A Loan Officer website is an important marketing tool that serves multiple functions. First, it is your digital business card that builds a brand in your market. Two, a website can be a lead-generating machine. However, for many loan officers and mortgage brokers, a website is a complicated and expensive product that is impossible to own – this is a huge misconception that snares people every day. This post is meant to demystify loan officer websites for the industry, making sites and funnels accessible to everyone.
1. Why are loan officer websites expensive?
Website development can become an expensive marketing project – reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars for some brands. One of the main reasons for this cost boils down to necessity. A website is one of the most important digital assets for brands. Consumers expect a responsive site that gives them the information they need. This requires a lot of content, design, and development. Additionally, websites are a complicated tech stack that takes hundreds of hours for setup and maintenance. The more complicated the website, the more hours of labor are needed just to keep the website live on the internet. With this said, not all websites are made equal.
Loan officer websites are some of the most inexpensive sites on the market.
The reason behind this is simple, a loan officer website can be extremely simple and still very effective. For example, a 5-page website, that is designed for lead generation capabilities, can have a high impact on search and social platforms. Additionally, most loan officers operate in a small to medium-sized market. Therefore, local SEO can be effective with a simple site almost immediately.
The cost for loan officer websites comes down to design, hosting, and maintenance. Specifically, a site in this market can range from $1,000 to $5,000 annually.
2. Are Websites Different From Funnels?
A funnel is a way to guide a prospect from awareness to conversion within a few steps. A common loan officer funnel is a long-form survey. An effective long-form survey will start with simple questions at the front end and ask more detailed questions on the back end when a user feels more invested in the process. Most loan officers have seen these mortgage funnels all over the internet. Another great example is a mortgage calculator or a refinance rate checker that asks for contact information after someone used the service.
By nature, a website is not a funnel. However, it is a platform where varying funnels can live. Many loan officer websites are created for the sole purpose of lead generation. Therefore, every page and button has a funnel baked into the functionality.
3. Can Loan Officers Own Their Websites?
This is a tricky question to answer. In theory, any loan officer can own a website. However, depending on the company you work for, there may be a corporate policy that does not allow loan officers to own their own websites. This is usually the case with mortgage companies that are afraid of running into compliance issues. Most modern lenders have no problem with loan officer websites as long as they are compliant.
Furthermore, many loan officers sign up for a website builder and pay a monthly platform fee. Technically, this website is not owned by the LO. These large website builders keep all the data, design, and content on their internal servers. If you ever decide to move in another direction, you cannot take the website with you. Essentially, when you use a website builder, you do not own the website. You are merely leasing the site. For this reason, it is extremely important to understand the full scope of ownership when signing up for a mortgage website platform.
4. How do loan officers select a domain name?
Selecting a domain is an important first step to building a website. This is not only a branding asset but has a big impact on SEO as well. You can purchase a domain from any hosting carrier. I recommend finding a secure option like GoDaddy, Hostinger, Dreamhost, etc. You can transfer DNS records easily so the most important factor is finding a secure source of purchase.
If you already have a brand name, domain selection is pretty easy. However, many companies run into a problem where their domain is already taken. Often, brands will add an important keyword to the back of their brand to improve SEO and authority with Google. For example, if your brand is known as the Smith Team, add mortgages to the end of your URL (smithteammortgages.com). This is a common practice that will keep brand consistency.
With this said, if you are developing a brand and do not have a name, consider a few factors. First, your domain/brand name should be concise and easy to read. Second, it needs to align with your core consumer wants and needs. Often, this can be something as simple as an authority in the industry. Therefore, you can project trust and expertise through your brand name and domain.
5. How do you market a loan officer website?
There are almost infinite ways to market your loan officer website. However, let’s stick to three effective ways to market the site: social, email, and SEO. If you are building a website, chances are you have already built an established local brand through social media. This is a great place to cross-post content on social that is also on your website. For example, every time you write a blog, repurpose this content for social media. This is an effective way to drive users from one resource to the next.
