In this hot real estate market, there’s plenty of room for mortgage brokers to grow. Demand for homes is high, and many well qualified borrowers are looking for a mortgage broker to help them secure financing. Whether you’re just starting out as a mortgage broker or have an established mortgage business, it’s a great time to reach out and expand your network. How can mortgage brokers capitalize on this exciting moment to grow their businesses? Here are seven tips that mortgage pros can use to find leads more effectively, and to build strong relationships with borrowers and lenders in the process.
1. Commit to a strong and user-friendly web presence.
A well-designed digital presence, including both a website and social media, is an absolute must-have. At minimum, your website should make it easy for leads to find your basic information, including basic contact info, plus NMLS license and mortgage bond information. Good web design on your website is important, too, since a hard-to-use site will drive away leads. But you should also consider what else your online presence can offer your clients and your leads. Informational content on your website or social media about the real estate market, how mortgage brokers work, or other relevant topics can help position you as a leader while helping your clients understand this important financial decision. Consider offering useful tools like a pre-approval calculator, too, if they make sense for your brand.
2. Cultivate relationships with real estate agents in your target market.
Real estate agents are invaluable partners in growing your mortgage broker business and generating well qualified leads. An agent typically has a good idea of what a borrower can afford and what kind of home they’re looking for, which means they can offer a potentially crucial source of well-vetted leads to a mortgage broker.
To build these relationships, mortgage brokers need to reach out and network with agents. Make sure your communications with real estate agents are always prompt and responsive, and keep in touch with agents you work with on successful sales. Remember that, as a broker, you have expertise in financing that agents may not have, so consider how you can most effectively promote your services to them.
3. Engage leads quickly.
A fast response to your leads’ emails is one of the easiest ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Responding quickly tells your leads that you’re engaged, attentive, and focused on their needs. Simply being the first broker to respond to a client’s queries is often the advantage you need to move a lead into your sales pipeline.
Social media platforms offer a potentially rich source of leads because borrowers can reach out directly. However, borrowers who reach out through these platforms often expect quick responses, so it’s important to manage client expectations. Automated response programs like chatbots and email responders can offer an easy way to respond quickly, but it’s best to avoid becoming over-reliant on them.
4. Use a CRM system to track leads and manage client relationships more effectively.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an important tool for mortgage brokers today. A good CRM suite allows you to serve your clients better by keeping important information organized, and it helps you gain and convert more leads by helping you manage your sales pipeline more efficiently.
Automation and compliance are two other major advantages of CRM software. Many of a mortgage broker’s most time-consuming and repetitive tasks, such as following up on emails, can be easily automated through CRM software. In addition, CRM software can help mortgage brokers meet legal and record keeping requirements by giving you easily searchable records of all communications and reminding you about important compliance elements like disclosures.
5. Ask past clients for reviews and referrals.
Reviews and referrals from happy clients are among the most effective ways to promote your mortgage broker services online. That’s why successful brokers keep in touch with satisfied clients, nurture relationships with them, and might ask them to write a review or refer a friend who needs a mortgage.
Maintaining strict ethical standards is important here—you’re looking for positive but honest reviews and referrals. Remember that paid testimonials are against the law unless disclosed, so make sure that your clients aren’t expecting to be compensated for online reviews. Paid referrals, too, are often illegal, so always ask as a favor rather than for compensation.
6. Offer your clients fully virtual consultations.
With the battle against the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, many people still want the option to receive services virtually, especially people with compromised immune systems or vulnerable loved ones. Video consultations for clients and leads will help you bring these clients in, and it could give you a significant advantage over other mortgage services that don’t offer them.
The virtual consultation has other advantages, too. It makes your services more accessible to people with disabilities and those who can’t travel easily, and it helps make you more competitive with the many popular online mortgage services. People love convenience, but a personal touch is important, too, and virtual mortgage consultations let you offer your clients both.
7. Get serious about data.
Like any other 21st century business, mortgage brokers need clear and robust data to track how they’re doing and make informed decisions. This is another upside of a strong web presence: It gives you an excellent way to collect customer data. If you’re working with a CRM system, as suggested above, it will provide you with robust tools to collect and analyze customer data.
Taking data seriously, of course, also means taking data security seriously. As a mortgage broker, you have access to a lot of extremely sensitive financial information, so make a commitment to continuously updating and reviewing your data security measures. One data breach could potentially undo years of hard work and trust building with your clients and partners.