But once you move past the sales pitch, you’ll quickly notice that there’s a whole lot more that goes into a robust mortgage CRM software than just clever marketing.
For starters, the mortgage market is constantly changing. What works now, won’t work 5 years from now. Second, mortgage professionals are really busy people (like, really busy). They don’t have time to rip and replace their existing systems so they can test drive new software every week.
To save you weeks (maybe even months) on trialing the hundreds of various mortgage CRMs, we’ve prepared this handy guide to help you cut to the chase and find the best CRM to help you grow your business, starting now.
You’ll learn exactly how a robust CRM can drive your business forward, the must-ask questions to think about when considering any CRM, and the must-have features to look for in your next high-octane system.
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools can do many things for your business. But if you want to boil it down to one simple accomplishment, a CRM system can help you grow your mortgage business and attract more customers in the most organized and efficient manner possible.
Simply put, a CRM eliminates the chaos from your lead management activities, letting you attract, nurture, and close more deals in less time.
The right CRM will integrate with your other business processes, from pre-loan through post-close, leveraging the power of mortgage-specific workflows to help you attract more borrowers, while keeping your conversion rates as high as possible.
But the advantages don’t end there. Let’s review the main benefits that the best mortgage CRM can bring to your business.
“Shape keeps everything organized for me and saves me hours worth of work each day. It makes the job easier and more manageable. I find myself and my entire workforce more productive.”
– Jedd Lara, Assent Mortgage
As a loan officer or mortgage broker, your window of opportunity is small.
According to the PwC home lending report, 46% of purchase borrowers consider only one lender during their search and not only that—the majority of borrowers won’t switch the lender they chose.
That means that for most mortgage professionals, the opportunity is lost before it even begins. Bottom line? You need to be proactive. Luckily, the right mortgage CRM can help you double your lead gen efforts and build a healthy pipeline for your business.
Here’s how the best mortgage CRM will help you attract more leads:
Get full control over your lead sources. With the right mortgage CRM, you’ll get to know your marketing channels inside and out. Invest in the marketing activities that give you the best results, and drop the rest.
No more wasted cold calling. With a smart mortgage CRM you no longer have to guess who to call or what to say. Consider the phrase “Hey, it looks like you’re interested in lower refinancing rates, correct?” vs. “Hey I’m with ABC lender.” Your CRM should make your conversations better.
Automate your marketing wins. With tailored drip campaigns and templates, your mortgage CRM should help you attract new prospects on autopilot. Personalized newsletters with info about homes, loans and refinancing options, combined with smart lead prioritization ensures that everyone in your database gets the right info at the right time.
“If you don’t exist online, you are losing opportunities and credibility.”
— Neel Dhingra, mortgage banker and branch manager at All Western Mortgage>
In the mortgage business, there are two crucial metrics that separate the best from the rest:
Speed to lead
With 80% of borrowers expecting a response from their loan officer within one day, and 40% within one hour, you know you have to be fast.
Plus, millennial consumers now dominate the mortgage market. They expect excellent service and ongoing communication—millennials literally want to be contacted more often. Don’t let them down.
Here’s how the right mortgage CRM can help you close more deals in less time:
Reduce your speed to lead to seconds (not minutes). An agile mortgage CRM automatically distributes the right leads to the right reps so that your team is always ready to act on every incoming request.
Prioritize your leads the smart way. Mortgage CRM systems with smart lead prioritization ensure that you’re focusing your efforts on the leads with the highest chance of converting. And the best part? It does this automatically so that all you and your team sees is a list of pre-prioritized contacts ready for your call.
Ensure ongoing communication across all channels. With all text, emails and phone interactions stored in one central place you can effortlessly pick up any conversation right where it left off.
“Be relational, not transactional.”
— Dale Vermillion, mortgage expert, author and founder of Mortgage Champions
Most employees waste up to 55% of their time on administrative tasks, and loan officers are no exception. Preparing financial documents, qualifying borrowers, or reviewing loan agreements takes a lot of time, and generating new business only adds to an already full plate.
Here’s how a well-optimized mortgage CRM system drives productivity across the team:
Smart automation. A smart mortgage CRM can help you automate your most repetitive and mundane tasks so you can spend more time creating real relationships with your leads, customers and referral network.
