Getting the Most Out of Trigger Leads in a Purchase Market

The economy is finally starting to pick up, and with it, the housing market. For financial institutions marketing mortgages, there’s never been a better time than now to start taking full advantage of trigger leads.

First things first: what are trigger leads?

As the name suggests, these leads consist of people who are in the market and have already pulled the trigger on the purchase or refinancing of a new home (note that I said both “purchase” and “refinancing,” as many lenders mistakenly continue to think of trigger leads exclusively in terms of the latter). Far from window shoppers, we are talking about consumers who have already started the mortgage application process – in short, the hottest of all leads. Why waste resources marketing to consumers who have no real intention of buying in the near future if you can target leads who are in the market now?

Why else are trigger leads important?

As opposed to traditional purchase leads, which can take up to a year to mature into a funded loan, trigger purchase leads share the advantage of their refinance counterparts in offering a quick turnaround. This offers a major advantage, as lenders do not have to spend time or money nurturing trigger leads—all they need to do is place the right offer in front of them. At the same time, fewer marketers are vying for them, as research suggests there only two or three lenders marketing to each purchase trigger lead. In short, you’ve got hot leads with less competition. What more could you ask for?

How do I find trigger leads?

Finding trigger leads is all about data — not only accessing the right data, but also sorting it to isolate only the most relevant information. A decent data provider should be able to identify leads by mining information from credit bureaus and other sources. In order to capture as many trigger leads as possible, make sure that your provider is pulling data from all three credit bureaus, not just one or two. And a great data provider should be able to go even further, identifying qualifying audience consumer segments as well as the smoking hot trigger leads.

How do I find qualified audience segments?

To maximize the return on your investment (ROI), your provider not only should be able to target those customers who are in the market (trigger leads), but should also help you find, segment, and target qualified audiences who will be ready to buy. These would be audiences who are not quite in the market, but who possess a high degree of need for your product.

But how do you find the right audience segments? Using a combination of predictive modeling and data assets will enable you to craft your offer customer by customer, achieving more effective messaging across both your traditional and digital channels. Your data provider should be able to help you in this effort by determining who is likely to be in the market, and what kind of loans they are interested in.

Determining who is likely to purchase

To help you find your ideal customer, predictive modeling and data resources can identify key characteristics of consumers who are good fit for your products and who are likely to be in the market. Here are a few examples:

  • People who have been in the same mortgage for a long time
  • People with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio where the mortgage is less than the total appraised property value
  • People with certain buying behaviors
  • People who are close to completing their loans

Using data, your provider also should be able to identify those customers most likely to refinance:

  • People who have experienced a sudden spike in credit usage or the onset of financial difficulties as indicated by a drop in credit score
  • People who are chronic refinancers with a history of frequent refinancing. If they’ve done it before, it’s likely they’ll do it again.

Market smarter

An improving housing market combined with technological advances in the targeting of potential customers represents the perfect storm for profitability in the mortgage loan industry. More than ever before, CMO and mortgage marketers have the ability to find consumers who are perfect fits for their products and to craft highly specific offers, depending on where consumers are in the sales timeline. Choosing a data provider who can help you market smarter by asking the right questions and identifying the right information is the essential first step.

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