Learn how to create a high-performing mortgage broker marketing plan using the right kind of strategies and marketing for mortgage brokers to generate leads.
20 minute read
When the average Australian chooses to buy a house they are buying something they believe will last a lifetime. That is why for most people choosing a mortgage broker is a big deal as they need to feel they can trust you with one of the biggest decisions of their lives. What we often find however, is that there is a disconnect between the marketing strategies employed by mortgage brokers and the information audiences need to make a decision.
Here we show you how you can optimise your mortgage broker marketing plan to attract the right customers. We also provide key insights from the hundreds of mortgage brokers we’ve worked with to lift your SEO finance game, and finally demonstrate how to build an online presence that generates a return on investment through tested mortgage broker marketing strategies.
For beginners or mortgage brokers just starting out with your mortgage broker business, this section is for you. If you find you have a specific question, make sure to get in touch and we’ll be happy to offer advice based on your unique circumstances.
The first step is to write down a budget with any marketing costs you can think of, including the cost of a website design and other costs that may be associated with executing your mortgage broker marketing plan. At this stage it’s better to over budget than under budget, and it’s important you consider the maximum budget you are willing to spend because it’s easy to get carried away with features, functionality and extras.
What should my maximum budget be I hear you asking? The answer is – it depends.
When you think about your mortgage broker marketing budget you should be considering the point of view that the greater your spend, the greater your returns (more on this later).
Break your budget into the initial costs of producing materials and the ongoing costs for both your materials and your recurring mortgage broker marketing efforts. For example:
Mortgage broker logo design: $1,000
Mortgage broker business card design + print: $1,500
Website design and development: $9,000
Monthly cost of website hosting and support: $100
Monthly cost of mortgage broker marketing: $3,000
The reason we recommend budgeting in this way is to identify the various buckets of spend. For ongoing website costs, it is important to understand that a website – just like any other software – is an entity that needs maintaining and updating. This is why we like to think of it as an asset that you continue to invest and grow over time. If it is well maintained you can expect that it will produce returns for your business in the long run.
During this period, we also recommend looking for a partner that can help you execute some of your mortgage broker marketing strategies and branding materials including logo design, website design, website development, content marketing and lead generation for mortgage brokers. This way, all the mortgage broker marketing you don’t have the expertise or time for can be handled by a single entity, and if there are ever any problems you know where to go for support.
We recommend budgeting your mortgage broker marketing spend as an annual amount that can be apportioned into a monthly cost. Please note that while marketing for mortgage brokers can be effective across offline channels (for example word-of-mouth), the strategies we talk about in this guide focus on the use of online channels due to our preference for digital marketing for financial services – we like digital marketing because you can accurately measure the results of your spend and be transparent in the return on investment generated from any mortgage broker marketing efforts.
Assuming you’ve already registered your mortgage broker business, the next step is to register a website domain. When we work with brokers, we talk about website name very early on when making a mortgage broker marketing strategy, because your domain name is integral to your mortgage broker marketing plan success. Savvy brokers may want to even consider exploring the availability of a domain name during the business registration process so that any advertising of your brand is relevant to your domain. If you cannot find a nice match it is not unusual to consider changing your business name based on the list of domains available, as it is imperative that your business and website domain name are treated in tandem.
Furthermore, your website domain is something that will grow in prominence over time when you start optimising your SEO for mortgage brokers and mortgage broking keywords so make sure you give it extra thought.
There are many companies that allow you to register a ‘.com’ or ‘.com.au’ website domain for up to 5 years, including Netregistry, GoDaddy and Crazy Domains to name a few. Between each of these companies, you can expect prices will be almost identical so whomever you choose to purchase your domain of is almost inconsequential. We suggest going with whichever company you are most comfortable with, or whichever one you have an existing account with – no one needs another password to remember!
If you need help or get stuck, speak to one of our technical experts for assistance with the process of registering a domain or creating a website design. Remember, this decision will last the lifetime of your business.
Now that you’ve allocated a budget and registered your domain it’s time to create your mortgage broker marketing plan. Next we demonstrate how to make a sound strategy for promoting your brokerage using a mortgage broker marketing plan example.
A good marketing plan for mortgage brokers will consider the plethora of options available, and their intended outcomes. This can range from word-of-mouth, above the line advertising, trade marketing and events, and much more. What works for your brokerage may not work for the next mortgage broker, and you have to consider your natural strengths, along with the total budget you can put side for your mortgage broker marketing.
