Grow Your Mortgage Lending Business with Online Rate Display

April 25, 2019 in General

Online Rate Display & The Future of Mortgage Lending

The mortgage lending industry is changing rapidly. The line between “online lenders” and “retail loan officers” is becoming increasingly blurred, and most successful and growing mortgage companies are embracing both an online and a brick-and-mortar presence.

With 90% of prospective home buyers using the internet to research the mortgage process before even speaking with a mortgage lender, a successful mortgage lending company is going to meet their customers where they start their journey: online.

When a potential customer visits your website, chances are they want to see your rates. As a mortgage lender, your rates are arguably your biggest selling point. Along with realtor recommendations and reviews from past customers, showing your rates to potential customers before they even step foot in an office or make a phone call is crucial.

Online, real-time rate display is the pinnacle of transparency for mortgage lenders and helps build trust with potential customers so they can begin the mortgage loan process with confidence. For some lenders whose interest rates are locked inside a complicated pricing engine, this may seem like a stretch. How do you get those rates onto your website and update them in real time?

The transition to online rate display isn’t as hard as you think. With BankingBridge, you can easily add rate card embeds to your website, your realtor partner’s website, or a company page. These embeds are equipped with our signature RateFlow API to make sure that your rates stay up-to-date no matter where they’re displayed.

What Makes a Good Rate Display

Although many industry leaders are incorporating real-time rate displays into their websites, not all rate display designs are created equal. The best rate displays have a few things in common:

  • They are simple and easy to use
  • They utilize clean, streamlined design to make the information clear and easy to read
  • They are fully customizable, allowing for adjustments in the loan period, type, and monthly payments
  • They are mobile-friendly, making them accessible for users on any device
  • They include an effective call to action button to capture more leads

Let’s keep these principles in mind as we take a look at the different layouts for online rate displays across some of the mortgage industry’s largest players.

How Major Companies are Using Online Rate Display

A quick look at platforms and websites across the mortgage lending industry will reveal that industry leaders are embracing real-time rate display.

Major lead generation sites such as Bankrate.com and business intelligence sites like Informa.com are positioning mortgage lenders’ real time rates into high traffic websites. Both sites promote competing lenders to help consumers make an informed decision by showing the rates and cost of each type of loan. The screenshots below show how Bankrate.com allows the user to customize the scenario in an easy-to-use format.

Bankrate

https://www.bankrate.com

Bankrate.com utilizes a table layout for real-time rate displays that compare rates between multiple lenders. It is fully customizable, even including a credit score option, but there is no clear call to action button included and the number of options might be overwhelming for some visitors.

Informa

https://www.realtor.com/mortgage/rates/

Informa.com rate tables position lenders on real estate or finance websites such as Realtor.com, MSN, and mortgage101.com. They have a similar layout to Bankrate.com with clear, upfront rates and a customizable scenario.

Bank of America & Wells Fargo

https://www.bankofamerica.com/mortgage/mortgage-rates/

Bank of America also uses rate tables on their website, but the filters are limited to purchase price, down payment, and zip code.  It’s important for rate displays to give a clear description of the loan program being offered. This particular rate display allows you to scroll over “Rate,” “APR,” “Points,” and “Monthly Payment” to see a quick explanation of each category which keeps the design clean without sacrificing clarity.  Adding in the monthly payment is a nice addition to keep the user engaged and increase the time they spend on the page.

https://www.wellsfargo.com/mortgage/rates/

By comparison, Wells Fargo offers a similar table layout but doesn’t offer much in terms of customization.  However, the user can toggle between “purchase” and “refinance” rates, which is a plus. Another downside is that the call to action button to “get started” is positioned off to the side where it is more likely to be overlooked.

 

Better.com


https://better.com/

Better.com is an online lender looking to streamline the entire mortgage process. Their rate table designs and call to action buttons are some of the best on the market.  The use of color grabs the user’s attention and a clear breakdown of cost creates transparency.  They include both “basic” and “custom” scenarios to cater to a variety of needs. The “Better Price Guarantee” is a great design feature that encourages the user to shop around and come back for the best offer.

 

Mountain American Credit Union

https://www.macu.com/loans/home-loans/conventional-mortgage

Finally, let’s take a look at a more innovative rate display on Mountain American Credit Union’s website.  They use rate card design as opposed to a table display.  Rate cards are more mobile-friendly because they don’t pack as much information into a small space like some table designs.

The program titles, rates, and APR are clear and easy to understand.  Each rate card has a built-in call to action button with the “Apply now” and “Learn more” links.  The information “i” icon adds the disclaimer directly into the rate card while keeping the design clean and simple.

