They say nothing in life is free, but when it comes to software for your mortgage business, we’ve gotta disagree. Whether you’re a seasoned LO or just starting your own shop, the number one tool or “hack” that is going to save you tons of time and money is CRM software to make you more efficient.
In fact, a recent study from Nucleus Research shows that for companies that use a CRM, the average return on their technology investment is $8.71 for each dollar spent.
Not yet using a CRM? That kind of return on investment is like printing money for your business.
Whether you’re a seasoned mortgage pro or just starting your own shop, this how-to guide will dive deep on the automation essentials for mortgage business, how a mortgage software will pay for itself, and what the ideal features you need in your next CRM.
CRM Automation is Your Mortgage Business’s Secret Weapon
Whether it’s streamlining your lending workflow, integrating all the tools you use into one central place, automating client follow-up and marketing, or anything in between, the benefits of automation software for lenders are simply staggering.
Consider a recent study by Instapage around the various benefits of automating different areas of your business with software:
Automation is proven to boost sales productivity by 14.5% and reduce marketing overheads by 12.2%
CRMs can lead to a 30% increase in deal closures, an 18% reduction in sales cycle, and a 14% reduction in sales administration time
90% higher customer retention rates can come from marketing automation
80% of marketing automation users see increased leads, and 77% see increased conversions
60% of users say marketing automation has increased the quantity and quality of the leads that get passed to sales
40% of productivity is lost to multitasking and task-switching
Lost productivity and poorly managed leads cost companies over $1 trillion annually, some of which could be saved with automation software
Automated emails have a 70.5% higher open rate and 152% higher click-through rate than generic email newsletter
Companies using marketing automation software are 2x more effective in lead generation than those using only blast email software
Automating lead nurturing with well-timed emails and offers has been proven to generate a 10% or greater increase in revenue
How a CRM Will Transform Your Mortgage Business
We’ve already established that smart LOs and teams know that to stay competitive you’ve got to keep up with the latest trends and technology. We’ve evaluated dozens of mortgage software tools on the market and collected the top 6 reasons why you need to be using a CRM right now to transform your mortgage business into a money making machine:
1 – Save hours on administrative work every day.
Loan officers are responsible for a variety of paperwork, tasks, and client interactions at any given moment. These procedures are often both complex and dynamic. A paper and pencil system no longer makes sense.
Not only does it make sense to adopt a modern, upgraded business management system – it’s what your mortgage clients have come to expect. Use a CRM to automate your daily to-do list and spend more time helping your clients.
2 – Strengthen relationships with prospects and clients.
Relationship building used to require a lot of time and energy. Thanks to marketing automation software included in CRMs like Shape, creating or improving relationships can be automated, authentic, and successful.
3 – Automate follow ups.
Fact: Following up with prospects helps you win more business. About 80% of sales require five follow up touch points. For busy mortgage professionals, following up with every lead that many times isn’t sustainable.
At least not without the right software. A proper mortgage software system can send perfectly timed follow-ups at any stage of the sales lifecycle. Customizable templates and automated email delivery triggers make those five follow ups a snap.
4 – Calculate amortization payments with ease.
Accurate and real-time payment data is critical for your business. After all, it’s what’s used to make some of your most important decisions. Plus, your customers have come to expect quick results so having a handy system for crunching these numbers is a necessity.
5 – Improve your intake process.
The hope most people have when they first adopt mortgage software is that the program will cut down the time they spend on everyday tasks. The intake process can be time consuming when done manually. But it’s one of your most powerful customer service tools. Automate the process with e-Signature capabilities, reminders, and status updates sent for you.
Mortgage businesses who automate parts of their onboarding see turnaround times shrink from weeks to hours.
6 – Score your leads by quality.
What if you could have a system that seamlessly reviewed every new prospect, assess their needs, and generate a score based on their interest and urgency?
The right mortgage CRM will automatically score your leads based on data from your company as well as any specific parameters you can set and manage at any time. Once your leads are scored you can concentrate your efforts on reaching out to those with the highest ROIs first or even automatically assign them to marketing campaigns.
The Top Mortgage CRM Features You Need (and how they help you)
Everyone wants the biggest, baddest, most robust software that money can buy. But when considering a mortgage CRM, it’s most important to understand how essential certain software features are to your daily business.
Do you get a lot of inbound leads and have trouble keeping up with inquiries? Do you use other software tools that you need to integrate with? Are you wanting to score and assign your leads to your team quickly and automatically?
Depending on how you answer, you can start to get a fuller picture of your needs and which software systems will be the best bang for your buck. We’ve reviewed dozens of mortgage CRMs on the market and spoken to top firms about the most essential features you need on a day-to-day basis.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Lead Prioritization and Lead Distribution
Why you want it: An automated feature that allows your mortgage CRM to accept inbound client leads, score and prioritize them based on your criteria, and intelligently route them to your team. It also reduces manual work and wasted time reviewing and assigning leads to your team. Instead, stay connected with interested clients in an instant and drive more business instead of losing out to your competition.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Duplicate Lead Management
Why you want it: Helps filter out multiple inquiries from the same leads and keeps your pipeline clean and organized. The right system will also alert you when previous leads re-engage with you or your marketing. Duplicate lead management is more than just organization. When your CRM leverages smart sorting and filtering, you can make closing deals from interested prospects much more likely.