Integration with your favorite tools. The best mortgage CRM system can integrate with your other systems so you never have to waste time switching between screens or wondering where to find the data you need.
Team productivity reports. The right mortgage CRM ensures that your business is data-driven, and not chance-driven. Real-time performance reports help you see which of your loan officers are performing at 100% and who needs some coaching to get back on track.
CRM ROI = (Gain from Investment into CRM – Cost of investment) ÷ Cost of Investment
The majority of loan officers agree that referrals are one of the best sources of new business.
There are two major ways mortgage professionals obtain referrals:
Current referral partners
And these partners both value very different things in the originators they choose to work with.
Here’s how a well-balanced mortgage CRM can help you acquire more referrals from both groups:
Get more referrals from past clients. A mortgage CRM allows you to constantly stay in touch with all your clients during and after the loan process. Armed with a system to alleviate the admin and provide personalized closing experiences, a CRM increases your odds of bringing in new referrals simply by providing stellar service.
Boost referrals from Realtors and partners. Realtors value speed, efficiency and authenticity
in their mortgage partners. With smart automation and ongoing communication, your partners will eagerly recommend you to their clients.
“You should have a company ‘referral plan’ but it should be created to support your individual loan officers and their referral generation efforts.”
— Stacey Brown Randall, coach and best-selling author of “Generating Business Referrals Without Asking”
The thing most mortgage software shoppers don’t realize is that not all mortgage CRMs are created equal. While there are many types of mortgage CRM systems to choose from, each one will typically fall into one of three main categories.
In a nutshell, all-in-one CRM systems are a generalized version of a CRM system—they have all the basic functionality you need to attract and nurture leads, but lack specific functionalities for core mortgage business workflows.
For example, they might have unlimited emailing but lack mortgage-specific templates, offer no integration with loan origination software, and don’t fully support your intake workflows.
Pro: All-in-one CRMs are created with larger, or enterprise-scale, companies in mind so they typically have a good infrastructure and UX.
Con: The main drawback with this type of CRM is that it doesn’t offer done-for-you workflows for your mortgage business. Another common complaint is that all-in-one CRMs often feature extra functionality that loan officers don’t necessarily need, but still have to pay for.
Loan officers typically use loan origination software (LOS) to manage every stage of the loan process, such as pre-qualification, risk assessment, or compliance checking.
Although LOS systems are not designed to nurture leads, coordinate team efforts, or grow a mortgage business, they do offer some CRM functionality that can come in handy.
Pro: Some LOS platforms may allow loan officers to contact clients, others may even offer some lead management reporting features.
Con: Unfortunately, any CRM functionality built into a system that was created for the purpose of loan origination will be limited. If you need to process a large or growing volume of leads, you’ll probably outgrow this type of system fast.
A devoted mortgage CRM has all the features lenders need to grow their mortgage business.
They have features to grow the customer database and at the same time seamlessly automate the core mortgage workflows, so that you can focus on growing your business.
Done-for-you mortgage workflows. For example, in Shape you can calculate payment amortization to boost client satisfaction and at the same time optimize turnaround times.
Seamless integration with other loan processing tools. When integrated with your LOS, the right mortgage CRM can help loan officers streamline the entire loan process and create the end-to-end solution to expand the business.
Great value out of box. Given its strong focus on the mortgage industry, the best of breed mortgage CRM system doesn’t require complex adjustments and can provide immense value to loan professionals even with little customization.
How do you choose the best mortgage CRM system? Here are the critical aspects that will help you make the right choice.
The current problem with mortgage leads isn’t quantity. It’s quality.
With digital marketing and plenty of lead distributors to choose from, loan operators can quickly fill up their databases with hundreds and thousands of prospects.
But what good is a large database if you can’t physically contact everyone in it?
This is where a great mortgage CRM system comes in. With smart prioritization in place, your loan officers never have to guess who to call next. Shape includes a deep prioritization algorithm that automatically organizes and ranks leads based on more than 28 indicators, such as time zone, status, activity, and more.
The mortgage industry is notorious for its red tape. There are hundreds of laws and regulations every broker must follow, not to mention a growing number of telemarketing laws and guidelines to stay on top of.
