“I love when someone I don’t know calls me with a mortgage offer!” said no one ever.
People don’t like unsolicited calls from someone they have never met, and yet mortgage originators still pay thousands for lists of mortgage leads of consumers they have never had interaction with. The ROI math can work, but you may be alienating your brand in your market simply by interrupting consumers at the wrong time. Mortgage lead generation has evolved in the past few years and there is a cure for the common cold call.
The average consumer spends almost 2 hours a day on social media, with the younger generations lifting the average closer to 5 hours. That means they have probably seen 1000s of new ideas or references to various products in an average day. Do we really think consumers still want to pick up the phone and get hassled by a salesman? "No, wait, don't hang up! I haven't told you why my 4.5% is better than everyone else's 4.5%!"
How do borrowers expect to be contacted now?
Today's consumer would rather do a quick search, get a 5 minute google education on the subject, fill out a short request, then let the mortgage professional take over and run the ball. Why fight it? Give them what they want.
This doesn't mean we can't market to new borrowers, it simply means borrowers want to feel like it's their idea. So our job is to be in front of consumers when they are in the market, and when they do raise their hand, be there to quickly answer their questions. This means knowing when someone is actually in the market for a loan, and at that point, reaching out to them in every way you possibly can to get their attention: mail, email, text message, social media, re-target with custom audiences and even smoke signals if you have to.
Consumers are busy, just like us, but they usually have a preferred media channel that they will monitor. Some might throw all their junk mail away before it reaches their front door, but they look at every email in their inbox. Some may not trust email yet (Grandma and Grandpa), but they will still look through direct mail. They might never answer their phone if the contact isn't in their contact book, but they obsess over every message, like, or action someone takes on their Facebook profile. If your message is relevant, they will respect that and feel like the universe delivered you to them at just the right time.
If you reach out to someone to talk about mortgage products on their birthday, or when they are in the middle of financial distress, they may see that as an insult. "You obviously haven't read my profile in over year!"
Let's be smart and use smart marketing tools. You may find you know thousands of people within you sphere of influence that will welcome your message when the time is right.