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CRMs for Mortgage Companies: When to Buy & When to Build

CRM for Mortgage Companies

CRMs for mortgage companies can be complicated, pricey, and frustrating endeavors. Often, lenders, loan officers, and mortgage brokers do not know where to start in the purchasing process. Additionally, there is a rise of custom-built CRMs in the industry that make this topic even more complicated. At the end of the day, everyone is asking the same question: Do I buy or do I build? 

In this blog, we discuss everything you need to know to buy the right mortgage CRM or build your own custom solution. 

Buy A Mortgage CRM

Purchasing a CRM for your team will completely change your sales process – for good or bad. With that said, when buying any CRMs for mortgage companies always do your research before you buy from a sales rep. Trust me, your loan officers will thank you and never look back. If research is not done and the wrong CRM is purchased, your team will be left with another clunky software that has all the wrong tools. Fundamentally, CRMs are not a one-size-fits-all purchase. We are in a day and age where you need custom software that is catered towards your business niche or you risk wasting money and time. All in all, this post is not about the top CRMs to purchase, because they will be different based on your business model. This post is about the most important factors to look at when buying a CRM for your mortgage originators. 

1. CRM Price

Price is the first factor you should look at when buying a CRM for your loan officers. You can have the most advanced piece of technology, with all the bells and whistles. However, if the cost is astronomical, it is better to purchase a cheaper CRM with fewer buttons to push.  This piece of technology can range from $50 a month per user to over $1,000 a month per user. While some companies are willing to put this cost on their sales team, a reoccurring $1,000 bill on your loan officers will create instability and ultimately lead to turnover in your organization. Inversely, if corporate covers the cost, this project will likely not turn a profit. 

The entire reason to invest in CRMs for mortgage companies is to create efficiency in the sales process and ultimately leads to a higher volume of closed loans. If you overspend on a CRM, it will be difficult to ever see the efficiencies that CRMs can bring to a company.  Look at the price and weigh it against your projected sales efficiencies. This will give you a quick glance at the value this technology could bring your company. 

2. Mortgage Automation 

In today’s world, CRMs are more than just an online Rolodex. This piece of technology should streamline the sales process so your loan officers can focus on closing more loans. If your CRM does not have simple automation functions, move on. Business automation can be as simple as auto-sending a message to buyers to finish their application, sending birthday emails to your database, or even cross-posting on social media. 

You do not need your CRM to do all of these things, however, having some level of automation will free up your loan officers from basic data entry-type work. If automation is a key function to your CRM, your sales team will love this piece of tech. The more your Mortgage CRM can do the heavy lifting, the higher your usability rate will be across the company

3. Integrations

Every loan officer, mortgage originator, and broker is using a multitude of software. In one day of business, you post on social media, look through spreadsheets, send emails, update your landing page, and more. No one wants to bring in another piece of technology into their suite that works independently from their workflow. For this reason, it is vital that your CRM is able to integrate with your top apps. Most CRMs for mortgage companies have basic integrations with Facebook, email, and texting. However, it is important to dig a little deeper and see the full scope of integrations. 

The best CRMs for Mortgage Companies not only have basic communication integrations (email, text, social media) but also have a Zapier or webhook integration. Every loan officer and mortgage company will use different apps that help their business. Therefore, your CRM needs to have a way to integrate your systems. You will be able to use Zapier, or a webhook, as a bridge between your CRM and your most-used apps.  Fundamentally, there is not CRM that has 1000s of integrations. However, you can open up your software capabilities by having a simple Zapier plug-in. All in all, without a way to integrate with your loan officer’s most used applications, your CRM will likely become another boring piece of tech that has low user engagement among your sales force. 

4. Usability 

Your CRM can have all the bells and whistles, and still, have a low acceptance rate across your loan officers. Why is that? User experience and usability is a key function to any CRM for mortgage companies. Having tech that is easy to use for a sales team is vital to seeing the efficiencies that CRMs can bring to a company. However, if your CRM is clunky and hard to use, you will never be able to convince your loan officers to use this system.

The beginning of a great user experience starts with a visual sales pipeline. Loan officers are generally visual people and like to see where their prospects are in the loan process. Therefore, the best mortgage CRMs have a loan pipeline showing where the lead lives. The visualization will also function as a project management tool. By filtering prospects by tasks completed, lead score, and loan processing, your LO’s will be able to work efficiently. Additionally, you can prioritize hot leads or borrowers that need extra communication to send docs or finish an application. By creating a CRM that can function as a database and project management tool, loan officers will have a hard time not using this system.

5. Communication

Beyond the pipeline visualization, texting and emailing directly from the CRM will be a huge benefit. Through the life of a loan, your loan officers, transaction coordinators, and even underwriters will communicate with the borrower daily. From the loan officer’s perspective, they are constantly sending emails, texts, and calls directly to their prospects asking for docs or still trying to win the business. 

Because of the reality of daily communication, loan officers want their mortgage CRM to communicate directly with their borrowers. This gives people the ability to communicate about all loan aspects in one place.  Additionally, your management can track the communication process to improve sales performance. Either way, adding this component is the future of CRMs for mortgage companies. 

