Lead Management for Internet Mortgage Leads
by Bill Rice
As the mortgage market tightens and loan programs become more restrictive every mortgage
lead becomes more precious. Gone are the days of pounding through hundreds of telephone
numbers with a dialer and taking mortgage orders for the hundreds and thousands of people
that needed to refinance into a lower rate. No today's environment has turned you back into a
problem solver. This mortgage environment requires the ability to find people you can help and
stay top of mind for those you may be able to help in the future.
Managing Your Mortgage Leads
The key to any effective marketing and sales process is to optimize the management of your
leads to maximize your sales production. Mortgage lead management is no different. In fact, in
many ways managing mortgage leads can bring even greater results than other products you
might sell. Let's look at why managing these leads with some simple processes and automation
can produce big results:
● 65% of Americans own a home
● 25% of Americans can't tell you their mortgage balance or current interest rate
● A mortgage is usually the biggest and most complex financial transactions a person will
ever make in a lifetime
● 75% of home buyers will use the Internet to research mortgages
The bottom line is most everyone needs a mortgage and most don't have the knowledge to
make a good decision. Mortgage lead management can enable you contact and nurture more
people who need your service.
Lead Management Process
The key to increasing your effectiveness at producing more sales is to understand the process
of turning a lead into a sale. Most customer inquiries (leads) will need to go through this basic
flow to become a buying customer:
● Marketing generates a lead
● Leads are filtered and potentially pre-qualified
● Leads are distributed into call pipelines
● Leads are managed through multiple attempts and calls
● Leads may simultaneously enter a lead nurturing process
● Leads are tracked and reported throughout the process
Unfortunately, this process has multiple points of failure and opportunity for good leads to fall
out. Lead management can make sure that you are maximizing every opportunity in the sales
pipeline and minimize fall out throughout the process.
Your mortgage leads are likely to be generated from multiple marketing sources, which can
immediately cause disconnects and fall out. Creating a seamless marketing and sales funnel
should be a primary objective in your lead management process. Lead receipt is the key
element in the lead generation phase.
The simplest way to achieve this integrated lead receipt process is through a few standard
interface to receive and import popular lead sources. Here are some top interfaces you should
have in place:
● Secure XML POST--this allows you to receive real-time, secure Web inquiries from your
own landing pages or from pay per lead lead providers
● CSV Import--this interface is a critical back up import technique that will allow you to
get lead data from most any source or database
● Address Book and Email Import--you lead management system should allow for imports
from Outlook, Yahoo!, Hotmail, GMail, and other popular email software
Lead Filtering and Lead Qualification
Filtering your leads by qualifying characteristics is very important. Mortgages are complex
sales. Consequently, pre-qualifying, sorting, and distributing leads to the right loan officers will
save your sales team and your customers a lot of frustration.
Most likely your filtering will focus in on key loan program qualifiers, like:
● Loan type
● Loan amount
● Credit grade
● Data verification
Now that you have received your leads you need to efficiently and quickly distribute them to
qualified loan officers. This is often not even close to what happens.
Time to be honest. You forward them via email or worse to print them out and stack them in a
pile for follow-up, don't you?
This is often what one or more folks spend the majority of their time doing--marshaling around
leads. Lead management can automate this distribution to work quickly, comply with state-
licensing, and reward top performers.
The lead distribution process should match against these broad qualifications:
● Is the loan officer available?
● Does the loan officer have capacity?
● Does the loan officer have the appropriate state license?
● Is the loan officer qualified to quote the probable loan program?
● Is the loan officer performing?
Lead nurturing, re-marketing, sales pipeline management are all common terms for similar
things--keeping a customer engaged and receiving value even when they are not ready to buy.
This is a powerful art that is often neglected in mortgage lead management. There are lots of
techniques and strategies here, but focus on these for success:
● Immediate initial contact
● Foreshadow the process and set expectations
● Met or exceed your contact promises
● Provide valuable (free) information in every contact
● Make it easy for them to contact you when they are ready
Much of the value lost in any lead management program is the loss of leads and probable
customers after the first 7-14 days. Sales managers and sales teams are typically focused
on short, aggressive production cycles. So, if you don't automate the long-term pipeline
management you will be losing a significant portion of the return on your marketing
Lead Tracking and Reporting
Much like lead nurturing, lead tracking and lead reporting are art forms. They don't convert
leads, but they certainly pinpoint opportunities. And that is the key in your evaluation of lead
reporting. What opportunities does it show me? These are some of the factors that will help you
answer that question more often with your lead management reports:
● Create consistent and standardized actions
● Track sales velocity by seeing how productively your leads move from one action to the
● Measure the points in the sales pipeline where you get the most fall out
● Establish benchmarks for sales activities, pipeline capacity, pull-through rates
Simple measurements are often the best. They tend to cut through the noise and focus on the
important. Changes and adjustments are easier to observe. You can certainly become more
sophisticated in your lead tracking, but only after you have a good foundation. Skipping the
simple foundation often creates confusion and false indicators--leading to bad decisions.