Important: This article is a part of our financial lead generation series, where we shed light on how to generate and convert the most wanted financial leads. Check it out for the insights you can’t find elsewhere.
Do you know what the ever-growing mortgage debt and the soaring mortgage interest rates mean for loan officers, brokers, and credit companies? Exactly: increased profit margins. Mortgage leads have become extremely profitable across the board, with thousands of them looking for reasonable loan offers right now.
As a mortgage professional, you have every chance to tap into the stream of mortgage leads, converting customers at scale. You only need one thing: solid mortgage lead generation strategies.
But don’t worry – we’ve got your back on this.
Below is your complete guide on mortgage lead generation, divided into two parts:
- Part 1 – Generating mortgage leads using earned media
- Part 2 – Buying mortgage leads from third-party lead providers
Read on to learn everything you need to know about mortgage lead generation, free and paid.
Who Are Mortgage Leads, and What Services Do They Seek?
Among the 66% of Americans who own a home, many financed their home purchase with a mortgage, and for a strong reason. The price of a single-family home in the United States has increased by some 30% over the last few years, making mortgage loans the only option for many aspiring homeowners.
- Mortgage leads are customers looking for a mortgage loan to purchase a property, refinance an existing mortgage, consolidate debts, renovate their home, etc. The reasons for taking out a mortgage may differ, but what unites all mortgage leads is the need for a financially beneficial mortgage offer.
As a lender, you can generate mortgage leads galore if you have a superior value proposition and leverage available traffic sources.
Part 1 – How To Generate Free Mortgage Leads from Earned Media
Before we dig into mortgage lead generation, let’s just mention that you don’t necessarily have to generate leads on your own but can also buy mortgage leads from publishers or affiliate networks. But then again, that’s the synergy of organic and paid mortgage leads that usually grants the highest ROI.
Before we start: No matter how insignificant your online presence may seem, make sure to use it to the fullest. There are always borrowers looking for quality content and a unique value proposition you can hopefully provide.
Step 1 – Determine Your Ideal Mortgage Lead
The first step is drawing a picture of your ideal mortgage lead. You may not hit the bull’s eye on the first try, but defining your target buyer is absolutely crucial; otherwise, a blurred marketing focus will lose you tons of money.
Here are the two groups of factors that define your ideal mortgage loan applicant:
- Demographics: It encompasses typical characteristics of a customer group, like age, gender, location, education, income, marital status, and other details that can help customize your offering.
- Psychographics: It comprises psychological patterns of a customer group, like interests, motivations, shopping habits, values, beliefs, and cultural attributes.
Now, it’s time for a brief digression.
Unlocking demographics and psychographics manually – as well as manually managing mortgage leads and any other leads, for that matter – is extremely ineffective if done manually. You must use automated software to speed things up and lower the margin of error, not to mention you will understand your buyers better and have a bigger sample size for lead analytics.
What software for mortgage leads do you need?
Ideally, you need a software suite covering your entire sales funnel. Something like Phonexa’s comprehensive lead management bundle, the one converting lead generation from A to Z.
Here are some of the software solutions you will likely need, on the example of Phonexa:
|Lead management software
|Decoding the customer journey is a must to understand what drives and hinders conversions. A comprehensive suite of lead management lead tracking, distribution, and analytics software like LMS Sync will allow you to see the big picture rather than the scattered, hard-to-interpret puzzles of separate interactions.
|Call management software
|With phone calls being the climax of the journey of many mortgage leads, it’s imperative to collect the maximum call data while directing the caller to the right loan officer. Advanced call management software like Call Logic can do both, interpreting real-time caller data into the best possible call routing or even solving the call on the spot for simpler requests.
|Email marketing software
|Email marketing software like E-Delivery can ensure the right email hits the right mortgage lead at the right time while possibly impressing them with newer technologies like AMP.
|User behavior recording and analytics software
|Screening and visualizing the on-site behavior of mortgage leads with software like HitMetrix can help you understand how website users interact with pages and elements, what drives conversions, and what creates unnecessary friction
The digression is over now.
