Turn Those Mortgage Leads Into Closed Deals

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Are getting a good amount of mortgage leads coming through your website but can’t seem to convert those into closed loans? You’ve come to the right place! This article is designed to help you build a system that will turn more leads into solid deals. These are all tips gathered by successful loan officers and can help you take your business to the next level.

  1. Contact your lead within 5 minutes – You are 21x more likely to convert a lead if they are contacted within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes. Chances are that if you contact the lead right away, they are still in front of the computer. This gives you a great opportunity to direct them to other pages on your website that may be helpful, and you can also direct them to fill out the full 1003 on your site. Contacting them within five minutes also gives you the opportunity to talk to the lead while it is still at the top of their mind. If you wait 30 minutes or more, they could be distracted by kids, work, or other things that may take priority. Contacting them promptly also leaves a great first impression because it lets them know you will be responsive and on top of things throughout the whole process.
  2. Follow Up Consistently – In a recent experiment on tenfold, Rashan Shetty filled out applications on several lender sites. It’s no surprise that the company that provided the most consistent follow-up via email over time now holds a 4.8% share in the loan market. Follow-up is essential because you may not make contact with the lead on the first attempt. In fact, 80% of all sales are made between the 5th and 12th contact with a prospect according to LinkedIn. This is why it is essential to create a solid, consistent follow-up schedule with your leads. Here are some tips to help you get started:
    • Got a voicemail when calling your lead, even when it’s within 5 minutes? Send a follow-up email asking to schedule a time to connect (i.e. “When is a good time I can reach back out to you?”)
    • Make a game plan to contact every lead at least 6 times within 2 weeks of the first contact. This can be through a combination of phone and email correspondence.
    • On average you will reach less than 40% of your leads on the first attempt, so it’s crucial to keep trying!
    • Setting up a CRM can help you send out automated emails so you can follow up without even thinking about it! We have a list of preferred vendors that we can integrate with, contact us for more information.
  3. Analyze Your Results – If you have a sales team working for you, make sure everyone is consistently hitting the five minute mark to increase your chances of conversion. It’s also important to track how many contacts were made and which leads turned into closed deals so you can have a better idea of how many attempts to make. Another avenue to track would be how well your lead sources are performing. Having dedicated landing pages or lead capture tools can help you figure out where the lead came from and then track how well each of those leads convert to funded loans. This data will help you determine which channels are worth the time and money it takes to generate leads.

Following all of these tips but still not seeing the conversion you want? Our marketing experts can help analyze everything from the first voicemail you leave to the final follow-up email you send and help you develop a strategy for being successful!

Local SEO – Back to Basics

Search engine optimization may seem like a labyrinth of complicated strategies, but the truth is there are simple things you can do to boost your Local SEO. Here are 3 easy ways you can optimize your site for local searches:

1) Online directories

Your business information is online, whether you put it there or not, because aggregators have created directory listings for you. Now, you may think, “Wow, that’s great that these aggregators are helping to get my business information out there!” Not exactly.

Aggregators will pull information from different sources but cannot verify if the information is correct. If you have switched office locations or changed your phone number since that listing was created, the directory may have the wrong information.

It’s critical to ensure you claim and verify all your local business listings to keep everything up to date. The more consistent your business’ NAP (name, address, and phone number), the stronger local presence your business will have!

Are you unsure if your business information is consistent? Use our Listings Diagnostic Tool to find out!

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2) Google My Business page

Technically speaking, a Google My Business page is just another directory listing. However, the impact of this one listing is so big it needs its own explanation!

Why is a Google My Business listing so powerful?

It allows your listing to show on the local map

You know that map that displays when conducting a search? Those listings are there thanks to their Google My Business page. The more your local presence improves, the higher your listing will display in that map (and may even take one of the coveted “Top 3” spots!).

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Google is the most widely used search engine

Each search engine has its own unique features, but Google’s simplicity and availability have made it number one. According to the latest comScore report, 64.0% of all internet searches were powered by Google. This means if someone is doing a search on their computer, tablet, or phone, they are probably using Google!

You can get reviews!

There are many platforms to get reviews, but Google is special. Once you get 5 reviews on your Google My Business page, your star rating will display on your listing when it ranks in a local search.