Real-Time Rate Solutions for Every Lender

Whether you prefer the traditional rate table layout or are looking for a more modern rate card design, BankingBridge has real-time rate display solutions for every mortgage lender. Our online rate displays are fully customizable, mobile-friendly, and feature effective call to action buttons and clean, modern design.

In today’s market, customers expect to be able to access your rates online. Don’t leave your rates locked away in your pricing engine – request a demo at https://bankingbridge.com/products/ and upgrade your mortgage lending business today!

Beginner’s Guide to Embedding Content on Your Website | It’s for Mortgage Lenders Too!

March 25, 2019 in General

How Embeds Add Interest to Your Content

When someone finds your website or blog, it’s your chance to convert that visitor into a paying customer. If every page on your website is filled with boring blocks of text and dry information about mortgage lending, most visitors are going to lose interest and leave without requesting a free estimate or contacting you for more information about a home loan.

That’s where embeds come in!

Adding embeddable content to your website or blog helps deliver relevant content to visitors and keep them on your page longer – increasing the chance of capturing that lead and gaining a new customer.

Just like you can add images to your page, you can also add embeds that show visitors your most recent testimonials, social media posts, video content, Pinterest pins, and even rates.

Figuring out how to embed the content you want can be tricky, especially when it comes to embedding your rates or a mortgage calculator. BankingBridge makes it easy to embed content on your website or your realtor partner’s website so you can brand your mortgage lending business and provide relevant content to potential customers on any platform.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.

Vimeo Embeds

Businesses embed Vimeo videos in posts and landing pages quite often. Before embedding a Vimeo video, you need to upload it. Follow these simple steps to embed a Vimeo video into your blog or website.

First, you will need to find the embed code. To get your video’s embed code, go to the video’s page and click the “Share” button. Then, click the “Show Options” link above the embed code field to reveal a preview of your embedded video and the basic customization options. From there, you can copy the embed code and paste it wherever you’d like to embed your video.

https://www.sofi.com/home-loans/

Above is an example of how embedded videos can quickly provide interesting and useful content to your page. This mortgage lending website has two embedded Vimeo videos to inform customers about the pre-approval process, but you could embed videos about any part of the loan process or even general information about your business.

If you want more information on what can be embedded into your website and how to do it, HubSpot has a great article on how to embed practically anything into your blog or website.

How Mortgage Lenders Can Utilize Embeds from BankingBridge

As potential customers interact with your brand on your blog, website, homebuilder’s or real estate partner’s website, you can use our embeds to brand your loan officers consistently in a meaningful and compliant way.

Let’s say you’re writing a blog post about the benefits of first-time homebuyer loan programs.  As you explain the benefits of these programs, you can embed a set of live rate cards directly into your blog just like the example below.  These rates are pulled directly from your pricing engine and update as the market updates.  No matter when the page is viewed, it will always load the most up-to-date market rates.

Here is an example of a BankingBridge embed:

These live rate cards ensure the utmost transparency and engage the customer in a unique way.  You can tailor the rate cards to a specific blog post or targeted audience and they are just as easy to install as Vimeo or YouTube videos.

More Embeds from BankingBridge

Imagine you’re writing a blog post or creating a landing page for your website that discusses how different down payments will affect monthly mortgage payments and mortgage insurance. Our embedded mortgage calculator gives you an easy, seamless way to show potential customers how the down payment will affect their monthly payment. BankingBridge uses software that is integrated with your pricing engine and mortgage insurance provider to deliver real-time information for relevant blog or website content.

Another example of how our software helps mortgage lenders brand themselves across multiple platforms is our embed for a realtor partner’s website.

Building real, meaningful relationships with your real estate and homebuilder partners is important.  Through BankingBridge, you can offer compliance tools that can be embedded into their website to showcase that relationship.  This provides an easy way for customers to find your business and increase engagement.  The embed below can be found under the “mortgage calculator” tab on the website linked above.

https://www.1858realestate.com/mortgage-calculator

You don’t have to be tech-savvy to update your branding and marketing with embeds. We make adding relevant, seamless embeds to your mortgage lending website or blog simple.

Request a demo at https://bankingbridge.com/products/ and discover how our software created just for mortgage lenders makes it easy to grow your business!

Why Every Mortgage Lender Needs a Landing Page

March 6, 2019 in General

Successful Loan Officers Are Embracing Technology

There’s no getting around it: all markets are digital now. No industry is immune to our increasingly online world, and whenever someone wants something, they start their search online – even when it comes to their mortgage.

