Have you ever received an internet lead, and after talking to the lead for the first time recognized them as a perfect borrower, only to have them ghost you after your first conversation?
Come on, you know what I’m talking about.
The lead that you get on the phone, or engage via text, and when you ask about their present circumstances you get a detailed response about their 720+ credit score, their 5% down payment (that they think is not enough), and their debt to income ratio that even with the house payment they’re looking for will likely be under 35%.
This is so rare, and so many people are delusional about the reality of buying a home that you just want to take them by the hand and scream from the rooftops, “YOU ARE A PERFECT FIT TO BUY A HOME!”
What’s funny is, this is exactly what most loan officers do.
Well, okay, not exactly.
Most loan officers will say something along the lines of, “Wow, you’ve done a great job of preparing! You’re EASILY approvable for a home loan. In fact, you should see some of the crazy loans I do on a regular basis. Blah blah blah..”
You know what the internet lead is thinking at this point?
“Great, thank you, stranger. You just told me exactly what I needed to know to have the confidence to go ask my friends/my realtor for their recommended loan officer’s contact info.”
And more often than not, you’ll never hear from them again.
One of the most important things to remember about mortgage leads, is that nobody goes online to find a mortgage loan officer to talk to anymore.
No, people are conditioned to receiving instant answers from internet resources, so when they go online they’re looking for answers to their questions. This is best case scenario, assuming you’re receiving leads from search advertising. If you’re getting your leads from Facebook, you’ve got bigger problems, but this lesson still applies.
Your job as a loan officer is to position yourself as a resource and the solution to their problems/answer to their questions, and build enough rapport that they end up staying with you.
One of the ways that we can do this, is by being what I like to call, a “financial dentist”.
Growing up, I didn’t go to the dentist very often. In fact, the first time I can remember going to the dentist was when I was about 11 years old. When I went, I was shocked by what the dentist had to say:
“I’m surprised by how great your teeth look! No cavities, really strong roots, you must have some great teeth in your family!”
Because he told me that, despite him recommending I come in twice a year for a deep cleaning/exam, I never really felt the need to make going to the dentist a priority.
Honestly, I think the next time I went to the dentist was the first time I had dental insurance as an adult, at 19.
I went to a completely different dentist, and they told me something very similar. I needed to floss more, and would benefit from a cleaning twice a year, but my teeth looked great and I didn’t have any cavities.
At this point, my insurance covered the exams so I continued to go twice a year, but I went to different dentists depending on what was more convenient. I had a dentist by my office, by my house, and I even went to one in a different state when I was out of town visiting family because why not? My teeth cleaning felt the same no matter where I went, why not make it as convenient as possible?
One day, that all changed.
When we moved to Idaho, I went and saw a new dentist.
That dentist told me that I had multiple teeth that were developing cavities, that I could benefit from a filling or two, and definitely needed to floss more and come back twice a year if not more often to keep them from getting worse.
Guess what? I haven’t seen another dentist in 4 years.
Why? Because I don’t want another dentist to tell me how jacked up my teeth are, that shit’s uncomfortable!
She wasn’t mean, she wasn’t condescending, but she highlighted what I needed to do to get better in such a way that I naturally didn’t want to hear it from anybody else.
So the point of that story, and the point of this whole blog post, is that you’ve got to be like that dentist. Don’t be deceptive, and don’t be an asshole, but don’t think that you’re doing anyone any favors by telling them they’re the best borrower in the world.
Try something like this:
“You’ve done pretty well at preparing yourself to buy a home. Your down payment of 5% is a little light, and will likely impact your rate assuming you’re approved. Same with your credit score, a 720 is good, but the best pricing is reserved usually for 740 or higher, again, assuming you’re approved. I don’t see any glaring red flags, but I’d definitely recommend doing a full prequalification ASAP to make sure there’s nothing that would keep you from getting approved.”
I haven’t tried to mislead the customer, but I also haven’t taken it upon myself to tell them how many loan officers pray every day for a client as qualified as they are.
The next time you get a lead comes in that’s A-Paper, give this strategy a shot. We are reviewing conversations of our loan officers every day to help them get the best ROI on their lead generation efforts. I’m telling you from experience, and from the experience of dozens of other LOs, use this, and you’ll lock down those elusive high-value borrowers.
If you’re interested in seeing how we can help you take your mortgage lead generation and conversion to the next level, book yourself a live demo.
As always, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you at the top.