Sales is a constant balancing act: You need a high volume of sales to be successful, but you only have so many hours in the day, and so much energy to spend generating, nurturing, and closing leads. Figuring out how to grow your business without increasing your time commitment and stress can seem impossible. And if you reinvent the wheel for every single lead, itis impossible.
Luckily, you don’t need to do that. If you create a lead management strategy that can be followed for each sales lead, you can take the guesswork out of sales and use systems to close more deals with less effort. Think of it
Step one of any sale is a lead. That’s why keeping a healthy flow of new potential clients is so important, particularly in the real estate industry, where the market fluctuates so unpredictably. Sometimes sales leads fall into your lap, but that kind of luck can’t be relied upon. Instead, you need reliable lead generation systems that can be used over and over without diminishing returns.
For a loan officer, trust is the most important currency you have with your leads. That’s why referrals are such an effective and reliable way to find qualified prospects. Anyone who has been referred to you, either by a past client or by a business partner, comes with a foundation of trust that a cold lead simply doesn’t have.
Getting referrals can seem outside of your control, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are three basic steps to earning referrals from past customers:
- Do a great job. You won’t get any referrals if you don’t deliver a fantastic experience to your customers.
- Don’t let them forget you. If you don’t keep in touch, your past customers won’t remember your name when a friend or family member needs a loan officer.
- Ask for referrals. Be straightforward! Let your past customers know that you’re happy to help if someone they know is looking to buy a home or refinance.
Of course, just because the steps are simple doesn’t mean they’re easy. Staying in touch with all of your past customers gets harder with every additional contact. The right CRM can make keeping track of past customers easy, no matter how many there are.
It’s not just past customers who can send you referrals, either — realtors can, too. Becoming a realtor’s top recommendation for their clients require a similar set of steps. First, establish yourself as a thought leader by sharing helpful, relevant content through your social channels and email. Stay in touch, ask for referrals, and the leads will follow.
Referrals are convenient because you don’t have to go out hunting for leads. Instead, they come right to you. Content marketing offers that same benefit: By sharing informative, useful content, you can both build trust and entice leads to reach out to you, rather than you having to chase them down.
To do that, you need to start with content that is both instructional and engaging. That means written content, like blogs and emails, as well as more eye-catching content like video. Then, you need to distribute that content where people can see it. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and email can help get your content in front of the right eyes, and search engine optimization can help people find you when they need what you have to offer. And of course, you need to make it easy for the people consuming your content to get in touch with you, so it’s imperative that you have a strong call to action and easy channels of communication.
There are plenty of ways to generate leads if you follow a few key best practices: Stay in touch with your past customers and business partners, establish yourself as an expert in your field, and maintain a clean, well-organized database. But remember: Not all leads are created equal. Quality is more important than quantity, and choosing the right leads to pursue is crucial to ensure that you aren’t wasting your time and theirs. A great CRM will facilitate all of these best practices with automated features that build and nurture relationships for you, so you’re never wanting for warm leads, and can handpick the prospects that are the best fit.
Keep in Touch
Generating a sales lead is step one, but the next dozen steps are all staying in touch. Depending on when you make contact with your lead, it could be a while before they’re ready to move forward and close. And once they’re moving down that path, you could still lose them if they don’t perceive you as trustworthy or communicative. That’s why it’s crucial to keep in touch with your leads throughout the process, and make yourself available if they have questions or concerns.
Whether your lead is a first-time homebuyer or someone with a little experience under their belt, they need a loan officer to guide them through the process of getting a mortgage. If your leads don’t feel like they’re your top priority, they’re going to put their trust — and their money — behind someone else.
The Best Tools
Of course, if you had to manually call, text, and email every single lead and client, you’d never have a moment to spare. The right tools should make it easy to stay in touch with your leads and clients throughout every step of the lead management process.
- If you had to remember everything yourself, you would only be able to handle a few leads at once. Reminders help you stay on top of all your contacts and reach out at the right times. Example: Remember birthdays. You'll be amazed how powerful this is...and while you're at it -- remind your agents!
- Automated email campaigns can deliver the essential messages and updates for you, so you can focus on making those relationships personal instead of losing time and energy on the nuts and bolts.
- Loan in process text alerts keep your clients informed on their loan at every step, so they can be confident that you have their loan handled.
If you lose touch with your contacts, they’ll lost trust in you. The right CRM will have all of these essential tools built in, making it easy to keep up with your leads from start to finish.
Close the Deal
There’s nothing worse than putting in the blood, sweat, and tears for a lead, and then watching that lead close with someone else. The main reason this happens is that loan officers give up too quickly. Some deals do come easy — but if you drop every deal that doesn’t, you’ll never be able to scale up and close more deals. To nail down those more difficult leads, persistence is key.
For many leads, it’s the building of trust and a relationship that convinces them to close. It’s essential that your leads understand that their mortgage is your top priority, and that you can guide them through the process and into their dream home reliably. There are plenty of loan officers out there, and if leads don’t feel that they can place their trust in you, they will find someone else.
What’s Stopping Them?
If a lead has stalled, there’s nothing wrong with asking what’s stopping them. Whatever the problem is, you can’t solve it if you don’t know about it. Asking about your prospect’s goals, fears, and questions can help you resolve those issues and clear the path for both you and your lead to get what you both want.
Don’t be afraid to ask for the close. Getting a mortgage or refinancing is a big decision, and many of your clients will be understandably nervous. Sometimes people need a nudge in the right direction, particularly from an expert they trust.
Most importantly, remember that a lead is never really dead. If you remain accessible and let leads that have gone cold know that you’re still available to help them, even the coldest leads can still rise from the dead! Not every loan officer is persistent, so if you can build persistence into your strategy, you can succeed where other loan officers fall short.
Your CRM is Your Best Partner
If a strategy is a road map, a great CRM is a GPS. Not only does the right CRM help you build an actionable strategy, it actually implements it for you. Usherpa keeps track of your contacts, stays in touch with the relationships that build your business, and uses top-of-the-line automated marketing to deliver valuable content and show your leads and business partners that you’re worth trusting. With the right CRM on your side, you can close more deals with less effort.