A little over a year ago, my friend Mat Fugere, a local Milton mortgage broker with Mortgage Edge asked me if I would partner with him to create a website for reverse mortgages which are basically a way for people 55 or older to create a retirement income from the equity in their home.
Mat is a also a pastor at our, The Village Community Church. Cliche as it may seem, he is as honest as they come, which I’m sure is a common characteristic among mortgage brokers, not just the ones who moonlight as a pastor.
The point here being that reverse mortgages are not always the right option for everyone so Mat will guide the home owners in the direction that makes the most sense for their equity situation and their individual financial needs. Often times refinancing the mortgage makes sense and other tines a line of credit is a better option.
So why am I writing about Milton mortgage brokers, and what does it have to do with Internet Marketing or lead generation? Mortgage professionals, especially the individual ones that don’t work for the large banks or companies with deep pockets are faced with a huge amount of competition in the online space when it comes to lead generation. So what can one do?
Lead Generation for Mortgage Brokers in 3 Simple Steps
Step 1: Pay Per Click (PPC)
As I pointed out in my recent blog post, there are over 1 billion searches conducted on Google each day and only 6% of those searches result in a click on a PPC ad! Clearly Pay Per Click doesn’t work! That means that on Google, paid search ads only get clicked on about 60 million times per day. How can they possibly turn a profit with that?
Seriously, that’s an insane number of clicks on PPC ads every day! This is where Google makes upwards of 90% of their gross revenue from. So even though it’s much more common for people to click on the free links, the organic search results, there is a still quite a lot of attention going to the pay per click ads.
Bidding for keywords like “mortgages” or “home financing” on Pay Per Click is a very expensive proposition. And on a limited budget it is likely not the best alternative. It does make sense to hire a professional company that provides pay per click management services. Sure you can try it on your own first if you want, but be prepared to spend more than you should on clicks and getting poor results. It’s kind of like the last time you tried to do a brake job on your car.
In our experience, with our reverse mortgage website we have had our most success with Pay Per Click and since I am personally financing the marketing side of our little side business I am not sharing this information with you only as the expert but also the one footing the bill. In our first year of operation we have closed 20 mortgage deals and only 8 of them were actually reverse mortgages. Not quite setting the world on fire yet but it is making decent progress.
Step 2: Local Search Optimization
Most mortgage brokers I know (yes there are quite a few) tend to do the majority of their mortgage business in their own home town. Such is the case with Mat as a Mortgage Edge Broker. So the first thing you should do is register your local listing on all the local search engine directories.
Start with your Google+ Page (formerly Google Places) since this one will get you the most traffic. Make sure you complete all the information for the best results and do keyword research so that you optimize it for keywords that will actually help you get more leads and make more money and not ones that will just satisfy your ego.
Then register will all the other FREE local directories, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, etc. I generally say not to pay for local directory listings! It is not worth the investment and won’t get you results. Again I generally say that. Use your discretion and if it’s a really good deal that seems too good to be true, it is. Just walk away. Yellow pages in my opinion is not a worthwhile investment for online advertising. Again, use your discretion and when in doubt, hire a professional to help you make wise decisions for online marketing.
Step 3: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Yes, I did intentionally separate SEO from Local Search Optimization. If you search on Google (.ca) for “mortgage broker” you get over 40 billion listings. How easy is it to get on page 1 for that? But if you search “mortgage broker milton” you have only just over 1 millon to compete with. Much easier to get to page 1! For more on that read my blog post Simple SEO Advice from the Smartest Guy in Canada.
Notice that our little Reverse Mortgage project doesn’t come up on the first page! We have gotten the results we have so far using only PPC. Step 2 and 3 of this article are under way. I will have to blog again once we start getting some traction and let you know how it’s going. This very article you just read is our first piece heading in that direction.