Most mortgage prospects won’t commit to filling out the full application the first time around. While we wish every prospective borrower would apply immediately, it simply does not happen this way for most lead conversions.
That’s not to say that your mortgage sales funnel and mortgage website won’t get you the sale. First impressions and strategy are foundational.
But all too often, we see originators miss revenue opportunities from prospects that need more personal attention. Studies confirm this need as they demonstrate that most sale conversions happen after five follow-ups. Sadly, most originators give up after making only one or two attempts.
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If this sounds like you, we’re about to help you fix that mistake. Here’s everything you need to know about the art of following-up on mortgage leads.
Best Mortgage Sale Follow-Up Techniques for Loan Originators
You’ve heard the phrase, “learn to walk before you run,” and the same applies to mortgage lead follow-ups. Make sure that your lead acquisition and nurturing plan is in place with:
- A content-rich mortgage website.
- Positive online borrower experience.
- A CRM, optimally one that integrates with your mortgage POS and sales funnel.
Have these basics set up, and you’ll be able to give each lead the relentless attention it needs to flip it into a funded loan.
Have Several Different Methods for Following Up
If your initial contact with the prospect was over the phone, don’t limit yourself to only calling them. This is particularly important if you find that they’re always “too busy” to talk. If that’s the case, it might be time to email them or send a text instead.
If the conversation had initially started with a comment or DM on your social media, you could also reach out to them through that platform. Everyone has an optimal way to be contacted, so it’s smart to try various ways if you’re unsure what their preference is.
Of course, if they’ve made it clear that their preferred way to be contacted is by email, don’t call them. While persistence gets you closer to closing, pushy moves you further away from it.
While persistence gets you closer to closing, pushy moves you further away from it.
Have a Purpose and Provide Value With Each Follow Up
Always have a good reason for contacting them. It should never be to “check-in.” Nor should your follow-up be an aggressive sales pitch. Neither one of those methods will entice engagement from your prospect.
To make your follow-up effective without being pushy, focus on providing value. This is where efficient note-taking comes into play. Refer to your CRM notes to inquire about previous pain points (such as lowering their rate) or other problems they were hoping to solve with a new mortgage or refi.
Use this info to gain even more insight and trust. Even if they don’t convert with that follow-up, they’ll get much closer to it.
Speaking of the next follow-up, a great one would be to send them a resource, such as an article on your website that addresses their problem.
Sell the Benefits, Not The Features
A study conducted by Harvard Business School found that consumers were more likely to purchase if presented with the benefits rather than the features.
What does this look like in mortgage sale follow-up?
It could look like telling the prospect that they would save $325 a month if they refinance instead of telling them that a thirty-year interest rate dropped to 2.76%.
Essentially you want to share how their life will improve or what problem will be solved by applying for a loan with you. Selling the benefits makes the offer compelling and more relevant –both of which provoke action.
Pace Your Follow-Up Rhythm
Spacing out your follow-ups helps to prevent coming off as annoying. Some purchases are made impulsively, but large financial decisions move at a slower pace. While there’s no exact guideline, a follow-up about once a week is typically a good rhythm.
Keep in mind the prospect’s time frame. If they expressed an urgency to access their equity, it’d be good to speed up the follow-up pace. Otherwise, slow it down and keep it brief.
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Make It Short But Memorable
It’s not an exaggeration that a consumer’s attention spans are less than that of a goldfish. A recent study by Microsoft found that the consumer’s attention span is now eight seconds, down from twelve seconds just two decades ago –and shorter than that of a goldfish!
Make the most of your eight seconds by defining the purpose for following up (“The purpose for my call is…”) and provide them with the next steps.
Also, limit your emails to six to seven short sentences and phone calls to less than ten minutes.
Make it Clear What Their Next Steps Should Be
If your mortgage sales pitch memorable, your prospect will likely consider taking you up on your offer. Therefore, make it very clear what will happen next or what action they should take.
For example, if they say they want to discuss it first with their spouse, schedule a conference call or video call with both of them for the following week. You can also let them know that you’ll send them a link where they can start the application process so you can have the info on-hand to give them accurate financing scenarios during the call.
Be warned not to let them get away with an “I’ll get back to you to schedule that call” because it’s unlikely they will. And trying to re-engage the mortgage prospect who left things uncertain is more difficult.
Know When To Stop Following Up
There will come a time when continually contacting an idle prospect becomes pointless and a drain on your resources. You might start to wonder if it’s time to stop chasing the lead.
Some sales gurus say to follow up until you have a definitive “stop” from the prospect. However, we tend to side with the philosophy that five to six follow-ups are best since most consumers decide to buy by this time.
When you decide that it’s time to “break-up” with the prospect, don’t just stop contacting them. Instead, send a break-up email. Thank the prospect for the opportunity, wish them the best, and let them know that you will no longer be following up with them.
The point of this email is to split on favorable terms. Should they decide to take action in the future, they’ll remember you in a positive light and may reach out to you again. Another goal for this break-up email is to give them a sense of urgency –enticing a fear of losing out because you’re leaving. This fear might be just the tipping point they needed to get the loan application going.
Following up with a prospective home buyer doesn’t come naturally to all loan originators. That’s why so many give up after only two attempts. But remember that you’re not trying to pressure or spam anyone into applying for a loan –your services truly provide a solid solution to their financing problems. Focus on consistently providing value and soon that value will be reflected in your profit margin.