For experienced brokers who are comfortable with handling multiple leads at once, their marketing spend could be in excess of $100,000 per year. And while this may seem like a lot, these brokers represent the top performing brokerages in Australia. On the other hand, if you are a mortgage broker only getting started, a sudden influx of leads could lead to additional stress and anxiety, as well as unnecessary expenses if prospects and leads cannot be serviced in time.
For most brokers, we recommend focusing on a mortgage broker marketing plan that is digitally-focused. We recommend this because digital marketing for financial services can drive leads direct to your inbox (or phone), and also because the entire digital marketing funnel – when implemented properly – can be tracked and measured so that you know where you are losing prospects, and how much your cost per lead is.
Here is an example of a marketing funnel that demonstrates how online audiences are treated over time. In Awareness, an online user is provided with information to make them cognisant of your service, offering or value proposition. Consideration is when the user examines and compares your offering to understand its benefits. And finally, Conversion is when we take practical steps to turn that prospect into a lead.
Each stage in the funnel can be refined in order to drive additional users to your website, lead them to recognise your value and finally prompt them to get in touch. The more people driven to engage in this way the greater number of leads you generate, which in turn can be converted to sales – in this case loans settled.
Your mortgage broker marketing plan should include a strategy for engaging audiences at each point of the funnel. Then, track the exit rate at each stage to verify what is working and what needs improvement by using key metrics from analytical software such as Google Analytics. For highly-experienced brokers looking to really enhance their marketing funnel, additional mortgage broker marketing tools can be used to improve client retention and loyalty. For example, use of regular EDMs and post-sales engagement can significantly reduce churn rate once a customer has settled their loan.
The growing number of Australians coming online for their finance and research needs has led to more opportunities for smart brokers to utilise different kinds of mortgage broker marketing ideas. This has led to the use of mortgage broker social media marketing to drive leads through company updates and posts, as well as marketing for mortgage brokers revolving around the purchase of online advertising spaces across prominent websites and search engines.
Each of these mortgage broker marketing ideas are centred on the fact that businesses now have to be aware that consumers have a lot of choice, and it is therefore imperative that brokers attract customers to their brand by helping them recognise and remember the unique value they provide. 84% percent of shoppers begin their online product searches on digital channels that aren’t a brand’s owned website, so these touch points have become increasingly important when generating new leads.
Above we spoke about using a ‘maximum budget’ but here we’ll shed some light on how you can calculate the value of your financial services marketing spend to determine whether it is indeed beneficial for your business. When coming up with your mortgage broker marketing plan you have to consider the total cost incurred including ongoing costs of marketing. In order to know whether this total cost is worthwhile undertaking, brokers need to employ a formula that calculates their return on investment. The basis of this formula is that once you are able to determine your cost-per-lead, you can ascertain your lead-to-sale ratio in order to eventually calculate your net profit and subsequent value you derive from your marketing.
Using this formula we can give the example of a broker who spends $2,000 per month to generate 25 leads. In this broker’s case, their cost-per-lead would equal $80. Following on from this, if that same broker converts 5 out of the 25 leads into loan settlements they will have a 20% conversion rate of leads to sales and a cost-per-settlement of $400.
We can now use the same formula to forecast how many leads they would need to settle 20 loans per month and the cost associated with that:
So what is the typical cost per lead and conversion rate a mortgage broker can expect? Most of our lead generation efforts for mortgage broker advertising will range between $60-150 per lead. This variance comes down to the length of time we have supported a broker’s business and the tools available on their website to assist the conversion process. Usually we can reduce the cost per lead over time through insights gleaned from the data we receive running campaigns, as well as through improving the user experience of the website. By focusing on only generating quality leads for our clients, the conversion rate of our best brokers can be as high as 25% at times.
Continuing on with the example scenario, we can calculate the net profit this broker would return based on the cost of lead generation.
In order to apply this formula we need to understand how much revenue is derived from a typical loan settlement.
Based on a few lenders and aggregators, upfront commission can vary from 0.5% to 1%. So for a $1,000,000 loan, a broker can receive up to $10,000 in upfront commission.
Brokers also receive trail commission based on the balance of the loan. In most cases, trail can range between 0.1% – 0.3% per month. But the trail typically decreases over time as clients pay down their loans. An example of this is detailed below:
Combining these numbers you can start to see how an additional loan settlement generated from a converted lead can equate to very good profit. If one such lead was closed at $1m loan amount this would equate to roughly $15,000 in the first five years of that lead’s book life. Returning to the example scenario, if the broker has settled 20 loans per month on an $8,000 spend, the first sale would have more than likely paid for the cost of their marketing, and the remaining 19 loans are all profit.
