(LoanSafe.org) – The mortgage lead landscape has changed forever. Gone are the days of easy leads and even easier loans. In these new home loan times, lenders will have to be creative and skillful when it comes to ideas on how to generate leads for their mortgage loans. This is a tricky process because loan officers constantly need to generate fresh leads that they can target and offer real estate loans to.  Without them, the  loan officer is out of business and out of a job.

The best leads are free, but in reality most people understand that there is nothing free in life. Business has to be earned over time. If you’re looking for something that is very easy or for some website to offer you prospects at no cost, then you’ll be looking for a mighty long time.  There is a way to get leads at no cost, but this is going to take work, a lot of effort and some luck.

  • Generating new prospects that you can offer your mortgage products to on a daily basis should be your number one goal daily. 

If you want to make a career out of being a loan officer or you are currently in the mortgage business, then you need to understand that leads are going to be your most valuable source of business. Without them, you have no business and no income. You need a steady supply at all times.  Working them day in and day out.

Many large lenders are masters in lead generation with huge marketing departments. These companies often have larger budgets to support a great lead generation team as well as enough resources to spend on different kinds of targeted advertising.  However, in the real home loan world most professionals do not have that luxury and have to do this the old fashioned way by hitting the pavement, the phones, the internet and the mail.

For those who are looking for ways or ideas on how to get high quality leads for mortgage loans and be able to do it professionally, it is important to organize and set up a website that provides value to consumers.  You do not want some cookie cutter website that is just like every other broker out there. Providing valuable content daily and being honest with a public is the key to succeeding online. Simply setting up a generic website and hoping you get traffic will get you nowhere. Make a plan that sets you up to be different by providing something that no one else is. Then work this plan every day until the leads come in. It is not brain surgery.  It is just work.

The site or web page must clearly list all offered and available services as well as the rates that you are giving and why customers should choose your company or firm over other companies. Be sure that the website would be set with a program or method that will be able to get the contact information (cell phone, landline numbers, email addresses, etc.) of your potential customers. When you have contacted the targeted customers, you can offer them with a free credit report, free rate updates or an informational eBook about loans and mortgages in return for signing up on your contact lists. This will help you capture their contact information.

We use WordPress.comon LoanSafe as our blogging platform. WordPress has been fantastic and very easy to use.  It is a content management system (CMS) that organizes all your content in an easy to use administrative panel. We also use a CMS software called V-Bulletin for our forum and our experience has been very good thus far. It is great for SEO. LoanSafe.org has over 30,000 members right now in approximately 500,000 visitors a month. So, we must be doing something right.

You’ll want a study search engine optimization (SEO) and use these methods in every post that you write.  This is very important when you’re setting up a blog or website. You need to have a SEO plan in mind of where you’re going and where you want to be.  It will be your blueprint to help you along the path of making an online presence. Do you want to target reverse mortgages or is your specialty FHA loans? Are you only licensed in Florida and work in Miami? Then maybe you want to target “Florida Home Loans” or “Florida Reverse Mortgages?”

Ranking in the search engines like Google for finance terms and mortgages is very hard.  There is a tremendous amount of competition out there. You will have to make a website that is better than the competition and get as many natural inbound links as you can.  It may take you a year or even two years to rank where you want to rank in the search engines. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, then the work will pay off when you start getting traffic and people who wanna do business with you.

  • Patience, hard work and persistence is the name of the game online.

If you have a little bit of cash, it will also be helpful if you utilize search engines like Yahoo and Google in order to set up a targeted and pay per click kind of online advertising. The reason for this kind of advertising is that you will most likely to find quality and targeted leads that you can conduct your business with while you work on your website. 

  • Most loan officers understand that you have to meet and greet the people in order to get business. 

This doesn’t cost you money, but it does cost you time. This time is what they call farming for business.  Some people would call this old school, but in reality it this is every day school for the true loan professional. You need to do this day in and day out, without fail. Your marketing plan should be a combination of working online with your website and other social networks. In addition, you should have a plan that works your local community with real estate agents and other business professionals. 

  • Real estate agents are still a great source for business and free mortgage a leads. 

A lot of  mortgage professionals are no longer in the business. This means less competition for the people that are willing to ask Realtors for the business. However, be forewarned that many Realtors are as loyal as the last loan you closed. So don’t screw up and do what you say you’re going to do. Under promise and over deliver. Be that Johnny on the spot and help their deals go through. In a market like this, word of your mortgage capabilities will spread around their real estate office and turn into referral phone calls to your cell phone.

Being a loan officer is not rocket science.  You first need understand the business and then you to need understand the mortgage products that you sell.  Once you have that down, you then need to do the work that is necessary to cultivate new business. This is called farming for leads and business. You do this online and offline.  It takes work and a lot of time, but if you’re persistent and worked diligently it will pay off in the long run.

Moe Bedard
My name is Maurice "Moe" Bedard. I am the founder of America's #1 Mortgage Forum, LoanSafe.org. My online work has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, Fox Business, and many other media publications.