All in all, finding a great mortgage CRM comes down to understanding your organizational needs. Once you learn what your sales teams need to be effective, find a tech solution and begin the scaling process. 

Build A Mortgage CRM

Building a CRM for a mortgage company may seem more complicated than you think. At the end of the day, every sales strategy is different. You may need a custom solution for follow-up, integrations, funnel builders, etc. Thankfully, there are a lot of CRM builders that are affordable and customizable.

If you are a loan officer that is tech-savvy and business-oriented, building a custom CRM is for you. It will take some time to learn the system, outsource engineering, and understand your workflow. However, it is 100% possible to build a CRM without any code.

The top customer relationship management systems are built on an established framework. Similar to a website builder like WordPress, you can build a CRM with plugins, integrations, and automation. The biggest hurdle to building your own system is time. It takes a lot of time to understand your own workflow, research CRM builders, and build out automation. Often, it is helpful to hire a consultant to either build out your system or give you guidance.

Either way, building a custom mortgage CRM is not for everyone. However, if you have the ambition to be a top producer, bring value to your realtors, or develop a direct-to-consumer sales model, building your own customer relationship management system is right up your alley.

How to Build a CRM For Mortgage Companies

Building your own mortgage CRM comes down to four key elements.

First, understand your needs. This is often overlooked, however, is the most important factor to building this piece of tech. If you do not know your own sales needs, you will build the wrong software. Ask yourself a simple question, what is your biggest sales need? It can be as simple as integrated calendar bookings and as complicated as custom lead nurture campaigns. Think of building a CRM like a blank canvas. Anything is possible; however, you need to know where to start. Once you have a list of your top needs, you can take a step back and find the right solution.

The second element to CRM development is picking the right framework. CRMs are becoming more and more like a CMS. A CMS is a content management system. Also known as a website builder. Popular CMS’ are WordPress, Wix, and Shopify. The Shopify framework is built for e-commerce brands, while WordPress is built for content-generating businesses. While both have a range of customizations, the framework itself is built for a specific use. This same concept applies to CRMs. Find a CRM builder that works best for sales teams. By using a sales-oriented framework, your custom Mortgage CRM is built for the exact function needed.

The next key element to this process ensuring your customer relationship management system can integrate with your current tech stack. If you are deciding to build a CRM, chances are you have the technology already integrated into your business. This could be a LeadPops website, Google My Business listing, or as simple as a calendar widget. There may be some software you have to sacrifice. Meaning, your new CRM may already have a calendar widget that is more intuitive than your current system. All in all, think about every piece of tech you use and ensure they can integrate with your new software.

The last component to building a CRM is automation. Every CRM builder should have a way to automate tasks. This could be basic if-then triggers. For example, if a lead responds, then turn off the automated messaging and alert the loan officer. This basic automation is what makes mortgage CRMs so powerful. Think about what automation you would use daily and find a CRM that fits.

There are more than just four components to building a complicated piece of tech. However, if you can think critically about your needs, framework necessities, integrations, and automation, you will be ahead of your competition.

Best CRMs for Mortgage Companies

My list of the best CRMs for mortgage companies is a little unconventional. Instead of building a list of the same mortgage CRMs you see all over the internet, I wanted to highlight software that allows you to build your own system. Some of the best mortgage CRMs I have seen are custom-built for the sales team. This allows loan officers and mortgage brokers to create a piece of tech they can actually use, instead of getting locked into a CRM that does not fully work for their sales model.

  1. Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is a popular CRM builder for some of the largest lenders in the country. The biggest advantage to building off of Microsoft is the integrations. You can easily integrate with Outlook, Teams, Calendar, and the entire Office 365 suite. Earlier, I mentioned that integrations are vital to the success of a CRM. For that reason alone, Microsoft Edge has a huge advantage as one of the best CRMs for loan officers and mortgage brokers. With that said, Edge is expensive and complicated. You may run into some issues that only a developer can fix. This can increase your cost astronomically. However, if you are a large lender looking for a company-wide solution, Microsoft Edge is a great fit.

  1. Salesforce

Salesforce is the gold standard for CRM development. They were one of the first major Sales CRMs to hit the market years ago. Today, Salesforce is not only a CRM builder but has a top-tier cloud database system. If you are working with large and complex data sets, Salesforce may be the best option for you. Additionally, they are fully customizable. Generally, if you can think of it, you can build it in Salesforce. However, that also runs the risk of overcomplication. Similar to Edge, this CRM builder is a little pricey and may be a better fit for a large lender looking for a scaled solution.

  1.  Go High Level

Go High Level is one of the newer CRM builders on the market. It is built primarily for sales and marketing functions. The beauty of High Level is the simplicity and price. While the overall customizations are not as complex as Edge and Salesforce, most loan officers and brokers can learn how to build a system that works for them. Additionally, GHL has great integrations with Facebook, Yext, and Google My Business. In my opinion, this CRM builder is perfect for local mortgage brokers and loan officers that want a good solution for themselves and their team. 

All in all, building your own CRM will be challenging. Spend time assessing your needs and research a platform that works for your model. If you can manage those two things, you will build a mortgage CRM that is more efficient than anything on the market. 


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