A home loan purchase or refinance is the biggest financial decision for most people. It can be a complex and confusing process, to say the least. A recent study from the National Association of Realtors shows 47% of all home buyers begin their search online. A mortgage lender's online presence is one of the most important marketing investments that can be made. A mortgage website should demonstrate that the lender is reputable, reliable, and provides the technology to make the home loan process seamless. A modern mortgage website experience can improve overall lead conversion which provides more opportunities to close more loans.
Today’s consumer understands the difference between a modern website experience and an out-of-date website experience. Your website experience is now having to compete with Amazon’s easy-to-check-out service, Shopify websites, and other online brands. A mortgage website should be no different. You have about 50 milliseconds to make a first impression online and your website is where it begins. Easy-to-use navigation, education tools, reviews, and live mortgage rates are a few of the tools that help create a modern mortgage website experience.
There are also web design companies that focus specifically on building custom mortgage websites. We recommend Webcherry for mortgage lenders looking for a more custom website. There are also companies that provide templated websites at a lower price point such as Vonk Digital. Both offer their own version of value based on the specific needs of the mortgage company.
Viewing other mortgage lenders' websites does help provide design inspiration. In this article, we’ll show you how to design a high-quality modern mortgage website with the goal of creating a lead conversion machine!
The header navigation is a key component of any website. For mortgage specific websites the header navigation should focus on navigating top of the funnel leads to take the next step with your brand. A good mortgage website focuses less on “Apply Now” and more on “View Todays Rates” or “Get A Quote which will increase quality lead conversion. We are reviewing three well-designed header navigations to include Arkansas Federal Credit Union, Rosegate, and Mortgage Expert.
The first header navigation we review is for Arkansas Federal Credit Union. This navigation is designed to help their members quickly find various products. A credit union website has to support many different products so clearly identifying where to find more information on “mortgage” is important. They have a dedicated “Mortgage” tab with more available products showing in a hover state.
This mortgage lender serving the greater Charlotte, NC area worked with Webcherry to design a fully customized website experience. This simplified header calls out what is important to user: Get A Quote & Today’s Rates. Both of these CTAs are focused on top-of-the-funnel lead conversion.
A mortgage broker serving the Florida area, Shahram Sondi, has also hired Webcherry to help design and build a fully customized website experience that quickly conveys his value proposition to the visitor. He has several key navigation headers with further sub-headers showing in the hover state.
These are three well designed header navigations that show how to better incorporate top of the funnel CTAs and improve lead conversion.
The hero section of a website is the section below the navigation but above the fold of the page when a user first starts scrolling. It’s the most important section of any website, especially a mortgage website. The hero section is like the front door of home. If the front door needs a new paint job, or the door knob falls off when you try to open it, you can expect much worse inside the house. The hero section can make or break website conversion. Simple tips include no grammar mistakes, optimizing for mobile, less wording is more.
A mortgage lender based out of Walnut Creek, CA they have also selected Webcherry for web design and development. They’ve included a very clean hero section with two buttons “Home Purchase” and “Refinance”. These two buttons are effective in having the website visitor take an action. When these buttons are clicked it takes the website visitor through the BankingBridge lead workflow questionnaire which is designed to convert top-of-the-funnel leads.
The user does not need to scroll down the page to find out how to take the next steps to obtain a mortgage quote. This simple, but effective, design will greatly improve website lead conversion.
Josh Rapaport is the owner of District Lending, a mortgage broker based out of Paradise Valley, AZ. Josh hired Webcherry to provide a modern mortgage website experience as well as rebranding. This hero section does a great job of clear CTAs that convery to the website visitor how to get a free quote. He has also included social proof with some of his advertising partners. Including reviews or other social proofing will increase lead conversion.
This is a very good example of a mortgage website hero section that can be inspirations for others.
Direct Home Lending is using Vonk Digital to provide many out-of-the-box tools a mortgage lender needs to have a successful website experience. Vonk Digital build preset website templates that are offered at a much lower monthly price than a custom website. Typically these sites range from $135/mo and up depending on the size of the mortgage lender.
In this hero example, Direct Home Lending is using the “Home Purchase” and “Home Refinance” buttons that provide a clear CTA to the visitor on how to take the next steps. The value add to the website visitor is to “Get Your Rate Now”. This verbiage is focused on top-of-the-funnel conversion. Direct Home Lending is also using the BankingBridge lead workflow to maximize lead conversion. Again, focus less on trying to get the visitor to make a formal application with an “Apply Now” button. The focus should be on providing something of value back to the visitor such as a real time rate quote.
Must-Have Feature | Live Mortgage Rates
The consumer’s demands have changed in the last few years. Everything happens online and they do not want to talk with a human to initiate a transaction. They might eventually want a loan officer's help once the process starts but the consumer still wants to spend time on their own researching options, rates, and cost.
All of the lenders previewed in this article show live mortgage rates on their websites. Consumers are visiting a mortgage website to view rates. Remember, once you get the website traffic to your webpage you need a compelling reason for that prospect to revisit your website. A modern mortgage website must include live rates to provide a reason for that prospect to revisit your website. Mortgage lenders of all sizes can now integrate live rates into their website with data provided by pricing engines such as Optimal Blue, Mortech, Polly, Lender Price, and Loansifter.
A consumer direct lender under the Fairway Mortgage brand, Homefinity competes with lenders like Quicken Loans, Better.com, and Guaranteed Rate with a modern website shopping experience. They have invested in a custom website built and managed by Kaleidico.
Here you can see how they have integrated live rate display, in a “card” format, slightly below the hero section of the homepage. This rate data is supplied directly from the pricing engine and it automatically updated with market changes
Vatche Saatdjian is the owner of Valley West Mortgage. Valley West is based out of Las Vegas, NV, and has embraced the new hybrid mortgage model. This includes investing in a great custom website experience and utilizing real-time rates to improve lead conversion.
This rate comparison table is provided by BankingBridge and integrates directly with Valley West’s pricing engine, Optimal Blue. This provides a modern way for website visitors to compare different mortgage rates, programs, and cost all without leaving your website.
A mortgage bank based out of Overland Park, KS, Farmers Bank of Kansas City has made a push to modernize its website experience. They currently spend advertising dollars on sites like NerdWallet and Bankrate to help drive traffic to their website.
They are also utilizing the BankingBridge rate comparison table to power their rate shopping experience directly on their website. The pricing engine used for this integration is Mortech which provides real-time rate data to BankingBridge. This experience increases the website visitor time on the page and provides a reason for the prospect to make a repeat visit. The addition of the rate comparison table is a great way to 3-4X quality lead conversion.
The mortgage lender websites we have previewed in this article have all made the investment in their online presence. When designing a mortgage website focus on the header navigation and the hero section for maximum lead conversion. To provide a compelling reason for website traffic to revisit your page integrate live rates into several different pages.
Reach out to your pricing engine partner to see if they have an API available for real-time rate display. Typically they will recommend working with a third party, like BankingBridge, to help speed up the integration and reduce overall costs.