Another important thing to mention is that mortgage lead generation can be harsh to those neglecting its specificities. If you’re in for a journey, get ready to survive the regulatory stranglehold and explain to your leads why they should proceed with the unordinary commitment that taking out a mortgage is for most applicants.
Here are the barriers you might have to overcome when generating mortgage leads:
|You have to comply with the regulations governing your state, informing your mortgage leads about anything they should know.
|Taking out a mortgage is a complex decision that begs for confidence on the broker’s side. The soaring mortgage interest rates don’t make life easier for mortgage leads. In 2023, the 30-year fixed rate reached an all-time high, sitting at 6.49% as of Q2 2023.
|It shouldn’t come as a surprise that very few mortgage internet leads understand how a mortgage loan works. You have to explain the lingo in simple terms to make things easier for applicants and prevent unnecessary mistakes.
Step 2 – Come Up with a Jaw-Dropping Selling Proposition
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is your most powerful marketing weapon. You need to come up with something that will glue mortgage leads to the screen the very instant they’ve landed on your website, blog, or social media channel.
But remember, you must know your target buyer first.
Here are some popular groups of mortgage loan leads to hit with your USP:
|First-time homebuyers love clarifications and simple language. They might also need pre-approval services or a referral to attorneys, financial advisors, etc.
|Refinance Mortgage Leads
|Mortgage refinance leads – ones changing their mortgage structure or replacing it with a better loan – usually look for real-time mortgage interest rates, calculations of potential savings, and debt consolidation information.
|Home Equity Leads
|Home equity leads – people leveraging the part of the home they’ve already paid for – are typically interested in assessing their equity and the financial products that can allow them to collateralize their equity (for example, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, cash-out refinance, etc.)
|Upsizing and Downsizing Real Estate Mortgage Leads
|Upsizing and downsizing real estate mortgage leads – ones moving to a larger or smaller home – need a larger loan or information on the financial benefits of downsizing. To generate mortgage leads that upsize or downsize, it’s crucial to understand their lifestyle transition and its effect on their financial well-being.
|Reverse Mortgage Leads
|Reverse mortgage leads – 62+ years of age homeowners interested in converting part of their home equity into cash, mostly to finance their retirement – are mostly interested in the eligibility criteria, risk assessments, and sometimes also information on how a reverse mortgage will affect their non-borrowing spouse.
|Government Loan Leads
|Government-backed mortgage loans – those converting their special status (for example, veterans or borrowers with lower credit scores) into a more favorable mortgage loan – are looking for a reliable way to leverage their position and information on government loan programs like Federal Housing Administration loans, Veteran Affairs Home loans, or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants and loans.
The table of leads isn’t exhaustive; there are jumbo loan leads, construction loan leads, self-employed borrowers, non-resident leads, bad credit leads, bridge loan leads, mortgage protection leads, and more groups of mortgage seekers. If your target buyer isn’t on our shortlist, make sure to research them thoroughly before you craft your USP.
Speaking of which, here are some examples of a USP for different groups of mortgage leads:
- First-time homebuyers: “Join 10,000 happy homeowners with a 99% satisfaction rate. Take out an unprecedentedly low 3.5% first-time home buyer loan and save up to $2,000 on closing costs.”
- Mortgage refinance leads: “Cut your mortgage payments by up to 30% with our Refinance Saving Analyzer. Reduce your mortgage rate to an affordable 2.9% and get a dedicated refinance manager for a hassle-free refinance experience”
- Property investment leads: “Double your rental yields and leverage pre-market investment opportunities to become one of the 5,000 satisfied commercial property investors.”
Make sure your USP clearly articulates why a particular mortgage lead should choose you over other lenders. At the same time, focusing on your ideal buyer doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose other customers – it just allows you to play to your strengths.
Step 3 – Create a Compelling Website With Dedicated Landing Pages
To generate mortgage leads online, you need a home base where you explain everything your future customers might want to know and have everything they will ever need, all while flaunting your USP.
