The Number One Reason You’ve Been Avoiding Online Leads

Summary: Have you been avoiding online leads? Relationship based mortgage pros often think that online leads don’t work because they lack the systems and capabilities to properly nurture home buyers from exploring to transacting.

I am in my fourth year of working with relationship based mortgage pros on online leads and wrapping up my tenth year leading consumer direct mortgage teams. It is with a tinge of embarrassment that I admit it took me a long time to really understand how hard it is for the traditional MLO to integrate the buying cycle into their workflow.  

How many times have you heard that “internet leads don’t work”? Usually these folks go on and on about how they have trained their Realtors to refer them properly and close “almost 100%” of their current leads.  After graciously receiving my lesson on how referral based businesses work, I generally look them right in the eye and ask them, “Why the hell did you call me then?” I outlined why people are digital curious in a previous post.

Internet leads don’t always work because most of us don’t have the infrastructure to handle a true No Lead Left Behind discipline. We break the buying cycle into four stages: Exploring, Researching, Deciding, and Transacting. There can be weeks or months from stage 1 to 2 and 2 to 3. Your Realtor’s generally give you leads in Deciding or Transacting phases. The internet generally gives you leads in Exploring.      

This is bad right? Well, if you have a quality process, you can build meaningful long term relationships with home buyers and refer them to your Realtors. So, nope, not bad. Here are a couple of tips to help you with your nurture system:

1)  It Is OK If They Don’t Call You Back

Until someone tells you not to call, keep reaching out. Often times when contacting this lead group the mentality is to reach out with enthusiasm and then go dark.   That is OK, they are seeing your stuff, you are planting seeds. In order to expedite the process, you need to keep calling.  

2)  Keep Track   

One of my Clients had a discipline that if they didn’t have an application in two weeks they marked the lead as DEAD. While this certainly eliminated the noise in the lead pipeline, it didn’t leave much room for a longer sales cycle. You have to have a system. I am reluctant to say CRM, but you need at least a Google Sheet where you keep track of EVERYONE and stay in touch.   

3)  Don’t go too fast.  

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to ask someone in the “Exploring” mode for two years of tax returns and three months bank statements. You are immediately put into the pushy sales person bucket. Instead, ask the question, “Where are you in the process?” Honor that and meet them where they are. This not only a good life skill but also VERY important in managing long tail purchase leads.   

Hopefully that gives you some food for thought.  If you want to complete our free assessment to see how you stack up in your digital acumen, click HERE.