Mortgage Broker Marketing — Ideas and tips to attract more leads
Learn how to attract more leads to your mortgage business and remain competitive in an evolving real estate market.
10 August 2021 · 8 min read
They say the best marketing is one that is specifically tailored to the consumer. But for home buyers and real estate financing consumers, this is very much easier said than done.
For the most part, the home-buying and financing process can be downright stressful. This is likely the most expensive purchase that most buyers will ever make, after all. Moreover, with the length of time to cover the payment reaching up to 30 years, it’s also probably the longest purchase they’d make in their lifetimes.
As a mortgage broker, how do you market your services to these people? You’re basically asking them to part with huge sums of money and continue making payments for the next few decades. Regular marketing simply isn’t going to cut it.
This article unpacks the essentials of mortgage broker marketing. At the end of the article, you’ll know how to attract more leads to your mortgage business and remain competitive in an evolving real estate market. Let’s get to it.
Getting started with digital marketing for mortgage brokers
Crafting the perfect digital marketing strategy for mortgage brokers and loan officers is not something that is achieved overnight. Be prepared to start slow and have all the information you need before making any moves.
For instance, one of the first things you’ll want to establish is your target audience. Obviously, you’re targeting prospective home buyers and people looking to refinance their real estate properties. But that can’t be the only parameter. Location, income bracket, family orientation, even the current state of the economy — these are all important considerations.
Once you determine your target market, the next step is deciding how to reach them. Ideally, your mortgage business should have an established presence across the main digital marketing channels — website, social media, and email. But if this is your first time putting together a marketing plan, having a dedicated mortgage broker website and social media profiles are the best places to start.
Keep in mind that while it’s relatively easy to come up with a bunch of mortgage marketing ideas, the execution will not always be as straightforward. There are so many considerations involved, and it’s always better to get it right from the start so you don’t spend too much time on fixes and replacements down the line.
For instance, you already know that you need a website, but setting it up involves things like custom domain, web hosting, the actual website design, optimized content, well-placed links, and more. That’s why the smarter play is to simply hire a professional web design agency to get it done for you.
After implementing your marketing strategy, the last step is to monitor your campaigns and tweak them as needed to deliver better results. Remember, it’s all about focusing on what parts of digital marketing can drive the most mortgage leads without breaking the bank. Don’t feel like you have to do all aspects at once. Start with one or two marketing ideas, and keep it going from there.
Why do so many mortgage brokers struggle with marketing their services?
Mortgage marketing is not necessarily more challenging than marketing for other industries. After all, the goal is the same — acquire potential customers and convert them into buyers of whatever you’re selling. The methods for achieving this goal are not so different compared to other niches.
And yet, mortgage brokers, loan officers, and real estate agents struggle with digital marketing all the time. Here are a few reasons why:
The real estate and finance industries are highly regulated
When we talk of mortgage loans and refinancing, we’re talking about a business caught between two distinct industries. Yes, the main thing of interest is the real estate property, but there’s a lot of financial stuff involved too. In finance, real estate is categorized as a ‘real asset,’ one of the strongest asset classes ever.
The point is, both the real estate and finance industries are highly regulated, and so it’s like weaving through a very tight corridor of compliance matters when doing mortgage broker marketing. It’s not just government regulations, either. The marketing platforms also have restrictions on what you can include in a typical marketing message. Navigating these nuances will definitely pose a challenge.
While not necessarily specific to mortgage businesses, information overload is an integral concern in today’s digital landscape. Everyone on the internet is likely there to consume information. Whether on websites, blogs, Instagram, Youtube, Reddit, emails — it’s all about the content.
At some point, how do you decide which piece of information is more valuable? Which ones are online users going to follow? That’s the challenge here. So it’s not just about telling people that you exist. These prospective clients also need to know that they can trust the information you’re putting out there. As you can probably imagine, this is not so easy to accomplish.
For a new mortgage company, the one thing many mortgage loan officers have is time. Because they’re not issuing loans and helping close deals, they’re usually out looking for potential clients. However, once the business starts to find some traction, time becomes scarce. The time and effort spent on lead generation will be channeled towards providing client services.