Your website should be well-structured, visually appealing, and resonating with your target buyer – and you can achieve it with purpose-driven landing pages.
Below is an example of a well-crafted landing page for jumbo mortgage loans (a mortgage loan for an amount exceeding the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency):
Step 4 – Hit Them With Catchy Emails
With around 20% of mortgage leads actually opening incoming emails and an expected CTR of around 3%, good old email marketing is your top lead gen priority. That said, email campaigns for mortgage leads may slightly differ from the standard for the complexity of mortgage products and significant financial commitment.
Here are the nuances to take into account in your email campaigns for mortgage leads:
- Focus on educational content
- Compliance with regulatory requirements
- Long-term nurturing within a prolonged sales cycle
It’s even better if you integrate email campaigns with other marketing channels like social media, webinars, and offline marketing.
With that, we won’t elaborate on email marketing any further, as we’ve already covered most of its aspects on our blog.
Read these blogs to master email campaigns for mortgage lead generation:
- How to grow your business with email marketing in 2024
- How to craft clickable email subject lines to convert more leads
- About targeted email marketing and email marketing automation
- Email marketing as a part of omnichannel vision
- How to deliver all of your emails, and what email marketing services you need
Before we move further, one last thing worth mentioning is the AMP technology that enables interactive experience within the email. With AMP emails, you can display the mortgage interest rates in real-time and allow customers to buy from you right in the email without redirecting them to your website.
Step 5 – Tap Into Social Media
Promoting on social media while coordinating it with email marketing is one of the safest approaches to mortgage lead generation. You only need to know what social media platforms represent what audiences and what advertising tools are there to reach them.
Here’s the mortgage lead distribution across social media:
|Popularity Among Mortgage Leads
|Types of Advertising
|Homeowners of all age groups and diverse interests
|Targeted ads Display Sponsored posts
|Moderate to High
|Professionals of all age groups seeking financial advice and real estate services
|Sponsored content Message ads Display ads
|Visual-driven aspiring homeowners aged mostly 18-34
|Sponsored posts Stories & IGTV ads Influencer advertising
|X (former Twitter)
|News-focused homeowners of all age groups and diverse interests
|Promoted tweets Targeted ads Event targeting
|Video-focused homeowners of all age groups and diverse interests
|Video ads Display ads Sponsored & influencer content
|Low to Moderate
|Trend-driven homeowners aged 18-24
|In-feed ads Influencer content Branded hashtag challenges
The safest platforms to prioritize when generating mortgage leads are Facebook (the widest reach), LinkedIn (great potential for generating financial advisor leads), YouTube (video content is growing like crazy), and Instagram (visuals are all there). But then again, much depends on your core offering and the marketing tools up your sleeve.
Here are some examples of generating mortgage leads on different social media:
Example 1 – Generating Mortgage Leads with Helpful Financial Content on TikTok:
@mortgagewithmrazek How to pay your 30 year mortgage off in 15 years 💸 #greenscreen #ReTokforNature #mortgage #fyp ♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose
Example 2 – Generating Financial Leads with Storytelling on YouTube:
Example 3 – Generating Mortgage Leads on Facebook:
Example 4 – Generating Mortgage Leads via Influencer Content on Instagram:
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Step 6 – Launch a Referral Program
The one big advantage of a referral program for mortgage leads is the networking opportunities it enables. Since the mortgage industry is closely connected with high-ticket niches like banking, real estate, and insurance, you can target all these customers at no extra cost and partner with professionals to double down on your referral traffic.
To generate mortgage leads with a referral program, make sure to:
- Offer flexible rewards. Instead of offering the same cash reward to everyone, cover the whole spectrum of incentives: discounts, gift cards, tiered rewards, exclusive membership, etc. Make sure every referrer can find an appealing offer.
- Comply with regulations. Make the referring process as simple as possible and comply with regulations around fees and kickbacks – like, for example, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in the United States.
- Track your referrers. Ensure the attribution is accurate, and your referrers can claim rewards without jumping through hoops.