Loan officers who want to compete with apps like Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans need to embrace the way that people shop for mortgage lenders in today’s market: online.

Not Your Mother’s Home Buyer

 

The largest growing demographic of home buyers in today’s real estate market is millennials. Millennials grew up learning to use the internet to find the answers to all their questions: questions like, how does a mortgage work or what are the best mortgage rates in my area?

Armed with information, millennials are also much more likely than the generations before them to shop around for the best rates. On average, millennial home buyers obtain 6 quotes from lenders before choosing a lender. Even the older generations are catching on: 75% of buyers from 35 to 54 years old and 55% of 55 years old and up are shopping around for the best mortgage rate, compared to 86% of millennials.

Think about it: 90% of prospective home buyers use the internet to research homes and the mortgage process before even speaking with a real estate agent or mortgage lender. According to a 2017 report from the National Association of REALTORS®, only 7% of prospective buyers started their search by contacting a bank or mortgage lender first. So, unless you are only interested in that 7% of the market, you’re going to need to develop an internet presence to find customers.

Online Marketing is a Must for Mortgage Lenders

If most potential customers are looking online for their mortgage needs, then that’s where a successful mortgage loan officer sets up shop – and a website is the best way to make sure customers can find you. Whether you design your own or pay professionals to design your website, you need a place where customers can easily find you.

A website is only the beginning. If you want to draw in more customers, you need to advertise. By using targeted online ads, you can find leads faster. Wherever you choose to advertise, one thing is for sure: when they click that ad, they are going to have to land somewhere. That’s where the “landing page” comes in.

What’s a Landing Page?

A landing page is the first thing your customer sees when they click that link. It’s a webpage that is designed with one thing in mind: to convince the visitor to take a specific action. For mortgage lenders, this might be filling out an inquiry form or contacting you to start the pre-qualification process. Whatever you want that potential customer to do, your landing page is created to make it happen.

Isn’t it Just a Home Page?

A successful landing page is typically much more specialized than a home page. While your home page may serve multiple purposes, the landing page is designed to do just one thing: convert leads.

Your website’s home page might lead to multiple resources that provide information about your business, or offer education tools about mortgage loans, such as these seamless embeds from BankingBridge that help customers estimate their rates or figure out how much home they can afford.

Your landing page should have limited navigational options and a clear call to action, compelling visitors to fill out a form for a free quote or contact a loan officer to get the process started. So, while your full website might contain all kinds of useful information for potential borrowers, your landing page needs to be targeted and streamlined solely for the purpose of bringing in customers.

Do I Really Need One?

If you want to increase your conversion rates and get the most out of your marketing budget, then yes, you need a landing page. Let’s take a look at what makes landing pages successful.

Landing Page 101

Imagine a potential borrower sees your ad and decides to click through to your landing page. What catches their eye? How long do they stay? Do they fill out the form for a free quote or contact your office for more information?

That all depends on your goals and execution.

6 Features of a Landing Page that Works

A Headline that Hooks

Every landing page needs an attention-grabbing headline that lets the reader know exactly what you are offering. It should be the first thing that the reader’s eyes are drawn to when they open the page.

https://better.com/

Here, it’s clear what’s being offered: a better mortgage. The text is bold and easily readable. It’s OK to be clever, but opt for a simple and explanatory headline over something witty but not confusing. In the few seconds it takes to figure out what you are talking about, your visitor may have moved on already!

If your headline needs a little more explanation, consider a quick sub-header like the one above to further explain what it is that you’re offering.

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Some advertising gurus call it the “hero shot.” Whatever you want to call it, it needs to be big, high quality, and relevant.

https://app.bankingbridge.com/

For mortgage lenders, this probably means an image related to the home, like the landing page featured above. Saving money and better rates are huge selling points, but don’t make for a compelling image. Ultimately, your customers want to own their own home and pay an affordable mortgage. Choose an image that speaks to that, and avoid bland stock photos or low-resolution images.

Why Choose You

Show the reader what benefits they will get from working with you as opposed to other loan officers. Do you offer free quotes or seminars on mortgage lending? Are your closing times faster than other lenders? Are your customers happy with your service? Don’t bog down your landing page with heavy blocks of text, but give the reader easy-to-digest snippets that convince them you’re the loan officer of their dreams.

Social Proof

Millennials are over 70% more likely to buy something because it was highly recommended online.

