Archive for Mortgage Marketing

When Will the Refinance Boom End?

By · November 8, 2012 · Filed in Mortgage Commentary, Mortgage Marketing · Comments Off

It’s hardly a secret that the latest refinance boom helped the mortgage industry rebound in 2012. The Federal Reserve committed to low rates for 2 more years and QE3 has kept money flowing into this anemic economy. Certainly record low interest rates certainly have helped stimulate home purchasing, but a majority of the properties bought have been investor-driven. But many home buying prospects remain on the sidelines because they are unable to meet today’s strict home loan guidelines that require higher credit scores and acceptable income documentation.

The HARP 2.0 served up a significant opportunity for refinance activity when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac removed the LTV restrictions on the Home Affordable Refinance Program. The HARP opportunities have helped this year but the activity for qualified HARP applicants is rapidly dropping because for the most part people that were eligible for HARP 2.0 either refinanced or are in process now. The most significant demand for borrowers in need of refinancing in 2013 is homeowners that do not meet the HARP 2.0 criteria. Will HARP 3.0 arrive any time soon?

Can Home Refinancing Support 2013 Loan Origination?

Credit scores have been increasing for some homeowners so we may see a new wave of eligible borrowers looking to cash in on record low rates. Hopefully the new wave of 620 – 660 fico borrowers will still be employed with income that can be documented for loan purposes. According to NAR, housing starts and property values have increased since last year but, job security remains a major concern going forward. This employment issue may be an obstacle for increased home purchase activity but only time will tell. The negative effects of the Federal Reserve printing “funny money” will make an impact sometime in the near future.

Let’s be honest the “refi-boom” can’t go on forever. Sure 2013 will see more activity as interest rates will remain low. The pool of qualified borrowers has refinanced and refinanced again. Homeowners that didn’t qualify for refinancing in 2011 and 2012 likely won’t qualify in 2013 either. 80% of loans closed in 2012 were refinance transactions. Until private money returns to the mortgage market, there is very little evidence that the refinance activity will continue at its current pace. Is the “refinance boom” coming to an end? Will rising unemployment reduce the pool of qualified borrowers? The unfortunate reality is that there are more unqualified homeowners than qualified ones.

We suggest diversifying your niches to include purchase loan programs in addition to marketing the refinance business that is presently filling your pipeline. If HARP 3.0 does arrive in the coming months then we can reconvene and discuss the emerging opportunities that would extend the current refinance boom through 2014. Until then, try to incorporate more purchase money and develop your “bank of business” for the years to come.

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Maximizing Mortgage Marketing in the New Year

There may be some hints that the mortgage industry is turning the corner as mortgage marketing companies reported an increase in advertising for loan companies in the fourth quarter of 2011. In addition, several MBA surveys pointed to more good news as loan professionals confirmed their belief that outlook for home financing is improving. Sure lending guidelines are still tight and the housing market continues to struggle with foreclosures and significantly deflated home values, but maybe we are at the low point for this crisis and thing actually will get better. Sure property values on the East and West coasts are still in the tank, but eventually people will start buying homes again and home loan guidelines will loosen. Loan companies that are serious about increasing conversions and originations are more committed to mortgage marketing than ever before.

Reduced Expenses as the Cost Per Lead is Lower

According to Lead Planet founder, Bryan Dornan, “If positive thinking can play a role in the recovery than 2012 and 2013 will be great years for loan origination nationally.” Dornan believes that so there has been such a significant correction in the mortgage industry that is will be easier for the lenders who are left to succeed. Although, Dornan cautioned that tighter guidelines have hindered reducing the mortgage marketing costs, because not as many loan applicants will qualify. The bottom line is that is takes more internet mortgage leads to qualify a borrower. Fortunately for loan companies the costs of mortgage leads has dipped slightly over the last few years.

