The next five years will be busy for the mortgage industry: Up to 17 million first-time home buyers will join the housing market by 2023. Most will be between 20 and 39. That’s a majority of eager house hunters who live constantly connected to services, friends, and brands via technology. When they begin their search in earnest, they’ll expect an easy, streamlined, and largely self-service experience. They’re holding financial institutions to the standard of the Ubers and Amazons of the world — not other financial institutions.
Mortgage companies face more competition than ever. Which companies are coming out on top? It’s no surprise: Lenders that provide a new generation of clients to those connected with intuitive experiences are advancing. Take a look at Quicken Loans or Rocket Mortgage. They’ve made the mortgage buying experience as breezy as ordering pizza on a smartphone. No wonder millennial buyers and others have embraced them.
Traditional mortgage companies have lagged behind, largely. Ask any marketer and they’ll tell you: The management of leads and referrals suffers across a disjointed network of loan officers, loan processors, brokers, and real estate agents. Too much can get lost in translation, and the customer is the one who suffers. Fortunately, a new crop of Trailblazers is emerging in the industry, and we can all learn — and benefit — from their example.
What are these mortgage experts up to that’s so innovative? Take a look at five of their proven, winning strategies for targeting and acquiring the best customers — and providing the services they love.
Mortgage lenders are getting a leg up on quality leads by using customer relationship management platforms (CRMs) such as Salesforce. Salesforce stores protected, comprehensive data about current customers — and can lead lenders to more customers. Marketers create a list of individuals who match certain traits with their best clients (called “lookalike audiences”). This creates a contact list of people likely looking for a new house. Then the marketing team targets those individuals with ads across the digital landscape: Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube — even Spotify or news outlets.
Consumers are busy — and buying a home is a big deal. It can take a long time and a lot of effort on the buyer’s part. The best mortgage-lending marketers respond to this with a smarter, automated plan for lead nurturing and follow-up.
With a journey management solution like Salesforce’s Journey Builder, marketers can design and manage personalized engagement journeys across any channel the borrower likes best. That keeps them connected with their lender even when the search has temporarily cooled.
(We’ll talk more about this in the next blog of our series.)
With the right tools, marketers can listen to homebuyers and sellers, and know when they’re taking new action. And they can know about it before the competition. Target and retarget prospects. That entails listening and engaging on any channel or device: mobile apps, social media, or even websites the customer uses for research.
The leading fintechs, nonbank lenders, and credit unions do this year-round. Bidding on borrowing search terms in only the spring means missing out on a great deal of buyers who are active the other 75% of the year. That’s a lot of leads your competitors are likely to miss.
Loan officers are your friend and partner in success. With the right tools and strategy, you can keep them looped in and benefit everyone. With Salesforce, institutions can monitor buyer engagement across loan origination systems — and on the usual marketing channels. That way, teams know when to alert loan officers to make contact. Even when a consumer uses a rate calculator online, or starts a loan application, these businesses have the tools to pass this key information along.
These Trailblazers also share the lead nurturing emails they send with the officer. That tells them how and when each prospect was contacted (and how they responded). Loan officers can give the prospect a smoother customer experience when they’re armed with this data.
Marketers know they need to prioritize holding onto existing customers rather than acquiring new ones. The best marketers listen for the signals of customers looking to move, open a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or refinance. Salesforce makes spotting these indicators easy. It’s all part of delivering the ongoing, seamless customer care modern consumers crave. Positive experiences like this generate customer loyalty and great word-of-mouth. Your happiest customers can be your best referral sources.
Loan funding, onboarding, and service are great opportunities to engage and give great customer care. But the best mortgage marketers recognize it doesn’t end there. Keep listening, keep engaging, and involve your entire business in the process. It’s how you’ll earn loyalty to last well into the future of your evolving industry.