify the target market. Narrow it down as specifically as possible so that your marketing is optimized to your niche. Maybe you prefer to work in the corporate realm, or you feel more comfortable with realtors working in the consumer market. Are you looking for customers across the country or do you prefer to stay local? Investment properties, refinances, first-time home buyers, all of these are possible targets based upon your area of interest and experience.
If you need help to identify your target market, use MortgageStats to research things like areas with strong or growing home sales numbers, statistics on the cities with the highest lending volume, and other real estate-related facts that will help you increase your ROI.
Knowing your target market is just the beginning. Now you’ve got to find the most effective way to connect with them. Say you’re interested in marketing jumbo loans to high-end clients. Target your mailers to upscale neighborhoods within your territory. Focusing only on your target niche will help you conserve marketing dollars and put your name out there directly to the people who might need your services.
One of the best ways to connect with your target audience is to network with realtors. Take advantage of open meetings and other events where you can bring your existence – and your services – to their attention and create a mutually beneficial referral relationship. Perhaps bring in snacks or a treat to make your visit memorable, and don’t forget to leave your business card wherever your visit.
Another fruitful source of leads may be prominent companies in your community. Large corporations frequently facilitate moves for employees, and doing so requires them to maintain connections with locals who can provide moving-related services. Get in touch with the department that manages employee relocation and put your name in their ear. You can also make connections through groups like the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and BNI (Business Network International). These organizations bring local business people together, which can be a huge boon to your networking efforts.
The third step is really made up of several components that work together to manage and sustain your lead generation machine. Each element is just as important as the other, and while today’s world of multi-faceted online marketing can seem overwhelming, once you have a system and a routine in place these tasks will fall into your daily schedule with ease.
Firstly, choose a marketing automation platform. There are a multitude from which to choose from. What does a marketing automation platform do for your mortgage business? It automates your email blasts, keeps track of your best leads, and organizes all of your online marketing communications. These programs can be one of the most effective tools in your marketing bag of tricks because they allow to reach a large number of people – including previous clients – with very little work.
Social media is just as crucial as email in this instant electronic culture – programs like Hootsuite allow you to easily schedule posts across multiple social media sites so that you don’t have to spend half your day trying to make sure you’re covering all your bases.
While you will still have to respond in real-time to commenters and return emails as they come in, automation programs allow you to post your blogs and social media content automatically, and then notify you when leads take action so that you can reply immediately. This gives you an advantage over the competition because you’re right there at the ready when someone shows interest in your services.
Finally, you need to optimize all of this technology that’s right at your fingertips by using inbound marketing to bring leads to you. While outbound marketing, such as mailers and cold calls, is certainly still relevant in today’s mortgage industry, thanks to the Internet, inbound marketing has become just as critical to success. It allows you to keep up with potential clients where they spend a large portion of their time and can, in fact, save you considerable effort by drawing them in organically via online searches.
Bonus! Step 4-Inbound Marketing
One major step you can take to maximize your website’s inbound marketing potential is to create customized landing pages for all of the cities in your area. Utilizing industry keywords, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and focus your landing pages on the way in which they would be searching for your services. For example, the mainstay of your pages will be a description of exactly what you provide, with individual pages naturally populated with area-specific terms, such as “jumbo loan mortgage brokers in Chicago”.
In addition, you need to offer value to your readers and prospective customers. Don’t make your entire website one big advertisement. Offer industry-related advice such as “How to Find a Good Home Appraiser” and other targeted material that will build trust between you and your community. Invite previous clients to write reviews on your website, and offer unique incentives for referrals (making sure that you comply with local and state laws and regulations).
Organic lead generation is the best bet for a solid, sustainable referral model. Buying leads may give you short-term results but it also puts you in a vicious cycle of having to continue to buy them, with unpredictable quality and outcomes. Build your online presence by keeping up regular, value-filled contact with past, current, and prospective clients, and use creativity and outside-the-box thinking to craft a professional network that serves all parties through mutual cooperation. Using authentic, ethical methods you will soon find you’re much too busy to even think about having to buy leads anymore.
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