Targeting Refinance Niches Will Be Critical for 2012

Don’t forget the Obama administration announced a revived HARP refinance program that actually lifts loan to value requirements for struggling borrowers looking to refinance their underwater liens. Of course you must have a mortgage owned by Fannie or Freddie and you must meet the credit requirements but no loan to value limitations could be a genuine opportunity for homeowners to lower their monthly payments from home refinancing. The question is though — how many of these upside-down borrowers already have a low interest rate? Since we have had home loan rates below 5% for almost 3 years, many of these “struggling homeowners’ already have a home loan with very good interest rates. Nonetheless, the new HARP mortgage will enhance loan origination in 2012 just how much remains to be seen. We have seen a significant spike in interest for HARP leads in the fourth quarter. We have seen a dramatic rise for internet mortgage leads that stemmed from homeowners seeking help from a HARP lender.

Mortgage Marketing Areas of Opportunity

Since we have been blessed with record breaking mortgage rates the last few years, most loan officers have continued to succeed with refinance leads.  That will continue if fixed 30-year mortgage rates remain in the 4% range and banks actually ease refinance requirements. The pool of qualified borrowers seemed to be shrinking last year, because so many homeowners had refinanced in the last few years. However, the mortgage refinancing mania will eventually lose its luster if there aren’t enough new home buyers getting loans. With that in mind, we strongly recommend buying purchase leads in 2012 because bargain home buying and low rates are the perfect cock-tail for successful new home loan origination. For smaller shops, we suggest assigning a few loan officers to develop your purchase business this year. Yes the loan origination takes more time, but the mortgage marketing costs are less than refinance leads and the referral rate is phenomenal when closing home purchase loans.

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Mortgage Websites and SEO

By · October 6, 2011 · Filed in Mortgage Marketing, Mortgage Websites, SEO, Uncategorized · Comments Off

For a lot of brokers and lenders setting up a mortgage website and hiring the SEO has been a thorn in their side.  The fact is that high percentage of loan companies getting burned on mortgage SEO.

What is Mortgage SEO?

Mortgage SEO is the process of programming your website so that the serach engines rank it high naturally. Sounds easy? SEO is a unique marketing skill that not many people have in the mortgage industry. Unfortunately like many doctors and lawyers, lenders get rolled by flaky web-designers and “wanna-be” SEO gurus that claim to be experts in the field of mortgage optimization.

Increase Traffic Naturally on the Search Engines with our Proven Mortgage SEO Strategies

- Professional Mortgage Website Design

- Enhance Company Reputation

- Get Ranked on the Major Search Engines

- Generate Exclusive Leads on Your Site

Mortgage SEO Solutions

Did you know that the Lead Planet has developed and optimized thousands of mortgage websites since 1999? Did you know that we continue to manage mortgage websites that are generating thousands of quality refinance and purchase leads?

The Lead Planet is widely considered an expert for internet mortgage marketing and lead generation. Our mortgage SEO team can help improve your website’s architecture, web-design, landing pages and much more.

Our SEO team will develop an online marketing strategy that will increase lead generation and conversion rates so you can close more loans each month. For a Free Mortgage SEO Evaluation, Call 888-271-9581.

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5 Ways to Compare Mortgage Lead Generation Companies

By · August 6, 2011 · Filed in Lead Generation News, Mortgage Marketing · Comments Off

With profits margins shrinking for loan origination, it is imperative to buy internet mortgage leads with authority from trusted mortgage lead generation companies that have a proven track record. You need to connect with a mortgage lead company that understands your niches in addition to having the ability to supply you with the volumes and loan types you need. If you specialize in home loans for first-time home buyers, then make sure the companies you are considering provide purchase money leads. Find out who has the best reputation for quality leads?  Compare lead companies for internet mortgage leads and usually it’s optimal to work with several good companies like the Lead Planet, Lending Tree, etc. Try and avoid spending your entire marketing budget with one company.

