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Everything we know about the lead business from everyone at the Leads360 family. From online lead providers like LowerMyBills.com to Mortgage Lead Management best practices. We'll tell you what we know and what we've learned.  

Recent Market Developments

Wall Street started the session today racing toward gains however the latest economic data helped confirm investors’ fears that the economy is falling into a recession.  Investors were looking for data that would be help to stave off a sharp economic slowdown, and at the same time still warrant further cuts of the federal funds rate. Investors pulled the plug on trading for gains when a report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showed manufacturing fell more than forecasted. This manufacturing reading is the Conference Board’s gauge of leading economic indicators and it is used to predict which direction the economy is headed. It has posted its fourth straight drop.

As a result traders are already pricing in another interest rate cut, as much as an additional half a percentage point, after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last policy-setting meeting were released indicating that the central bank will remain aggressive in regards to  fending off recession. Most economists realize the cuts to the federal funds rate take months to work their way through the economy and may not stop the economy from weakening further.

The Dow, the NASDAQ and S&P 500 all fell sharply as a result of today’s economic news. And finally for the good news, treasury bonds improved today as we see the 10yr note improved by 3.40%, or by -0.133, closing at 3.784. Of course you know this improvement will be reflected in tomorrow mornings rates. Tomorrow may be the right time to lock, however we may see things improve more as the next Feds meeting draws near and the FOMC, Federal Reserve Board, is scheduled to meet again on the 18th of March. The last meetings notes forecast for slower growth and continued risks to the economy from housing and credit markets.

Now is the time to talk up this market information using our drip marketing feature in your LMS. Also redistribute your old leads and prepare to work them with improved pricing. Realize you need to move quickly as the market has been extremely volatile and has moved as much as 9.0% and back again in a 12 hour period recently. In the last two and a half weeks the 30 yr fixed at par went from 5.125% back to 5.875%. Chances are tomorrow we’ll see 5.75% and possibly 5.625%.

As you prepare for the influx of applications be sure to contact us so we can help! Thank you for reading and have a great evening!

Project Lifeline: Savior of those to be foreclosed?

Well maybe not a savior, but definitely a helping hand at least. Six major banks have banded together and put a moratorium on forclosure proceedings for 30 days to allow borrowers to work out alternative payment options with lenders. Contrary to what one would think, this is not just for ARM loan borrowers, but all kinds.

It’s an interesting concept. This also may open up some opportunity for mortgage companies to capture good business. Read more about it here.

Be The Market Expert

Hello all. I’d like to piggyback on what Matt is saying by throwing a Wall Street spin on things. As mortgage professionals it is not only important for mortgage lenders to know who to contact and when regarding a mortgage, but once you have the ear of a potential loan client it is important to keep their interest, capture their trust and most importantly you want to be the one to close their loan instead of the other guy. By keeping abreast of market activity, economic data, and following the Ups and the Downs of our economy, you can be the expert instead of an order taker just throwing out rates.

Wholesalers will start rolling out conforming products with a much higher loan amount than the $417,000 loan amount our industry has worked over the past 2 years. This comes as part of the stimulus program recently passed by Congress and it will only apply to specific markets where jumbo loans have reigned supreme in years past. A key factor is this loan amount increase expires December 2008, so it is for a limited time only. In addition to the conforming loan increase due to the stimulus package, be aware that the Big 3 of the stock market, the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and NASDAQ indices has hovered in the same range since the first of the year. Fortunately they have not spiraled out of control nor have they gained any ground. This is due the balancing act of rising inflation, poor economic results, and poor earnings being coupled with efforts from the Federal Reserve and Capital Hill to keep our country out of recession by creating action plans, auctioning off money, working with foreclosure relief, and reducing the cost of money by cutting the federal funds rate.Realize that around the time each meeting involving a decision on the Federal Funds rate, historical data shows us that often times treasury bonds with improve which in turn will cause lower long term rates. So in a sense when the Feds do their magic the mortgage market sees a benefit. Just yesterday Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve mentioned that our economy will be sluggish in 2008 not picking up until the end of the year. He and the rest of the Federal Reserve board are prepared to cut the Federal Funds rate further. With that said be on the look out for the Feds next action. As the time comes closer use the historical data to help fuel your email campaigns. When things happen like you mention in your emails, customers will be ready to listen when you begin to advise them on the right moves to make for their mortgage.

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!

Brokers, here is a task for you this weekend…

Hello, and welcome to Friday. [APPLAUSE]

It is President’s Day weekend. Some of you will be at work on Monday, and some of you won’t. To those of you who won’t…Lucky. To those of you who will…Smart. A good amount of people will be off work and at home on Monday. Your task for this weekend is to set up your system so that you can reach out to all of them, and I am going to tell you how.

First and foremost, you need to identify the leads in your system with a loan amount between $417,000.00 and $729,750.00 within the United States Metropolitan Statistical Area that you paid for, but never closed. With a good lead managment system, this should be easy. With us, this is simple. If you are a Leads360 client and need assistance, call us TODAY, because this is due by Monday! When you identify these leads, go back one to two months and everything previous, truncate the logs, and throw them into your shark tank. Do an email marketing blast to them talking about how they may be able to benefit from the recent change to the conforming loan amount limit and low rates. Then on Monday morning, or Tuesday for those of you who don’t like to close business, when your loan officers come in, direct them to the shark tank and all of the new leads in it. New leads in this case of course being leads that you paid for in the past but did not close.

The loan officers love the shark tank because they have a ton of new leads to call. Tell your loan officers that you have already sent an introductory email and that they ALL need to be called immediately. Our clients who do this experience a surge in applications every time, and this is without the email marketing, and messaging the facts surrounding the conforming loan limit increase. I’m a huge proponent of the KISS principal. This is a simple task that takes minimal outside of the box thinking, and it shows results.

