The Best Mortgage Leads Strategy

Where can I find the best mortgage leads?

When answering this question, the context is key.

If the context of this question relates to the best place to buy the contact information of a person who filled out an online mortgage form then, truth be told, I haven't the foggiest idea how to find the best mortgage leads.

As far as I understand it, the price and quality of mortgage leads you can purchase vary quite a bit depending on the seller. Even leads purchased from the same lead generation company will fluctuate in quality over time.

To me it seems a lot like buying a cat in a bag. You could get a wonderful companion, but you could also get the feline version of Cujo.

Deep pockets

Don't get me wrong; buying leads works for plenty of loan offices. After all, the largest mortgage companies in the country buy leads. Over a long enough time period, buying leads can be somewhat predictable in terms of return on investment.


That's all well and good, but getting to a place where buying leads makes sense—and centsis another story all together.

One thing I can say for sure is that figuring out how to make pay-per-lead a profitable effort will not be a cheap endeavor.

Don't take my word for it. Joseph Semrani, head of a national mortgage telesales group at M&T Bank, wrote a great article for National Mortgage News recounting how he blew a quarter mil on mortgage leads. Spoiler alert: his net return was exactly bupkis.

Joseph Semrani —  Image Source

Joseph Semrani — Image Source

Realtors are the gatekeepers. Be the key master!

Without some ideas around what you can do to find the best mortgage leads, this post would be a mere exercise in naysaying. That's just not my style. I will say this: in my eyes, the best mortgage leads are earned—not bought.

When it comes to purchasing loans, earning leads by way of agent relationships is the best way to get a return on your time—hands down.

This is because relationships with Realtors are like a key that has the potential to unlock a wellspring of the best mortgage leads.

Mortgage leads from Realtors can become an on-going flow rather than just a one-and-done.

Mortgage leads from Realtors come with a degree of implicit trust. The trust the home buyer has in an agent gets shared with you subconsciously through the transitive property of trust.

Earned leads versus paid leads: what are the pros and cons?

Am I way off-base on this one? What do you think?

What has your experience been like working with real estate agents as a loan office and buying leads?

  • How has buying leads worked for you?
  • How much are you paying for leads, and in what quantities?
  • What have you learned, and how much money have you spent learning it?
  • In what ways do you go about meeting Realtors?
  • What are your best real estate agent pickup lines (for lack of a better description)? How do you break the ice?
  • What do you do to help make agents' lives easier and give them a reason to refer deals to you?
  • What are your success stories?
  • What are your horror stories? 

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below and let's see if we can use the wisdom of the crowd to gain a collective advantage and avoid pitfalls!

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Action Items:

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