Unfortunately, some CRM systems just aren’t equipped for those kinds of compliance demands.
With promises of unlimited text messages, omni-channel calling, and extensive broadcasting features, many mortgage CRMs forget to mention that these kinds of practices may result in devastating fines and legal fees.
The best mortgage CRM will help you grow your business, without putting it at risk. For example, Shape will automatically notify your team members when they exceed the daily limit of email sends so that your network provider doesn’t label your emails as ‘spam’.
A futureproof mortgage CRM will integrate with a wide range of LOS systems and other loan processing tools.
Look for a CRM that offers bi-directional syncing with your LOS so you can automate the time-sucking admin tasks and engage with your prospects every stage of the process.
For example, when a client moves from the pre-approval to the loan application stage, your CRM should be able to update the status in your LOS in real time and automatically send an email, launch a personalized drip campaign, or alert your team to contact the client.
We’ve already discussed how automatic lead prioritization can help you close more business, but what about your other workflows?
When choosing a mortgage CRM, it’s important to think about the key workflows that keep your business moving today, while leaving room to change and adjust to whatever happens in your business tomorrow.
What if you decide to open a new branch in another city? What if you need to hire more team members, or increase marketing budgets and attract more leads?
With the right mortgage CRM, you scale your revenue—not errors and inefficient processes.
You shouldn’t have to stop using the tools you already know and love, just so you can have the CRM you want.
Make sure your mortgage CRM offers deep integration with key mortgage systems, including (but not limited to) the following:
If you’re not sure a CRM integrates with a certain tool you and your team already rely on, be sure to ask. The last thing you want to end up doing is completely rewiring your entire business system just to keep your lead streams flowing.
The mortgage business is anything but sedentary and with today’s borrowers wanting to be contacted more than 11 times on average by their lenders, responsiveness is key to getting ahead.
Choose a mortgage CRM that offers a robust mobile app. No matter where you are, you need to be able to help move clients from A to B—even if you’re standing in line for coffee.
The goal of a CRM system is to help you save time, not add more to the chaos.
Unfortunately, some mortgage CRM systems boast dozens of intricate features, but are almost impossible to navigate. If you constantly have to contact technical support to perform even basic functions, it’s time to find a better CRM.
You will be using the CRM system to its full potential. Mortgage professionals often neglect certain CRM features if they’re too complicated or take up lots of their time to use. With an intuitive mortgage CRM they get the best ROI for their dollar.
New loan officers can learn how to use it quickly. Save time training new reps with an easy to use system that empowers them to add value to the team from day one.
You are a reflection of your systems. If you’re constantly disgruntled with your CRM, sooner or laters this dissatisfaction may project out onto customers, taking a serious toll on your number of deals.
We realize that trying new software, or changing your existing system, is a daunting task—but it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s a simple test. Try a mortgage CRM for a brief period and see for yourself if it meets your criteria. Don’t let the CRM vendor dictate the demo. Get your own hands-on experience with the mortgage CRM system as soon as possible so you can see how it really fits into your business (or not).
At Shape, we offer a free 14-day trial that includes all the features you need to start growing your mortgage business today.
Use this list to quickly assess whether a mortgage CRM has all the features you need to optimize and expand your mortgage activities:
Email & SMS integration and automation
Prospect routing & interactive voice response
Inbound & outbound calling
Call recording & call scripts
Customizable reporting and analytics
Support chat & intra-company chat
Automated tasks & actions
Customizable user permissions
Automated borrower status updates
Automated drip campaigns
Fannie Mae 3.2 File export
Bi-directional LOS integrationIntake forms
Calendar and email syncing
Payment amortization calculators
If you’re like any ambitious broker, you want to make sure that for every dollar you put into your mortgage CRM, you get at least ten in return. We get it.
With seamless LOS integration, smart lead management, and a beautifully simple user interface, Shape gives you repeatable workflows to grow your mortgage business. And with full compliance features, you won’t have to worry about stacking up fines on your way to your dream business.
If you’re looking for a flexible, best-of-breed mortgage CRM, you’ve found it. Try Shape for free for 14 days and find out how a powerful mortgage CRM solution can help you grow your business.