So, brokers, this is your homework. Whether you are using my LeadManager, or someone else’s, get to work! This is due on Monday, don’t forget.

Conforming loan limit is $729,750.00 as of now…

This is great news! The time is NOW to capitalize on this and close business! Call Leads360 today to discuss how our Enterprise LeadManager software will help your company close more loans. Drip email campaigns for old unclosed leads, and best practices techniques to capture new business, we can help you WIN it all. We’re fired up, and you should be too, this is good for all of us!

It’s flattering…

…when your competition has to drop your name left and right, and use their version of facts to justify their claims. When I first came to Leads360 I decided to take some time to get to know the competition. A simple Google search brought many of them to the surface. One in particular actually has Leads360’s features listed in comparison to theirs. Of course, theirs is full of green check marks, and Leads360’s is full of red X’s. It’s a blatant falsehood, but the mention of Leads360 on a competitors website says something. I asked why we don’t send a cease and desist and my inquiry was met with a smile and a laugh. I guess it’s not a huge deal. I can live with it.

This morning, another one was brought to my attention. My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe it, then again, this is business and sometimes, some companies need to…umm…reach down to a…lower level, to distract business from us.

One thing I am proud of, is the business we turn away. Yes, the business that we turn away. Not because the company is not good enough to do business with Leads360. Hardly. Because the company, we feel, is better off working with a competitor based on a full analysis performed on their operation, their hardships, and their needs. I know that our competitors read this blog (hey guys what’s up?!?!), and I know that they can name clients of theirs that we have referred over. Let’s play nice together, we’re all here to help companies close more leads and there is enough room on this mountain for more than a few of us. Just be a little more classy…I’m not saying…I’m just saying.

We’ve taken business from competitors, of course, but not by groveling and throwing out “my dad is better than your dad” schoolyard low blows. Our Sales 2.0 method assures that business won is based on merit, not Sales 1.0 tactics of deceit, and throwing competitors under the bus.

To prospective clients who read this blog, I would recommend that you do your homework. Identify your pains, and then find the doctor who is a specialist in that specific area. You can only do this by talking to all of the top Lead Management companies. My advice would be to sit back and listen to what everyone has to say, and find that one company who can cure your problem. We all do it a little differently.

To our competitors who read this blog, don’t mislead consumers about Leads360 or other companies. If you cannot win business based on what your company has to offer take that as a queue to make your product better. Don’t take that as an opportunity to create false facts about Leads360’s LeadManager. For the record, we practice what we preach, and we took those opportunities to make our product and our service better. There is a reason we are the number one LMS in the industry, and it is not because we lie to prospects to win their business.

Conforming loan limits will most likely increase…

…substantially, and soon.

What will you do when that happens? If you are on top of your game you will run a report in your LeadManager to identify all leads in the system with a loan amount above $417,000 and up to whatever the conforming loan amount limit will be. You will then create an email marketing campaign discussing the recent changes and urge them to contact you to discuss potential money saving opportunities that it will make possible. You will also start a call campaign to touch these individuals, aggressively.

But you don’t have to, if you don’t want to. You can sit back and wait for them to call you if you want…cuz, you know, that’s the way it happens anyway, right?

Get proactive, capture business.

Does your shop have a professional sales force, or is it a boiler room?

As some of you know, we’ve hired a lot of people lately in several departments all across Leads360. In January alone, I had four new individuals join the sales team. This is very exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. A lot, of work. Back in the day, Leads360, like many other companies, would bring in a new salesperson and throw them into the shark tank, and they would either sink, or swim. This approach is highly ineffective and is a complete waste of time and money. Getting good sales people is about identifying the strengths and weaknesses that you can work with, and nurturing them.

With this in mind, we’ve implemented a new training regimen up to and including pushups. Ok, I’m kidding, but we’re close, and I am still considering it. The plan is to expose these individuals to all facets of the organization, but focus heavily on what they will be doing when they start so that they hit the ground running, proficient with their assigned tasks. This way, they can play an integral part in the company from day one, and learn at the same pace as their assigned tasks require them to. Sales people who are thrown into the pit with everyone else often feel as though they are not contributing, and this idea permeates their entire being, and rather than contributing and learning, they scurry toward every possible deal whether it is a good one or not. We won’t be having that issue any longer.

We are building a professional sales force. Not a boiler room. A department that is not only reliable, but ethical, well learned, and helpful. How would you rate your sales force? Can you walk out of the room and trust that your people will do their job? Can you comfortably leave for a few days and trust that your sales staff will take care of your prospects and clients and treat them with respect and professionalism? We’ve mirrored our Best Practices ideals in house so that we actually walk the walk. Relationships always start in the sales department, and in order to have a long and fruitful relationship, it has to get off on the right foot. At least that’s what we think here, so I’m proud to say that we have a professional sales force, not a boiler room.

LeadsCon 2008

Our own Noel Collins put up a blog a few days ago on LeadCritic talking about LeadsCon 2008. It’s at the Palms Casino & Resort on April 2 - 4. I know, most of you are already booking your plane tickets now, huh? Your friends at Leads360 will be there and we would encourage our clients and partners to make an effort to be there as well. It is always great to be able to put names to faces, and this should be an excellent opportunity to network. We look forward to seeing you there!

Hillary’s mortgage reform plan…

I am going to keep this post very, very short and simple. I can only write about Hillary for about 30 seconds before I start getting political and this is not the right forum.

So with that said, I would like you all to take a look at a very intriguing blog post I just read over on the Blown Mortgage blog. Take a look, what do you think?