What's in this article?
Looking for cheap and affordable ways to generate your own exclusive leads?
Not looking to spend a few hundred or thousands of dollars on buying mortgage leads?
You’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered several tried and true tips for loan officers to try today to start reaching their target audience online and in person—without blowing their budget. Let’s dive in.
How do mortgage lenders get leads?
In short, there are only a few main ways mortgage officers get their leads:
- Their lending companies provide them
- They’re bought from lead aggregators
- Collected from lead generation agencies
- They’re referred by a referral network
In this article, I’m going to go through each method, including free and affordable ways for you to generate your own mortgage leads.
Some of these approaches, such as content marketing, are long-term strategies, while others like PPC are short-term strategies.
Ways to generate mortgage leads for free or cheaply
Buying exclusive mortgage leads is very expensive, costing anywhere from $20-$100+ for each lead. That’s a lot of money.
But in this list, I’ll offer some free and affordable ways for you to start generating your own leads including building a referral network, signing up for free online accounts, and other ways you can reach your target audience in person and online.
Create a referral network that includes past clients, real estate agents, friends, and family
The best leads are free leads—referrals from past customers, friends, and family.
These referrals also have a higher-closing rate because your contact info has been given to people actively searching for mortgages from your friends and family, establishing more trust than filling out an online form.
The problem is it’s difficult to scale up your referral network quickly—it just kind of naturally happens from doing the job for long enough.
Some tips to expand your referral network:
- Reach out to old customers for Google reviews
- Partner with local homebuilders
- Get friendly with local real estate agents and local real estate Facebook groups
- Teach financial advisers about mortgages
- Ask your clients “Do you know anyone else like you who is looking to buy or refinance a house?”
Call your referral network daily to get intel on people who need mortgages
You’ll need to stay in touch and maintain your relationship with your referral partners on a daily, or at least weekly basis.
This means picking up your phone and calling your local real estate agent’s office, friends and family, and local builders to stay in contact and gather intel on new people who need mortgages.
Instead of customers finding you, you’ll find them first through your referral network.
Host a seminar or webinar to educate your audience about mortgages
Mortgages are extremely confusing. This is why so many people research mortgages online before contacting a loan officer.
You can meet your audience where they’re at by hosting free seminars at local community centers or hosting online “webinars” for people remotely.
There are plenty of free or affordable webinar platforms you can try. Many of these platforms offer a free or basic version:
- Google Hangouts
- YouTube Live
- Instagram Live
- Facebook Live
Generate mortgage leads with SEO
SEO is a digital marketing term that uses Google searches to attract people to your website. This is also referred to as search engine marketing or inbound marketing.
Basically, the idea is this: People are searching Google for mortgage rates, mortgage calculators, and informational blogs to help them find the right loan product.
During their search, they’re likely to click on the highest ranking search results on Google. For instance, did you know the highest ranking search result will get a click-through rate of 28.5%?
From there, the click-through rate gradually plummets until you reach the second page of search results—nobody looks past the first page of results generally.
This is why an SEO professional’s main goal is to get your conversion-optimized website as high ranking as possible—if your website isn’t on the first page of results, then it’s not going to get many clicks.
Creating and posting your own SEO content is a free way to help your site rank well and bring in traffic.
Research which keywords people are searching for and write that content
Using Google’s free Keyword Planning tool, you can type in common search phrases related to mortgages to see which terms have the highest search volume.
For instance, the search phrase “how much mortgage can I afford?” and “what is a mortgage?” are extremely popular. With this in mind, you can then start to write blog posts or individual web pages on your website about these topics.
One note, you’ll need to set up a Google Ads account to access the Keyword Planning tool, although Google Ads is also free to set up.
Set up local online accounts (Google, Yelp, Angi, Yellowbook, Zillow, etc.)
Local SEO deals with appearing in local Google searches, usually on Google Maps.
When people search for “mortgage companies near me” you’ll want your company to appear high up in Google Maps search results.
To do this, sign up for a Google Business account so your office’s location will show up on Google Maps.
After creating an account, you’ll be able to update your office’s contact information, phone number, hours, and even post links to your social media accounts.
You’ll also be able to respond to reviews coming into your Google Business account.
In addition, sign up for Yellowbook, Angi (formerly Angie’s List), and Zillow lender profiles to be listed in their mortgage lender directories.
Monitor customer reviews
If you want to rank higher in Google Maps search results, then start asking your happy, previous clients for reviews. The more positive reviews you have, the higher you’ll rank in searches.
First, start creating a list of all of the satisfied clients that you know had a good experience, and then reach out to them and ask politely for a Google review.
Asking for a 5-star review is tacky, so don’t do that. Just ask them for a review. Since you already know they’re a satisfied customer, they’ll presumably leave you positive reviews.
Content marketing for generating mortgage leads
SEO and content marketing are essential for your overall mortgage marketing strategy.
They work together to help you write about topics that people are actively searching for on Google.
As I mentioned, we use Google’s Keyword Planning tool to find out which keywords receive a high amount of monthly search traffic, and then write about those topics. But there’s much more to it than that.
Content marketing is commonly referred to as “blogging” although blogging is only one way of creating content.