Assuming your mortgage broker website is optimised for conversion, now you can see why the more you spend the greater potential you have for generating greater returns.
As evidenced in the above, you can quickly see how marketing budget spent in the right way can accelerate the growth of your brokerage tremendously. Referencing the mortgage broker marketing plan example, you can utilise this formula for calculating return on investment across any channel. This is because whether you run your mortgage broker advertising on Facebook, Google or other channels, the same concept applies to each – calculate your cost per lead of each channel and amplify your spend on the channels that perform best.
Now that you have the foundation for your mortgage broker marketing plan, it’s time to focus on how one specific approach – SEO for mortgage brokers – can benefit brokers looking to implement a mortgage broker marketing plan on a budget.
Generating continuous traffic and regular views to your website is a great way to sustain a constant flow of leads, yet often most brokers are unaware on how to do this effectively. While many paid mortgage broker advertising campaigns are great at generating leads rapidly, these often cost a significant amount, and once you stop the money flowing the leads quickly follow suit.
Using search engine optimisation or SEO for mortgage brokers on the other hand, you can exponentially grow your website traffic to generate organic traffic from high-ranking content. Leads generated in this way can help you to subsidise the cost of campaigns by providing a flow of leads that are effectively free. Once you rank well for targeted keywords, audiences will discover your website and brand by virtue of looking for a service. This makes any leads generated in this way highly qualified and a lot easier to convert – there tends to be an immediate need.
At the heart of any SEO for mortgage brokers is your content management system (CMS). Without this, you will need to involve a 3rd party every time you want to update content or create new content for your website. Such a process is not conducive to marketing as a mortgage broker, due to content creation becoming costly and dependant on others without access to a CMS.
In this chapter we discuss how to choose the right CMS and demonstrate how some of the best mortgage broker websites are using quality content to generate leads for their business on an ongoing basis.
A content management system is a system that helps you to manage your content without the need for a designer or developer. It is an absolute must when creating a mortgage broker website due to the expanding importance of content in the online world, and the subsequent priority that search engines such as Google put on having quality content on your website when it comes to SEO for mortgage brokers.
If you did not create a CMS when you started your mortgage broker website, then we encourage you to immediately invest in creating one. There are a range of options to choose from and it will ultimately improve any of your mortgage broker marketing efforts as it allows for dynamic content creation and flexibility.
Apart from the custom web development proprietary CMS’ that are used for specialist purposes, there are many well-known publicly available CMS’ used across the variety of websites in the world. Which one you choose for your mortgage broker digital marketing will ultimately depend on your unique circumstances and budget.
If a vendor is telling you that their CMS is the best on the market they are likely misleading you. The truth is, it is impossible to say one is better than another. Instead, it is more accurate to recognise that each CMS has its own advantages and disadvantages in digital marketing for mortgage brokers, and consider that you will need to select the one that best suits your needs at the time of your website and marketing strategy inception.
The most popular CMS in the world is WordPress with over 50% market share (and growing). One of the main reasons WordPress has been so successful to date is its open source nature which in turn has allowed many website development companies to contribute to building new plugins and custom web features. Being open source also means that it is free – however it should be noted that it may require a lot of customisation to satisfy all your functional objectives.
In our experience, a major reason for WordPress’ popularity is that it comes with a simple user interface. We find this of particular benefit to our clients as often the people using the CMS have minimal expertise in design or development and are looking for an easy-to-use system for their marketing as a mortgage broker.
There are of course other CMS solutions apart from WordPress that can be used. Other popular CMS’ include: Wix, Squarespace, Joomla, Drupal, Kentico and Sitecore all with varying benefits and price ranges.
As part of delivering custom web design and development solutions for clients over the last 15 years our team have used all of the aforementioned systems. Overall we find that WordPress seems to be the CMS of choice for mortgage brokers due to its free licensing and easy-to-use interface.
Being the most popular CMS in the world does come with a few disadvantages. Mainly, a lot of WordPress sites are the focus of hackers, and because of this are prone to being attacked.
With millions of WordPress users ranging in expertise, it is expected that some WordPress systems will be vulnerable to exploits. Yet often the misconception made is that WordPress websites are less secure or more vulnerable. The reality is that because of its widespread use, WordPress websites are targeted more often as attackers can typically expect at least some of the WordPress websites created to be left exposed and vulnerable.
