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A market with lower average loan values, however,
such as California, Florida
and Texas, you may find
a vast difference of hun-
dreds of thousands of dollars when comparing specific
loan types based on their average value at closing.
may have higher conversion rates of leads to closed
loans. Some markets may be less competitive and thus
are easier to pursue.
Mortgage brokers should anchor their client-acquisition and marketing expenses to specific zip
codes where the return on investment is the strongest. If you originate fix-and-flip loans, for example,
Attom Data Solutions publishes two quality sources
of data in its quarterly home-flipping report that are
worth taking a look at.
One of those data sources is a heat map that
shows average gross home-flip profits by zip code,
while the other shows the number of home flips by
zip code. Solving for the remainder of the equation
is as simple as interpreting what is already present
and implementing it.
The bottom-up approach
Within what is known as a “Marketing + Market
Fit” plan, the goal should be to look at every single
loan funded from the bottom up, with an ability to
define the origin of your marketing investment on
that closed loan. This dollar-for-dollar relationship
sounds trivial to establish, but quantifying the entire
process is incredibly difficult.
Many commercial real estate finance professionals
have a low degree of lead-funnel visibility in relation
to closed loans. Simply put, this means being able
to ingest a lead, understand its true source of origination and then anchor its origin to a closed loan.
This mentality is par for the course within the
e-commerce world, for example, but it is seemingly
nonexistent in the mortgage industry. There are
many reasons for this lack of visibility, but there are
a few details to look for.
Google Analytics should not be not your lead
funnel. Many times, this tool only provides upper-funnel visibility and may track up to lead conversions. It’s good for identifying some optimization
opportunities, but it’s rarely set up correctly and
is not the right place to focus. If you can track true
loan conversions as conversion metrics in Google
Analytics, then you’ve got it set up correctly. This
means, as the status of a loan switches to “closed,”
it triggers a data point that allows you to see
where the converted traffic is coming from.
Similarly, AdWords also should not be your conversion funnel. It is a means of turning strangers into
leads and prospects. The same goes for Facebook
ads, or any other retargeting ad campaigns you are
running. They are just the tip of the iceberg.
Search-engine optimization (SEO) and natural
searches, which may be more trusted than paid
searches, go hand in hand with your advertising
expenses. Google’s search console can help you
understand where inbound traffic is coming from
and the keywords that are driving it. These natural
keywords are indicators about where to further invest, especially if they are yielding loan conversions.
The list of upper-funnel focus areas is endless, and
it’s easy to get lost in the data. These things are
actually deterrents in your customer-acquisition
strategy. In many cases, what works up top can have
a very limited impact on what happens downstream.
Simply put, you should stay away from upper-funnel
optimization if it’s not impacting bottom-of-funnel
loan conversions. You cannot make educated business decisions on marketing expenses if you don’t
understand the origin of closed loans.
Pull the right levers
There are endless marketing gurus who each
have a definitive method for being smarter than
the next person. Choosing a partner to run your
marketing campaigns is difficult, and it’s easy to
go astray. What’s a true indicator you are working with an expert? It’s finding someone who can
demonstrate sustained growth with the same
How you spend, where you spend and even the
time of day in which you spend are valuable insights
that influence your customer-acquisition methods.
There are endless levers to pull, but if you aren’t
pulling them all in the right direction, you’ll never
truly yield optimal or expected results. Every interruption in a potential client’s day should offer
value, and this speaks to the education opportunity
at hand for borrowers.
To this end, you should fully understand
lead-abandonment and recovery opportunities.
You may be starting great conversations or getting
website traffic, but if potential customers are leaving
without converting to a lead, you need to objectively understand the reasons why. This is a good
opportunity to leverage your retargeting efforts
to the places your customers spend their time. For
borrowers, that is searching for commercial properties or housing inventories.
<< Attract continued from Page 59
n Starting budget. If you set it too low,
you lose a competitive advantage in
buying impression shares. If it’s too
high, however, you’re spending for
the sake of spending. Keep in mind
that you may be competing against a
large number of mortgage brokers.
n Devices. Most advertising platforms
will offer insights about which devices
(such as laptops or smartphones)
have the best conversion rates. Opti-
mize for these devices to ensure your
company is marketing where people
are interacting with your content.
n Retargeting. Your website may have
a high bounce rate in which a visitor
arrives and quickly leaves. Understanding why they bounce is important,
but overinvesting in retargeting can
be a problem. Focus on depth of page
visits (the number of pages a user
visits on your website) and optimize
for conversions based on that data.
n Timeboxing. Start wide with a mar-
keting campaign to collect insight.
Know the date and time ranges in
which you deliver your campaigns.
It’s rare to see strong lead conver-
sions from ads at 2 a.m. In simplistic
terms, don’t invest at those times.
n Geofencing. Delivering ads in markets
that are active is significantly more
important than delivering ads at all.
Businesses can use zip codes, cities,
metropolitan statistical areas or states,
for example, to market within specific
locations, even by radius within a
n Demographics. At the bottom end
of the age spectrum, people are just
getting into the commercial real estate industry. At the upper end, they
may be near retirement. Somewhere
in the middle is a safe place to allocate
n Bid modifiers. These are the last
and likely the most advanced means
of optimization. You can capture
the individuals who matter most by
investing an additional 20 percent, for
example, on metrics that perform best
— such as demographics, location or
time. This works well when a high
degree of quantitative insight is
available about who you are competing
with for impression share.
strategies to consider