Residential Magazine

Chase Only the Best Leads

Automation can help filter out unlikely-to-close loan prospects

By Alex Machuca

When you work with mortgages, you work in a people business. Bringing in new leads means constantly talking to people — including many people who might not be good leads in the first place. One of the best ways to become more productive is to whittle down the leads with which you engage to the ones most likely to close.

Fortunately, automation can help you sort and manage leads. If you want to automate lead management, how can you do it in a way that makes you more efficient without missing out on lending opportunities?

Targeted prospects

One way is to use disqualifiers based on credit. You can use surveys and polls to eliminate people with poor credit that you wouldn’t have considered for mortgage products in the first place. Rather than you taking the time to shorten your list of leads, make sure that the disqualified leads take themselves out of the running before you speak to them on the phone.

Another way is to key in on your target demographic. For example, if you target people with stable or high-trending jobs, then there’s a good chance that you can promote mortgages to them that they’ll be able to pay off over time. Mortgages are, after all, highly income-dependent. By focusing on clients with good, solid income, you can spend more of your time on the leads that are most qualified to work with you.

Successful originators also incorporate the preapplication phase into their follow-up. Data drives automation. The more you find out about someone, the easier it will be to automate your follow-ups. If you can find a way to incorporate preapplication steps into your follow-up process, you’ll not only be able to focus on the most important leads, but you’ll have a way of prioritizing.

Efficient workflow

The fastest way to ensure that you spend less time with leads — while still generating them — is to automate the process of prequalifying each lead as it arrives. The first step is to look at your advertising.

If you use an advertising platform with a high degree of customization, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, you can create campaigns that automatically target people of certain incomes. Consider who you’re pursuing. Do you want someone shopping for their first home or are you looking for someone with a stable income?

The next step is to look for opportunities to outsource your marketing efforts. For example, can you hire someone to handle A/B testing on your campaigns? A/B testing is often used online for such things as headlines by comparing two versions to see which performs better. Can you hire someone to write your direct-mail marketing copy? Can you hire a virtual assistant — usually an outside independent contractor who provides some administrative support — who can take on the tasks you don’t like to do?

Also consider how you can outsource the task of promoting the value of your work. You may be able to work with a public relations professional who can help get the word out. In this case, you may find that much of the work they do for you only requires a bit of your input before they begin.

Everything you do can be automated to one degree or another. It all depends on the upfront work you’re willing to put in to make it happen.

Automation strategies

Automation isn’t a process that happens overnight. You shouldn’t feel discouraged if you can’t find a way to automate every aspect of your job as a mortgage originator. But take on the mindset that there should be no stone unturned in your quest for automation.

A customer relationship management platform can automate the follow-up process via email, voicemail or text message. A third-party provider can actively dial prospects on your lead list and try to book appointments for you. If it can be improved, improve it. Consider the following “little wins” as candidates for improvement.

Eliminate cold-calling, which was an effective if inefficient way to build new business in years past. Bringing in leads in the 21st century doesn’t require direct voice-to-voice connections anymore. Consider eliminating cold calling in favor of only following up with people who willingly give you their phone number on your website.

A tool like Calendly will outsource the “email tag” that goes on when you try to schedule time with a potential lead. Simply installing this on your website alone may save you hours (or even days) each year, depending on how often you play this game of tag.

Create a dedicated landing page for different lending segments. Landing pages are parts of your website that show up in online searches and on social media that are designed to convert visitors to clients. The narrower your landing page’s focus is, the more it will speak to each potential client. It will do more of the prequalifying and the selling — but only if it speaks directly to the client’s needs.

With the right strategies in mind, you can automate a great deal of your incoming mortgage leads. And you can create the systems you need to filter in the right ones for you. ●


  • Alex Machuca

    Alex Machuca is the founder and CEO of Lyncrest Media, a mortgage marketing company that guarantees clients 60 appointments over the course of 90 days. He has been featured in top publications such as Yahoo Finance, CBS, Fox News, Thrive Global, SmallBizClub and Young Upstarts, among others. He also has been featured on various podcasts, including the “Million Dollar Mortgage Experience” and “Hooked on Startups.” 

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