Mortgage CRM Feature: LOS Syncing
Why you want it: With a CRM that has seamless LOS syncing, you can streamline the entire loan process from start to finish by exporting your files. Look for systems compatible with the popular Fannie Mae 3.2 File, Encompass, and LendingPad.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Marketing Portal
Why you want it: You ideally want a tool that allows you to easily customize flyers, draft emails, and post-closing cards with the correct branding in place you will elevate your mortgage business to the next level. Look for a CRM that has all these tools incorporated so you don’t need to pay for costly marketing automation software – it’s usually overpriced and too niche for most LO’s.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Integrated Dialer with Texting
Why you want it: With click to dial, inbound & outbound calling, call recording, local presence, SMS messages, and more, the right integrated dialer will give your team professional, enterprise-level sales features they need to close every deal. Being able to contact prospects via text – when they are at home or on the go – is so critical in today’s fast-moving society where people are often not in front of a computer.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Lead Status Automation
Why you want it: Backlogged when new leads pour in? Your CRM should intelligently automate overflow prospects into a shared lead pool based on status or timeframe. This prevents leads from “window shopping” with other firms in your follow-up window!
Mortgage CRM Feature: Team Collaboration Tools
Why you want it: You 100% need a CRM that allows leads to have multiple owners which means your team gets complete visibility and transparency into all activities for every prospect. Having these types of tools is essential for growing mortgage teams as they allow for quick collaboration and attribution when putting deals over the finish line.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Email and Calendar Sync
Why you want it: This one’s a no-brainer, but so many CRMs on the market exclude both. Having syncing for your calendar and email keep your team up to speed and on the same page and allow you to schedule follow up appointments in a click and keep you organized. Nothing worse for closing a deal than missing a meeting you forgot you had!
Mortgage CRM Feature: Reporting
Why you want it: We’ve known way too many LO’s who do zero to analyze where their prospects come from, how much their marketing ROI is, how well they’re team converts, and so on. Not having data is a huge liability to your business. Your CRM must 100% include reporting and analytics tools to help you make more informed business decisions.
In addition to data, Maintain compliance with reporting as well. You should track cost allocations, distributions and payments.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Integrations
Why you want it: You might not be ready to give up your legacy tools, or some are just too different from what a CRM has to offer. No worries – make sure whatever CRM you pick for your mortgage business integrates well with some popular tools like Twilio, SendGrid, MailChimp, Zapier, Ytel, and tons more.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Email Automation
Why you want it: Still manually sending every email? Get out of the 1990’s and join the wave of LOs saving tons of time using email automation. Send perfectly timed follow ups, build nurturing drip campaigns, automate status updates, and more. Email automation does more than just free up valuable time – it keeps your process consistent and compliant!
Mortgage CRM Feature: Payment Calculator
Why you want it: A CRM with a payment amortization calculator is a must – it will easily help you provide accurate and real-time payment data your prospects need to make decisions. Cut down turnaround times and boost client satisfaction in one simple tool.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Prospect Intake
Why you want it: You must, must, must have a pipeline tool that helps you manage your entire intake workflow in one place. A great CRM will let you build robust intake forms, manage leads, and send online contracts and important documents securely with a built-in eSignature. Only a few CRMs on the market offer this robust combination, but it’s worth seeking out!
Mortgage CRM Feature: Team Chat
Why you want it: As great as email can be for communicating with clients, it’s terrible for your team. Trying to push a deal over the finish line and need quick info? A CRM with team chat is the way to go. When your LO can get in touch with a processor in seconds, deals are done more efficiently and clients needs are exceeded.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Good UI
Why you want it: This is a really underrated feature in our opinion, but consider the fact that your team may be using a CRM hundreds if not thousands of hours a week collectively. Why would you choose for an old-school software that isn’t user-friendly or designed with your needs in mind? This is why we strongly recommend choosing a CRM that was built specifically for mortgage teams, and not something like Salesforce which is too generic for your specific needs.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Advanced Security
Why you want it: With the latest legislation on consumer privacy making the rounds, it’s absolutely critical your team is abiding by data best practices and security measures. Choose a CRM that has cutting-edge encryption, data storage policies, and customer privacy.
Mortgage CRM Feature: Price
Why you want it: We saved the best and most important for last – price is always big when it comes to choosing a software tool you may be using for years and years to come. We highly recommend avoiding CRMs that offer gated services for a price or enforce long-term contracts. You want a tool that will grow with you, not hold you back, and often locking in a year-long commitment can be detrimental to a team.