Post by Don Kracl
How many times have you heard or thought “I’m not interested in Internet Leads...all those people want to do is price me?"
I’ve heard it a bunch. It is true that many times prospects ARE using the Internet to gauge the value of a quote they’ve already received locally. Don’t you do that when making any substantial purchase? And what could be more substantial than your home?
I think a lot of the problem with Internet leads is the way we look at them. For instance, when you buy leads you have to pay for each and every lead- whether they are contacted by one of your Originators or not. So, if you are paying $20 per lead and you buy 100 leads per month, that’s $2K you’re out! But if you get 100 calls per month into your office that’s free...or is it?
You had to do something to get your phone to ring 100 times. Advertise, referrals, past customers, etc. They all have some cost attributed to them. Worse yet, it is likely your Originators didn’t input them into a Mortgage Lead Management system so you really don’t know how many calls came in, who took the calls, what was quoted, if the prospect was followed up on, etc. Perhaps worst of all is that you spent the money to get the prospects to call, but you have no plan in place to convert the “Suspects” to borrowers. And after all, what’s the point if they don’t become customers?
With Internet leads the calculation is a little more direct. You get the lead (the amount of information varies with the source and cost of the lead), you quote it (hopefully auto-quote with a PPE), feed the lead information into you Lead Management System, track the results, run drip marketing campaigns on the leads, etc. In other words you’re going to work the lead until they either become a customer or not. The biggest failing in all prospecting (including Internet Mortgage leads), prospecting for widget buyers, walking into a retail store and any other kind of purchase environment; is that the sales person (yes, that’s you Mr. Loan Officer) doesn’t ask for the business!
I believe the sales process is no more than a queue. People are looking to purchase some good or service. In the mortgage business, too often we sit on our laurels and wait for people to come crashing through our door! It’s time to wake up and get busy. The Internet is here to stay and if you get out there and quote early and often, follow up on your prospects, provide quality information and tools; you will succeed. You will also find that while Internet leads may not be THE answer to increasing your volume, they can be a valuable addition to your overall marketing budget. An addition that can pay huge dividends and open hundreds of "branch" offices for you and your company.