The drivers behind the mortgage industry are not lenders but instead Realtors, who act as gatekeepers for potential purchase business for lenders. Per Forbes:
It can be said and evidence presented that the rise of the great worldwide web has eroded Realtors’ ability to refer buyers to mortgage lenders, but the traditional gatekeeper role is very much alive and well. Almost every real estate office has an in-house lender representative on-site courting agents and buyers. Lender reps pitch Realtors at open houses, through real estate boards, at conventions, via e-mail, even good old face-to-face in person sales calls. Realtor referred purchase business is booming.