Modern day consumers, especially millenials, are conditioned to obtain virtually any service or product online. The mortgage industry is gradually catching up with online retail powerhouses such as Amazon, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
“It is important to understand the trend,” says Adam Stein, CEO of LoanTek, a pricing engine platform that incorporates all the features required to implement consumer direct marketing. “The mobile trend is obviously huge and the digital trend is huge, so the days of traditional marketing to consumers are really gone. I would say in the next decade, if companies have yet to move into a fairly fine-tuned digital marketplace strategy, they are going to be behind the curve.”
According to Stein, there are just a few high-level concepts mortgage companies can apply in terms of online origination – and SEO (search engine optimization) is one. “SEO is a low cash investment,” he says. “If you can write, you can do your own SEO.” Even for non-writers, Stein suggests solutions such as hiring a local college student to help produce content efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. However, although the pro with SEO is its inexpensive nature, the con can be the timeline associated with developing a strong SEO presence. “When you first start, it can take a while for pages to be found and ranked during searches,” he continues. With tools such as Google Analytics, a free service that helps track SEO progress, creating strategic content that achieves great SEO inexpensively is more viable than ever, he says.
SEO isn’t the industry’s only source for marketing. Stein mentions that most of the mortgage industry turns to lead purchasing, an easy and immediate strategy to online marketing. “You have to look at the cost you put into leads and if they are exclusive or not,” says Stein. “You need to have lead management, understand what your ROI looks like and have something to compare what you are purchasing into.”
Similar to lead purchasing, CPC (cost per click) marketing is designed to drive traffic to a website, and Stein notes the importance of having a landing page that is optimized to ensure a good conversion rate when those clicks come through. “We have some turnkey solutions at LoanTek that have increased conversion rates from 3-5% up to 8-13%, and if it is local branding, the conversion rate can be as high as 20%.”
“Unfortunately, many industry websites have not been revitalized to contemporary standards,” he continues. “Think about going online to purchase a printer. Once you find the printer you want, at the price you want, you can just order it directly from the online website. We give lenders that same efficiency so that when they start the conversation with the customer – it is essentially the same concept – they are fulfilling that customer’s order.”
“Don’t neglect the visual component of marketing”
“Something brokers must do for themselves”