Turnkey Mortgage Lead-Generation Websites Are a Myth

Do a Google search for the phrase turnkey mortgage lead generation websites, and you’ll find a number of companies that offer this type of website as a product. They often make bold and unjustified claims as well.

“Just purchase this site, and you’ll start generating valuable mortgage leads immediately.”

[pullquote]turnkey mortgage lead-generation websites are often lacking the most important “key” … traffic[/pullquote]Let’s start with a harsh dose of reality. After being involved with internet mortgage marketing for more than ten years, I can tell you that these so-called “turnkey” lead generation websites are usually a disappointment. They might look nice. They might have well-designed contact forms on the side of every page (a classic lead-gen strategy). But what they don’t have, in most cases, is traffic.

A turnkey mortgage lead generation website without visitors is like a store without shoppers. It might look nice, but it won’t help you grow your business.

A Mortgage Lead Generation Website Needs Traffic to Succeed

If you purchase a lead generation website and put it online under a web domain that nobody knows about, you’ll have a site that produces little to no leads. Why? Because you need a steady amount of traffic, day in and day out, in order to generate leads from a website.

And I can tell you from my many dealings with mortgage professionals, this is the one thing that’s usually lacking — web traffic and visibility.

Putting a new website online is easy. I can purchase a domain name and put a new site online in a few hours. Putting lead-generation forms onto a mortgage website is also easy. We use the WordPress program for our client websites, and it allows you put a contact form on every page of the site in just minutes. There’s nothing hard about that. But building a steady and consistent level of website traffic … that’s a different story. That takes time.

Think of it this way. Putting a new website online is like tossing a single grain of sand into a sandbox. Sure, it’s in there. But nobody knows it’s in there. It’s one of millions. It blends right in.

This is what happens when you first put a new site online. When you launch a brand-new website under a brand-new domain name, it’s one of nearly a billion sites online already (according to reliable sources).

How will people know it’s there? How will mortgage shoppers, essentially total strangers, find your new site? How will you generate a steady stream of visitors, day in and day out? These are tough questions. The companies that sell these so-called turnkey mortgage lead generation websites to brokers, loan officers and lenders typically do not answer these questions within their sales pitches.

Web traffic can be generated in several ways. Here are some common methods:

  • Content-based strategies such as blogging
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
  • Advertising on sites like Zillow and Bankrate.com
  • Direct mail pieces (postcards and letters) that direct people to the website
  • Print advertising in newspapers, magazines, etc.
  • Brand awareness (at least, if you’re a household name like Wells Fargo)

We specialize in the first item on this list — blogging and other content-based strategies. The point is that turnkey mortgage lead generation websites usually lack the most important “key” of all. They lack traffic-building techniques. They are “sold separately,” so to speak.

Bottom line: Putting a new site online is only the first in a series of steps that must happen before you can generate leads. So you must manage your expectations accordingly.

A Website Alone Is Not a Marketing Strategy

We don’t sell “turnkey” mortgage lead generation websites because, frankly, there is no such thing. We do design and develop professional-grade websites for our mortgage industry clients. And we do provide marketing and lead-generation services. But they are two separate things.

In some cases, we simply provide the site by itself, and the client handles their own marketing. Other times, the client already has a website, so we provide content-based marketing services to help them generate more leads from an existing web presence.

The point is that a website by itself is not a marketing strategy. It needs traffic and visibility. It needs to attract visitors who are in the market for a mortgage loan. It then needs to convert those visitors into loan applicants.

This blog post is a “buyer beware” message. If somebody offers to sell you a turnkey mortgage lead generation website, but doesn’t tell you where the traffic will come from … buyer beware. You might end up with a nifty new site that nobody knows about, visits or uses. Few leads will come from that.

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.