Building a mortgage lending business is not like it was a few years ago. When the interest rates first fell, phones were ringing with clients anxious to take advantage of the lowest rates in decades. Tailored and thoughtful marketing plans were not required even with a straight commissioned job. Lenders at all levels were enjoying a hearty stream of business.

Today, the phones are quiet, the pay is down and seasoned lenders are worried about next month’s closings. Not only has lending changed, as borrowers have become accustomed to rock bottom rates, but the real estate market has changed significantly as well.

Success is no longer defined by your employer bringing in leads, but by your own initiative and marketing expertise. How do you find new leads, communicate with existing leads, clients and former clients? How do you nurture partnerships, when every lender in town is after the same top real estate agents? What are you doing to differentiate yourself from a market filled with lenders anxious for new business?

<img src="mortgage-websites.jpg" alt="Mortgage Websites" />

Advantages to Having Your Own Website and Contact Management

Building a personal lending website and an effective contact management system is at the center of the solution. While nearly anyone can put up a website, having an effective site that will speak to clients and motivate them to action, is a whole different matter. Many lenders rely solely on the corporate website and send clients to that site for information. Having your own site provides a number of distinct benefits that can create loyal clients and steady referrals.

1) A website becomes a communication channel to existing clients, past clients, and prospects. When done correctly it  will build your brand and produce clients who are loyal to you rather than your firm. This is critical when it comes to who owns the lead. If the bank or brokerage firm owns the lead, then if you move to another job, the lead or client stays with the bank, requiring you to start over. In a commission based environment your book of business is your best survival tool. Having that information may help you negotiate a better deal at a future company and will provide you with continual leads regardless of who is underwriting the loan.

2) You earned that client as you build their trust and provide excellent service. The client is working with you because they have faith in you. It is your knowledge and service that caused them to choose you as their lender. Gathering that information and entering it into your contact management system will ensure that you can take the client with you, should your career dictate a change in companies.

3) Earning a client’s trust is about two key things, communication and exceptional service. A top notch CRM system will allow you to communicate effectively with your clients and prospects without anything falling through the cracks. No more sticky notes, you will have a professional system that keeps you up to date on every client, every referral source and every prospect.

4) Educational communication is the second key to success. Communicating with customers on changes in the industry that might impact their loan, their home or their need to buy (and get a loan). Communication with your referral sources keeps you in the front of their mind and provides them with valuable information that establishes yourself as an industry expert. You do not have hours every day to prepare and send emails and create great content. An effective contact management system, along with a professional website can provide these resources to both clients and referral sources.

5) A website provides a space for loan information, blogs, and industry updates. Emails provides regular communication and links to your site. Social media strategies can increase communication and encourage referrals.

6) Through a co-branding strategy you will establish a presence on the web that will be able to follow you regardless of what company you work for. Simply rebrand your site and Google still gives you credit for the length of time the site has been established. This not only rewards you with higher search engine rankings, but establishes you as a veteran in the industry, increasing credibility. Online, your reputation matters and if you must start over ever few years it is very difficult to get ahead. This also makes it easier for clients to follow you as your website does not change, even if the company you represent does.

An effective Website and CRM or contact management system will allow you to track referrals and clients, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. The surest way to get referrals is to be on you’re A game every day. To learn more about building your own website and enrolling in a contact management system specifically designed for your industry, call us at (949) 390-7071.