Top 5 Mistakes Loan Officers Make When Generating Leads Online

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For mortgage lenders, dealing with online leads can be challenging at times (especially if your business is mostly referral-based). But by pinpointing the RIGHT ways to manage online leads, you can create massive growth opportunities – without having to depend on realtors for deals.

If you’re looking to grow your loan volume from online leads, you’ll want to avoid the common mistakes most loan officers make when generating leads online.

Mistake #1 Trying to run ads all on your own

If you’ve tried running ads online, you know how frustrating it can be. With social media and Facebook compliance regulations constantly changing, all the complicated ins-and-outs of targeting, filters, and pixels…There’s just not enough time to run your mortgage business while ALSO becoming an expert in online advertising. 

Rather than investing your time and money in online marketing courses, or just trying to do it all on your own, it’s best to find a reputable marketing company that can run ads FOR you. Let the marketing experts take care of the ads and lead generation. Meanwhile, you focus your own expertise on originating loans and serving your clients. 

Bonus tip: When searching for reputable marketing companies, take your time in researching their reviews and testimonials. Unfortunately, there are a lot of low-quality services out there, so it’s best to do your due diligence in finding the right marketing agency that will yield actual RESULTS rather than false promises.

Mistake #2 Treating online leads the same way you’d treat referrals

This is by far one of the most common mistakes loan officers make when first working with online leads. It doesn’t matter if you have the very best ads or marketing out there. Even the highest quality online leads are NOT the same as referrals. 

When you get a referral from a real estate agent, there’s already built-in trust between that client and their realtor. That trust then gets transferred over to you, so you don’t have to spend extra time building a relationship with that client in order to move them along toward final approval and closing.

But unlike referral leads, online leads have just started the home buying process. They want to get into a home and they need your help achieving that goal, but you still haven’t had the opportunity to gain their trust and build a relationship with them.

With online leads, you need to invest a little more time into building rapport and gaining their trust. But investing that extra time and effort into building relationships will pay off exponentially over time. 

Mistake #3 Not having follow-ups for leads who aren’t yet ready to buy

Oftentimes, you have to play the long game with online leads. They may be the perfect candidate for buying a home, but for whatever reason need to wait 3-12 months before they’re ready to move forward. Unfortunately, the likelihood of you maintaining a relationship with that person over the course of 3-12 months is low.

That’s why it’s highly effective to have long-term follow-ups in place to keep in touch with leads who are not yet ready to buy. There are actually ways to automate these follow-ups, so you can have automated follow-ups check in with those leads FOR you over a longer period of time. That way, you don’t have to spend extra time or mental energy trying to keep up with those follow-ups on your own. 

Automated long-term nurture campaigns will check in with these leads periodically, keeping your name fresh on their mind. So when the lead IS ready to move forward, you’ll be right there to swoop in and close the deal!

Want to start using long-term automations in your mortgage business? Click here to learn more.

Mistake #4 Discarding leads that aren’t a slam dunk deal

When a prospective borrower opts in as a new lead, that’s basically the same as them raising their hand and saying “Hey, I want to buy a home and I need your help!”

Realistically though, there are countless obstacles that could prevent your prospects from getting into a home. Be it credit, lack of savings, a complicated timeline, personal issues, or challenges in the market. You’re going to come across some people who have the desire and the potential to buy a home, but with many challenges in their way from achieving that dream.

Instead of focusing on the negatives, try to flip it around and focus on the positives. As a mortgage professional, you have the power to help that person and give them hope – even if that prospect has zero chance of buying a home anytime soon. 

Rather than dwelling on the obstacles in their way, consider spending a few minutes educating these leads about what they can do to improve their situation, while giving them a clearer picture of a realistic timeline for achieving homeownership. 

And sure, those few extra minutes of helping people probably won’t pay off a week or a month from now. But giving these prospects hope absolutely will pay off over the long term. They’ll either remember how much you cared and work with you in the future, or they’ll refer you to their friends and family. In either case, focusing on the positives and how you can help people will set off some good karma for your business in the long run.

Mistake #5 Focusing too much on the rates

Everyone wants the lowest rate possible on their mortgage. But a lot of first-time home buyers have no idea all the other factors that go into getting the best value possible on their home purchase. Sadly, a lot of people who are overly focused on rates end up choosing less-than-reputable lenders because they go for the lowest rate without noticing any hidden fees or fatal caveats in their loan contract. 

It’s not just about the rate. It’s about service, value, and peace of mind. It’s about taking into account their unique timeline, personal goals, and WHY they want to get into a home in the first place. All those very human factors are essential when it comes to crunching numbers and getting the very best loan package suited to their unique situation. 

As a mortgage professional, it’s crucial to communicate the overall VALUE you provide to your clients. Because the second you start focusing on the rates, that reduces your service and expertise to just a number. 

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