Additionally, create these other forms of content:
- YouTube videos
- Instagram videos
- Templates, guides, and checklists
- Email newsletters
- Case studies
You create enough free resources and publish them online and people who are researching mortgages will find your content and website. Once on your site, they’ll hopefully feel confident enough in your content to fill out a contact form and become a new mortgage lead.
Ready to start writing blogs about mortgages, but aren’t sure what topics to write about?
Ubersuggest is a free website tool that lets you type in any website URL, and it will show you that website’s monthly traffic volume, its top ranking keywords, and the highest performing blog posts.
Create a list of your competitors and type their website’s names into Ubersuggest. You’ll quickly find article ideas to write about.
Simply take your competitors’ best blog posts and re-write them to be longer, updated, and even more informative. Aim for 2,000 words minimum.
Don’t have time to craft expert-level blog posts? Consider hiring a mortgage content marketing agency to write this content for you.
How social media can help lenders and loan officers generate mortgage leads
Many loan officers build an online following on Facebook that gains momentum once their following becomes large enough.
I’ve even heard about pioneering loan officers who have taken over TikTok to reach a younger generation looking to buy houses.
There are a million social media platforms out there, and they’re all free to use, and only take minutes to set up.
Post every day
Every social media platform, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., depends on search algorithms to show your content to your followers and non-followers.
Gone are the days of just posting content and having all of your followers see it. That’s not how it works anymore.
Today, you need to post every day to tell these algorithms that your profile is active and worthy of being shown to other people. If you set up an account and haven’t posted in two years, none of your followers will see your new posts until you trigger the algorithm again.
Across the social media board, generally, the more you post and your followers interact with you, the more you’ll show up in their feeds.
The ever-changing algorithms that rely on user interaction make it difficult to reach new followers. To help get around this, be as responsive as you can on your posts to create engagement and reach even more people.
Coming up with interactive posts, such as posting polls or Q&As is an easy, free way to create more engagement on your social pages. Promptly responding to messages is another way to stay in good favor with the algorithm and show prospective customers that you’re active, present, and ready to help.
Post videos, even short videos
Did you know short video marketing is the highest growing trend in social media?
Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok are great visual platforms for posting short videos.
Because the entire mortgage process is so complex, you would do your audience a great service by consistently posting videos explaining various steps of the process in simple terms.
In return, your audience will feel encouraged to reach out to you to become a new lead or share your posts with their family members looking for mortgages.
LinkedIn is becoming more like Facebook, for better or worse. This means your LinkedIn timeline is probably filled with tons of business articles and blog posts that people comment on.
But this can be used to your advantage. Every time you publish a new blog post, you can upload it to LinkedIn for more people to find.
Additionally, LinkedIn also has its own ad platform so you can reach millions of people through specific demographic and geological targeting.
YouTube video marketing
You should invest in at least one high-quality mortgage YouTube video. Find a videographer who can create a professionally filmed and edited video for your YouTube account.
With this one video, you can then post it on your mortgage website, Facebook account, or Twitter account, and run video ads for it on Google Ads.
If you don’t feel like spending the money on a professional video, just shoot short videos on your phone or computer and upload them to YouTube.
Just be sure to include important keywords in your video’s description, as well as timestamps and links back to your mortgage website.
Pay-per-click advertising for cheap
Mortgage officers can spend a lot of money on PPC ads, but they don’t need to. There are a couple of affordable ways to test the waters with PPC ads without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to see real results.
Facebook and Instagram ads
Facebook ads can actually be pretty cheap, depending on what your campaign’s goals and objectives are.
Facebook ads don’t have to be expensive to try out. For a few bucks, you can run “boosted” posts to show your Facebook or Instagram posts to thousands of people within a demographic that you choose.
Also, Facebook has a specific type of “lead ad” designed specifically for generating leads.
These ads take the hardest part of the process, filling out the forms, and make it easy for your audience to just tap a button and auto-populate their personal information from Facebook.
Google Ads can get more complex than Facebook ads, but they’re also more targeted, which can make them more effective.
If you’re planning to create Google ads on your own—don’t. Or at least not without help. It’s too easy to accidentally lose money if you confuse your daily budget with your lifetime budget.
This is one thing that may be worth hiring an agency that can do for you. Otherwise, just stick to Facebook and Instagram ads for now.
Use email marketing
Using tools like MailChimp, HubSpot, and Constant Contact are all affordable ways to stay in touch during the lead nurturing process.
Of course, you can just stick to your email provider as well, just make sure not to send out massive email blasts from your personal account, it may get you labeled as spam.
That’s the advantage of email marketing platforms. You can send out tons of emails, and if some of them get labeled as spam, your personal email address won’t be affected at all. Something to consider.
Work with Kaleidico—your mortgage lead generation company
Kaleidico has been generating mortgage leads online for more than 15 years.
Through booms and busts, and all over again, we have the experience needed to gauge the mortgage market and where it’s headed, and how to help you navigate it.
We’ve created a proven mortgage marketing framework that will improve your company’s website, online presence, and authority to generate mortgage leads 24 hours a day.
Get started today by scheduling a Discovery Session and learn more about our proven system.
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