3) Online reviews

Reviews are vital to your business’ online reputation. You may wonder, “I have testimonials on my website. Aren’t those good enough?” Unfortunately, no.

Search engines do not have a way of verifying the validity of the testimonials on a self-managed website. However, anyone that leaves a review on sites like Facebook, Yelp, or Google, must have their own verified account to leave the review.

So how do you get reviews? Ask! According to a 2016 BrightLocal survey, 7 out of 10 people will leave a review for a business if they are asked. This is huge, because that same survey reports that 84% of people trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation.

Simply put, the more reviews and higher star ranking your business has, the stronger your local presence and higher your local ranking will be.

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Ready to get started? Let our professionals help you take care of everything! Don’t forget to use our handy listing scan to see how your business is doing and if we can help improve your Local SEO score.

Will Your Leads Decrease in October?

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In January, Google announced they would display a “not secure” warning in the Chrome browser for websites that gather sensitive information like credit card numbers and are not on a secure server. This was their effort to help cut down on identity theft online and protect consumers. They also started using the SSL Certificate as a factor in their search algorithm.

Most information entered on websites is protected after it is entered on the site because databases are usually required to be secure. Secure Socket Layer Certificates, or SSL Certificates, take this protection one step further. They provide an extra layer of security on the website as information is being entered on a website. This helps prevent hackers from stealing information before it is submitted to the database.

The Google Chromium blog announced in April that the search giant was going to take this update one step further and display a “not secure warning” in Chrome on any website that is not on a secure server and that gathers any visitor information via forms. This includes anything from their name to their phone number. This warning will appear in the address bar on the page and will explicitly say that a site is Not Secure as seen in the example below.

If you have any forms on your website and have not implemented an SSL certificate yet, it’s time to be proactive before you are affected by this update! 220 Marketing takes care of the purchase and implementation of SSL certificates so you don’t have to figure it out on your own. Our certificates are affordable, and this can help prevent a drop in leads when October comes around.

Not only will the certificate help you provide a great user experience, it could also help with your SEO rankings! Google has made it clear this is a vital matter, and it’s not something that can be avoided any longer.

Call us today 619-758-9696 x2 or fill out this quick form to find out how to make your site more secure!

Keeping Your Credit Safe During the Holidays

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Cheerful carols are playing everywhere you go and people are in the giving mood. Everyone is out buying gifts for the special people on their list. While this can help put you in a cheery mood, it can also leave you vulnerable to thieves who want to  steal your identity! Safe guarding your credit is the most important gift you can give yourself, here are some tips on how to accomplish this in four easy steps!

1.Keep a Close Eye on Your Credit

Reviewing your credit report and being able to identify suspicious activity is something you should be doing all year, but it’s especially important when you are using your credit cards more than usual. This makes the holiday season a critical time to monitor your credit. Here are just a few ways you can accomplish this:

  • Credit Monitoring: Credit monitoring services check for changes on your credit report on a daily basis. You automatically get a notification if a new line of credit is opened or something else significant happens, so it’s a good way to stay on top of things without having to constantly log into a system.
  • Fraud Alerts: Many credit card companies already have these services in place for their card transactions, but you can also set up alerts for your credit report. This tells creditors to check with you personally for any attempts to open up new accounts. You can approve those that you initiated and deny the ones that are being opened by identity thieves.
  • Security Freezes: If you don’t plan on opening any new account soon or want to prevent even yourself from opening new accounts, you can put a freeze on your credit. This will make it impossible for any new accounts to be opened up until the freeze is lifted. If you aren’t planning on opening new accounts in the near future, this is your best option.

2. Shop Securely; both online and in stores:

We’re all on the hunt for the best deal, but sometimes that can mean putting our credit card at risk. Only shop from trusted websites with a TRUSTe or similar seal so you know your information is safe. PayPal is also a great option if available as they have their own security measures in place such as transaction disputes and buyer protection guidelines. Also keep in mind that any page that asks for your credit card number should be secure and start with https:// vs http://.

When shopping in store, be sure to protect your belongings and be on the lookout for suspicious shoppers. Don’t leave your wallet anywhere or your bag in an unattended cart even for a split second as thieves are waiting for an opportunity to strike. Consider using your credit card over your debit card or cash so you have the option to dispute a charge if needed. Some credit cards offer extended warranties, giving you an added benefit.