We liken this to the perception of Microsoft and Apple platforms – at one point it was held that Apple computers could not be hacked, however what was really the case was that Microsoft’s operating system was so popular it was simply the primary target for hackers around the world.
In order to combat this constant targeting and make sure your website remains secure there are a number of steps that can be taken to limit vulnerabilities, prevent downtime and optimise your marketing strategies for mortgage brokers.
The first is to make sure that your application, WordPress version and server firmware is always up-to-date and patched. System updates are released on a regular basis, and often the case, administrators cannot keep up with the regularity of releases leaving websites outdated and vulnerable to exploits.
Next, you can work with a web development company that understands server architecture and website security. This will mean you can operate your business with the confidence that your website is well looked after. Our team for example, ensure that we keep abreast of OWASP Top 10 security risks and employ tools to monitor and prevent 3rd party intrusion.
Operating in the finance and mortgage broking industries mean that security is a must if you are going to create a website. If you are operating a website without proper security policies or without redundancies in place then you can expect that sooner or later your website will be exploited. From a business point of view, any website vulnerability can in turn have a negative impact on your credibility and could potentially spread viruses to your users.
To make our proprietary CMS, we took the most popular platform in the world – WordPress – and made it even more powerful by enhancing it’s features using automation and cloud computing to deliver more value to our customers while they pay less. We did this by integrating the WordPress system with industry leading technologies such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform so that any website built with our platform is optimised for business use – specifically, it is safer, more secure and completely customisable to your unique needs. It is also the ideal solution when it comes to SEO for mortgage brokers as we use Google Lighthouse and other SEO finance tools to ensure the website performs well when it comes to speed and robustness.
Being an enterprise-ready solution, we provide hosting, uptime monitoring and weekly backups as part of all our website packages. We do this because we understand that all our mortgage broker clients want a cost-effective solution that comes with the peace of mind that they are protected and supported.
At MBW we believe that SEO for mortgage brokers is the most cost-effective form of mortgage broker marketing in the industry, as once you get your website ranking for certain keywords you can endlessly reap the benefits of that search engine ranking for as long as you can maintain your position.
SEO has been around a long time and there are plenty of resources available online that go into specific detail on search engine optimisation. For this resource we’re going to focus on what you can you do yourself as part of your marketing strategy for mortgage broking.
First, it’s important to understand that Google’s goal when it comes to SEO is to help people who use their search engine to find what they are looking for as quickly as possible. This is a very abstract goal, but to apply it literally means that Google will never promote a website they don’t believe to be valuable to their users – in other words if you focus on creating value for consumers then you can be assured that your intentions and Google’s align which will more likely than not improve your ranking.
Why does this matter? Well, to use an extreme case, it means that if you are wanting to rank for ‘the best mortgage broker in Australia’ and the content on your website wasn’t relevant to the keywords, for example if your website contained images of puppies, you should never expect to rank no matter how good your website looks or the quality of your SEO for mortgage brokers. This means any SEO marketing strategy for mortgage brokers must align content with the keywords you are targeting.
The fact is, while there are many variables that Google use to determine ranking, there are effectively two main guiding principles that can be used as overarching rules:
We help you to start executing your mortgage broker marketing plan by explaining in detail how to create quality content. As part of this we show you how we’ve helped mortgage broker websites all around Australia increase traffic and generate new leads with the right SEO for mortgage brokers.
You’ve got your website up and have your mortgage broker marketing plan ready to go, now you need to figure out how to execute some of those great mortgage broker marketing ideas you have. In our final section we’re going to dive into a variety of different mortgage broker marketing opportunities to demonstrate some of the ways you can turn your website into a traffic and leads generator.
To recap, in the eyes of Google, quality content is the content that answers the questions of visitors. This is typically content that looks good (aesthetically pleasing to digest), covers a specific topic (of substance) and is maintained on a regular basis (timely).
You may note that the above definition doesn’t really mention word count in anyway. This is because word count by itself doesn’t matter. However with this being said, it can be noted that research has proven a correlation between the word count and the ranking of that page in search engines. We believe this is most likely occurring because in order to make in-depth quality content, it is expected you will need to write a certain amount of words.
