3 Reasons Why You Should NOT Invest In Online Lead Platforms

Whether you’re new to the mortgage business or have years of experience under your belt, I’m willing to bet that you either:

a) are currently sponsoring an online lead platform for a realtor;

b) are considering it;

c) have been approached by an agent.

In response to each of the 3 scenarios above, I’m here to tell you to:

a) pull the plug;

b) consider NOT doing it!

c) consider that an agent relying upon online lead platforms is not a high quality referral source.

 

Why Realtors and MLOs Use Online Lead Platforms

Pop Quiz.  Pick the easier scenario that requires the least amount of skill, courage and salesmanship.

Scenario 1: You strategically research the top selling real estate agents in your city; develop a strategy to effectively cold call them and turn the cold prospect into a warm potential referral source by locking them down to a coffee appointment within 48 hours; meet them for coffee and be genuinely charismatic while you present a compelling value proposition and earn their trust through consistent, strategic follow up.

Scenario 2: Sit behind a computer and call consumers who have indicated via a contact form that they’re potentially interested in buying a house in the future.

Hmmmmm.  Let me get my calculator out for this one.

If you said “scenario 2 is easier and requires less skill, courage and salesmanship” then…

“Ding! Ding!  Ding! Ding!  Ding! Ding!  Ding! Ding!  Ding! Ding!”  You are CORRECT!

Scenario 2 is easier because it is the path of least resistance.

Most salespeople would rather sit behind a computer and try to muddle their way through internet-driven leads than do the hard work of acquiring, practicing and mastering crucial sales skills such as: communication, rapport building, listening, presenting, closing, lead follow up, etc…

In order to deserve a BIG income, you have to acquire and master BIG skills.

As Les Brown would say, “you have to be willing to do the things today that others don’t do, in order to have the things tomorrow that others don’t have.”

So now you know the psychology behind why Realtors and MLOs invest in lead platforms: it’s a perceived short cut to making big money without having to do the hard work to become a masterful salesperson.

Sure, there are exceptions to the rule (and some mortgage companies use online lead platforms as an “in” to the realtor relationship to capture their referrals, which isn’t a bad idea).  But less than 1% are making consistent big income from actual internet purchase leads.

With that said, in addition to the fear of failing and looking bad that keeps most salespeople small, below are 3 extremely logical reasons why you should NOT invest in online lead platforms.

 

1. Online Leads Are (Extremely) Unqualified

Online lead platforms like “Boomtown” and “Market Leader” use keyword pay per click advertising to generate most of their leads.  Consumers type in keywords like “Orlando homes for sale” or “Orlando short sales” and are presented with sponsored links to click.

If they click a lead platform sponsored link, they’ll be prompted to enter their contact information to receive listings of homes for sale they’re looking for based on the keywords entered.

If the consumer fills out the contact form, their information populates into the realtor or mortgage loan originator’s online lead platform.

The problem is that this consumer has probably entered their contact info into several other forms, which means they are getting prospected from multiple companies.  Only the first to contact them typically has any chance to get their business based on statistics.

More importantly, think about this: a National Association of Realtor study suggests that while most consumers will start their home search online, 80% will choose their realtor based on personal referral.

This means that the vast majority of leads that come through lead platforms will never work with a realtor receiving online leads.

Since the realtor is the gateway to the mortgage originator, the chance of the mortgage originator getting a client through this medium is exceedingly poor.

If a consumer is highly motivated to purchase, 8 out of 10 times or better they’re going to ask their friends and family if they know a good realtor and/or mortgage originator.

Which means as an originator, your time is better spent seeking high quality realtor referral sources.

 

2. The Lead Is Only As Good As The Realtor Working It

As mentioned above, the realtor is the gateway to the mortgage originator, right? So if a lead does happen to sift through the clogged funnel of unqualified prospects, it’s crucial that the realtor follows up quickly, consistently and effectively.

If they don’t, then that lead is going elsewhere fast, and the opportunity is lost for all parties.

Now ask yourself this question: are most realtors working online lead platforms extremely skilled in the areas of effective lead follow up, communication and rapport building?

You know the answer: no.  In fact, that’s why most are using the online platform to begin with – because they don’t have the skills to generate high quality referral relationships.

So if the realtor working the online lead platform has poor sales skills – and the ability to capture most of the leads is predicated on the realtor strategically working them – the conversion rate on these leads just dropped significantly.

 

3. Real Estate Is (Still) A Relationship Business. 

You need to build solid referral source relationships.  In our lifetime that is never going to change.  The statistic mentioned earlier – that 8 of 10 consumers will get their realtor through a personal referral demonstrates this principle.

Therefore, your return on time investment will be much greater cultivating referral source relationships with top producing realtors who send you quality referrals.

When a loyal realtor tells their client “call my mortgage guy” then chances are that person is not going to shop around for another mortgage sources.  Which means your cost of sale in terms of your time is extremely low, if not zero.

A loyal realtor referral is the most qualified lead you can get.

So let’s compare: you can work your tail off calling hundreds of unqualified leads to try and get a couple of them to reluctantly do a deal with you, or you can spend a few focused hours a week cultivating relationships with top producing realtors who send you high quality leads that trust you right off the bat.

Which are you going to choose?  If you’re interested in a long-term career in mortgage origination and making a handsome income, you’ll choose the latter.

Now all you need to do is get good at cultivating deep, loyal relationships with top producing realtors.

And you can start doing that by clicking here and downloading my free report: Referral Source Mastery.

 

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