So now the time has come to invest in Lead companies, but how do you know which one is the right one for you?
When I was a new loan officer, finding a lead company was not easy, I can remember logging onto Yahoo, typing in the key word "mortgage leads" and being bombarded with links leading me in the direction of lead companies all claiming to have the best leads and the best deal for me!
But what was the best deal for me? That all depended on what I was looking for, so taking my time, I began to right down exactly what it was I was looking for, did I want refi's, purchases, or both. Did I want leads from several states or just one, how much could I afford? Etc., etc.
Before I invested any money, I decided I was really going to do my home work, I went to sites of the companies I was considering to read their terms and conditions, I spoke with reps in their customer service department and asked many questions, I went to lead site reviews posted on the web to see what kind of experience other loan officers had with the companies I was considering.
One thing to keep in mind, No lead company can guarantee you a 100% closure ratio, and they are very up front about that, if that is what you are looking for, you can end your search now.
Still with me? Good!
Here are a few things to consider before committing
If you are on a tight budget, and have, lets say, $100.00 to spend, you will have to narrow your search to the lead companies that accept a $100.00 or lower minimum or will meet whatever spending limit you have set for yourself. Some companies have deposit requirements, not allowing you to deposit less than $500.00, so this would not be the company for you.
2) Lead Generation
Find out where the company is generating their leads from. Some companies recycle their leads and sell them many time over. They also buy their leads in bulk off of other companies and resell them, so make sure you ask this very important question up front.
3) Return Policy
Look for a company with a liberal return policy, the best way to find out this information is through lead site reviews. If you receive a lead with bogus contact information, there is no reason why you should not get your money back.
4) Quantity vs. Quality
Be careful when you buy in bulk, when you can spend $100.00 and receive 50 leads, chances are the leads are old and are being recycled, and the closing ratio isn't so good. If you can spend $100.00 and receive five to ten fresh leads, you may be better off, and also have a much better closure ratio.
5) Cherry Picking vs. Filters
Cherry picking is a nice feature, and a very popular one, it allows you to go into a site and view a lead before you purchase it, some sites even let you know how many times it has been sold. Filters are also very nice features, they allow you to predetermine what kind of lead you want, and when a lead comes in matching your filter criteria, it is sent directly to you via e-mail or fax.
6) Customer service
As in all business', customer service is key, and the way they handle themselves on the phone can be perceived as a good indication as to how their company is run. If you are struggling to get a hold of someone, or your phone calls are not being returned, they are most likely not worth doing business with.
One of the best ways to find a mortgage lead company, is to have one referred to you by a co-worker, or by someone within your organization who has had success with a lead company. Ask around and see what you can come up with.
8) Exclusive vs. Nonexclusive
If you want to receive leads exclusively, you will pay a steeper price, however this lead will be sold to you only, doing away with your competition. Non exclusives leads are sold on average three to five times, it usually will cut the cost of the lead in half, but keep in mind, you are now competing with other loan officers. Remember, you get what you pay for.
One last thing...
By considering these eight features of mortgage lead companies, you are well on your way to choosing the best lead company for you, and at the right price. But don't stop here, continue to gather as much information as you can before you invest, I can't stress enough just how valuable the lead review sites are, check them out, it will be worth your time.