1. Ask your colleagues and mortgage professionals that you respect to uncover potential lead sources with verified reputations.  Sometimes you may find out who has the best reputation for quality leads through online reviews of internet mortgage leads, but consider the reviews with a grain of salt.  When you ask around, inquire about price (compare exclusive and non-exclusive prices), customer service, lead quality, and return policy.  Find out who has the best reputation for quality leads through experiences.

2.  Investigate mortgage marketing opportunities and shop lead companies.  Go to the website and ask about their lead generation process, the return policy, prices, and services.  As you shop lead companies, keep track of each one’s answers.

3.  One of the most important factors when you shop lead companies is to make sure you are working with a direct lead generator.  Avoid lead brokers who resell purchased leads.   A major factor in lead quality is the speed with which you follow up on the lead.  When you make sure you are working with a direct lead generator and avoid lead brokers, you are working right with the source of the leads.  See how fast they get the leads to you after you make sure you are working with a direct lead generator.  If you can follow a lead right away, you have less competition and are more likely to avert the potential clients from changing their minds.  Ask specific questions about lead generation to avoid lead brokers.  Make sure you are working with a direct lead generator, where leads are acquired through the internet, direct mail, TV, or radio.

4.  Verify how many time leads are sold and compare exclusive and non-exclusive prices.

Now that you know to avoid lead brokers, verify how many time leads are sold and compare exclusive and non-exclusive prices of the companies that are left on your list.  Leads can be exclusive, or sold only once.  When you verify how many time leads are sold, you can decide whether you want to pay for non-exclusive or exclusive-mortgage leads.  The cost of non-exclusive leads can vary quite a bit, so it pays to verify how many time leads are sold that are labeled non-exclusive.  If a lead is generated online with integrity and sold 2 or 3 times then the chances are good for you to get a solid return on investment.  If the mortgage lead is sold four times or more, then you will likely have a lower application to funding ratio.

5.  Internet mortgage leads are often the most cost-effective and plentiful.  By choosing to work with good companies like the Lead Planet, Lending Tree, etc, you help ensure that you avoid fraudulent websites.  Work with good companies like the Lead Planet, Lending Tree, etc to get internet mortgage leads for a large market.  Choosing to work with experienced lead generation companies like the Lead Planet will enhance your marketing results because you will close more refinance and purchase loans cost-effectively. Scott Deal, the National Sales Mgr. at the Lead Planet said, “Buying quality leads with the right approach is critical for achieving results.” Deal recommends taking advantage of your account manager’s knowledge because you might get some fresh perspectives that increase loan sales without breaking the bank.

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Cost Effective Mortgage Lead Generation

By · July 9, 2010 · Filed in Lead Generation News, Mortgage Lead Buying Tips, Mortgage Marketing · Comments Off

Mortgage lead generation can be a costly component of business for a mortgage lender or broker, so it makes sense to construct a cost-effective plan that converts.  Advertising on television or radio and direct mail marketing can swallow your profits or investments quickly.  Buying internet mortgage leads is often a more cost-effective approach that converts well and keeps your team of loan officers busy. 

It is important to purchase online mortgage leads from a direct source like the Lead Planet.  You need to partner with a mortgage lead generation company that actually generates the leads online, rather than buying broker leads like most lead companies do.  It doesn’t hurt to buy leads from a few sources either.  Not putting all of your eggs in one basket is always a good business move.   Make sure you are buying leads from a company that does mortgage marketing towards your lending niches. 

The Lead Planet creates mortgage lead generation campaigns to meet your growing needs: 

  • FHA Leads
  • VA Leads
  • Refinance Leads
  • Purchase Leads
  • Conventional Leads
  • Jumbo Leads
  • Debt Leads
  • Loan Modification Leads
  • Home Equity Leads

Choose from real-time mortgage leads, live transfer leads, non-exclusive and exclusive mortgage leads.  For a custom mortgage lead generation solution, contact the Lead Planet at 619-600-5720 and get a complimentary mortgage marketing consultation.