3. Review your bank and credit card statements:

Be sure to review your recent transactions every few days. The longer you wait to dispute a charge the harder it may be to prove it was fraud. You also want to catch suspicious transactions before they have a chance to pile up and eat away at your available credit. Websites like Mint and Credit Karma can also help you keep track of recent activity, and can even help you stay in budget (an added bonus)!

If you see any purchases you don’t recognize, contact your credit card company right away so they can prevent more transactions from occurring if your card has been compromised.

4. Check your credit reports:

You have a legal right to obtain your credit report once a year at know charge. This will help you identify any late payments or open accounts that you don’t recognize. January or February is a good time of year to check this annually as it will help you review activity that occurred during the holidays. Websites like Credit Karma will also help you keep track of accounts all year long without having to pay anything!

Your credit is possibly the item that is most critical to protect. It can affect everything from getting a loan for a new car to buying a home, so make sure you are taking as many precautions possible to make sure you have the highest score possible!

How to Sell to Your Current Client Base

Your current client base can be an excellent source for new revenue. They are already familiar with your business practices and have (hopefully) had a great experience with you in the past. Many of us don’t know how to approach clients to sell them additional products or upgrading ones they already have, but it can be much easier than cold calling if done correctly! Here are five tips on approaching your database without seeming too pushy.

  1. Identify your clients needs and goals: The most important part to any business relationship is making sure that your clients feel like you are putting their best interest first. If you are trying to push something on them that they don’t see the value in, they are not very likely to work with you now or in the future. Really take the time to understand what your clients goals are and tailor products that will fit those needs. This can be as simple as scheduling a meeting to revise their home insurance policy after a major home renovation, or reviewing the loan they took out 5 years ago to see if they qualify for a lower rate if they had less than perfect at the time.
  2. Identify Clients With a Need for Additional Products: Keeping detailed notes on each of your closed deals is critical. If you are an insurance agent and have a client signing up for a home policy, following up to get an auto policy through you should be an automatic move. If you are a mortgage or real estate professional with a client that buys investment properties, it would be beneficial to follow up frequently to see if any projects are in the works. Being proactive and reaching out to your clients before they actually need you is a good way to stay fresh in their minds. This could be through regular follow up phone calls or monthly email “check ins”.
  3. Stay in Touch With Your Clients: We are bombarded by advertisements every day. From geckos trying to sell us insurance, to celebrities telling us how to find the perfect home through a website. This means that you are competing for your clients’ loyalty with other big companies everyday. Making regular calls to check in and sending reminders that you are there to help them is crucial to staying at the top of your databases mind. If they don’t have to search junk drawers for your business card, you are more than likely going to be the one that they call first. Sending out informational newsletters, mailing a holiday card each year, or emailing information about your additional services are all good ways to stay in front of everyone without being too aggressive.

If you hate getting hung up on making cold calls to strangers, selling additional products to your existing client base is an easy way to increase your revenue. You can use the relationship you’ve already established to break the ice and promote your services. How do you sell to your current client base? Are there any tactics we have missed that you would recommend?

 

So What Does That Little “Boost” Button on Facebook do?

 

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We’ve all seen it and been tempted to click on it. Heck, some of us have probably already clicked out of curiosity. We’re talking about the “Boost Post” button on your Facebook page.

So what exactly does this little blue button do? It helps you reach your current and prospective clients on Facebook with your most valuable content. Boosted posts can help you generate traffic to your website or landing pages, and can increase your engagement and likes, if done correctly. Here are some help tips to get you started.

Only Boost Posts With Original Content

That latest report that 14% of the population is uninsured is a good one, but driving traffic to AAA’s website with that report is not going to benefit you and your business! If you are going to boost a post, make sure that it is original content and links back to your website. Promoted posts are a good way to reach clients with specials you are running and new products available to them, but it’s only worth the money if it is going to help you in the long term.

