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What's in this article?

What are exclusive mortgage leads?
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How can you know if mortgage leads are really exclusive?
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How much do exclusive mortgage leads cost compared to non-exclusive leads?
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Are mortgage leads that aren’t exclusive still worth it?
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Why lenders prefer exclusive mortgage leads
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Should buying exclusive leads be my only marketing strategy?
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Our proven mortgage lead generation plan
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Why do mortgage brokers need leads? Is one source for mortgage leads enough?
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Mortgage lead quality—how to score and rank your mortgage leads
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The pros and cons of exclusive leads vs. non-exclusive leads
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Kaleidico—a lead generation agency for mortgage lenders
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If business is slow for you as a mortgage loan officer, it may be because of a shortage of high-quality, exclusive mortgage leads.

You may have considered purchasing your own exclusive mortgage leads from lead aggregators like LendingTree, or running your own Google Ads campaign to generate your own leads.

Both are solid options, but have you considered a third option—building your own conversion-optimized website to capture exclusive leads?

Your mortgage website’s visitors will appreciate not having their personal info sold online, but rather giving their contact info directly to you.

In this article, we’ll cover what exclusive mortgage leads are, how to find out if you’re actually purchasing exclusive leads, and show Kaleidico’s proven mortgage marketing framework so you can start generating your own exclusive mortgage leads today.

What are exclusive mortgage leads?

Exclusive mortgage leads are high-quality leads that are only sold to one lead buyer.

Unlike shared leads, which are usually sold to many buyers on a first come first serve model, exclusive leads are sold at a higher price to take away the competition factor.

With exclusive leads, you have the advantage of being the first loan officer to contact your lead, which can make converting leads into new customers easier.

What are semi-exclusive leads?

Semi-exclusive leads are exclusive leads that are sold to 2-3 lead buyers, making them cheaper than traditional exclusive leads, but still more expensive than non-exclusive ones.

Caveat: When picking a mortgage lead generation agency, make sure that you are paying for exclusive leads, and not “semi-exclusive” leads, as you’ll have more competition and may not be the first person who contacts your leads.

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How can you know if mortgage leads are really exclusive?

There are many mortgage lead generation websites available online today offering both non-exclusive and exclusive leads. 

If you’re going to spend extra money for qualified, exclusive leads, do a bit of research on the mortgage lead generation company. The last thing you want is to be bamboozled by a company selling you fake leads or non-exclusive leads at a markup.

The quickest way to find out if your leads are exclusive is by calling your leads. If they mentioned that they’ve already been called by other loan officers, then you’ll know your lead was not exclusive.

Another telltale sign of fake leads is finding the same personal information (such as phone numbers or addresses) being used across multiple leads. 

This is why we recommend working with a trusted mortgage lead generation company that has case studies, user reviews, and a good online reputation.

How much do exclusive mortgage leads cost compared to non-exclusive leads?

The average price for an exclusive mortgage lead can be anywhere from $40 to $100.

Because exclusive leads have a higher closing ratio, they demand a higher price than non-exclusive leads, anywhere from 2-3X the price of standard shared mortgage leads.

While exclusive leads are more expensive, they make up for their price by offering you higher quality leads with high-purchase intent, making these leads more likely to convert over shared leads.

Are mortgage leads that aren’t exclusive still worth it?

Leads are leads. If you have enough of them, you’ll eventually close a sale.

That’s why supplementing your sales pipeline with a higher volume of shared mortgage leads can be a good mortgage marketing strategy.

If you’re going to be spending more money on shared leads, over non-exclusive ones, then you’ll have to be quicker on the draw to be the first one to contact your lead as soon as you receive it.

Why lenders prefer exclusive mortgage leads

The last thing loan officers want to hear on the phone is “I’m not interested, I’ve already been contacted by another loan officer who’s helping me.”

Why spend all that money on leads in the first place if you’re not going to be the first and only person to contact a lead? 

This is why mortgage lenders prefer exclusive leads—there is no other competition. 

People have shown a high intent to get a mortgage now, and they’re looking for a response from you and your company, not your competitors.

Should buying exclusive leads be my only marketing strategy?

Simply purchasing leads is not a marketing strategy at all. And after you’ve decided to stop buying leads, there will be no more leads.

Here’s a good example to illustrate this point: Let’s say you want to create a paid ad campaign on Google.

You create Google Ads for mortgage questionnaires and free quotes. You get some clicks on these ads, and some of those clicks eventually turn into closed mortgage deals.

But what happens after you stop paying for your Google ad? You stop directing traffic to your website, and you stop generating leads.

Instead, you’ll do better if you can create an organic system that can generate leads day and night, without using Google Ads, but instead using content marketing to write helpful blogs that get clicks day or night, for months or years to come.

Our proven mortgage lead generation plan

As I mentioned, buying exclusive mortgage leads is not a marketing strategy.

What you want is to create a 24-hour lead generation system that can attract traffic, and convert traffic into exclusive leads and that system is your optimized mortgage website.

At Kaleidico, we build optimized websites for mortgage professionals. We then use our content creation studio to create SEO content that attracts serious traffic to your website, including blogs, case studies, eBooks, lead magnets, and more.

Let’s go a bit more in-depth through our mortgage lead generation strategies.

Build optimized mortgage websites for lead conversions

It all begins with your mortgage website

Everything that you will end up publishing online, such as blogs, videos, infographics, PPC ads, advertising on Zillow, etc., will ultimately direct visitors back to your website, where they will be encouraged to fill out their contact information.

