In a competitive market like the mortgage industry, staying ahead of your competitors is vital for your success. Using CRM software such as Shape’s Mortgage CRM will definitely help, but it shouldn’t be the only tool at your disposal. As more and more companies realize how much money can be made through mortgages, gathering high quality leads has become an increasingly difficult task. In general, 61% of marketers consider lead generation their number one issue in marketing, according to a recent study.
For this reason, hiring a mortgage specific lead generation agency is a popular trend in the industry, and something highly recommended.
Lead Generation Statistics
Before we explore the benefits of outsourcing lead generation for your mortgage company, lets first look at some reasons why lead generation itself is crucial for any business.
Only 18% of marketers believe outbound marketing methods produce quality leads
Outbound marketing has been on the decline for years, and marketers are increasingly shying away from that type of practice. Lead generation avoids this, focusing on nurturing leads and developing them into qualified leads for your sales team.
On average, cold calling only produces 1% of paying customers
Although cold calling doesn’t require a huge amount of effort, it seems like a waste of time if it only accounts for 1% of your customers. If your company still relies on any type of cold outreach to generate sales, it’s probably time to focus your efforts elsewhere.
Almost 80% of marketers noticed an increase in both leads and conversions when using automated marketing software
Currently, lead generation uses automated marketing software to both identify leads and actively nurture them through the marketing funnel. In addition, most automated marketing software is designed to integrate with customer management software such as Shape Mortgage CRM, which can enhance your marketing even more.
There are other uses for automated marketing software, but the most common use happens with lead generation marketing.
Nurtured leads spend 47% more per purchase/contract compared to non-nurtured leads
The lead generation process works by nurturing leads through your marketing cycle, constantly exposing them to your brand or product. By doing this, these nurtured leads spend more money than non-nurtured leads by 47% (on average). For B2B, this often means choosing the more expensive plan or staying as a client for longer. For B2C, this could mean buying a more expensive item or buying more items as a whole.
Why You Need Lead Gen for Your Mortgage Business
In a general sense, it should be clear that quality lead generation is essential in any industry. Being able to constantly supply your sales team with qualified leads is a guaranteed way to help any business, regardless of what their product or service is.
But in the mortgage industry, lead generation is seen as an absolute necessity for two reasons:
Mortgage Leads Possess Extremely Specific Qualifications
Unlike other B2C industries, convincing a randomly selected person to use your service will almost never work in the mortgage industry. The decision to buy a house isn’t something that happens in the heat of the moment, so if a person doesn’t want to buy a house there’s not much you can do to change their mind.
But let’s say they do want to buy a house. You then need to figure out if this person will actually qualify to purchase a house, which isn’t easy. For starters, here are a few possible issues a potential borrower must address before qualifying for a conventional loan:
It is possible that someone will want to purchase a house while meeting all the requirements, however this scenario is extremely unlikely. Using lead generation, you can essentially vet your leads, narrowing them down so the ones remaining either are trying to buy a house or meet some of the requirements above.
Competitiveness in the Mortgage Industry
The mortgage industry has become increasingly competitive in the last several years. The number of mortgage lenders, brokers, and originators have been rising, crowding the lending industry and saturating the market. Because of this, simply providing quality service won’t be enough to separate yourself from the pack anymore.
But don’t misunderstand—quality service will still benefit your company, especially in the long run.
When I say it’s not enough, I mean it’s not enough on its own. At the end of the day, you can only provide high quality service to borrowers once they begin the loan origination process. The quality of your service, good or bad, won’t matter if you can’t get them through your doors. Regardless of your industry, it doesn’t matter how good your product is if no one knows about it.
To succeed in today’s competitive climate, it’s imperative that mortgage companies have proper lead generation. Consistently providing qualified leads to your sales funnel will not only contribute to the short-term growth of your company, but it will also help sustain this growth in the long run.
In general, lead generation can happen one of two ways: either through an in-house marketing team or through an outside agency. Both in-house and outsourced lead generation are viable options with distinct pros and cons, but in this article we will be focusing on the benefits of outsourcing your lead gen marketing.
Why You Should Outsource Your Lead Generation
Lower Overall Cost Compared to In-House
Arguably the most beneficial aspect of outsourcing your marketing is the overall cost, as developing an in-house lead generation team can be quite costly. Although the size of the team can vary from company-to-company, on average the total cost of paying your in-house marketers will be higher than the monthly price of a lead gen agency—and that’s not all.
You also need to factor in the overhead costs associated with an in-house team. From the software on their computers to their company smartphone, your employees will need certain items to function as a proper lead gen marketing team. And once you include office space, training, and management, you should clearly see how expensive an in-house team can be compared to outsourcing.
A More Efficient Marketing Process
One of the most time-consuming steps in the marketing process is figuring out the initial marketing strategy—and lead gen marketing is no different. Marketing teams can spend weeks planning their campaigns, especially if they have no prior experience to work off of. If you commit to in-house lead generation, there will be a lot of time spent strategizing and discussing potential approaches to the campaign.
