By Brian Reilly
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 three-part strategy:
1. 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).
2. 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.”
Here’s what people expect of you during the application process thanks to our friends at Rocket Mortgage:
- 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
3. Create awareness (at all stages of the buying cycle).
“Help me when I want to know, go, do, and buy.”
Here are a few digital marketing ideas 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, native, and social ads – Pay for ad placement on relevant websites for your target audiences.
- Remarketing ads – Entice people who have previously engaged with your brand to return to your website.
- Demographic and behavioral-based ads – Target people with online ads 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 both the professional and 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 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 bank-wide participation is no easy task, but once the band is back together your community bank will back in the mortgage business.