Positive Response UK was established in 2000 to provide a lead generation service for mortgage specialists. The company has developed its own survey-based database of customers. It is important for a regulated adviser to know the source of their lead, and Positive Response can provide information on both the customer and the survey if requested.An adviser can agree upfront the terms of the lead generation in relation to postcodes and required volumes each month. The company specialises in remortgage leads only and no further categorisation of product type is offered. Every lead is contacted by the Bournemouth-based call centre and a limited number of questions are asked, first to establish if the customer is a genuine lead and second to establish if they require contact from a mortgage adviser. Express consent is obtained at this point and the customer is asked to give their permission for an authorised firm to contact them. A second call is made to provide further verification of the information supplied, and a follow-up letter is issued to the customer, confirming the name of the firm that will be contacting them. The lead is passed on to the broker 48 hours after the letter is issued. The 48-hour gap provides sufficient time if the client changes their mind. All call centre phone calls are recorded and checked. The standard pricing is 58.75 plus VAT per lead, with a minimum order value of 10 leads, and payment is required in advance. The company quoted me an expected rate of one in four immediate conversions, and one in three over a longer period of time. I have spoken at length with this company and it understands the implications of regulation and how it impacts on advisers. It has also provided me with full details of why it has selected introducer status and importantly, how it is operating within its permitted activity. GMF Leads supplies mortgage leads to mortgage advisers and IFAs via email or SMS. All the leads coming through GMF are internet-generated, from multiple websites hosted and maintained by GMF. I will return to these later. The leads are generated from individuals who have requested contact from a mortgage adviser and have completed a brief enquiry form. They are asked to confirm they wish to be contacted twice in the process. On the second occasion a pop-up box appears on the screen with the adviser’s company name, telling the customer they will be contacted by this firm, and they are asked again if they wish to proceed or cancel. The adviser can select the categories and values of mortgage or remortgage leads, which are quite extensive. They broadly includes remortgage, self-cert, buy-to-let, adverse credit, first-time buyer and telephone qualified leads. The cost is 35 per lead when all 10 subtypes are selected. But if you edit the selection to receive a few of the sub-types, the leads will range from 30 for a first-time buyer lead to 35 for a self-cert lead and up to 80 for an adverse remortgage lead. It is important to note that advisers who select all 10 leads will receive priority over those who have made an edited selection. Set-up and pricing are fairly good though there is a big but – GMF only provided a few of its websites and some of the sites are not only non-compliant despite GMF being directly authorised by the Financial Services Authority but they also make sweeping statements that cannot possibly apply to every adviser. For example, some of the sites say brokers are truly independent, some charge no fees, and some have access to every single product in the market. When I looked at www.moneyclick.co.uk, the name under which GMF trades, in October, the customer gets to see on the front page an inviting, but sadly totally non-compliant rate advertisement. This is frustrating for those of us who have set up financial promotions guidelines and processes, resulting in slightly less exciting adverts. GMF Leads declined to comment. Justine tomlinsonmarketing director, Mortgage NextPositive Response UK takes the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 seriously and we have invested a great deal of time, effort and resources to ensure compliance as an introducer. Authorised firms know that when they buy leads from us they are dealing with a company that has taken the time to understand the rules that govern the marketplace in which it operates. We give them peace of mind by clearly explaining the methods we use to provide leads. Our customer retention is good because the service is genuine. There are no short cuts to providing good quality leads on a consistent basis. Few competitors have the knowledge to bring together the data and call centre technology to deliver a quality service. Our pricing reflects this and our customers appreciate it.
Mortgage Strategy\'s monthly guide to the lead generation companies brokers could be doing business with. Justine Tomlinson looks at the options available to intermediaries