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If you’ve been able to scale back or pause some of your home loan marketing campaigns because rates were so low, now is actually the perfect time to start preparing your pipeline for the ramping-up process. While no one knows with certainty when rates will trend upward, it’s only a matter of time—and given today’s hot market, you need to be prepared to spring into action as soon as they do.

Median U.S. home prices rose 13% in 2020, and have continued to climb in 2021, with median prices up 22% year-over-year in May alone. In this market, even the slightest rate increase will require lenders to compete harder for qualified borrowers, and home loan marketing is a race. If you invest the time in campaign preparation now, you’ll be able to hit the ground running on short notice in the future, reaching potential customers before the competition.

To ensure that your campaigns are as smart and strategic and possible, gather your teams and go through the following five steps:

1. Assess data sources

Interview data providers about how they can give you easy access to the wealth of data you need for trigger programs, mass marketing campaigns, and batch file prescreening. If you want to ensure that your credit qualifying universe is as complete as possible, go with a provider that uses tri-bureau data for targeting.

2. Update qualifying criteria

Work with underwriting to learn how your company’s risk tolerance and loan pricing has/or will change in response to higher rates and other economic factors. Discuss how the hundreds of attributes associated with credit data can help focus criteria and enhance your campaigns from both a response and conversion perspective

3. Check in with compliance

It’s always better to involve your compliance partner earlier rather than later. Make sure you clarify and confirm how invitation-to-apply and firm offers of credit should be structured and communicated. Agree upon all the various rules and regulations associated with various marketing channels, including email and digital ads.

4. Confirm channel deployment methods

Revisit the processes you’re using to deploy the direct mail, email, and digital aspects of your omni-channel campaigns. Are you using the most efficient process possible? Does your methodology deliver campaigns that are seamless, automated, and flawlessly orchestrated?  Time is crucial and gaps in data delivery can suppress performance.

5. Test and tweak

“One-hit wonder” programs fail more times than they succeed.  Establish a methodology and plan to do the necessary work to prove your targeting approach, campaign creative, and channel choices before you launch. Use campaign performance insights to continuously improve these areas as you progress. That way, you’ll feel confident you are getting the best results possible from your marketing investment.

It can take months to get the structures, policies, and materials in place for fully re-vamped loan-marketing campaigns. If you act now, you’ll be ready to put your best foot forward in a rising-rate environment.

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