Your optimized mortgage conversion website will include:

  • Landing pages for each of your loan products
  • Helpful blogs optimized around particular keywords (FHA loans, VA loans, etc)
  • Contact forms, progressive forms, and leads paths to collect information
  • Calls-to-action (CTAs) on every page to coax visitors into submitting information
  • SEO optimized web pages for optimum visibility in mortgage-related searches
  • Loan officer bio pages
  • Standard web pages (Home, contact, about, etc.)

Content marketing

Commonly referred to as blogging, content marketing creates free, helpful content and guides published on your mortgage website to be discovered by your audience later.

This way, when people search “mortgage calculator” or “how do I quality for a home loan?” online, they’ll stumble on your website’s content.

Each loan product page should include questionnaires or “lead paths” to encourage users who land on your website to submit their contact info to hear back from you.

SEO

If you want your website’s blogs and pages to be easily found in a Google search you’ll need to research high-volume keywords and phrases or questions that people are actively searching for.

At Kaleidico, we also perform competitive SEO analysis to look at your competitors and see which keywords and phrases they’re currently ranking for, so we can write better content that will eventually rank above competitors.

PPC ads

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads make up the trifecta for boosting traffic to your optimized mortgage website.

Unlike blogging, which can take a few weeks or more to start ranking, PPC ads can put your company’s website at the top of Google’s search results in just days, but just remember, it will cost you.

Also, remember that blogs last forever online, while paid ads stop showing once you stop paying for them. This is why PPC ads, SEO, and content marketing should all be used together to create a strong traffic referral system.

Email marketing

Email remains a cost-effective way to reach your target audience and generate exclusive leads. Use your existing contact base and inquire if they know anyone looking for a mortgage or refinance. 

At Kaleidico, we also offer email marketing services to clients who need help with large email blasts. This step is important for lead nurturing and to find meaningful ways to stay in contact with your leads until they’re ready to buy.

Why do mortgage brokers need leads? Is one source for mortgage leads enough?

Mortgage sales, like all sales, are a numbers game. Many loan officers try to contact as many as 100 leads a day!

You can see that it’s easy to quickly run out of high-quality leads, especially if the leads you’re purchasing have to be split among a large team of loan officers.

Referrals are still important, of course, but referrals are not enough to satisfy the large demand for mortgage leads, and they’re sometimes not enough to meet monthly sales quotas.

This is why many mortgage lenders will get mortgage leads from various sources, including:

  • Exclusive leads
  • Semi-exclusive leads
  • Non-exclusive leads (shared leads)
  • Aged leads
  • Mortgage trigger leads

With no leads, there would be nobody to call or leave messages with, and there would be no mortgage sales.

Mortgage lead quality—how to score and rank your mortgage leads

I hate to say it, but not all of your exclusive leads will be of exceptionally high quality. It’s an impossible thing to promise, which is why you’ll need to implement your own mortgage lead scoring system.

This is why you’ll need to ask some qualifying questions in your contact forms and lead paths so you can filter out the best leads, and weed out the low-quality ones.

Be sure to ask for the following:

  • Their timeline for buying a home
  • Credit score
  • Income
  • Debt
  • Home value
  • Expected down payment amount
  • How they heard about you
  • Their common frustrations in the process

Once you have scored your leads on their quality, you can divvy up the leads among your team. 

Even leads that appear a lower quality than the rest can still prove helpful. Let your new or inexperienced officers work on these since there isn’t as much pressure in losing them. 

The pros and cons of exclusive leads vs. non-exclusive leads

It sure seems like we’re hamming on the point that exclusive leads are better than non-exclusive leads. And yes, they usually are, but there are more things to consider when it comes to leads.

For one, if you’re concerned with the volume of leads, then I’d recommend purchasing non-exclusive leads. They’re inexpensive and can still be high-quality. Just remember, you’re probably not going to be the first, or last, loan officer to contact your lead.

Exclusive leads cost more, sometimes twice the number of shared leads. Many times they make up for their higher price but sometimes they don’t.

Your last alternative would be purchasing aged leads, which are leads older than 30 days. 

You might be thinking, why spend money on aged leads? 

Well, many people fill out mortgage lead forms thinking they’re ready to purchase a home when they’re not even close to actually purchasing a home yet. 

Aged leads cost a fraction of what shared leads cost and you can get thousands of them for pretty cheap.

So which is the better option? Exclusive mortgage leads, non-exclusive leads, or aged leads?

Try them all and see for yourself. Document your results so next time, you’ll know which ones had the best return for your investment.  

Get Our 90-Day Mortgage Marketing Plan

Kaleidico’s 90-Day Mortgage Marketing Plan provides the strategy to build digital marketing and generate more leads. Download the plan to get started.
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Kaleidico—a lead generation agency for mortgage lenders

Are you looking to generate more exclusive mortgage leads without purchasing them from a lead aggregator? We’ve got you covered.

Kaleidico is a lead generation agency specializing in mortgage marketing for loan officers.

Schedule a Discovery Session where we can talk through your goals to come up with a proven lead generation plan.

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva

About Matthew Dotson
Matthew Dotson is a freelance writer experienced in blog, copy, and technical writing. He covers everything from marketing and digital advertising to technology and senior living. Previously, he worked for a Y Combinator tech startup in the Silicon Valley and traveled the country covering auto shows for Ford Motor Company. Matthew is also a multi-instrumentalist who composes, produces, and records original music. He enjoys photography, videography, fine art, and cinema.

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