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Originate More Loans Buying Purchase and Refinance Leads

I noticed that we have been getting a lot of inquiries for mortgage refinance leads lately.  That is not unusual, because traditional mortgage shops who have been buying internet mortgage leads for years like refinance leads.  That is what they have been originating when rates were higher and that is what they originate today as the interest rates have fallen to record low levels.  No one will argue that low rates are a good time, but refinance guidelines have been tightened more in the last three years than ever before.  A few years ago, millions of borrowers bought their home with a stated income loan, but today lenders are not offering stated income loans so most of these loan applicants are turned down when trying to refinance their mortgage.  Clearly the pool of qualified refinance applicants has shrunk so in most cases loan companies will have to buy more refinance leads to get a qualified borrower. This means higher credit report bills and an increased investment for mortgage marketing. 

Direct mail costs have risen and the return rates have been lower as well.  Many loan companies are surviving with internet mortgage leads, but the companies that seem to be funding the most loans every month are the shops that are buying both purchase and refinance leads.  Many loan officers say they don’t like home purchase leads as much because the prospects are not always ready to buy a home.  That may be true, but the purchase market is much hotter than the refinance market right now, so mortgage companies should be more opened minded to work purchase leads in addition to their beloved refinance leads.  The fact exists that there are more qualified purchase mortgage applicants than refinance applicants.  Most qualified homeowners have already refinanced to a mortgage with a fixed rate in the 5% range.  Most of the refinance applicants do not qualify for home refinancing because they have no equity or their credit scores are too low.  The Lead Planet recommends buying mortgage leads with filters of a blended mix of both purchase and refinance.  Take a minute and call the Lead Planet at 619-600-5720 and we will show you how to maximize mortgage lead buying opportunities with no obligation.

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Comparing Internet Mortgage Leads to Trigger Credit Leads

I get some interesting questions from mortgage marketing executives from time to time.  Today a representative from one of the larger banks asked me to compare internet mortgage leads to trigger leads.  This person was told that trigger leads have a better conversion ratio and so they wanted to know why they wouldn’t want to shift their mortgage marketing dollars.  I decided it would be a good idea to discuss the benefits and risks of both internet loan leads and trigger leads.

Online Mortgage Leads Versus Trigger Leads

I decided it would be a good idea to discuss the benefits and risks of both internet loan leads and trigger leads.  First of all for those that do not know, a trigger lead is a lead that is generated when a loan applicant has their credit pulled.  The credit report company sells the lead to a mortgage company that meets those credit filters.  The big problem for the mortgage company buying the trigger lead is that the loan applicant does not know who they are and usually they are not happy with some random company calling them without their consent.  Any way you cut it, loan applicants are blind-sided by the mortgage company who bought the trigger lead.  It is pretty shocking that trigger leads are legal.  I don’t see how it is any different than buying a spam email lead.  Both trigger and spam leads are generated in some part without the loan applicant’s authorization. 

On the other hand, internet mortgage leads are initiated by the loan applicant. Think about it — the borrower goes online and searches for mortgage companies to help them with a refinance or purchase mortgage.  Once the loan applicant submits their request to be connected to multiple lenders the internet mortgage lead is created.  The loan applicant is now expecting a phone call and email from the loan company who purchased the mortgage lead online. 

Trigger leads can be effective, but they require a very clever loan officer to get good results.  Most loan officers are not able to overcome the typical objections that come with the trigger leads.  It is much more likely to get better conversions with internet mortgage leads because the borrower is expecting your call.  Lead Planet is a direct mortgage lead company offers quality internet and live transfer mortgage leads.  We do not offer trigger leads.

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Online Mortgage Lead Committment

The importance of buying quality mortgage leads that convert cannot be understated.  The days of throwing money at any lead broker online and succeeding are gone.  In fact if you do waste your mortgage marketing dollars like that you will not be in business for long.  If you are a loan officer or mortgage broker there is no getting around that these are tough times for the mortgage industry.  The reality is that the home loan products available carry much tighter guidelines than we have seen in the last twenty years. That means if you are serious about being competitive, you need to buy mortgage leads from a lead generation company that can perform day in and day out.