Here’s the thing though, mortgage marketing is a continuous affair. It requires you to stay up to date on changes and take advantage of trends to keep the sales pipeline full. These things require time and attention, which can be extremely difficult to find at that stage of the business.
Highly competitive online atmosphere
Real estate is one of those sectors that will likely live in perpetuity. We’ve all got to live somewhere, right? Plus, from a young age, most of us dream of becoming first-time home buyers. So it’s likely that the industry will have a constant supply of potential clients. However, with these prospects and opportunities come increased competition.
While competition is generally a good thing for buyers, it can be a nightmare for sellers. Most of the time, staying relevant in a highly competitive market means spending more, lowering prices, and changing marketing approaches. These are not terms any business owner wants to hear.
Proven mortgage marketing strategies for better lead generation
In spite of the challenges, there are countless mortgage lenders and brokers who are reaping the rewards of digital marketing. There’s no standard formula for successful mortgage broker marketing, but there are proven strategies and tips that you can utilize to help you get there. Let’s take a look at them:
1. Get grounded in SEO
Search engine optimization is a must-have in any serious mortgage marketing toolbox. Potential homeowners and people looking to refinance their mortgages will likely turn to Google to research the best mortgage brokers to handle their needs. In fact, most of the time, the buyer journey begins with an organic search.
Your mortgage company should be among the search results provided by search engines for mortgage-related terms. That’s basically the primary goal of SEO. The best place to start is your mortgage broker website. This is the powerhouse of your brand’s online presence.
When it comes to SEO for your website, there are two main focus areas — what the website visitors see and what the search engine crawlers see. Your website visitors interact with the content and UX design of the site. This means all content must be duly optimized, including meta titles and descriptions. On the back-end, search engine crawlers interact with the technical side of your website — XML sitemaps, site architecture, structured data, interlinking, canonical tags, 301 redirects, duplicate content, and the rest.
Read also: How to get your website on Google
2. Double down on local SEO
Local SEO is a game-changer in local search. It’s not hard to see why. If you’re doing an online search for a business or service, it makes sense that Google should prioritize results for those businesses that are nearest to you. So local SEO is all about optimizing your business to appear more prominently in searches for mortgage brokers that originated from your local area.
To facilitate local SEO for your mortgage business, you need to create a Google My Business (GMB) profile and claim your local listings. You’ll need to provide important information about your company, such as the name, address, phone number, and operating hours. You may also need to provide pictures of your office and any nearby landmarks. This makes it easier for people to find your company both on Google Maps and in real life.
3. Go heavy on content marketing
Content marketing is the glue holding every digital marketing strategy together. It essentially covers everything your prospective clients will read, hear, or watch about your mortgage company on the internet. It’s, therefore, quite broad. But for mortgage lenders, brokers, and loan officers, the primary focus of content marketing should be on blogs, guest posts, and email.
The easiest one to start is blogging. Blog posts provide the perfect avenue to educate readers on why you’re the go-to expert in your field. The mortgage space is quite extensive, so there’s no shortage of things to write about. What’s more, each post only contributes to your credibility and authority on those subject matters.
- Guest posting
When you’ve started to make a name for yourself, you can start including guest posts. These are informative, engaging articles that are posted on other websites to link back to your website. For example, you could become a guest contributor on relevant sites like realtor.com, Forbes, Investopedia, etc. This further increases your popularity in the online space and can be a great traffic source to your website.
- Email marketing
There are many benefits to email marketing. After all, how often do you get the chance to speak to potential clients directly through their inbox? The return on investment is also one of the highest in the digital marketing space.
That being said, email marketing is not so simple to implement. The hardest part is curating your email list. A common practice is to simply purchase an email list and start bombarding them with cold emails. Sometimes it works. More often, however, it is a complete waste of time that can even put you in trouble. The penalty for unsolicited emails can go as high as $16,000 per email sent, according to the CAN-SPAM Act.
- Stand out with video content
If you can afford it, video content is definitely the best way to do content marketing. It is the most engaging and, therefore, the most likely to acquire mortgage leads and convert them into new clients. Video content works just about anywhere — websites, social media platforms, paid marketing campaigns, emails, and more.
