Mortgage originators face more competition than ever. As rates rise and refinances dry up, every broker and loan officer is going after purchase deals now.
If you want to grow your income, you’ll need to create a competitive advantage by giving millennials (the current crop of homebuyers) exactly what they want: A simple, streamlined, and painless mortgage buying experience.
There’s been a shift in the way people make buying decisions, especially when it comes to their home, the largest financial decision they’ll probably ever make. Buyers want lots of information to help them make their decision. They don’t just want the best interest rate (though that’s a big part of it). They want to understand what they’re getting themselves into.If you want to grow your income, you’ll need to give buyers what they want: A simple and painless mortgage experience. Click To Tweet
You undoubtedly come across potential buyers who aren’t quite ready yet. They’re interested, but they aren’t willing to take the plunge. You can satisfy their need for information and hang on to them so they don’t find another mortgage originator with lead nurturing.
If your potential clients aren’t ready to take out a mortgage, you shouldn’t neglect them and hope they come back when they’re ready. Instead, you should nurture them over time by delivering repeated value. This keeps them engaged with you so you’re the obvious choice when they grow ready to buy a home.
This practice is called lead nurturing. It’s a critical tool every mortgage originator should understand.
Most lead nurturing happens through email, though sometimes you may choose to call a potential buyer if you have an especially useful piece of information.
Like a lot of mortgage originators, you probably manage all of your lead nurturing by hand. This passive approach can work for a time, but it’s impossible when you have a large number of leads. It also takes a lot of time you could spend helping your customers or marketing your service.
Besides, what happens when you get busy ferrying customers through the mortgage process? You stop nurturing your leads and your pipeline of deals dries up.
Instead, you’ll want to create your own mortgage lead nurturing system that regularly engages your leads and steers them toward your service. Follow these seven steps.
According to Forrester Research, companies that use lead nurturing tools (also called marketing automation, or MA) generate 50% more sales (at a 33% reduced cost) than those that don’t. These kinds of tools make it easy and efficient to track and manage your leads throughout your sales cycle.
Simple customer relationship management (CRM) tools work fine, though many are just robust spreadsheets. They require you to plug in the details and move the piece. MA tools will deliver content, send follow-ups, and shift leads through your pipeline automatically based on the triggers you set up.
Here are some ways MA tools help mortgage originators:
It’s important to reply quickly to inquiries from new or existing leads. According to HubSpot, a lead response time within five minutes is 21 times more likely to convert a customer than leads that had to wait 30 minutes.
Automated replies don’t count here. It’s good to use an automated email to let leads know you’ll be in touch soon, but customers don’t consider that a response. Respond quickly, even if the lead admits they aren’t ready to buy.
Reach out the first time with a phone call. If the lead isn’t ready to dive into the process, move them into your lead nurturing system.
You may have a lead’s phone number, but that isn’t enough. Customers are far more likely to work with a business if they “touch” it often.
You’ll want to collect your leads’ email addresses to add them to your list, subscribe them to your blog feed, and ask them to connect with you on social media. This creates plenty of avenues to engage them.
Strive to offer value whenever you communicate with your leads, whether you send an email, post on social media, send a print mailer, or speak to them in person. Don’t call “just to check in” and see if they’re ready to take out that mortgage. That type of salesmanship is aggressive and off-putting. Your leads don’t want to be sold. They want value.
Lead nurturing content is not advertising. Don’t use hard sales tactics in your messaging, especially via email which is considered a highly personal medium.
Make your content about your recipients. Talk about their problems, their fears, and their goals. Buying a home is a complex, confusing process for many buyers, so there are plenty of problems you can solve with content.
Video content is more popular than ever. Consider putting together a simple video (perhaps with illustrations) that explains how you walk buyers through the mortgage process. Don’t forget to address common questions and concerns. Upload your video to YouTube and email a link to your subscribers.
Social media is another medium to deliver lead nurturing content to your prospective buyers. Encourage them to follow your profiles where you post valuable, informative content.
Here are a few more tips for delivering effective lead nurturing content:
A drip campaign is a pre-arranged series of emails designed to educate your leads and drive them toward an action. In your case, you’ll want to persuade your leads to meet with you for a formal conversation about taking out a mortgage.
Your emails should help walk your lead toward that decision in three ways:
For instance, one of your emails might tackle the topic “Is it the right time to buy a home?” where you explain what rising mortgages rates really mean. Another email could get personal and explain why no one ever feels truly ready to buy their first home.
Bottom of the funnel content is important as well. Show why you’re the best mortgage originator for them by sharing testimonials and case studies of past clients and thoughtfully commenting on the state of the mortgage and housing industries.
Set up a drip campaign of five to seven emails that triggers when a new subscriber joins your email list. Put a two-day delay between each email.
Like all marketing and sales tactics, it’s important to measure and evaluate your results. Do any nurturing activities work better than others? Do some get little-to-no response?
For instance, you may notice that your email subscribers engage more with topics about personal, close-to-the-heart issues rather than big picture mortgage industry news. In this case, you would shift your content to focus on what your leads like to read.
This is another good reason to invest in a marketing automation tool. Most offer features to help you track and understand analytics.
If you’ve identified a lead as particularly hot, you’ll want to follow up regularly. Forget the automated actions. Set reminders in your MA tool or CRM to call the lead and ask how you can help. Use these calls to allay any remaining fears and clear their objections.
Get your hot leads to start the process by at least completing the application. This increases the likelihood that they’ll follow through with the process.
With a well-devised lead nurturing system, you’ll prevent leads from falling through the cracks, even if the potential buyer isn’t ready to take the plunge into homeownership. If you track your leads carefully and engage your list regularly, you’ll create a steady pipeline of loans to process.