- Mortgage brokers and loan officers often have to generate their own leads.
- You have many options when it comes to lead-generation strategies.
- The best-case scenario is to use more than one strategy.
- This article explores seven strategies for generating mortgage leads online.
- It covers social media, email marketing, blogging and more.
I probably don’t need to tell you the importance of lead generation, when it comes to maintaining your pipeline and growing your business. You know this already, and it’s probably what brought you here in the first place. So let’s skip the “why” and get straight to the “how.”
In this article, we will explore some of the strategies you can use to generate mortgage leads online. And while the channels and methods may vary, the overriding concept is the same. In all cases, you are demonstrating your mortgage expertise and educating people about their loan options.
7 Techniques for Generating Mortgage Leads Online
Most of the strategies on this list have one thing in common. They give you a way to demonstrate your mortgage industry knowledge and expertise to a specific audience, in order to generate inquiries and leads.
For example, blogging allows you to publish high-quality content geared toward a specific audience. A mortgage broker or loan officer in San Diego, for example, could use his or her blog to provide updates on local real estate market conditions, interest rates, the home buying process, and other topics specific to that audience.
This is one of the best ways for mortgage brokers and loan officers to generate leads, because it allows you to establish a level of trust with your intended audience. And trust is one of the things you need to turn prospects into clients.
You can do the same thing through social media, YouTube videos, email newsletters, and other communication channels. In all cases, you are generating mortgage leads by offering a solution to people’s financing needs, or an answer to their questions.
So without further ado, let’s explore some of these proven lead-generation strategies.
1. Social Media
Social media platforms commonly used by mortgage brokers and loan officers include: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and (to a lesser extent) YouTube. All of these platforms enable you to connect with a potentially large audience at little to no cost. And I know from experience they can also be used to generate mortgage leads online, with the right approach.
So what is the right approach?
For one thing, you have to adopt the proper mindset when using social media. Heavy-handed marketing tactics typically don’t work well on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Instead, you should view it as a place to share helpful information, start a conversation, and join ongoing discussions.
For example, you could use Twitter to provide real-time updates about mortgage rate trends and real estate market conditions in the areas you serve. What does this do? For one thing, it gives people a good reason to follow you on Twitter. After all, you’re essentially providing a kind of information service relevant to your target audience.
This approach can also help you generate mortgage leads from potential clients, in the form of discussion and interaction. Every time you create a Twitter post relating to real estate or mortgage topics, people have the opportunity to leave comments, questions or feedback. This gives you an opportunity to interact with people, by sharing even more of your insight.
When it comes to social media, you get out of it what you put into it. If you work hard to create and share useful information geared toward your target audience, they’ll be more inclined to give you their full attention. And this kind of attention can lead to action.
Here are some things you can share on social media sites:
- Mortgage rate updates and forecasts
- Information about specific loan products or programs
- Local real estate market reports, updates and trends
- Customer success stories
- Video explainers related to any of the above
- Infographics related to any of the above
- Your latest blog post that offers helpful information
2. Mortgage Directories, Marketplaces and Referral Sites
Mortgage brokers and loan officers can also generate valuable leads through online directories and mortgage marketplaces, such as Zillow, Realtor.com and LendingTree.
These and similar sites compile information about mortgage companies and present it to people who are seeking a lender in their area. In doing so, they provide a centralized location where home buyers and homeowners can search for and compare mortgage companies.
And while I’m not a huge fan of this strategy, it does offer one more channel through which you can generate mortgage leads online.
If you do participate in one of these online directories or referral sites, I encourage you to do it as part of a broader marketing strategy. You’ll be better off in the long run if you develop other channels as well, including the ones listed in this article.
If you rely exclusively on a service like LendingTree or Zillow to provide mortgage leads, you’re creating a kind of “dependency” situation. You will always depend on those sites to deliver leads, instead of generating your own leads organically. And that’s not a great position to be in, from a business standpoint.
You also want to pay close attention to your reviews on these websites. Ideally, you will generate mostly positive reviews, just by working hard to serve your clients. But once in a while, a negative review might pop up. Be sure to address it promptly and professionally. And always take the high road when responding to such reviews.
3. Blogging and Content Marketing
When it comes to generating mortgage leads, I’m a big fan of blogging and other content marketing strategies. Blogging offers specific benefits you just can’t find from traditional marketing methods. It allows you to create your own lead generation channel, directly through your mortgage company website.
The idea here is to create useful and helpful content geared toward your target audience, and to publish it on a regular basis. Blogging programs like WordPress simplify the process by handling all of the technical stuff for you.
Let’s assume I specialize in VA loans within the state of California. In this scenario, I could use my mortgage blog to publish all kinds of helpful articles about VA loans, geared toward home buyers in California.
I could talk about qualification requirements, the loan process, borrowing limits, and similar subjects. I could round out my educational offering by publishing real estate market reports for major cities across the state.
This does several things:
First of all, it allows me to show up in relevant Google searches conducted by my target audience. So it helps me attract potential clients to my website. It also positions me as an expert in this particular niche. As a result, blogging can help me generate mortgage leads, gain new clients, and sustain my business.
To recap, blogging can help you generate mortgage leads in several ways:
- It helps you increase your search engine visibility and website traffic.
