Make a smaller barrel
When it comes to mortgage lead generation, figuring out where to begin can feel a lot like trying to catch fish by randomly firing into the air over a body of water.
The key to having mortgage lead generation feel less like an abyss is to use segmentation. This means you essentially construct a fish barrel to shoot into that makes the job of harvesting fish a more focused exercise.
Let's back up a moment
This post is really predicated on the notion that the best way for loan officers to go about mortgage lead generation is through real estate agent referrals.
Furthermore, this post focuses on purchase loans as opposed to refi loans which, as they say, is a whole other kettle of fish (hooray for successfully including a fish-related pun).
If you are curious about the thinking around why we believe that loan officers should focus on their realtor Relationships (versus buying leads), check out this post: The Best Mortgage Leads Strategy. Now back to our post.
There are really only four buckets when it comes to creating segments of real estate agents that lenders should target for mortgage lead generation:
What they do
- Who they are
- What they want
- What they think
I'll unpack what each of these means in the context of realtor-based mortgage lead generation, but here's the gist:
What they do
Let's imagine the 'What they do' component of Realtor segmentation as running parallel to the decision a skipper has to make when setting up his fishing vessel.
The type of Realtors you focus on should be a reflection of the location(s) you focus on for your business.
If your lending business is located in the heart of the Rust Belt, for example, then you may want to center your mortgage lead generation efforts on a larger volume of condo-centric agents.
This means your segment will be comprised of the Realtors in your area who have a high home-sales-velocity. You'll probably want to have a large roster of these folks too (versus focusing on just a few heavy hitters).
In this case it's a numbers game where you cast a wide net. It's an exercise in trawling for shrimp rather than trying to hook into a giant ahi.
Similarly, if you are a lender on the West Side of L.A., the location is well suited for you to go after the ahi tunas of the Realtor world. Hell, if someone is going to write jumbo loans for super-sick mansions it might as well be you.
That being said, whatever the market realities of your sales territory are, look for opportunities to be a contrarian. Focus on real estate agents who may not have every loan officer and their cousin chasing after them. Maybe this means segmenting for newer agents that are super hungry instead of Realtors that exclusively represent the buyers and sellers of your area's most fabulous estates.
Who they are
Using the location-based foundation you've identified as being reflective of your location, it's time to ask yourself:
- Do they work for boutique firms or regional players?
- Do they work closely with home builders like Pulte, Toll Bros., or Hovnanian?
- Do they run their own team as an independent shop, or under the umbrella of a larger realty company?
Look for patterns among on the dealmakers you want to target and that will reveal more realtors that fit your target profile.
What they think and what they want
These two parts of mortgage lead generation segmenting can be difficult to glean without personal interactions. They are based on observation rather than data points.
In fact, the 'what they think' and 'what they want' parts of segmentation are usually used as filters for who not to pursue further after getting to know them a bit.
Some Realtors are more abrupt and to-the-point than others. Some are technology-wunderkind where others want you to fax them everything. Some expect you to be available 24-7, others are less now-now-now.
There's no wrong answer here. It's all about making sure that you jive with the vibe of your Realtor partners.
It's also worth mentioning that buyers are often attracted to agents that they gel with. This means that if you like an agent, you'll be more likely to like their clients. That matters.
No matter how big a fish an agent is, if you don't mesh with certain personality types or certain working styles it's best to politely bow out. Avoid distracting and draining toxicity at all costs.
How do you jive with the vibe of this blog so far?
What questions would you like answered? What trends are you curios about? Share your thoughts and tell us what you like and don't like in the comments below.
Also, if you feel like you've got some ideas or opinions which warrant a deep-dive, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
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