A testament to the effectiveness of referral programs is that we also run one, offering a four-tier referral program with a 10% monthly revenue share for the first year of each new referral’s contract and a 2% revenue share after the 12-month term.
Here’s our referral program in a nutshell:
Step 7 – Go Local
Don’t forget that the mortgage business operates better on a local scale. People naturally gravitate towards mortgage companies from their state, giving you plenty of opportunities for local advertising.
Here are the three strategies to generate local mortgage leads:
Strategy 1 – Create Google My Business Listing
Google My Business – a free tool for creating a business profile with Google – allows you to provide valuable business information to potential customers and Google itself. Not only will a detailed GMB profile help mortgage leads get to know you better and find your local offices, but it will also give you a boost in local search.
Strategy 2 – Optimize for Local SEO
You can address popular search requests with tools like Ahrefs and Google Search Console. For example, if you’re catering to borrowers with poor credit history, you might want to rank for “high-priced mortgage loans,” – the keyword offers substantial traffic and low competition, a tempting combination to capitalize on.
That said, it would be even better if you find the same request but geared towards mortgage leads from your state, like “high-priced mortgage loans New York.” If you ranked high enough, such a keyword (this very one doesn’t exist, but we hope the concept is clear) would guarantee you some high-intent mortgage leads.
Strategy 3 – Organize Local Workshops
Local workshops are where quality over quantity comes into play. Even though the offline is smaller than, say, with webinars or other online events, workshops generate high-quality mortgage leads at a very high rate and allow you to capitalize on networking opportunities.
Part 2 – How To Buy Mortgage Leads and Get What You’ve Paid for
By any means of imagination is generating mortgage leads from earned media easy, but there’s a path of lesser resistance for aspiring mortgage brokers and loan officers: buying mortgage leads.
Now, to buy mortgage leads online, you need to complete two steps:
- Understand the type of mortgage leads you need
- Discover the best place to buy mortgage leads
Let’s walk you through these steps so you can purchase mortgage leads confidently with no risk.
Step 1 – Understand the Types of Mortgage Leads You Need
The best mortgage leads to buy should fit your target buyer’s persona and be cost-effective. That said, high-quality leads aren’t necessarily better than low-quality leads; cheap mortgage leads – for example, aged mortgage leads – can get you a higher ROI because you can buy them in bulk.
Here are the popular types of leads for mortgage loans by several criteria:
Mortgage Leads by Exclusivity
|Exclusive Mortgage Leads
|Exclusive mortgage leads are sold to a single merchant and – at least in theory – haven’t yet contacted a mortgage lender. The price for exclusive mortgage leads varies from $80 to $500, depending on how the lead was generated. For example, exclusive mortgage leads generated via offline workshops typically cost more.
|Shared Mortgage Leads
|Shared mortgage leads are non-exclusive leads offered to all available buyers, which makes them much cheaper and harder to convert. The price for shared mortgage leads starts at around $20 and goes up to around $100.
Mortgage Leads by Acquisition Method
|Organic Mortgage Leads
|Organic mortgage leads are leads generated from your own marketing efforts: SMM, SEO, etc. For organic mortgage leads, you can collect and analyze their data across the customer journey with tools like HitMetrix or LMS Sync.
|Paid Mortgage Leads
|Paid mortgage leads are acquired from paid advertising or bought from mortgage leads generation companies. The price of a paid lead depends on the lead’s quality, intent, traffic source, and seller, varying from a few dozen to a few hundred dollars.
|Live Transfer Mortgage Leads
|Live transfer mortgage leads are qualified leads connected to a loan officer in real-time after expressing the purchase intent. Mortgage live transfer leads are among the most expensive and likely to convert.
