I have seen many post on websites, broker chat rooms, outpost, and comment sections about mortgage leads being bad and down right fraudulent. Well I have taken this question to the next level, “Are mortgage leads still worth buying?"The answer is of course. I ran an experiment in late July that tested major mortgage lead websites and this is what I generally found.
Mortgage leads are a much more competitive marketing tool compared to several years ago.
Online shoppers definitely do submit their application to more than one site when shopping online - this is the biggest issue noted through out our research.
Return policies are the biggest key to making this investment profitable.
Time spent on calling mortgage leads can be enormous if you let it.
The ROI on mortgage lead purchases is still high if you manage your purchases, people, and profits correctly.
The biggest issue with calling mortgage leads is that we as mortgage brokers and loan officers are spoiled or think that we are calling deals - not leads!
Leads have to be worked, worked, and worked some more. We bought 10 mortgage leads each from 5 top sources and the results were pretty good. We found that 3-4 were completely bad and the rest had to be called over 4 times just to make initial contact. In the end we had to work the leads for about 3 days and we received 3 applications and one deal went to the table. We found this in 3 of the companies we reviewed.
The outlook we have on the scenario is this - 10 leads for an average of $150.00 and we got 3 potential deals -2 deals we could not get because of the borrowers situation - which is not the lead companies fault - and the other one we had to work for over a week to get a deal struck and bring in 2245.00 in total fees to our net branch.
What a massive ROI - don't you think?
Another scenario we had was a reorder with a company that we did not strike a deal with, but this time we bought $500.00 in leads and the return was the same. Did we complain, NO, we profited over $1500.00 for a $650.00 investment - that is an easy choice in my office. After calling these leads we called and interviewed a few of the mortgage lead companies and asked them how they view their product and view the brokers that buy leads from them.
First we spoke with Dave Henry (http://www.leadorder.com) and he spoke with us about the cost of generating quality mortgage leads. Dave stated “Mortgage leads can cost between 8 dollars to 14 dollars just to generate, as long as you are using legal and ethical methods to generate mortgage leads. We do not participate in SPAM or incentive backed leads and that drives cost up and drives quantity down. "
"With cost going up it has forced 100% of all Lead Companies to work with other marketing companies - do not be fooled all of them do - this in turn can drive down quality because as a company you can not screen every lead. To combat this we have instituted a verification process that all our affiliate leads go through before hitting our system. "
Off the record Mr. Henry stated that he sees his company as a leader in Lead delivery, a big issue with most lead buyers. Their MLT, Mobile Lead Technology, a system powered by Yahoo actually sends a text message or page to a mobile device once a lead hits your email - We say that is a cool idea!
The second person we spoke with was Jayson Williams with Leadbull.com (http://www.leadbull.com) a mortgage lead company with one of the largest member databases on the web. Jayson states “Our system is simple and since we do put so many leads on our system from our own websites and other marketing companies we want all of them to be backed with the best return policy, so we credit back most request if they fall in our parameters. We want to make the experience easy and profitable. The main issue we find is brokers that call a lead 2-3 times do not get an answer and try to report as bad - just because a borrower does not answer the phone or call you back does not make it a bad lead. "
Jayson says “Our system is based on 3 principles - fair trade - good service - and affordable products. We know that most LOs or Brokers are new or have good employees below them and are responsible for keeping their leads flowing. This is why we offer such a vast array of products like aged leads that are good for telemarketing or new loans officers getting their feet wet. Our verified and exclusive leads come in at a slower rate but are packed with much success. These leads are good for the experienced employee that can close a hot deal and fast. "
We asked Jayson about exclusive and verified leads and he stated the main thing to remember is that “most lead companies are trustworthy and do sell their lead once or the stated amount of times, but the Internet has made it so easy for a borrower to submit an application to 3 different sites in a matter of seconds. This causes your exclusive $75.00 lead to be worked more than you expected - but that is the name of the game. The Internet makes them easy to get but more people are getting them - don't be fooled the less that lead is sold the better but mix it up, do not put our eggs in one basket, but different types of leads and make sure the company has a good return policy. "
We want to thank these companies for their insight and we will add more about or research in the coming weeks. From our findings Mortgage Leads are still a viable source for generating revenue.