You don't need to spend exorbitant amounts of money, however, many lenders are "penny wise and pound foolish", hoping to save their way to success.
Usually, this is because price is how they can compare features, when they don't know what to look for.
Which is exactly what consumers do when looking for a loan: the rate and fees to them is more important than the correct loan structure, only until they become educated and see the long-term difference the correct loan structure can make.
The bar-none most important factor to look for in choosing a mortgage website is leads production.
The online 1003 is important, however, fewer consumers will directly apply before speaking to you or your team than many lenders expect.
Our studies show a lot of consumers will look at an application as part of their decision-making process, however, if you compare the website analytics and statistics, you'll see many more get to the application page than actually apply.
First, to manage expectations, a great mortgage website can create over one hundred leads per month.
When you consider the cost of buying these leads, the value of that becomes apparent.
Getting your mortgage website to produce that quantity of meaningful leads requires some work and investment, however, making the effort to "dig the well" can result in a stream of business for years and allow you greater control over your business and career.
For brokers with a team, or mortgage lenders who have assistants, producing leads for your team can help recruiting and allow you wider margins via lower splits from the leads you generate.
A good CRM (Client Relationship Management) system will allow for leads distribution rules, so the leads your mortgage website produces can be automatically redirected to your team, with visible metrics and analytics on how your team is working them.
Each mortgage website should also have a few other components: "Free Report" Marketing.
This is essential at creating leads, and the mechanics are simple.
Create compelling headlines, based on information a consumer seeking a mortgage would want to know, and give this information away - with a catch.
The catch is the visitor needs to register in order to access the article.
This creates a lead for you to follow up.
Since the action you seek is an online application, or at least deeper engagement with your website and/or brand, the content should actually be on your mortgage website, not within the autoresponder (any good CRM has powerful autoresponders built in).
Use the autoresponder to drive the visitor back to the mortgage website (since the visitor cannot apply within their email client), and at the end, have a clear call-to-action along with "information cross-sell", such as related videos.
Video learning center.
These videos can sell for you 24/7, and should be a mix of professionally produced pre-canned videos to reduce your time and cost on production while adding production value and a professional image, and personal videos of you speaking via webcam.
By the way, when using a webcam, shake it up a bit by taking it outside or getting away from your desk.
Keep these short and sweet, as your goal is to occur as likable, knowledgeable, and professional.
For most consumers, your mortgage website will be the first interaction with your brand, and your online videos will be the first way consumers see you.
Video can be a powerful "force multiplier" to leverage your time so you can spend more time closing.
Articles about common questions.
Ideally, this is great copy to include within a customized, "skinned", search-engine-optimized blog.
Since mortgage rates and real estate markets change frequently, an integrated blog can be an excellent way to get your mortgage website ranked highly for specific key phrases.
This is one of the easiest ways to rank highly for "your city mortgage broker" or other similar locally-relevant phrases.
While consumers won't usually apply for this until they have spoken with someone, many consumers these days will use the form after their comfort level is raised and they are sure you can help them.
This can be helpful at reducing your time commitment, and allow consumers to complete this application on their own schedule after hours.
Terms & Conditions.
This, and a "contact us" page, is essential for more than the obvious reasons: Search engines effectively require it now in order to rank well, and the terms page is typically where privacy policies and licensing information is held, which is required in most states for mortgage website advertising.
A great mortgage website can make a substantial difference in your practice.
Hopefully, this has helped you know what to look for - just as educating your borrowers can help them make a better mortgage decision.