Any testimonials from previous customers, especially if accompanied by names or headshots, are effective in showing visitors that you know what you’re doing. Any impressive statistics about customer satisfaction or closing quickly can be included here as well; just don’t drown out your headline or call to action.

A Compelling Call to Action

This is arguably the most important element of your landing page. The call to action is what you want visitors to actually do once they’re on your landing page, such as Call Today or Get Your Free Quote.

Bestselling author and marketing expert Neil Patel lists these keys to an effective call to action:

  • Keep it clear and simple
  • Use only one call to action
  • Display the call to action as an obvious button that visitors can click on to get started
  • Design the landing page to draw attention to the call to action
  • If your landing page is longer and scrolls down, repeat the call to action so that it’s always visible wherever the visitor is on the page

Don’t skimp when it comes to the call to action! Make it a big, bold button with just a few words to entice the reader to click. Avoid stale filler words like Submit.

Make It Mobile-Friendly

More and more people are using their smart phones and tablets to start their search, so it’s important to make sure that your landing page is easily viewed on a mobile device as well as on a computer.

If you are looking for a mobile-friendly mortgage calculator or want to show your rates in real time, BankingBridge has an app for that! Our custom embeds integrate seamlessly into your landing page to help convert visitors into customers.

Example of BankingBridge embeds

Let BankingBridge Help

Figuring out your landing page can be hard work filled with trial and error, but we’re here to help. We offer more than generic digital marketing tools – BankingBridge software is designed specifically for loan officers and mortgage lenders, so you know you’re getting relevant content that will change the way you do business for the better.

  • Build the ideal landing page with our easy-to-use embeds like customized rate calculators and call to action buttons
  • Capture more leads with less mess using our pre-qualification workflow to replace overly complicated and out-of-date forms that deter potential customers
  • Reduce false leads with built-in lead verification tools that keep your team from chasing dead ends
  • Mobile-friendly design ensures that potential customers can access your landing page and website on any device
  • Easily insert your own logos, headshots, and contact information into your website, landing page, or even a realtor partner’s page for better branding

Request a demo at https://bankingbridge.com/products/ and launch your landing page today!

 

More Sources:

https://www.webascender.com/blog/landing-page-vs-website-which-do-you-need-and-why/

https://www.smartinsights.com/lead-generation/lead-generation-strategy/perfect-landing-page/

https://unbounce.com/landing-page-examples/your-landing-page-sucks/

Why More Mortgage Loan Officers Are Turning to Co-Marketing

February 21, 2019 in General

Build better relationships with BankingBridge!

In a world where home buyers start their search online, watch streamed home tours on Facebook Live, and attend open houses through VR, the power of a personal relationship with realtors and their clients might seem like an afterthought.

While it’s true that the home buying process is more empowered by technology today than ever before, that doesn’t mean that the relationship loan officers have with real estate agents is no longer important. On the contrary, co-marketing has become more key to success than ever.

What Makes This Relationship So Important?

Even today, most loan officers receive the vast majority of their business referrals from real estate agents. When potential buyers set out to buy a property, they aren’t going to search for a loan officer first. They are going to search for a real estate agent.

This is partly because of the priorities of most potential home buyers: the home or property itself is their number one priority when beginning the search. Real estate agents are typically also much more invested in marketing themselves in their communities and online than the average loan officer.

A potential buyer might have seen Facebook ads, bulletin board flyers at local coffee shops and grocery stores, or even received a mailer with a real estate agent or firm advertised on it. It’s unlikely that they experienced the same level of marketing from a local loan officer.

Trying to out-market real estate agents is not a sensible strategy, particularly because time and familiarity are on their side. As the first person a potential home buyer calls, the real estate agent has great influence over the choices that client makes going forward, and if your name isn’t on their list of trusted loan officers, it’s less likely that the client is going to seek you out for themselves.

What Realtors Look for in a Loan Officer

Now that we’ve established why it’s important to build close relationships with realtors, let’s dive in to what a realtor really wants from the relationship. Offering the lowest rates and a free lunch simply isn’t enough anymore – panelists at a real estate conference admitted that only 1% of realtors choose a loan officer to refer clients to based on the lowest rates.

Take time to understand what real estate agents look for in a loan officer, and offer them exactly the right set of skills and values for maximum appeal:

Clear Communication. Surveys show that almost 80% of realtors list efficient communication and responsiveness as their top concerns in finding a loan officer to refer to their clients. Disclosures can be many pages full of financial and legal jargon that the average person will have some difficulty digesting. Realtors want a loan officer who can easily break down the complicated process of mortgage lending and give borrowers a solid understanding of their mortgage rate and home loan. Consider adding customized rates to your website through software like BankingBridge so potential clients know exactly what they are getting when they work with you.