A great tip we always ask our mortgage broker customers to consider when writing content is whether or not they have anything new to add on the topic. An example of this could be if you wanted to create a page on ‘mortgage brokers’, you would need to first ask yourself what could you say that is new or different from your competitors, something that hasn’t already been said. This line of questioning can lead you to be more specific when you create content, focusing on subject matter that can really deliver value to niche communities through your mortgage broker marketing initiatives.
An example of this could be – ‘How to know if a property in Surry Hills is overvalued’. In this example, you would be likely to attract audiences that are interested in buying a property in the Surry Hills region, and in doing so engage them in a manner that aids them at a time when they possibly haven’t started looking for a mortgage broker – a prime time to start a conversation.
When you are starting your mortgage broker business and writing website content for your mortgage broker website, you want to imagine you are creating a campfire with people gathered around the middle. Only instead of people, you will be creating new pages about your financial services or ‘pillars’ to gather around the main campfire.
Using this analogy, you want to ensure that each new page you create contributes to the larger cluster by linking direct to the main page – for example, if your campfire was for ‘website design’ you could create pages around it for each relevant industry such as ‘website design for mortgage brokers‘, ‘accounting website design‘ and ‘financial advisor website design,’ and link these to your page on website design – which is exactly what we did for our own SEO strategy.
This SEO model is called a topic cluster and search engine’s such as Google depend on them to identify related information and valuable content for their users. When you are implementing your mortgage broker marketing ideas try to think of your own topic clusters around the services you provide in order to improve SEO for mortgage brokers and broker-related search terms.
An inbound link from an external domain acts in the same way that a link from another page of the same domain acts. Therefore, the more links you have to your page, the more Google and other search engines are able to measure the value of your website.
From this analogy, you can see how creating specific content related to your mortgage brokerage will allow you to attract the audiences that are right for your business. In this way, writing good content serves to both attract the right kind of customer, as well as help search engines rank your website pages.
You should never be aiming to target broad words or generic descriptions, but rather focus on attracting traffic that you think is relevant to your business. If you operate your business in Surry Hills for example, then think how you can create content that is localised – ‘Mortgage Broker in Surry Hills’. Alternatively, if you specialise in a specific kind of mortgage broking such as refinancing then make sure to target those relevant keywords as part of your mortgage broker marketing plan.
There are many different channels that you can market your business on, and it may seem appealing to focus on all of them. However, it is always our recommendation to be targeted rather than scattered in your mortgage broker marketing approach which is why we highly recommended sticking to only online channels and one or two platforms at most to begin with – particularly if you are just starting out with a limited budget. Part of the reason behind this is because the finance and mortgage broking industries are highly competitive, and as a result, you will be pitting your marketing efforts and advertising spend against some very big players who may have the means to outspend you.
Some mortgage broking marketing teams may encourage you to advertise on other platforms such as Bing or Instagram but we have found that while there are wins to be had across all channels, it is a rarity, and the cost-per-lead on these other platforms are often significantly higher. Using Google’s Search Console coupled with Google Ads can offer your business digital marketing precision at a cost-effective rate, while Facebook enables network-centred marketing through your immediate circles. Both these platforms offer specialised tools as well as a larger audience base that you can segment and micro-target.
Furthermore, both platforms also allow you to moderate your mortgage broker marketing spend based on a variety of metrics including cost-per-acquisition, cost-per-click, cost-per-impression and more. Learn to use these metrics to adapt your campaigns on the fly, and continue to learn from the results of each campaign to iterate and improve.
Last but not least, it is imperative that throughout your website creation and marketing journey you make sure to consider the data, analytics and metrics that the digital world affords. Unlike marketing initiatives of the past, one of the key benefits of having a mortgage broker website is that all kinds of data is available for free. This means that your perception of whether or not your website is doing well should not be subjective, but rather based on clear identifiable goals.
Every mortgage broker marketing plan should include a series of objectives by which to measure your performance against. Some key questions for example include:
How much traffic is coming to your website? And from what sources?
Is that traffic converting to leads?
Are those leads translating to sales?
What are the value of those sales?
What is your average cost-per-lead and cost-per-sale?
These questions help to visualise the digital sales funnel to ultimately determine if you are profiting from your mortgage broker marketing. Each respective indicator along the way can help you deduce whether or not your website is working for you and help you improve over time. If you find that it’s not, it may be time for an upgrade.
Use these questions and the tips we’ve shared to get your website and digital channels performing for you. With careful consideration and a well planned mortgage broker marketing plan that you can carefully implement, you can be sure your business will be generating leads in no time.
For specific advice or more information on our platform, product or services, speak to a representative today.