Drive Traffic to Your Lead Capture Tools

Boosted posts are an excellent way to generate traffic to the lead capture tools on your website. Whether you are an insurance agent trying to cross-sell products or a loan officer selling the importance of a refinance, boosted posts are beneficial. Anytime you are paying for marketing; it’s always important to have a clear way for people to move to the next step. Be sure to make it as easy as possible for visitors to fill out the form, and make sure they know what they will be getting by providing their information. Having some security notice on the lead capture page to reassure them their information won’t be sold can also be helpful.

Experiment With Different Audiences

When you boost a post, you will have a few different options of audiences. An Audience determines who Facebook will show the “boosted post” to the following audiences.

  • “People Who Like This Page”- This is one of the easiest and most straight-forward options, but it may not always give you the best results. The boosted post will show to people who have already liked your page. Since these are most likely current customers, this is an excellent way to promote a referral program because it is going out to people who already know how great your company is.
  • “People Who Like This Page and Their Friends” – This option will let you target people who have liked your page and their friends. This strategy will be helpful when you want to promote your products or a special you are having but don’t want to spend money targeting people, total strangers. If one of your current followers interacts with the post, their friend will see that John Smith commented, and this may start a dialogue and open up the opportunity for a recommendation.
  • “Custom Audience” – This is an attractive way to reach a new audience. This option will allow you to boost the post to people by location, gender, age, and interests. You will be able to choose whether you want to include or exclude the people who currently like your page. If you are going to boost to a custom audience, it’s critical that you have a great call to action and clear outline of what is in it for them.

Have a Compelling Call to Action

Be sure to tell your audience what’s in it for them and how to move forward. “Visit our website to see how much you can save” is a lot more enticing than “Fill out your information to get started.” People like to see that they will be getting something in return, so you want to make sure to outline why they will need to click on the link you are providing. Whether it’s a quote from a refinance to get rid of PMI or a guide to the top 10 ways to save money on auto insurance, be sure it’s clear what they will be getting.

Choose Your Budget Wisely

It may be tempting to boost one post and use your entire budget for the month, but that may not be the best idea. Try splitting up your budget and aim for boosting one post each week so that you can continue to stay in front of the audience you choose throughout the month. Organizing your budget will require a little planning ahead, but you should be linking back to your website at least once a week.

So there you have it, boosting a post is that simple! This marketing tactic is a great way to get into Facebook marketing since you are using a post you would have shared regardless. Still confused or need some help creating a post worth boosting? Our marketing experts are here to help! We also provide full-service options where we will do the posts for you, and all you have to do is hit boost!

Why Having a Replica Site is Bad For Your SEO

When the internet first started booming, getting high search engine placement was simple. Slap up a website, add a bunch of keywords and zip codes, and finish with some content you copied from another site and you’re ready to go! With so many websites out there these days, getting decent placement is harder now than in the past. Why then, would you want to make it even harder for yourself by having a replica website?

What’s a Replica Website and how it Will it Hurt my SEO?

Some web designers out there want to turn out quantity over quality, so they sell replica sites. A replica website is a direct copy of other sites they have created. They plug in your logo, change your phone number, but all of the other content is the same as every other agent who buys a site from them. There is no discussion on whether or not you offer all types of insurance listed on the site, and you have the same design and content as the commercial lines guy down the road. You get what you pay for when you only paid $100 to set everything up.

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The key component to even having a chance at first-page placement on Google requires relevant, unique content. You won’t get that with a replica site! These companies just plug in a logo and phone number and give everyone the same content with a different service area mentioned. The search engines will be able to tell there is duplicate content, and will penalize your site accordingly. Many of these companies also repeat the same keyword over and over on the page, which is an outdated practice that is frowned upon by Google.

It’s unlikely you will ever get good placement, and you won’t have a unique touch that represents your agency. There’s also a good chance these companies don’t have any marketing support, so you will have to figure everything out on your own.

What’s the difference between a template website and a replica website?

Template websites, like 220 Marketing provides, are very different than replica sites. A templated site provides a cost effective solution with the ability to make it your own. While you may pay thousands of dollars for custom websites, a template website provides the framework that you can make your own. Real marketing companies will encourage and help you to modify the content on your website to make it more unique and SEO friendly. Updating your content is important because it helps you get noticed by search engines, and we will coach you on several different marketing avenues that are at your disposal. A templated website will allow you to focus on the specialized insurance products you provide rather than list pages of every insurance under the sun whether you offer it or not.

