The mortgage and finance businesses rely heavily on Loan Officers to bring business relationships to the bank. But in the case where an employee leaves, the bank loses the revenue. Amped Lead Generation addresses this gap by controlling the clientele and eliminating the risk of losing an account if an officer relocates. The web-based company currently runs over 5,400 websites that generate leads across the United States.
Amped Lead Generation is the brainchild of Rick Orozco, who is a master innovator with over 17 years of experience in the mortgage and real estate industry. He floated the Amped brand in 2017 when he was serving as a division manager for Columbus Capital Lending, headquartered in Miami, Florida. Today, Amped Lead Generation is an innovative company. In a candid interview with us, Rick talked about his first project, business approach, and how the company weathered the setbacks from the current pandemic. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
Whom do you give the credit for your business success and why?
I give credit to all the Mortgage CEOs who turned me down. They did not believe that my vision of a purchase lead generation system would work on the mortgage side. The rejection or someone telling me, “It can’t be done” is all I need for motivation. I have been told many things could not be done all my life, but I proved them all wrong. I was a Mexican-American kid singing country music in the honky-tonks all over Texas. It went against all the odds, but I did it soon after moving to Nashville with a recording contract on Arista Records. My dad taught me to take risks if I believe in something. I am a gambler, and I am 110% willing to bet on myself if I am passionate about my vision.
Explain your services in brief.
The Amped brand is a conglomerate of many pieces of a puzzle. Amped Lead Generation is a robust system of websites all across the country to generate traffic for mortgage banks. Amped Database Management is a CRM system for automated contact of the leads. Amped Rescue is a system that finds and helps people under a distressed mortgage to sell, refinance, or simply get advice. Amped Digital solutions is my website and social media marketing platform based out of Kolkata, India. They build all my sites, and we also build software for others, mobile apps, and just about anything in that arena. Amped Business Solutions is my business development arm. They schedule appointments and handle customer service calls. Amped Realty Solutions is a company that buys distressed properties for fix and flip transactions or Air-BNB. Amped Insurance Group handles property and casualty and life policies for all my clients and beyond. The Amped Brand is a force in the mortgage and real estate industry, with almost 7,000 websites in the top 200 cities in the U.S.
How successful was your very first project when you started?
My initial run was a disaster. I took some big hits financially as I started running ads on Facebook in one city, and it delivered decent results. I then raised the ad spend and started doing the same for a new city. I got almost no results. It was at this moment I realized that each city would have its own algorithm. It would require much more research and testing of ads in each arena we entered. It was a $50,000 lesson that I learned the hard way.
“Earning the trust and respect of consumers all around the world is possible by delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?
These kinds of questions are difficult to answer, as they are like moving targets. What one customer would say was excellence, another would say was not. I have learned to focus on being honest and doing what is right. The results come when you simply put your head down and push on. Do your best and focus on bettering yourself every day instead of trying to make your business better. When one focuses on their own excellence, it is the best path to victory. The most significant part of this mindset is that even when things go wrong, you have created winning habits, and you have also created a canvas that demands excellence. It is this kind of environment that drives success and wealth. It also builds momentum with your team. I would always welcome a mistake from a team member who gave it their all, rather than someone who sits on the sideline in fear of making a mistake. You just have to create a winning work environment filled with passionate people that agree on the vision. Consumers can feel your passion and drive. It is like a drug, and it is addictive. They keep coming back for more and do not know why, but they always feel better when they do.
Tell us about your content development efforts. What are the factors that contribute to the engagement level?
The content is simply information on mortgage products and how they work. It gives the customer direction on how to get started and breathes hope into the discussion. Hope is a powerful force, and it drives the client to the finish line. Some leads take just a few weeks to complete, and others can take a year, but we stay in contact and hold their hand all the way to the finish line.
Is online presence an integral part of lead generation? How do you choose the right advertising avenue?
It is everything! The internet is the game of choice for advertising. I use all the social media tools available, and of course, SEO to remain relevant. I try them all and test to see which works best in each arena we enter. I have learned never to assume they are all the same.
How do potential buyers and sellers of properties approach you?
They fill out a form on the website and tell us what they are looking for. We do not have to convince them of anything. They already want to own a home. We just have to not get in the way of that, but instead, take them to the easy path with success. We have become experts in doing this, and that is why we keep on winning.
What is the effect of COVID-19 on the real estate business? With everything going upside down, how do you manage to adjust to the new normal?
Covid-19 completely shut down my business for four months. I am in the lead generation business, not truly the real estate business. I generate mortgage transactions, which have not stopped, but due to mortgage companies doing so much volume in refinance requests, all the banks stopped marketing for leads. No one wanted to spend any money over fear.
It nearly put me out of business. To make matters worse I had opened some other arms of the company by purchasing many properties for rehab and sale. I was spending three times the usual amount and lost all my contracts at the same time. I ran through all my savings and credit cards rather quickly, but I am still standing, and I am accustomed to taking a hit to the jaw now and again. I simply refocused on what could be done and not what could not be done. You just have to push on with the same effort and show up 110% committed at all times. I simply had to readjust and go after new clients. I cannot say it was easy, but we made it to the other side, and the future looks amazing on the horizon.
Rick Orozco, CEO
A seasoned innovator and entrepreneur, Rick Orozco learned first-hand how to build companies from the ground up. In addition to his 17 years of experience working with mortgages and real estate, he also boasts an extensive background in the lead generation and music industries. Rick is currently the owner of a network of businesses, including Amped Lead Generation, Amped Digital Solutions, Amped Business Solutions, Amped Rescue, Amped Database Management, and Latin Twang Entertainment.
Rick got his start in the mortgage industry in 2004 when he accepted a management position at a small, privately-held mortgage group in San Antonio, Texas. From there, he went on to serve as a Regional Manager for a few banks before moving up to become a Division manager for 15 years. Rick is currently a Regional Manager at Land Home Financial and is tasked to build the retail and operations platform for Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
Since high school, he has maintained his music business and has now entered the film industry by producing his documentary, “This is My Country,” about the Latin influence in American music. He has also written two books, “I Got Life,” a spiritual motivational book, and now has become a best-selling author on Amazon with his new book, written with the legendary Brian Tracy, “Think Big.”
“Amped Lead Generation is a robust system of websites all across the country to generate traffic for mortgage banks.”