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Consumer Direct Mortgage Marketing in 2021

Consumer Direct Mortgage Marketing

Quicken Loans is customer-obsessed. The entire consumer journey is focused on solving major problems in the home financing process and buyers love this. Let’s face it, financing a home is complicated. Quicken flips the script and uses this pain point as a selling point. Most of their messages are centered around solving a complicated problem and empowering the buyer.  From there, they have systematic business automation that helps score leads and retain customers at scale. This method of consumer-direct mortgage marketing has exploded Quicken Loans’ to consecutive billion-dollar years. Fundamentally, D2C is the future of mortgage marketing and the faster brands catch on, the better they can compete with the Goliath’s of the mortgage world. 

Consumer Direct Mortgage Marketing 

Direct to consumer marketing can be a very polarizing topic in the marketing world. However, for the marketers and loan officers that have embraced this marketing strategy, they never look back. D2C marketing is when a business focuses on selling a product or service directly to the consumer. Therefore, the entire marketing process is centered around the consumer journey. 

Traditionally in the mortgage industry, D2C marketing takes a back seat to referral marketing – specifically realtor referral marketing.  Because of this, Loan Officers’ obsess over bringing value to the realtor, instead of bringing value to my customer. The natural progression of a traditional realtor referral strategy is to bring value to a realtor through luncheons, advertising costs, etc. Eventually, the realtor hands over the lead and it seems like low-hanging fruit. The problem with this method is that it can be difficult to find a good long-term partner that can scale your business. Additionally, the direct to consumer approach has exploded in the mortgage lending world. Therefore, leads often come to the table with a lender in mind and the realtor has no use for their mortgage partner. This is an unfortunate reality, however, successful lenders have begun to invest in a D2C strategy and train their loan officers to function as highly trained lead nurture experts. With this said, any good direct to consumer strategy for mortgage lenders starts with creative messaging. 

Creative Messaging 

Many consumer direct mortgage marketers focus so much on ad cost, automation, and CRMs. However, you can have the best marketing campaigns and flop without unique creative messaging. Successful consumer-direct companies spend thousands of dollars on developing the right messaging behind a campaign. Again, companies like Quicken Loans are masters at developing a narrative and driving real-time results. A great example of this was the refinance campaign that Quicken ran amidst the historic refinance rate drop that resulted in a huge refinance boom. 

Rocket Can™ | Holes | Rocket Mortgage®

The ad opens with a couple asking very standard questions about a refinance, “Is there money in our home we can use?” The truth is, most first time home buyers are unsure of how cash-out refinances work and how to take advantage of it. The idea that you can pull cash out of your home is seemingly absurd. Quicken plays off of the absurdity of this idea by showing a man smashing in the walls of his home to find money. This funny moment not only makes the ad memorable but brings a level of awareness to the audience. Fast forward a few moments and the couple finds a simple way to pull equity out to pay off student loans, renovate their home, and more. This turns the general awareness of the commercial into actionable advice to the audience who are likely dealing with a mountain of student debt or dreaming about home projects. True consumer direct marketing in the mortgage space begins with relatable awareness. Once the stage has been set, you can put systems in place to find your audience, work them down the funnel, and scale your efforts across new markets. 

Marketing Automation 

Marketing Automation is the bloodline of any working consumer-direct mortgage marketing system. Marketing automation is the use of technology to manage every aspect of the marketing journey. This can be as simple as an email drip and as complicated as API development. However, layering this technology will make your life easier. First off, the most important software for your marketing automation is your CRM. A great consumer direct mortgage marketing CRM will communicate with your clients, house all your lead data, and integrate with popular marketing apps. Besides a multi-functional CRM, Zapier is a close second in your business automation suite. Also, referenced as the glue between your apps, Zapier communicates between email, social media, CRM, spreadsheets, and so much more, to allow you to focus on closing loans. Personally, I have used marketing automation to scale my consumer direct marketing efforts across the country. If you have aspirations of doubling your closings a year, it will be impossible to do that without great marketing technology. However, once you have systems and software in place to scale, the last piece to the puzzle is lead acquisition. 

Lead Acquisition vs. Lead Retention  

In the early days, consumer-direct mortgage marketing was just about acquiring leads through Facebook, Google, Zillow, Lending Tree, etc. As more loan officers buy leads on said platforms, lead acquisition is only half of the battle. The best consumer direct mortgage marketers are now investing just as much capital in technology, and people, to cultivate the lead, as they are to capture the leads initially. Specifically, money is used to build out business automation tools that can be the first to follow up and guide the lead through the entire application process.

In today’s mortgage market, consumers are aware of their options and are trying to find a lender that can compete on rate or service. Therefore, the same lead that just came in through your landing page has submitted 5 other forms on your competitors’ site. Therefore, you have to be the first to find out what they are looking for and provide it for them immediately. Right out of the gate, you can learn about your lead by asking the right question on your survey. By doing this, you will know what to compete on immediately and have an edge. 

From there, your first contact should be entirely about servicing them accordingly. If they are looking at rates, have them fill out an app and lock in a low rate immediately. If they are a first time home buyer and have a lot of questions on the process, get them on the phone to make a personal connection. If you are able to understand the core motivations of your lead and send the messaging that fits their need, your conversion rates will increase.

Bottom line, consumer-direct mortgage marketing is more than just calling a lead you bought off the internet. It is a three-pronged marketing effort that starts with messaging, automation, and retention. 


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