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3 Reasons Loan Officers Struggle With Internet Mortgage Leads

February 10, 20238 min read

After some level of success in anybody's mortgage business, they're going to look to increase their volume. 

Some search out the best mortgage lead sources or mortgage lead providers and find us at Empower LO.

Others look at social media, like Facebook ads for loan officers or TikTok for LOs. 

Or they’ll give in to those random emails selling databases full of leads, and try pulling a few needles out of that haystack.

All these methods share a common ground, the leads are generated online and could be limitless! This is what makes online lead gen so appealing, but why doesn’t it always work as we want it to? 

It seems that most loan officers that invest in internet lead generation end up walking away with less money than they went into their lead agreement with; why is that?

Most loan officers make the transition to internet leads, without adjusting the rest of their lead-closing-machine and end up losing money.

Business Growth Fundamentals

First off, we have to understand the most basic underlying fundamental of this entire process. To grow your business, you need two things; a source of leads, and a process for converting those leads.  

To see what I mean, let’s look at your agent relationships. 

  • What is your source of business? It's the relationships you have with agents in your market.  

  • What is your process for converting those agents/strangers into closed loans?

Those are the two key components of any mortgage marketing campaign. A source of leads and the processes to convert them into closed loans are the two most fundamental building blocks of your mortgage loan process. 

#1: Not Understanding The Relationship Between Mortgage Lead Volume and Mortgage Lead Intent

High-volume lead sourcing and conversion is a very different game than getting lay-me-down referrals from your trusted real estate partners. 

That process is simple; you get the referral, call them up, and usually take an app that 80% of the time at least will turn into a closing. That’s not the case with internet leads at volume.

Most loan officers think that the source of leads is their issue, so they go out and find a new way to get leads. 

However, as soon as they get those leads in the door, their number one problem becomes converting leads into closed loans. Super basic, I know, but we have to lay down these fundamental challenges LOs are facing.

Now let’s talk about the relationship between lead volume and buyer intent or ease of conversion. If you are initially looking at volume, you need to understand that the higher the volume of leads you get, the lower the buying intent. 

The borrower has to go through the buyer’s journey, and at the beginning of that journey, they are just not ready. The buying intent is low because they are just starting out, and not ready to commit. 

If we look at this from a sales funnel perspective, the top of the funnel has a wide opening, and we get lots of leads at the top of the funnel. As the leads go through the buying process, they move from the top of the funnel, just looking or starting out, to the bottom of the funnel, ready to sign a contract.

We’ve all been conditioned to focus on the bottom of our mortgage sales funnel, where the leads are ready to go, NOW. 

Bottom-of-Funnel-Leads are ultra-competitive and there are some big dogs with big wallets out there like Rocket Mortgage, Lending Tree, and Zillow. Unless you are a closing beast with a lot of bank, you are going to be eaten alive! Which is the reason few have success with it. 

#2: Haven’t Adjusted Their Mindset For A New Lead Source

If you want to take the leap and grow your business with a source of leads that can produce closing for you on demand, you need a paradigm shift. 

Internet leads have a different closing process and a different journey. Your lead nurturing and conversion timeline is different and your process needs to change.

Level Up Your Closing Skills

You have to become better at closing prospects. When you are working with internet leads, you don’t have the built-in trust factor that you have with referrals, so you have to approach them differently.

I highly recommend reading a book titled “The Conversion Code” by Christ Smith. This book has changed thousands of LOs lives by showing them how to convert cold leads into closed sales.

#3: Not Efficiently Leveraging People AND Technology

The next thing you need to do is figure out how to leverage technology to amplify your efforts and multiply your results. You also need to implement a way to delegate or outsource the low-impact activities, although still necessary, so you can focus on the high-impact activities that move the needle in your business. Do you need to be talking to every lead who comes in? Or can someone on your team take care of those initial steps?

If you look at the corporate standard for closing internet leads, like Rocket Mortgage, you’ll notice they have a process. There are call center reps whose job is to get someone on the phone, ask a few questions, and then transfer them, that’s all they have to be good at.

It’s not easy to copy this chop-shop process as a solo LO or with a small team. Don’t fret though! If you want to break the lead capture and closing process down more, you can call on us over at Empower LO. Our company was created by loan officers, for loan officers, so we know what it’s like out there and what you need! More on that later ;)

Let’s look at some of the best digital resources to optimize your business for online mortgage leads.

Marketing Automation System

To process a high volume of leads, you need to set up some basic automation to take care of those little tasks that you repeat hundreds of times. Trust me, when you don’t have to worry about 8 million mini-tasks in your head, you’ll have a lot more brain power to do what you’re here to do, CLOSE!

You need a system that automatically sends out texts, emails, ringless voicemails, and videos to your leads. The right system will do all these within seconds of a lead dropping into your CRM, saving you hours upon hours of manual work and boosting your efficiency. These simple steps can TRANSFORM your loan origination business.

Social Media 

There is a strategic way to level up your social media presence, instead of just losing precious hours on that addictive phone screen.

Stay in front of your prospects by using retargeting campaigns on social networks. You can drop your list of prospects on an ad campaign and make sure they see your business everywhere online. 

Take it a step further; connect directly with them. Find their profiles and engage with them on social. 

You will probably be the only one that does that, and you’ll get the deal.

Mortgage Email Marketing

Now let’s talk about effective email campaigns.

Email still produces the highest ROI of any digital marketing. Statistics show the ROI of email to be around $40 return for every dollar spent. Email is an excellent way to further the relationship through educational and informative communication. It is also an opportunity to show some personality, your charisma so your prospects know you better.

Multimedia mortgage marketing is the formula for success in today’s day and age. Being omnipresent with your prospects is how you stay top of mind.

The right tech tool will help you send relevant and timely messages to prospects based on your chosen and optimized criteria. Let’s say, for example, you have a few hundred leads at different stages. You have some that are already approved, shopping for a house. You also have some working on their credit to be “mortgage ready” and others looking for ways to gather a down payment. With the right CRM, you can segment these people into groups and send relevant emails, texts, and voicemails to each group. 

Personalized, timely information delivered to clients who can relate to what you are sending is perceived as highly personalized and shows you have a closer relationship with them. Unlike generic emails that normally go unopened, these relevant emails will get engagement and replies.

Final thoughts

LOs that are successful have multiple sources of leads. 

Referrals are the best leads, but hard to scale that predictably. 

You need another source, direct to consumer, that can generate high volume leads on demand. There is enormous opportunity out in the market if you understand the process and correlation of high volume and buyer intent of cold leads. 

With the right mortgage lead generation system in place, you can successfully turn cold leads into closed loans, consistently. 

You can increase or decrease the volume as you see fit. That’s total control of your business.

BTW, if you want to see how Empower LO can help you make that leap into high-volume lead generation, nurturing, and closing, book a demo right now. 

See you at the top!

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