Lead panic is real for loan officers. It’s the moment you realize the other LOs are eating your lunch because you forgot to “wine and dine” high-return clients.
Of course, you couldn’t wine and dine them because you never found them. You never found them because you never targeted them. You never targeted them because you may have a lousy lead system.
On the other hand, your MLO peers are logging closing after closing. Can you still get a seat at the table? Indeed!
Let’s talk about playing catch-up with quality leads.
Meet the Qualified Mortgage Lead
Let’s start with a quick study in qualified mortgage leads. A lead isn’t anyone you can get to look up.
Here’s what it takes:
- Ability: Good job, salary and credit. The sweet spot where it’s worth your time is a 620+ credit score with a solid DTI. This person rarely has issues with prequalification. They are ready with a down payment and closing costs without gymnastics.
- Need: It’s not just about finding “Joe Prepared” with qualified leads. You also need “Joe Looking.” Find the urgency. First-time buyers racing against the lease clock are ideal. There’s a big net to cast with current owners fishing around for mortgage tricks because they need to lower monthly payments, fund a remodel or do a HELOC situation. Don’t sleep on professionals with job relocations. This last group often brings urgency with the security of employer-sponsored relocation compensation.
- Vision: All they need now is a “mortgage sensei” to guide them on the journey. Your value is that you can design a plan. Demonstrate that you can build a strategy for a first mortgage, refinance or equity tap.
- Urgency: a quality lead has moved past “debating” to “doing.” Weed out debaters to provide solutions instead of persuasions.
Most LOs don’t realize how much of the work is already done for them because they don’t have a way to break in at the right point of the cycle. Your perfect lead is already convinced. You just need to put the systems in place.
Next, let’s talk about how to increase your flow of quality leads.
The Seven Questions to Ask If Your Mortgage Lead Flow is Weak
It’s time for a self-audit if your leads are lagging. Keep in mind that even LOs with decent organic leads may not be nurturing them properly. Take a look at seven questions that will bring clarity on what’s missing.
1. How’s My Social Proof?
80 percent of customers read online reviews first. That includes nearly 100 percent of people between the ages 18 to 54. It’s a big problem if your clout bank is bare.
It’s so easy to ask past clients for reviews or testimonials. Honestly, most are eager to give positive reviews because this validates their choices.
Meanwhile, this social proof creates trust you can’t buy between you and future clients. It’s a beautiful cycle that ultimately creates your reputation.
2. Am I Utilizing Referrals?
Your past clients already want to reinforce the idea that they made a good decision. Incentivize it. Referral perks work because we already ask friends and family for advice. You motivate your referring clients to pass your name along by offering incentives with the added perk of reinforcing their own good choices.
Build an easy referral system with regular reminders on websites and social media.
To avoid building a monster you can’t manage, hire out an automated referral system if this turns into a volume-generating machine.
3. How Long Would It Take Locals to Name a Loan Officer in Town?
Be the local mortgage pro that people know from “everything else.” That means sponsoring local events, hosting workshops, buying the advertising spot on the downtown bench or getting your name on the local league’s jerseys.
If you’re consistent with this, you’ll become the resident LO to the point that people can’t actually forget you any more than they can forget the name of the grocery store in town.
4. Is My Blog Doing My Dirty Work for Me?
This next stat will make you want to fire up that blog you never touch. Businesses with blogs generate at least 67 percent more leads than companies that go dark online.
Burning bright online is this simple:
- Create quality content in your niche. Answer the questions your leads ask.
- Have a system for catching blog visitors. These are warm leads almost 100 percent of the time.
- Don’t make more work for yourself by stopping there. Qualify them with qualifying questions that shuttle them to your sales funnel.
- Build out the right questions to separate the qualified from unqualified. These aren’t necessarily “financing” questions. Ask about moves, house shopping and refinancing goals without making it feel like an application. They should feel like they’re being set up for help instead of a sale.
- Don’t have time to write? Outsource this. Just make sure the end product reflects your voice and values.
5. Am I Building a Support System?
The “island system” doesn’t work in the mortgage world. No MLO is an island.
LOs with heavy qualified leads piggyback on systems developed by lead consulting firms. These companies bring the tech that drives traffic to their funnels. That’s exactly why your peers make it look so easy as they’re eating your lunch.
Sloppy lead generation with generic programs don’t work. It can actually cost LOs money by wasting their time. Syncing up with consultants specializing in mortgage lead generation positions you to catch first-time borrowers, HELOC customers, and refinancing customers.
6. Do Local Agents Know My Name?
While agents know they need you, they may not know you exist. Realtors are seeking your pre-qualified clients. It’s good to be on the tips of agent’s tongues. It’s even better to sidle up to agents doing at least 15 to 20 closings per year. They are just the bulldogs you need. They are closers!
Keep score with this. Make sure they are giving you at least one quality lead for every pre-qualified client you give them.
7. Am I Getting to My Leads in 5 minutes or less?
Have you done the math on the time you’re sinking into leads? Just be warned that the numbers are going to hurt once you see where your time is being eaten up.
What’s worse? Spending endless hours finding high quality leads but knowing you’re losing some because you couldn’t respond to all of them within 5 minutes!
If you’re like most LOs working more than 75 Internet leads a month yourself, you’re actually robbing time from generating more successful leads. Sifting through all those leads to find the 1 to 4 percent that meet your standards leaves you no time to do anything about the first 6 questions.
An ISA service buys you extra hours each week with better results than your manual lead follow-up. Having a team of appointment setters working for you brings peace of mind! It means your mortgage leads aren’t falling through the cracks during the busiest weeks at your office or during those family vacations.
The Missing Piece for Qualified Mortgage Leads
Did the seven-question audit reveal your weak link? Fixing this can be simple with Empower LO.
We have built the most LO-friendly plug-and-play marketing platform for loan officers in the industry today. LOs are using Empower to save time, find leads that are actively searching for home buying answers, and take the bumps out of conversions.
Reach out today to discuss how Empower LO can help you start generating quality mortgage leads that will fill your sales funnel for years to come.
We’ll see you at the top,
The Empower Team