So the time has come to invest in lead companies. But how do you know which one is the right one for you?
When I was a new loan officer, finding a lead company was not easy, I can remember logging onto Yahoo, typing in the search phrase “mortgage leads” and being bombarded with links to lead companies all claiming to have the best leads and the best deal for me!
But what was the best deal for me? Well, what I was looking for? Taking my time, I began to write down exactly what it was I was looking for. Did I want refis, purchases, or both? Did I want leads from several states or just one? How much could I afford?
Before I invested any money, I decided to do my homework. I went to read the companies’ terms and conditions. I spoke with their customer service reps and asked many questions. I read reviews on the web to see what kind of experience other loan officers had with the companies I was considering.
One thing to keep in mind: No lead company can guarantee you a 100 percent closure rate, and they are very up front about that. If that is what you are looking for, you can end your search now.
Here are a few things to consider before committing:
If you are on a tight budget, and have, lets say, $100 to spend, you will have to narrow your search to the lead companies that accept a $100 or lower minimum, or will meet whatever spending limit you have set for yourself. Some companies have deposit requirements, not allowing you to deposit less than $500.
Find out where the company is getting their leads. Some companies recycle their leads and sell them many times over. They also buy their leads in bulk from other companies and resell them So make sure you ask this very important question up front.
Look for a company with a liberal return policy. The best way to find out this information is through lead site reviews. If you receive a lead with bogus contact information, you should get your money back.
Quantity vs. Quality
Be careful when you buy in bulk. When you can spend $100 and receive 50 leads, chances are the leads are old and are being recycled. So the closing ratio isn’t so good. If you can spend $100 and receive five to 10 fresh leads, you may have a better closure ratio.
Cherry Picking vs. Filters
Cherry picking is a nice feature, and a very popular one. It allows you to go into a site and view a lead before you purchase it. Some sites even let you know how many times it has been sold. Filters are also very nice features. They allow you to predetermine what kind of lead you want. When a lead comes in matching your filter criteria, it is sent directly to you via e-mail or fax.
As in all businesses, customer service is key, and the way they handle themselves on the phone is a good indication as to how they run their company. If you are struggling to get someone on the phone,, they are most likely not worth your business.
One of the best ways to find a mortgage lead company is to co-worker referrals. Ask around and see what you can come up with.
Exclusive vs. Nonexclusive
If you want to receive leads exclusively, you will pay a steeper price. However, this lead will be sold to you only, doing away with your competition. Nonexclusive leads are sold, on average, three to five times. Non-exclusive leads will cost half as much, but keep in mind, you are now competing with other loan officers. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Pro Tip: By considering these eight features of mortgage lead companies, you are well on your way to choosing the best lead company for you. But don’t stop here – continue to gather as much information as you can before you invest. I can’t stress enough just how valuable lead review sites are. Check them out they’re well worth your time.