Outsourcing, however, avoids this whole ordeal. With a little bit of research into your prospective agencies, you can choose one that specializes in mortgage lead generation, which means they should already have experience dealing with your type of service. They can almost immediately begin the lead generation process, providing qualified leads ASAP.
Easier Time Evaluating the Results
When you outsource your lead generation marketing, evaluating the results becomes much simpler. If your sales team is receiving high-quality leads on a consistent basis, then the agency you hired is doing their job. If your sales team isn’t receiving high quality leads consistently, then the agency you hired is not doing their job. You only need to evaluate the agency as a whole, rather than each member of a team individually.
Spend Less Time Managing
Building a successful in-house marketing team that can handle the lead generation process requires extensive managing. For example, if you were a new mortgage company looking to create your own in-house marketing team, you would need to:
Hire your team
Train your team
Provide the proper equipment and software for your team
Create a HR department for your team
Monitor the results and performance of each team member
If you choose to outsource, you only need to focus on the last bullet point: monitoring the results.
Choosing the Right Mortgage Lead Gen Agency
Although outsourcing your lead generation clearly has its benefits, it does have one obvious, but significant, issue—you lack control over the marketing team. I mentioned before that outsourcing is often the cheaper option, but that’s only relevant if the marketing agency actually produces high quality leads. If the agency you choose fails to live up to expectations, this whole process turns into a waste of both time and money, which could have a severe effect on smaller companies.
Below are the main concepts you need to be concerned with when choosing a lead gen agency.
What industries do they cover?
Most lead providers specialize in certain areas, so it is important you choose one with experience in the mortgage industry. This should be relatively easy, as most agencies clearly state the industries they specialize in on their homepage.
Do they provide leads for you?
Although most lead gen agencies handle the task of providing leads, some do not. These agencies focus on the nurturing aspect of lead gen, and rely on your company having an established marketing funnel for them to grab leads from.
If you do not have an existing marketing funnel, make sure the lead gen agency you choose will provide leads as part of their service.
How do they generate their leads?
If you choose an agency that provides leads for you, it’s crucial you understand how the leads will be produced. You do not want agencies that buy bulk leads from third-party lead distributors, as the quality of those leads is often lacking. This is because those leads will be sold to several lead gen companies and independent mortgage businesses, making them highly competitive.
Ideally, you want an agency that creates a marketing funnel solely for your business. Having your own marketing funnel will guarantee your business unique leads, giving them a much higher chance to convert compared to others. If this isn’t possible, the agency you choose should at the very least have their own marketing funnel to generate leads. These leads can be shared throughout the agency’s clientele, however most will designate certain leads specifically for your company.
Does their lead generation software integrate with your CRM? (if you have one)
It’s important that the software your lead gen agency is flexible enough to easily integrate into the CRM software your company uses. Most CRM software’s are designed to function with marketing software, however that doesn’t mean everything will integrate smoothly.
If your company uses a CRM software (i.e. Shape CRM), I recommend you check to see if their marketing software integrates with your CRM.
Currently, most companies use some form of CRM software, so it is important that the software your lead gen agency uses can integrate with your CRM.
(Header 5) Best mortgage lead gen companies
Now that you have a general understanding of what you should be looking for, here is a list of a few popular mortgage lead generation agencies:
LeadPops is a marketing agency focusing on the mortgage and real estate industry, where they’ve claimed to have generated more than three million “ready-to-fund” leads since 2014. Their services are flexible, as they offer both standard marketing services and quality lead generation, depending on the needs of your company.
As a lead generator, leadPops uses pre-built marketing funnels that are designed for easy implementation into your marketing channels, if you have them. These funnels are unique to each client, meaning any leads generated by your funnel will be exclusively yours. The funnels work by using non-threatening quiz-style forms to quickly filter your potential borrowers, ensuring your sales team only deals with qualified leads.
If you currently have no existing marketing channels, leadPops can combine both their standard marketing service and lead generation service into one comprehensive plan, providing everything you need for a slightly higher cost.
Price Range: $97/month – $297/month
Both provides leads and nurtures them
Leads are exclusively for your company
Generates leads for 21 different mortgage loan types
Has CRM integration
30-day free trial
Verse.io is a marketing agency that specializes in lead generation for the mortgage industry. But unlike the other marketing agencies on this list, verse.io does not offer any services that will generator leads for you. Instead, they focus solely on the nurturing aspect of lead generation, ensuring that any lead that comes to your sales team will be 100% qualified with a high chance of conversion.
More so than anything else, verse.io emphasizes their ability to support 24/7 lead coverage with both AI and human communication. Most agencies that provide lead generation claim to cover leads 24/7, but they do this strictly through automated messaging systems and AI. Verse.io provides in-person lead coverage 24/7, which greatly increases the likelihood of a lead converting. In addition to this, verse.io also nurtures both responsive and unresponsive leads, while also supporting omnichannel communication depending on the preference of the lead.