You can use this same strategy with email marketing. Repurpose your blog content in tantalizing emails that drive people to click on your website link through a banner, picture, or hyperlink. The key to successfully sending users from email to your website is creating content that provides value for users. This brings me to the third marketing strategy: SEO.
To effectively leverage SEO, you need to write authoritative content that is hyper-specific in your local area. This will allow you to rank quickly and become an established brand in the eyes of Google. The competition is fierce on Google. Therefore, you need to find search terms that are underrepresented and write rich content that nobody is using. This will bring amazing value to users and help bring your loan officer site to life.
6. What is mortgage website SEO?
In the previous question, I mentioned SEO from a content perspective. However, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy that helps lift the visibility of a website to people searching for the content. Often, it takes technical SEO and effective market research to be successful. For example, you can write amazing blogs with real value, however, if you do not understand technical SEO, your site will not generate any traffic.
The first major technical SEO tip is to link Google Search Console with your site. This will allow Google to scan your site map and regularly perform site maintenance reports. This is a great tool to learn SEO directly from Google. Additionally, I recommend downloading the Yoast plug-in. This tool will help rate every blog and recommend technical SEO tips. This plug-in is extremely effective to ensure your posts are viewed by Google in a positive light.
7. Do loan officer website templates exist?
There are amazing loan officer templates out there. However, it is vital to find a website builder that has experience with loan officers. The consumer mortgage experience is a very unique sales process. Therefore, the website experience is not as simple as a quick form fill. Authority, service, and usability need to be at the center of the site experience.
Often, when you use an average loan officer website template, the consumer can tell right away. It is important to use foundational principles of mortgage lead generation and then customize a website that is unique in design and branding.
8. How long does it take to build a website?
This question really depends on your website build. In theory, your website will continually be updated and developed. However, the consumer-ready product should have a home, about, and contact page for users to get in touch. From there, you will be adding funnels and blogs as you see fit.
With that said, the timeline will depend on how you are building the site. If you are relying on an agency or freelancer, they can have it done within 3 months. However, if the loan officer tries to build the website on their own, it may take up to 6 months to build a functional website that is design-ready for your customers.
9. Should I hire a freelancer or agency?
The difference between hiring a freelancer and an agency comes down to price, experience, and established brand. If you decide to hire a freelancer, there is little to no overhead. There is usually one person that runs website strategy, design, implementation, and customer service. This will result in a lower cost for the loan officer. However, if you do not take the time to find a good freelancer, you will deal with a less experienced individual with no established processes. There are some amazing website freelancers out there, however, I recommend finding someone with established reviews and a healthy portfolio.
On the other hand, an Agency is usually a well-oiled machine with service, product, timelines, and prices baked into your order. However, agencies usually have more expenses, therefore, your cost could be triple the price of hiring a freelancer. This can be a great fit if you have the budget for a high-end agency. With that said, not all agencies are equal. It is important to find a company that has quality reviews and years of experience as well.
If you are interested in more marketing topics, dig into the following posts:
- Yext For Loan Officers
- LeadPops Review
- Homebot Review
- Mortgage Marketing Tips
- Mortgage Marketing Trends
- Ranking #1 For Mortgage Lenders
- Realtor Relationships
- Zillow Mortgage Leads Review
- Digital Marketing Plan for Mortgage Companies
- Loan Officer Website Templates
- Loan Officer Websites
- Mortgage PPC
- Mortgage Broker Marketing Plan
- Loan Officer Marketing Tips
- Go High-Level CRM
- Loan Officer Marketing Template
- Can Loan Officers Work From Home?
- Mortgage Automation: Zapier for Loan Officers
- Consumer Direct Mortgage Marketing
- How to Market to Realtors as Loan Officers
- Mortgage Public Relations
Henry has spent the bulk of his career working for mortgage companies and marketing agencies. He uses his experience in the martech industry to guide his strategies and insights in the mortgage and real estate world. He firmly believes that marketing success in every industry boils down to a technology-centered strategy.