How to Self Generate Mortgage Leads Online, And Why You Should

Fresh leads are the lifeblood of a mortgage business. Without them, you have no way to originate new loans, and therefore no way to grow your business. There are different ways to acquire mortgage leads. You can purchase them from third-party sources, like Zillow or LendingTree. Or you can generate leads for yourself.

In this article, I’ll explain how you can self generate mortgage leads online, and why it’s a better option than buying them from a third-party provider.

The Benefits of Generating Your Own Mortgage Leads

If you rely on third-party lead providers, you are essentially dependent on them for the very survival of your business. That’s a vulnerable position to be in. It’s also costly. I probably don’t need to tell you that buying mortgage leads from a third-party generator like Zillow or LendingTree can be expensive.

Worst of all, there are no long-term benefits, from a marketing standpoint. The second you stop paying for leads, your entire marketing program collapses. Like I said, it’s a vulnerable position to be in.

It’s much better to self-generate mortgage leads through your own marketing efforts, or to take a “hybrid” approach. With the hybrid approach, you are generating your own leads primarily, while purchasing more as needed. Either way, you’re in a much better position than solely relying on third-party providers.

The Typical Path to Website Lead Generation

To generate your own mortgage leads online, you first have to understand the path that takes place. Here are the typical steps that occur along the path to website conversion and client acquisition:

Site Launch >> Visibility >> Traffic >> Conversion >> Leads >> Follow Up >> Clients

It doesn’t always work like this. There are other ways to self-generate mortgage leads online. But this is usually how it goes. So it’s an apt model for this discussion.

Most mortgage professionals (especially the smaller, independent types) have trouble with the second and third steps in the sequence. They have a hard time generating website visibility and traffic. So they rely on those third-party providers we talked about earlier. Or, they purchase a “turnkey mortgage lead generation website” and wait for the inquiries to come pouring in — though it usually doesn’t work that way.

How to ‘Self Generate’ Inquiries from Borrowers

When we work with clients in the mortgage industry, we help them with the first four steps in the sequence above. And sometimes only the second and third steps. We help our clients create a professional website and/or blog to represent their business. Then we use search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to improve their visibility. Next, we develop a content-based marketing program (like blogging) to help them generate increasingly more traffic over time.

Last, but certainly not least, we implement various lead-generation mechanisms to convert a portion of those visitors into actual clients. This is the “conversion” phase of the series shown above.

It takes time and effort to build this kind of marketing system, but the results are well worth it. It reduces your dependency on third-party borrower leads — and that alone is worth the effort.

Best of all, it can be grown and expanded over time. Want more traffic? Just publish more content. Once you’re able to self-generate mortgage leads in this manner, you can repeat the process to grow your business over time.

To recap, this is how we help our clients self-generate mortgage leads online:

  1. Build a professional website presence that is more likely to generate inquiries.
  2. Implement SEO strategies to improve the site’s visibility and rankings in major search engines.
  3. Build a content plan around the company’s loan products, business model, and target audience.
  4. Launch a blogging campaign to produce a large volume of high-quality content (mortgage articles).
  5. Integrate various lead-generation features on the site, such as contact forms on every page.

A Worthwhile Endeavor

There is no magic bullet for mortgage lead generation online. There are no shortcuts. It takes time and effort to generate web-based inquiries from mortgage shoppers on a consistent basis.

Is it a worthwhile pursuit? Absolutely! After all, what could be better than having your own stream of borrower leads coming in, week after week? It’s the lifeblood of a mortgage business. It’s what every broker, loan officer and lender strives for. And take it from me … it’s entirely achievable.

How We Can Help You

We build websites for our clients, and then we develop real-world strategies for increasing the site’s traffic and lead volume. We do this by publishing a high volume of quality content (mortgage articles, tutorials, etc.) on a regular basis. We tap into 12 years worth of website analytics data to choose the most popular topics. We apply lessons learned from over a decade of mortgage publishing.

But it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual strategy that produces long-lasting results, in terms of web traffic and lead generation. If this strategy appeals to you — or if you just want to learn more about it — we should definitely talk.

If you have questions about our services, please send an email to If you want to learn more about how to self-generate mortgage leads online, I recommend scheduling a consultation call. Good luck!

About the author: Brandon Cornett is a full-time real estate blogger and creator of the Home Buying Institute. He provides blogging services for mortgage and real estate professionals across the U.S.