4. Keep up with social media marketing
Social media marketing has quickly evolved from an optional aspect of digital marketing to one of its main pillars. The most popular social media platform for mortgage broker businesses is Linkedin. Facebook and Youtube are great options too.
Keep in mind, however, that all these platforms require different kinds of content. For the average startup or small business, this is quite cost-prohibitive. Nevertheless, it still pays to have your brand duly represented across social media. Even if it’s posting regularly so you can stay top of mind among your target audience.
Social media marketing is also great for posting announcements and promos. However, this requires a thorough understanding of the economy and related factors. For example, as a mortgage broker, you need to be up to date on important issues like how current interest rates affect potential borrowers. Many realtors and mortgage lenders capitalized on the huge interest rate drop back in 2020 during the pandemic. They took to social media to announce more favorable terms on home loans and mortgage refinancing.
Above all, remember that social media is a powerful communication channel. You can’t afford to just post. You should be able to also interact with your audience — answer their questions, provide any additional information they need, and interact with them on a personal level.
5. Run pay-per-click (PPC) ads to get some leads flowing
If you want to amp up your mortgage lead generation, PPC ads are the way to go. Google ads and Facebook ads remain the top choices for PPC marketing campaigns. You post your ads, and when people click on them, they are redirected to a designated landing page to learn more about the details of the ad. You then pay the platform where the ad was posted for every click recorded.
If you’re not comfortable with the PPC model, you could consider the pay-per-lead (PPL) model instead. This is usually more preferable because it means you’re only paying for qualified leads.
Two things to keep in mind with PPC advertising. First, be very specific with who you’re targeting. Every ad campaign should have a specific audience. For instance, an ad aimed at home loans for first-time homebuyers cannot apply to people looking to refinance their mortgage.
The second is that the mortgage broker space and the extended real estate industry are highly competitive. As such, you might need a sizable ad budget to see any tangible results. For example, in Google ads, the second and third most expensive keywords are ‘loans’ and ‘mortgage’ with costs per click (CPC) of $44.28 and $47.12, respectively.
6. Build and improve customer trust with testimonials
People won’t come to get a home loan or refinance deal from you if they don’t trust you. Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything you can say that can generate that level of trust. People are generally skeptical of marketing and ad messaging. And so, if you can’t sway them with your words, relying on the words of your happy clients is the next best thing.
Testimonials are great for showcasing your mortgage company from the perspective of your potential clients. It tells them what to expect, which in turn, tends to put their minds at ease at the prospect of doing business with you. Showcase your client testimonials boldly on your website, social media pages, and property listing sites.
7. Take advantage of every referral opportunity
Referral partners are a great source of quality mortgage leads. But why stop there? Open house events, community programs, webinars, and more offer great referral opportunities — don’t let any of them pass you by.
Coach your past clients and personal network to send quality referrals your way. There’s virtually no cost involved and no harm whatsoever in asking. Follow up with them regularly, so they remember to keep you top of mind.
However, one thing to consider is that you must first have a track record of excellent service. No one’s going to refer a business or service from which they got a terrible experience. Don’t just assume that you delivered great service. Take the time to actually find out if the client needs something else. Only when you’re sure can you then ask them for a referral.
Bringing it all together
It’s more important than ever to have a solid mortgage marketing strategy, especially in today’s tight housing market. There are so many exciting ways to implement your mortgage broker marketing ideas, and these activities are a great place to start. In any case, remember to be consistent with your efforts. Digital marketing is a bit like exercise — if you don’t keep at it, you’ll never get the expected results.
Take action on your mortgage marketing with B12!
B12 can help kickstart your mortgage broker marketing and implement your ideas. We provide all the tools and services you need to dominate your digital marketing, including an AI-powered website, SEO, copywriting, blogging, and more. We also offer built-in business management tools like online appointment scheduling systems, online payments and invoicing tools, and contact management software.
Check out the complete overview of B12 products, and let us know how we can help your mortgage business achieve its goals.