- It helps you connect with a specific audience researching a specific topic.
- It allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise on mortgage matters.
- It gives you a way to educate your audience, which in turn builds trust.
- It gives you more content to repurpose for social media and other channels.
- It gives you more content to share through your social media channels.
You can achieve even better results by combining a mortgage blogging strategy with basic SEO techniques, as explained below…
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is a long-term strategy for generating mortgage leads online. And it goes hand-in-hand with the blogging and content marketing strategies mentioned above.
Using SEO, you can improve your mortgage website’s rankings and visibility within search engines like Google. This can provide long-lasting benefits in terms of attracting clients, generating leads, and growing your business.
For the most part, search engine optimization comes down to three things:
- Creating website content that matches the searches conducted by your target audience.
- Creating a well-organized website to help people and search engines find that content.
- Attracting and earning “backlinks” from other websites to your website.
There are many benefits to using SEO when it comes to generating mortgage leads. For one thing, it’s a scalable strategy you can expand over time, just by publishing content on a regular basis.
For instance, you could create a list of keyword topics related to your target audience, and create informative blog posts about each one of them. This will increase the chance that your mortgage website appears in search engines when someone searches for those particular keywords and topics. Repeating this process over time could steadily increase your traffic and exposure.
5. Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising
A lot of mortgage brokers and loan officers use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to generate mortgage leads online. This can be an effective strategy in the short term, because it allows you to appear in relevant search results within hours of launching a campaign.
While search engine optimization is a long-term strategy for increasing visibility and traffic, PPC can deliver results overnight. If SEO is a long-distance jog, PPC is more a sprint.
It’s called “pay-per-click” because you only pay for your ads when somebody clicks on them. In other words, you’ll only pay when someone clicks through the search engine and lands on your website. To get the most out of this strategy, you’ll want to create compelling landing pages that expand on the text contained within the ad.
But you really have to know what you’re doing when using pay-per-click advertising. Otherwise, you could end up wasting a lot of money with no results or mortgage leads to show for it.
In the context of generating mortgage leads, PPC advertising can be fairly complex. So I’ll be dedicating a full article to that particular subject. For now, just know that this is another effective way to generate leads for your mortgage business — when used properly.
6. YouTube Videos
Over the past few years, a lot of mortgage brokers and loan officers have realized they can use YouTube to increase visibility and generate mortgage leads online.
Like other social media platforms, YouTube allows you to connect with a large audience at little or no cost. It has been estimated that YouTube has well over two billion active monthly users. A lot of those people are looking for “how to” content that helps them accomplish a specific task, like buying a home.
What does this mean to you, as a mortgage broker or loan officer? It means you could potentially generate a steady stream of leads by creating and sharing informative, mortgage-related videos through YouTube.
If you decide to explore this strategy, I encourage you to create “solution-oriented” videos geared toward your target audience. The goal here is to help a specific audience accomplish a specific goal, a recurring theme in this guide.
Make each individual video as useful and helpful as it can possibly be. That’s how you generate views and interaction on YouTube — not with slick production or fancy intro music. It’s the content that matters.
7. Email Marketing and Newsletters
Last, but certainly not least, we come to email marketing.
In this context, I’m talking about email newsletters relating to the mortgage industry. This is another great way to generate mortgage leads, and it offers some unique advantages when compared to other marketing methods.
When you deliver a newsletter, you have the undivided attention of each individual subscriber. How long you hold their attention will depend on the quality of the content. But the fact that you can communicate one-on-one puts email marketing in a class of its own, when it comes to mortgage lead generation.
The key to email newsletters is to provide useful and specific information that helps a specific audience accomplish a specific goal. Yes, I keep repeating that phrase. But with good reason! It’s one of the most important concepts you should take away from this article.
If you fill your newsletter with generic or “canned” content that’s not useful to your audience, you’ll have a harder time retaining subscribers. But if you turn your email newsletter into a valuable information service, you’ll have an easier time attracting and retaining subscribers. You’ll likely generate more leads as well.
Some popular topics to include in a mortgage newsletter:
- Mortgage rate trends and analysis
- Home price trends in the city or region you serve
- Real estate market trends in your target area
- Information about new mortgage products or programs
- Mortgage-related Q&A on popular topics
- Helpful tutorials on home buying, refinancing, and the mortgage process
You also want to make your content specific to a certain geographical area (unless you serve clients nationwide). Most mortgage brokers and loan officers focus on a specific city, metro area, region or state. If this applies to you, you’ll want to provide content that speaks to that particular audience.
This is true for social media and blogging as well. All of these techniques can generate mortgage leads online, when used effectively. But you have to tailor your message to your specific audience. And in many cases, that means providing local information.
It also helps to offer some kind of “freebie” to attract newsletter subscribers. For instance, you might offer a free e-book or report designed for your specific audience. You could then use a “thank-you” page to automate the delivery. When people subscribe to your newsletter, they get redirected to the thank-you page where they can download the free content.
More to follow: The purpose of this article is to introduce you to some of the different ways you can generate mortgage leads online, including their pros and cons. In future blog posts, I will be covering these individual marketing techniques in much more detail.