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To leverage consumers' seemingly insatiable demand for information, provide them with just that — but make it a tool. Offer informative, educational blogs about how to shop for mortgages, create documents to download about shopping for a mortgage, and make your website a source for relevant information.
Convert leads to clients
As you create this type of Web space and promote it to your clients and referral sources, you will see your Web traffic increase. The final step will be to harvest the fruits of that effort.
Although Web shoppers will visit a site to get information, they will leave it just as quickly if they don't find the answers they seek. You must be able to convert these shoppers into prospects.
You can do this by setting up strategic calls to action. The "Contact us" button is no longer effective enough; you must be more creative.
Consider offering "free" downloads of white papers that are specific to downpayment requirements, shopping for best price, or Federal Housing Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture financing. To download that information, prospects would need to provide an e-mail address, to which you'll send the link to download the information they requested.
You also can set up a live chat on your website and offer to help in real time. Many mortgage originators have seen strong results with this approach.
When they contact you, you must ask potential clients about their expectations. By this time, many of them will already have an idea about what they think they can get. You must uncover what their expectations are to make sure you start the conversation on the right foot.
If they want to refinance, ask them what they think their home is worth and how they got to that number. If they need a purchase loan, ask what type of mortgage they feel would be the best fit for their needs.
With that information in mind, you can ask well-targeted questions, which will help you manage the conversation and gain your prospective clients' trust. The No. 1 mistake brokers make is to dismiss prospective clients' beliefs and ask them to trust you.
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Regardless of what you think about the extensive amount of information available online, one thing is certain: It will not change. If you take advantage of this opportunity to connect with more prospective clients, you will increase your business and your bottom line.
Frédéric Guitton is vice president of activSalesAgent (www.activSalesAgent.com), a full-service live-chat provider for the mortgage industry. After 10 years in mortgage origination, he helped start activSalesAgent to help mortgage companies get more from their Web traffic through proactive live chat and a fully staffed chat service.
The staff of activSalesAgent works online on behalf of clients and is trained to engage and convert Web shoppers into live prospects. Contact Guitton at fguitton@activSalesAgent.com or (321) 441-7717.
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