Shopping online for the best mortgage lender to meet your borrower’s needs is indeed a challenge and that is why the Lead Planet has partnered with experienced mortgage companies that know how to close loans in this market.  If you have purchased 1000′s of leads two in ten will likely convert.  One in twenty is pretty standard these days with most lead companies. The Lead Planet has made a commitment to helping loan companies get better conversion ratios from their online mortgage leads. 

Mortgage lead buying is all about commitment and buying large quantities to get a return.  Buying 100 quality mortgage refinance leads could cost $2,500.00 (100 x 25.00 per lead). If you only get applications on 20% of the leads and close half of those loan prospects you are getting a worthy return on your investment. The key is to set your monthly budget for two to three months at a time. Stick to it and buy all the loan leads you can afford if you have a talented staff and lenders that are ready to fund your loan submissions. One of the most common mistakes companies do is to not buy enough leads or stop the online mortgage lead campaign too quickly.  We are proud of the fact that our clients tell us that our live transfer leads convert better than their other lead companies.

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Lead Planet Announces New Free Mortgage Lead Campaign

The Lead Planet Company announced yesterday a new promotion offering free mortgage leads to loan companies looking to buy quality internet leads.  Find out why loan companies continue to come back to the Lead Planet year after year for internet mortgage leads. We are one of the most respected and experienced mortgage marketing companies online that offers real-time mortgage leads, live transfer leads, loan modification leads and debt leads for broker, lenders and mortgage bankers.  For the last decade, we have specialized in internet marketing for the mortgage and finance related industry. 

Take advantage of our summer lead promotion that includes 10 free mortgage leads with every order of 50 or more online mortgage leads. (The promo also includes loan mod and debt settlement leads)   

Jump-start your pipeline with quality loan leads generated exclusively by Lead Planet websites. Call 619-600-5720 or fill out the short form to the right of this article and you will get a free mortgage marketing consultation with no obligation.

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Maximizing Mortgage Lead Opportunities Online

Every time the banks tighten loan guidelines, it makes buying qualified mortgage leads more critical.  Mortgage marketing continues to unravel for many top mortgage companies, because the cost of business is rising yet in most cases the revenues are decreasing. 

How does a mortgage company spend their marketing dollar more wisely with mortgage leads?  The first step is to align your company with a mortgage lead generation company that offers leads that are not sold too many times.  Another important step is to partner with a lead company that is generating mortgage leads from applicants who really want a loan.  Buying leads from consumers that want to win an iPad rather than lock an interest rate will not help your cost to funding ratio.  Consider buying real-time mortgage leads or live transfer mortgage leads.  Even though they tend to cost more, the contact rates will be much higher and usually your cost to funding ratio will be much lower. 

Another important step to maximizing your mortgage marketing dollars is lead management.  Make sure your loan officers are calling the leads in a timely manner and verify that they are handling the calls the way you would like them too.  In many cases a loan officer will get bogged down with a few loans in process and then they will pretend to call new leads.  It is not uncommon for loan officers to fake following up on new leads.  Mortgage lead buyers need to evaluate the time a loan officer received the lead and the time they actually called the lead.  How many times are your loan officers calling on the leads?  Are they also following up with these applicants by email?  Remember that with internet mortgage leads, quite often the applicants prefer to communicate by email, so if your loan officers are only calling on the leads, then they are not managing the leads right.  And then of course there are the loan officers that only email the loan applicants because they don’t want to pick up the phone.  You need loan professionals calling and emailing the mortgage lead prospects to maximize online mortgage marketing.

The Lead Planet will create a custom lead generation program for you and your loan company. Take advantage of search engine optimization and consider our mortgage websites to help bolster your image and presence online.  Call the Lead Planet at 619-600-5720 and ask about our Free Mortgage Lead Incentives for new accounts.

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