by Michael Foster.
The real estate market is strong, which is both good and bad news for mortgage lead generators. On the one hand, a strengthening property market means more mortgage activity and thus more opportunity to connect buyers with lenders. On the other hand, it also means more competition as the lucrative and prosperous housing market attracts more marketing minds than ever before.
Just how good is the housing market? The Federal Housing Finance Agency saw home prices rise 6.1 percent year-over-year in October, after several years of strong but slowing home prices after the crash in 2008-2009. This macroeconomic improvement is trickling down to mortgage bankers, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, which saw mortgage applications rise for most of 2015, with many analysts expecting mortgage applications to rise even further next year.
One such analyst is Michelle Meyer of Merrill Lynch, who recently wrote a report arguing that existing home sales will grow 5 percent in 2016 and 3 percent in 2017, while new home sales will rise 10 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
The Lead Gen Challenge
With all this mortgage activity, marketers need to embrace every possible avenue of attracting borrowers. But with greater competition for leads, that also means they need to be aware of what avenues work better than others. Online channels, particularly mobile, continue to see rapid growth as people slowly grasp the concept that they can save thousands of dollars by shopping around—and they can do that relatively easily online.
Mortgage customers are getting savvier and more cautious, too, thanks in no small part to lingering fears from 2008. This has made shoppers particularly careful. Gone are the days of looking just at monthly payments and choosing the lowest one they can get; now more homebuyers are looking at different loan durations, terms, discounts on fees and other incentives to close that deal.
This all makes the lead generation process much more challenging, which is why lead generators now need to keep in mind what homebuyers have in mind when they do their comparison shopping. This is a major focus at this year’s LeadsCon, where a panel of speakers will discuss how modern mortgage shoppers think, how to approach them, and how to filter for customers’ needs and concerns while using the most state-of-the-art technology and data to do it.
Join Rajesh Bhat, CEO of Roostify, Erin Lantz, VP of Mortgages at Zillow, Neil Johnson, Director of Lead Systems and Analytics for Guaranteed Rate, and Goodmortgage.com Senior Manager Ed Powell as they discuss the changing landscape of mortgage lead generation in 2016 and the paradoxical challenges of selling mortgages in a strengthening market with an increasingly savvy customer base.
Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2016.