Mortgage Leads by Qualification
|Unqualified Mortgage Leads
|Unqualified mortgage leads are potential buyers who have shown some interest in obtaining a mortgage yet haven’t been evaluated against your marketing or sales criteria. The quality and intent of unqualified mortgage leads are unknown until qualified by your marketing or sales team.
|Pre-Qualified Mortgage Leads
|Prequalified mortgage leads are potential customers who have demonstrated their borrowing capacity, yet haven’t undergone thorough vetting by your marketing or sales team.
|Qualified Mortgage Leads
|Marketing-qualified mortgage leads (MQL) have engaged with your marketing materials yet haven’t been evaluated by the sales team Sales-qualified mortgage leads (SQL) have been evaluated by your sales team as high-intent customers who will likely proceed with a mortgage loan
|Pre-Approved Mortgage Leads
|Pre-approved mortgage leads are leads who have been qualified and quantified for a mortgage loan of a certain amount according to their income, credit history, and other financial details.
Here is the step-by-step qualification process for mortgage leads:
Step 2 – Discover the Best Place To Buy Mortgage Leads
Here’s where to buy mortgage leads for loan officers, brokers, and real estate agents:
- Lead generation companies: Bankrate, LeadPoint, Lending Tree, etc.
- Digital marketing agencies like LowerMyBills
- Lead marketplaces like LeadsMarket.com
Any source of mortgage leads should have a spotless background, offer the type of leads you want at a reasonable price, and comply with lead generation practices like the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Pro Tip: When buying mortgage leads, diversify your traffic sources so you don’t rely on a single supplier. Three to four independent lead generators should suffice.
Launch Your Own Affiliate Program
Last but not least, you can run your own affiliate program, expanding reach and visibility in related markets like real estate, banking, finance, credit, construction, securities, etc.
Here’s how you can generate commercial mortgage leads with an affiliate program:
- Set clear terms and payment structure (pay-per-lead, pay-per-click, pay-per-sale, etc.)
- Make sure you are compliant and have a reliable affiliate tracking system in place
- Provide two-way communication and all-around support to your affiliates.
We’ve already covered affiliate marketing on our blog, so here are some valuable articles on the topic:
- How to start an affiliate marketing website or blog
- Free traffic sources for affiliate marketing
- 17 best software suites and 15 best content marketing tools for affiliate marketing
- Lead tracking vs. CRM in affiliate marketing
Don’t know where to get mortgage leads – from an affiliate network or your own affiliate program? Here’s a detailed explanation of what you need.
Generate and Convert More Mortgage Leads with Phonexa
Whether you generate or buy mortgage leads, you need to decipher their interactions across touchpoints into effective marketing and sales strategies. And you’ll feel much more comfortable doing it from one place without juggling different systems.
This is exactly what Phonexa offers – a lead management ecosystem that captures every customer interaction while bringing it all to a single dashboard.
Learn more about Phonexa’s lead acquisition Promised Land:
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I generate mortgage leads online?
Here’s how to generate mortgage leads online:
- Decide whether you want to generate online mortgage leads from earned media, buy mortgage leads, or combine organic and paid lead acquisition.
- Follow the lead acquisition algorithms for the chosen method, all described above in the article.
More often than not, generating AND buying mortgage leads brings the best result.
Where can I buy mortgage leads?
You can purchase mortgage leads on lead generation websites or from an affiliate network.
Buying mortgage leads from several lead providers will reduce your dependence on a single traffic source. It might even be worth it to search for companies that focus on the types of mortgage leads you need, especially if you are searching for specific leads like live mortgage leads, telemarketing mortgage leads, real-time mortgage leads, etc.
How much do mortgage leads cost?
You can purchase leads for mortgage at $20 and up to $500 per lead, depending on the lead quality, intent, and source. For example, exclusive and pre-approved mortgage leads cost up to 20 times more than shared leads.
What is the best way to get mortgage leads?
The best way to get mortgage leads depends on whether you can generate mortgage leads for free from earned traffic channels or have to buy mortgage leads. In most cases, purchasing mortgage leads AND generating organic leads bring the best results.
What are the best mortgage leads for loan officers?
Theoretically, the best mortgage leads for loan officers are exclusive mortgage leads pre-approved for a mortgage loan because they are more likely to convert. In reality, though, even the cheapest shared leads or aged mortgage leads can be a good business strategy.
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