So if you’re looking for an all-in-one lead provider for your mortgage business, verse.io probably isn’t for you, but for those who already have a proper marketing funnel, I highly recommend verse.io.
Price Range: Varies by customer
24/7 lead coverage
Use both human and AI
Nurture both responsive and unresponsive leads
Communicate however the lead wants to
Great customer service
Founded in 1996, LendingTree is a great option for mortgage lenders that want to be involved in the lead gen process, but also need hands-on lender support. When you partner with LendingTree, you instantly gain access to a network of over 30 million high intent borrowers, with built-in filter functions to narrow down your choices. LendingTree is one of the few companies that can provide a service like this simply because of their brand recognition. Potential borrowers head to LendingTree.com to learn more about mortgages and the loan process, and are prompted to make an account during their time on the site. This is the primary way LendingTree adds borrowers to their network, so you know every person you market towards will be knowledgeable and have an interest in borrowing. On top of that, LendingTree provides client support for all aspects of their service. Your business will have a LendingTree expert at your disposal if you ever have questions about their software or marketing, and they even offer sales and leadership courses as well.
Wide range of services
High quality leads
Large volume of potential leads
Arlo.ai is an all-in-one lead generator, including both standard marketing services and lead generation in every plan. They specialize in the mortgage and real estate industry, where they claim to generate 5x more loans from the same marketing budget while allowing you to work less. For their services, arlo.ai includes the following in every plan: automated advertising campaigns, intelligent web forms, and automated outreach.
Their automated ad campaigns work by using an A.I powered marketing assistant to guide you through the duration of the campaign. All you need to do is fill out a short form at the beginning, and arlo.ai essentially handles the rest of the campaign for you. They launch ads from your social media accounts, growing your brand while ensuring that the generated leads are 100% yours.
While their ad campaigns bring in new leads, the intelligent web forms and automated outreach are designed to nurture and qualify these leads. The automated outreach is relatively straightforward—you get instant follow up on all of your leads. But the web forms are what make arlo.ai unique. These web forms are custom made for the mortgage industry, requiring less fields to fill out yet providing more data to you. Arlo.ai claims that, on average, their intelligent web forms convert 6x more visitors to loans than standard forms. Combine that with instant follow up and your leads are guaranteed to be qualified.
Price Range: $195/month – $295/month
Will scale with your business
3-months free with annual plan
Leads are exclusive for your company
Experian Mortgage is an industry expert that possesses both experience and insight in mortgage marketing. Although they just discontinued their self-service solution for mailing list creation and data append, Experian still offers comprehensive mortgage marketing to generate leads for your business.
Overall, Experian provides four key benefits to your business: insight and analytics, marketing tools and guidance, a streamlined origination process, and access to consumer data. On their own these might seem relatively average, but when these solutions work together your business will see great results. For example, having access to consumer data on its own is valuable, but not game changing. But when you combine that with their industry insight and analytics, the information you draw from it becomes much more relevant and applicable to marketing and the origination process. This synergy between services has allowed Experian to remain a giant in the mortgage industry for years, which is one of the reason why they are a solid choice for lead gen.
Price: Varies by Client
Experienced in mortgage marketing
Provides a wide range of benefits
Has access to consumer data
Analytics focused approach
With more than 20 years in the industry, LoanBright is another potential mortgage lead provider whose business model is unique to them. With LoanBright, you don’t hire them as a marketing agency, nor do you purchase leads directly from them. Instead, you pay a monthly fee for a license that grants you a “seat” on their customized dialer system. They call this design model a “Season Pass”, which you pay for on a month-to-month basis.
Through the Season Pass, LoanBright allows you to selectively (or completely) outsource your lead gen, along with online marketing and direct response call center functions. The more you outsource the more it will cost, however if something doesn’t work out you can easily cancel, as LoanBright does not require long-term contracts to use their service. Like most lead gen agencies, LoanBright uses marketing software and tools to streamline the lead acquisition process, providing mortgage qualified leads when you use their service.
Price Range: Minimum $200/month
Abundance of experience in the mortgage industry
Real-time display of leads
Great for local leads
Founded all the way back in 1968, TransUnion is an experienced business that is constantly adapting the newest technology in lead gen. For mortgage leads, TransUnion does not directly provide leads like other companies on this list. Instead, the integrate their customize-made lead acquisition tools into your business, allowing your company to generate leads on its own. Then, you can utilize their prescreen campaigns to directly target individuals that have shown an interest in acquiring a mortgage. The combination of these two lead solutions provided by TransUnion is a trusted way to generate leads for your mortgage lending business.
Price Range: Varies Per Client
Leads are unique to you
Produces qualified leads
Precise lead targeting
Service is highly customizable