Why You Need Better Mortgage Calculators

March 2, 2021

Key Insight: In today's ultra competitive environment, Home Lending calculators are a requirement on any website designed to help Banks, Credit Unions, and Mortgage companies win more customers and generate more qualified leads.

The data is clear, 92% of mortgage borrowers do online research before reaching out to lenders, according to Ellie Mae’s Connecting with Borrowers Online report. 

People want to understand the real steps of the mortgage process like how much home they can afford, if they should rent or buy, or what their monthly payment might look like. Today more than ever with historic low rates, homeowners are doing their research to figure out if it’s a good time to refinance.

As a Mortgage Lender, Bank, or Credit Union, it’s crucial that your website is in the running to answer these key questions for prospective homebuyers and home refi customers.

One of the most effective ways to attract eager real estate shoppers or refinance applicants is with mortgage calculators. Good mortgage calculators don’t just fall into the cool-to-have “bells and whistles” category – they are MUST-haves for your website if you want to compete in the digital home lending marketplace. With the right calculators, you can meet the goal of increasing mortgage applications and leads for your loan officers.

When do mortgage calculators help?

In fact, investing in well-built home lending calculators can help at every stage of the homebuyer or home refi journey. 

  1. At the top-of-funnel: Mortgage calculators can boost traffic by helping you improve your SEO rankings for key mortgage-related terms. Of course, they must be built so that they’re fully optimized and Google-friendly (no iframes).
  2. In the middle-of-funnel: Interactive, personalized tools like calculators can keep people on your site longer by providing a personalized experience, thus improving your chances of getting them to take your desired action. 
  3. At the bottom-of-funnel: Calculators pre-qualify your leads, and lead to more applications submitted.  

Why are mortgage calculators a must have for your website?

Mortgage calculators increase your SEO rankings

Then again, with over 2 million U.S. consumers searching for financial calculators each day, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a piece of that pie. One way to break through the noise is to load your site with fully SEO-optimized mortgage calculators (and avoid the old-school ones built on iFrames). Calculators built using javascript can be customized with your brand copy and keywords of choice so that they can be indexed and crawled by Google. From the borrower’s perspective, if they discover your site and land on a sleek calculator experience, they will get immediate value – that is, personalized answers to their borrowing questions.

Loan Officers get more qualified leads 

People who make financial decisions like buying or refinancing a home want to know two main things: How much will it cost me, and how can I find the best deal? Calculators can provide specific answers to help buyers make purchasing or borrowing decisions. And with 83% of consumers saying personalized content makes them more willing to share their information, according to Accenture, mortgage calculators have huge ROI potential. 

Think about it: Qualified leads don’t come cheap. If calculators provide a way for prospective borrowers to share their personal information, your sales team can follow up confidently, knowing that those leads are interested in buying or refinancing a home at some point in the future. When you consider that calculator visitors show 7X more intent than standard website visitors, the business case for home lending calculators becomes all the more clear.

If you don’t have calculators, the competition will steal your customers

The mortgage landscape has changed, now your competition isn’t just the folks you’re used to, the landscape is full of mortgage companies, lenders, banks, credit unions, and fintechs. And the worst part? Not only are you up against other lenders, but you are competing with the likes of NerdWallet and BankRate, which dominate SEO rankings with their vast libraries of content and rate comparisons. 

Not having calculators on your page means that you’re automatically giving the competition a major advantage. It’s the digital equivalent of your physical location flipping the front door sign to “closed,” while your direct competitors down the road have their storefront covered in flashing neon lights and one of those obnoxious colorful inflatable tube guys with the flailing arms beckoning passersby to stop in. In other words, you’re losing traffic, you’re losing eyeballs, and ultimately, you’re handing over potential customers to other sites all because you didn’t signal to visitors that you’re open for business.

Mortgage calculators build trust and increase engagement 

Every homebuyer’s situation is unique – from their income levels, to their real estate preferences, to their credit backgrounds. That’s why there are many home loan programs to cater to varying needs. What’s harder to do is to create one-size-fits-all content for this audience. Calculators, on the other hand, can provide personalization at scale. Two home shoppers with very different financial profiles can input their specific information into the same calculator and each receive a customized result that can help them decide on their next move. After interacting with calculators, customers come away with valuable insights, and may be more inclined to continue into the next stage of the buyer journey with that website’s lending products.

Of course, seeing how it plays out in a real-life scenario may be more compelling, so consider this case study from Direct Federal Credit Union. This credit union was looking for ways to increase their home refi applications, and decided to work with Chimney. After adding a Refi Calculator to their site with an “Apply Now” call-to-action directly within the calculator, Direct FCU had 75 new mortgage applications in just three weeks.

The bottom line: Home Lending calculators are an essential – and necessary – asset to any bank, credit union, or mortgage lending website. If you want to stay competitive by driving more traffic, keeping consumers engaged, and converting more visitors into qualified leads, get some high-qualify mortgage calculators added to your site ASAP.

Check out our available Mortgage Calculators and have them on your website by the time you finish your work today.

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