Why should lenders put an emphasis on referrals and generating leads – Now more than ever

HousingWire recently sat down with Matthew Marx, CEO of Evocalize, to learn more about the importance of lead gen and referrals in a hot housing market.

HousingWire: In an already high origination volume environment, why should lenders put an emphasis on increasing referrals and generating leads?

Matthew Marx: Increasing referrals and generating leads today helps lenders reap even greater returns while the market is hot. Preparing today also sets them up for success when an inevitable slowdown comes in the future. Effectively driving more quality leads and referrals in the current environment drives even more revenue today, which sets up recurring revenue streams over the next 15 or 30 years. That revenue is fuel to invest in and grow businesses.

It’s not just an emphasis on increasing referrals and leads, but on increasing the quality of those leads and referrals while decreasing the cost of acquisition. Increasing quality means less time wasted on leads that aren’t going to convert, allowing lenders and loan officers to spend their very limited and highly valuable time on business that will close and drive revenue. In addition, decreasing the cost of referrals and leads has a positive impact on the bottom line – making marketing dollars go farther while also driving increased revenue.

More quality leads also grows your database and allows you to establish relationships for the long term. Moving from transactional to relational can help you differentiate, and by moving away from transactional interactions, you set up relationships that can provide business multiple times as leads refinance or buy new properties.

Lastly, building systems that are effective and scale today sets lenders up for success when market trends shift and origination volumes decrease at some point in the future. Leads driven today mean a larger database to nurture, which will provide future business during a downturn. And, having your digital marketing programs dialed in to drive quality leads and lower costs becomes essential when there are fewer prospects and more lenders are competing for their business. Investing today means winning in the future.

HW: What are some common challenges lenders face regarding referrals and lead generation?

MM: Four challenges lenders face are:

  • Executing effective digital marketing programs – The complexity and fragmentation of ad systems makes it extremely difficult to run sophisticated marketing programs. Getting the most from channels like Google and Facebook requires expertise, data, and resources.
  • Time – The complexity of digital marketing means marketing can become a second job, taking away precious time that could be spent on servicing inbound leads and referrals.
  • Compliance – Compliance requirements add another layer of complexity to marketing. Ensuring ads are compliant is labor intensive when it has to be done manually. The time required, coupled with the ramifications of running afoul of compliance requirements, means many lenders and loan officers choose not to market in digital channels to avoid the potential risk and resources needed.
  • Collaboration and co-marketing – Lenders and loan officers both have key inputs for successful digital marketing programs, but without technology, it’s nearly impossible to combine those inputs effectively and at scale. But, without the combination, marketing programs are less effective, resulting in higher costs, fewer leads, and more time spent on marketing.

HW: How does Evocalize’s Collaborative Marketing platform help lenders navigate those challenges?

MM: Evocalize’s Collaborative Marketing Platform (CMP) enables simple and seamless digital marketing collaboration and execution among lenders and loan officers, allowing them to execute sophisticated marketing programs that drive quality leads and referrals while decreasing costs and time required.

We’ve seen results that include weekly time spent on marketing decrease from 9 hours to 9 minutes, and marketing results improve 400% over digital initiatives that were run prior to using Evocalize’s technology.

Our platform enables lenders to share target audiences and high performance ad templates that need minimal customization. Loan officers are able to apply their expertise to quickly customize marketing programs with a few clicks, and are then up and running on Facebook and Google with compliant, best-in-class marketing programs.

HW: What makes Evocalize’s platform stand out from its competitors?

MM: We are set apart by the depth of capabilities and flexibility of our platform, the real business results we drive, along with our excellent customer service. We’re performance marketers at heart, and that means everything we do is built to drive ROI for lenders and loan officers.

Other offerings in the space are often far more restrictive on setup and configuration, which ultimately means you’ll run the same ads as everyone else. Our solution is configured for each partner’s specific needs. We integrate deeply into the tools loan officers already use and the marketing Blueprints we offer are tailored and optimized by each lender for their loan officers. 

Our platform is designed to constantly learn and improve results. We use machine learning to constantly optimize marketing programs, and because we’re a multi-industry solution, we can apply learnings across industries that will drive results. In practice, we’ve seen marketing programs improve their performance by up to 4x over the course of a year as optimization applies best practices to those programs.  

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