The Top 5 Home Lending Calculators Every Mortgage Lending Site Needs.
Are you looking at adding more or upgrading the mortgage calculators on your website so you can increase traffic, improve engagement, and generate qualified leads? So now that you’re ready to give your website this much-needed boost of personalized interactive content, you might be wondering which calculators are the real must-haves to drive business?
You don’t have to add every type of calculator in existence right away to your website in order to provide an awesome on-site experience for aspiring homebuyers. But there are definitely a few essential ones that you should get working on right away in order to boost your SEO and capture precious website traffic, as well as start relationships with potential borrowers.
Pareto Principle – 80/20
Before we get to the rankings, it’s important to note that more does not equal better with financial calculators. No we’re sorry but you shouldn’t just publish every calculator you can find on a topic.
80% of your results will come from the top 20% of your calculators. Have you ever gone to a website and seen 50+ financial calculators? That is excessive and it ends up confusing your customers.
We believe in value over volume. That’s why we focus on building only the best calculators for each question a customer might have.
Here are the five must-have mortgage calculators that every home lender should add to their websites:
Mortgage Payment Calculator
How much will my mortgage payment be?
What it does: This calculator figures out how much the monthly mortgage payment will be based on the expected home price, interest rate, and different term lengths. What’s especially cool about this tool is that it gives the user a chance to see how even small tweaks to these variables, especially interest rate, can impact their mortgage payments, thus helping them with their home buying decision.
Why it’s important: Customers want to know how a new home loan will affect their monthly expenses. It’s a very real-world, practical question that most aspiring home buyers are going to have at some point. A person looking for the answer to this question online is likely a very early-stage buyer, or someone who might not have owned a home before. By serving up this calculator to them, it can get them thinking about the different types of loan products that might help keep their payment manageable – and, of course, your loan officers will be available to connect with them for this deeper discussion.
Why your site needs it: When consumers input questions into a Google search, you want to turn up in the search results and provide the answers so you can stay top of mind when they are ready to take the next step. With an SEO-friendly calculator that you can customize with powerful keywords, you can improve your search engine ranking. Once on your site, the user will share their contact information in order to unlock this valuable insight, and the calculator will have done its job of “warming up” the lead for one of your mortgage professionals to reach out.
Mortgage Affordability Calculator
How much home can I afford?
What it does: While the above calculator is all about monthly cost, this calculator is more focused on the big picture – what price ranges of homes should you be looking for? This concept can be tricky to calculate on one’s own, but a home affordability calculator can quickly provide a ballpark estimate of the maximum home price that a buyer could reasonably handle. What it’s really determining is what your debt-to-income ratio is (so, what percentage of your income would be available for housing expenses), as well as which credit score tier you’re in (to get a sense of the mortgage interest rate you could qualify for). The more accurate the information provided by the user, the better the estimate will be, including items like how much down payment they have, monthly income, monthly debt, and their credit score range.
Who it’s for: Even before they start looking at homes or engaging with a real estate agent, this is one of the key questions that a potential homebuyer will want to answer early on in their home buying journey. After all, what’s the point in falling in love with a home that you can’t afford?
Why your site needs it: This is another top-of-funnel traffic driver to bring in new potential leads. You want to grab home shoppers at the beginning of their journey using smart SEO strategy so that you can keep engaging them. By placing a targeted call-to-action within the calculator, you can guide them into the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
Should I refinance my home?
What it does: Homeowners – especially in the last few years of historic low interest rates – have been refinancing their home loans in record numbers. This calculator helps people decide if the time is right for them to consider a refi. It will take into consideration your current monthly payment and interest rate, the time remaining on your current loan, and your potential new interest rate and loan term. The calculator will also let you estimate closing costs. The results will show you how much money you’ll save each month and over the life of the new loan, as well as how long it will take you to recoup your closing costs.
Who it’s for: The decision to refinance tends to happen fast. A homeowner hears about a friend who did it and is saving a few hundred per month, so they decide to run the numbers. Any homeowner considering a refi will want to do this calculation. And once they see the numbers, it may prompt them into making a quick decision. They will decide that it’s not worth it for them at this time, or that they’d better apply soon to lock in a good rate.
Why your site needs it: As the home lender on the other end of the calculator, you can engage with the user ASAP to tell them about your refinance options. If they’ve already performed the calculation on your site, and shared their contact information in order to do so, they will probably welcome a quick follow-up from you. This will, hopefully, improve your odds of converting that lead into an application.
Rent vs. Buy Calculator
Should I rent or buy my home?
What it does: There are pros and cons to renting vs. owning a home, and this calculator sets out to do some number-crunching to figure out the “break even” point if you decide to go ahead and buy a home. It will calculate the total cost of renting vs. the total cost of buying, based on your current rent payment, and the home price, mortgage interest rate, and loan term you input.
Who it’s for: People who are on the fence about buying a home might like to see some proof that it’s a smart financial decision for them. No one likes the idea of paying rent and getting nothing for it in the long run, whereas buying a home is an investment that may pay off over time. The question is, how long will it take to pay off?
Why your site needs it: This interactive tool is a great way to offer personalized content and something of value to people who discover your site. These users may not be quite ready to jump into the real estate market, but if the numbers go their way, it could be the very push they need to learn more. Your calculator can help elevate your brand as a trustworthy source of information, and give you the chance to offer more content to keep them engaged.
How much can I borrow with a HELOC?
What it does: People who want to borrow from the equity of their home might consider a home equity line of credit. But before they do so, they will likely need to figure out how much they can borrow. A HELOC calculator offers a quick estimate based on your home’s appraised value, how much you owe, and the loan-to-value ratio (LTV).
Who it’s for: Anyone who is in need of a lump sum of cash may consider a HELOC. The product is appealing because once approved, they can take just what they need from the credit line.
Why your site needs it: If you offer HELOCs, this is another must for your site. People who want access to a credit line might need cash quickly for some reason, such as wanting to start a home renovation. Once they calculate how much they can borrow, they may be eager to move quickly, and your loan officers will be ready to assist.
While there are many different home lending calculators, if you had to pick just five, these are definitely the ones to go with. Not only do they each provide a valuable on-site experience for potential customers, but they can ultimately help you develop relationships that can lead to new business.
To see Chimney’s Home Lending calculators in action, sign up for a free trial and customize your first calculator today.