Transparency. Being clear about your rates is only half of the kind of transparency agents are looking for in today’s market. The process of mortgage lending can be confusing, and realtors want a loan officer who can bring clarity and honesty to their client’s situation – even if the truth is not what they want to hear.

Availability & Responsiveness. Realtors pride themselves on being available to their clients at all hours of the day, and they appreciate a loan officer who goes out of their way to respond to emails, calls, and texts quickly and efficiently.

Accountability. Realtors don’t want to worry whether their clients will be approved for a loan in time – they want to partner with a loan officer who always lives up to their promises.

How to Build Solid Realtor Relationships

Aside from striving to embody the values listed above in each and every transaction, there are a few steps you can take to truly make an impression.

Reach Out and Make Real Connections. Search social media, ask around town – find real estate agents near you that you would like to work with and contact them. It’s even better if you can find a common acquaintance to introduce you! Check out this list of the best ways to make real connections using LinkedIn!

Personalize Your Sales Pitch. Realtors are salespeople. They will see through a copy and paste email or response in an instant. Instead, set yourself apart from the pack by personalizing the message to that particular agent.

Practice Your Sales Pitch. Even if you aren’t at a networking event, there will be times that you organically run into realtors out and about in the world. Be ready! Rehearse your sales pitch with friends and family so that, when you do run into the star realtor at a community event, you know just what to say.

Proactive Updates. Agents don’t always want to have to log in to a portal and check on the status of their client’s loan. Make it easy for them by proactively contacting them to let them know each update on their client’s loan status.

Effective Email Marketing. Cold-call email drip campaigns are only as effective as the content within them. Ask yourself: does this email contain useful information for my target audience?

Invest in a Social Media Presence. Real estate agents are already doing this. They understand that cultivating a meaningful, educational, useful internet presence with a consistent branding message is incredibly useful to drawing in new clients.

Modern Print Marketing. Despite the prevalence of online marketing, print marketing still has a time and place! Your mortgage payment flyers and open house flyers need to do more than just list mortgage rates, though. All of your mortgage co-marketing needs to be well designed, easy to read, and show off your personal brand.

Have Your Own “Open House.” Nothing beats face-to-face contact, so why not make yourself available by offering office hours? This can be in the conference room of your bank, the realtor’s office, or even in a public space that’s centrally located so that agents can come to you.

Show Up When It Matters. Closing on time is obviously going to make your clients and realtor partners happy, but what about being there for the big event? Closing is a special moment, especially for first-time home buyers. By taking part in this emotional moment, either by showing up in person if possible, or by giving the agent a congratulatory call, you are forging a powerful bond.

Technology that Empowers Buyers. Mortgage lending looks different in today’s technologically advanced world, and any loan officer or mortgage lender that wants to keep up with online lending services like Lendra, Quicken Loans, and Better.com needs to embrace a new, technologically-empowered toolkit.

How BankingBridge Helps Strengthen Realtor Relationships

BankingBridge is software that helps loan officers and mortgage lenders maximize their relationships with both realtors and clients. It works within your existing website to passively and actively increase lead capture and build connections to both realtors and potential clients. BankingBridge will change the way you do business for the better.

  • Bring a new level of transparency to your business with flexible tools that make it easy to share your rates and loan programs with realtors and clients on your website, social media platforms, and even realtors’ websites
  • Make realtor loan officer marketing easy with our modern open house and mortgage payment flyers
  • Integration with the leading pricing engines allows you to send automated price quotes straight from your website
  • Grow your online presence on social media platforms faster and more efficiently
  • Create customizable drip campaigns and develop effective email marketing strategies with ease
  • Communicate more clearly, with infographics and market updates that clients will understand
  • Ensure accountability with custom compliance tools

Co-marketing with your realtor partners doesn’t need to be hard.

Request a demo at https://bankingbridge.com/products/ and bring real value to your realtor relationships!

 

More Reading on the Realtor/Loan Officer Relationship:

https://himaxwell.com/blog/real-estate-agent-networking-for-loan-officers-dos-and-donts-for-savvy-lenders/

https://www.scotsmanguide.com/Residential/Articles/2012/08/7-Tips-to-Build-Realtor-Relationships/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/donnafuscaldo/2018/09/26/home-buying-goes-high-tech-as-millennials-become-largest-real-estate-buyers/#5c7a2d397774