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Online Lending for Mortgage Bankers Part 3: Smooth Sailing

Posted by Renee Harvey on Jan 6, 2011 11:31:00 AM
Post by Don Kracl
So you’re convinced - you’re going to start taking Internet Leads. Great! As you know there’s a slew of providers out there: LendingTree, LowerMyBills, Google, Zillow, just to name a few. They’re all great sources, no doubt about it. The lead is only the first baby step in turning this opportunity into dollars for your bottom line.

Many times we see a company get into the Online Lending space with high hopes and great expectations, only to see those hopes and dreams turn into a Dust Bowl tragedy! How can you avoid that? What can be done to ensure your efforts, reputation and financial risk are rewarded?
Online Lending for Mortgage Bankers
First of all, get structured. Get your people in place and set goals and expectations for the key segments of the process. What are your expectations for the first response? You know you need to respond to the consumer quickly, right? You wan the first response. And by first response, I mean THE first, measured in seconds--not hours or days. So make sure you have a system in place to return accurate pricing and programs to the consumer.

Since you probably won’t get that much information from the consumer initially, you need to be ready to “work” the lead. After the initial automated pricing, the use of which will increase your effectiveness quite a bit, you need to get your Originators moving. They need to reach out to the consumer NOW! As mentioned in an earlier post, it’s well known the first contact has the best chance to establish rapport and turn that lead into an application. So you need an automated lead assignment piece that is tightly coupled with your pricing engine. As soon as the lead is priced, it needs to be assigned. Assigned to someone who is licensed in that state, knowledgeable on the loan type requested (Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, etc), available to make the contact ASAP and who will execute on contacting the prospect. And Management must be aware of who received that assignment - accountability is key.That initial contact will provide the best, most immediate results and create the most likely chance for that lead to turn into real profit.

So your Originators worked the lead, priced it, followed-up with a phone call, established rapport with the prospect. Bad news: the consumer didn’t take the next step and your originator didn't turn the lead into an application. Don’t despair! Not everyone is necessarily ready at that moment. In fact somewhere around 50% of consumers likely aren’t ready. These consumers are making big decisions and might simply be shopping for mortgages. Don’t let your Originators drop them though. You need to keep nurturing the lead. Keep in contact, follow-up, provide better more pointed information- especially if the lead is just “kicking tires.” You need to follow up the next day, 3 days later, a week later and so on. You need to keep working that lead, providing relevant information and staying in contact until the lead either becomes an application or you can determine, with a high degree of confidence, that the lead is not going to become an application. And even if you they’re not ready to purchase, you shouldn’t give up. Maybe they have credit problems. Help them fix their problems. Many services are available: GoFreeCredit.com, FreeCreditreport.com and so on. Perhaps they had down payment issues, maybe they had some family problems or maybe it was just too much, too soon. Utilize a drip marketing program that will help long after the initial contact. Remind your Originators they need to reach out and keep your brand in front of them.

A costly flaw to online lending is allowing your originators to simply reach out once to the lead and giving up. Your company paid for that lead, right? Make the most out of it and make sure you’re originators are following through. As a manager, you should use reporting tools so that you know who’s following through and who’s not - reward the loan officers who are performing better with more leads. Evaluate your ROI with each lead aggregator. Evaluating your efforts is critical.

Online lending is a competitive and sometimes frustrating process, but with the right plan, the right attitude and the right technology, your company can succeed.
Want to get more information about the best approaches to online lending? Download the Online Lending Kit Now! 
 

Topics: mortgage lead management for mortgage pros, Online lending and lead management

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