A replica website, on the other hand, is a website created with all of the same content for all. Most companies that create replica sites won’t take the time to remove or add things that fit your business specifically. One company we found has a way for you to plug in your logo and see what your website would look like in seconds. There is no time spent on asking what you like or want to change, and they can pump out websites in high volume. You will have the same template and pictures as the same agency down the street with nothing to brand your company or set you apart.

Some of these businesses may lure you in with the promise of great results and low prices, but chances are they won’t deliver. If you are a current client contemplating one of these companies, we will be happy to meet with you and discuss this in more detail. Our priority is the success of our clients, and we want what will be best for you in the long run.

Instagram Now Allows You to Switch Between Multiple Accounts

For most people, one of the biggest struggles with Instagram marketing has been that you can’t toggle between accounts. This made it hard for those with separate personal and business accounts, because it required a couple more steps than something like posting to a Facebook page. Pair this with the fact that you can only post updates from your phone and not a desktop computer, and most people gave up on this platform.

A recent update that allows you to switch between two accounts means that it might be time to take another look at Instagram as a way to reach potential customers and increase your brand awareness. From real estate agents to insurance professionals, Instagram provides a great platform to share tips and services your company provides.

To log into an additional account on your Instagram app, navigate to your profile settings, scroll down, and click Add account.

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Once you have added all of the accounts that you will need access to, toggling in between them will be a breeze. Simply go to the profile you are currently on, and click on the username in the top left corner. From here, you will see a drop down of all accounts available, and you will click on the one you want to update.

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Simply make your updates, and use the same process to go to the previous account! What are some good posts that have gotten you traction on Instagram? Share your feedback with us in the comments!

Local SEO: The New Snack Pack

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Local SEO has seen some changes recently and it’s imperative to understand the new Snack Pack and what these modifications mean for your rankings in local search results. The most substantial and noticeable difference is that the fluctuating pack of one, three or seven ordinarily displayed is now replaced with only three results across the board. The resulting consequence is that many businesses have lost local exposure in the search engines and must work smarter now to increase their brand visibility in local search results.

The even larger issue now is the increased competition for the remaining three local positions. Businesses that previously appeared in positions four through seven will now have to strategize wiser for local visibility. And positions one, two and three are going to have to work diligently to stay evident. This will also make organic and paid results important for local businesses to work into their online marketing efforts. Therefore, a marketing and branding mindset is more important than ever when it comes to increasing brand exposure online, as well as, driving traffic to your website/social platforms.

Another modification worth noting is that we are seeing more cases in local search results where the Snack Pack is sitting at the top of the page and adverts are presented to the right. Although this now seems to be the norm, the positioning of these can vary. The variations we have noticed include local results at the top of the page, adverts at the top of the page, local results below ads and local results below a single organic listing.  Since the search engines are constantly altering and testing new algorithms, it’s hard to determine how results will be displayed in the future.

 What Has Changed?

 

  • Only three listings are now displayed where up to seven were shown before
  • The window of opportunity has shrunk, therefore, competition has increased
  • Google is experimenting with paid local results

 

What Is The Same?

 

  • Reviews are still extremely important for higher click-through rates
  • Citation consistency remains essential for establishing higher results
  • Links and local influence are still vital in competitive fields

 

What To Focus On:

 

  • Google My Business
  • Citation Consistency
  • On-Page Optimization
  • Reviews
  • Local Links
  • Local Reputation

 

Some Things To Keep In Mind:

 

  • Although important, reviews and citations carry receding returns, however, legitimate links from local or related sources will continue to boost value. They are also the primary components in deciding whether you are able to be a part of, or remain visible in, the new Snack Pack.

 

  • Make sure your local pages have snippets of reviews as they play a critical role in boosting click-through traffic.

 

  • Ascertain location-specific on-page optimization is calibrated.

 

  • Reviews are crucial in driving clicks and determining where you stand in the selection process.

 

  • Organic is still the most flexible and consistently reliable driver of site traffic.  So diversify when it comes to your SEO strategies and allow multiple avenues for traffic to discover your brand.

220 Marketing: Where Marketing and Technology Have Become One!

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