It's a time for many mortgage companies to evaluate what is working, what's not working, and where improvements can be made to be ready for the current shift and next cycle. Part of that assessment is understanding a few top trends in mortgage online marketing. The investments we hear when talking with our customers and prospects center around technology and either looking to find new, more robust solutions or something more basic like finally investing in something like a CRM or pricing engine. The goal of these assessments is to make the changes needed to meet more consumers on their terms, create a better mortgage experience, generate more high quality mortgage leads, and close more loans.
Here are 5 of the top trends we see from generating 200,000+ mortgage website leads on behalf of our customers.
#1 Website Layout
Your mortgage website investment should be maintained and updated just like the corporate headquarters office. You clean the office every day, you invest in new technology for the corporate office, and you keep the landscaping maintained. A mortgage lender's website is one of the top assets available to drive demand and it's as important as the corporate office. There are a few website layout fundamentals that every mortgage company can follow to 2-3X lead conversion.
The homepage is the most important page of your website. For the homepage, the hero section is where the money is made. Remove the “Apply Now” button and provide more of a shopping experience which includes education, live rates, and rate comparison tools. If you follow these fundamentals and agree to make the monthly maintenance investment in your mortgage website, leads will follow.
#2 Website Rate Display
A consumer visits a mortgage website to shop for a mortgage. A huge part of the shopping experience is incorporating real-time rate display directly on your website. The competition like Better.com, Bank of America, Quicken Loans, and Guarantee Rate are already displaying rates and gaining market share against traditional lenders. More than likely your current customers and prospects are visiting one of these lenders (or other industry giant) during home loan research process. Website rate display provides a reason for a prospective customer to visit your website but the bigger benefit is that it allows them a reason to revisit your website. Most mortgage consumers are not ready to make a formal application on the first visit. Provide the online experience that the consumer values and your conversion will improve and repeat visits will skyrocket.
#3 Rate Alert Emails
The consumer is interested in keeping up with their custom rate scenario just like they would track the stock price of a favorite stock. The most compelling data that a mortgage lender can share with the consumer is actual real-time mortgage rates and how those movements affect the level of affordability or monthly savings.
The consumer's home loan process begins online with research, education, and visits to numerous websites to learn more about the overall mortgage process and interest rates. Providing an experience that is not heavily based on "selling the lead' but more on education. This can set one mortgage lender apart from their competition. Your rates should be easy for the consumer to find and highly customizable.
#4 Social Proofing
Why would a consumer move forward with a brand with no reviews? Would your chances of converting more mortgage leads increase if you could prominently display your reviews across your website and online assets?
According to Review Tracker, 94% of online shoppers reported that a negative review has convinced them to avoid visiting a business. This means that having a positive online presence gives you several key advantages, which is why it’s becoming a key part of branding. Google My Business, Yelp, Zillow, or Experience.com are all great review sources that will expand your brand and grow your online presence.
#5 Incentives, Rewards, & Payoffs
It's never a good idea to start a relationship by promising something and not delivering. An incentive does not have to be a dollar amount like a lender credit or a reduce commission. The incentive, rewards, and payoffs we recommend are providing something of value back to the consumer when they submit their information. A negative trend in the industry is promoting an actual rate quote online that is either not attainable or actually never intended to be offered.
The consumer is willing to provide the trade-off of their contact information in return for an incentive or reward. For mortgage lenders, that trade-off would be an actual custom rate quote. Start the relationship off on the right foot by delivering what you are advertising on your website. Provide the correct payoff to the visitor if they are willing to submit their contact information.