How can local financial institutions generate more mortgage leads despite increasing competition?
Mortgage marketing has changed; consumers have access to more lenders than ever before, expect faster approvals, require complete transparency, and are quick to voice their displeasure of your application process online.
Generating mortgage leads for your community bank requires a deliberate 3 part strategy:
Start with defining your differentiation
“Whether I’m familiar with your brand or not, why should I trust you for my mortgage?”
Here’s a few ideas for differentiating your financial institution:
- You’re local – banking locally has many benefits
- You’re safe – your bank has a long history of helping local people and businesses
- You’re the experts – you know every mortgage type and assistance program available
- You’ve got a better product – your rates and fees are amazing
- You’re trustworthy – your glowing reviews from consumers and businesses speak for themselves
- You’ve got a better process – you make it really easy to get a home mortgage loan (see below)
Make your mortgage application process really easy
“A lot of online lenders appear to have simplified the entire application process, I expect you to do the same.”
According to EllieMae, 92% of borrowers did online research prior to contacting a lender this past year. As borrowers have become more familiar with digital mortgage lenders like Rocket Mortgage, their expectations of all lenders has evolved. Here’s what people now expect of you during the application process:
- Online application technology that is easy to use and convenient (mobile-friendly, auto-saves progress, integrates with other data sources, simple to work through, easily understand, etc.)
- In-store application process that is even better (loan officers who are available at convenient times (aka all the time), a physical application process that’s easy to work through, amazingly helpful and friendly people, etc.
- Fast turnaround time
- Communication the way I like it (text, chat, email, and phone), with timely updates and transparency
Create awareness (at all stages of the buying cycle)
“Help me when I want to know, go, do, and buy.”
When it comes to digital marketing, it’s all about using the right tools to reach your ideal audience at each stage of the buying cycle. Whether you’re trying to generate mortgage leads or grow deposit accounts, these digital marketing ideas are a perfect way to supplement your traditional marketing campaigns:
- Local SEO – make sure you’re appearing prominently in Google and Bing maps for relevant search queries
- Organic SEO – make sure your product pages appear prominently in search engine results, and also create educational content that appears for related search queries
- Pay per click search ads – pay for prominent ad placement above local/organic results in search engine results
- Pay per click display ads, mobile ads, and social ads – pay for ad placement on relevant websites and apps for your target audiences
- Remarketing ads – entice people who have previously engaged with your brand to return to your website
- Content Marketing – help your potential customers understand the mortgage process and provide them with the resources and tools they’ll need to make an informed decision.
- Demographic and behavioral-based ads – target people’s homes and mobile devices who are in escrow, have their home listed for sale, are existing customers, are a certain age group, are currently renting, etc. (always double check with compliance of course!)
- Email drip campaigns – create and nurture leads with relevant educational content
- Leverage the personal networks of your loan officers – get them on LinkedIn, Zillow, Facebook, LoopNet, Credio, etc., building their own personal brand with local realtors, past clients, and prospects
As you’ve likely figured out, increasing mortgage leads for your community bank or local credit union is a team effort. You’ll need help from IT, internal and external marketing teams on the same page, buy-in from loan officers, and executive management’s blessing on campaign budget. Getting this kind of bi-partisan participation is no easy task, but once the band is back together your local financial institution will back in the mortgage business at full speed!