Fresh off of Business Wire (no link yet), a new Harris Interactive poll underscores the reputational crisis the mortgage industry now faces -- particularly on the consumer side:
Given all the negativity surrounding the sub-prime mortgage marketplace, it is no surprise that consumers have questioned the credibility of the current marketing and advertising for mortgage products. Just one-third of US adults (34%) view the advertising and marketing of mortgage products as credible, with the majority (66%) viewing it as not credible. In fact, one in five adults (22%) report that they view the advertising and marketing of these products as ‘not at all credible' ... These numbers have significant implications for the type of trust the American public has in financial institutions. When probed further about their perceptions of the financial institutions that provide mortgages, only one-quarter (27%) of U.S. adults report favorable perceptions, with just three percent saying their perceptions are very favorable ... The overall sentiment towards various mortgage options is generally unfavorable, with one major exception: fixed rate mortgages have the highest level of favorability with 71 percent of those who are aware of the product reporting that they feel favorable about them. Over half (52%) feel favorably towards home equity loans, but even so, just 15 percent of them say they feel very favorable towards it. Among the other options, one quarter of adults have a favorable impression about no/low down payment (27%) as well as reverse mortgages (25%). Over half feel unfavorably towards Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs; 53%), while at least three in five feel unfavorably towards interest only mortgages (60%) and balloon mortgages (68%) ...
If you work in the mortgage industry, are a PR firm that represents a client in the mortgage industry, or have anything to do with marketing financial services that involve residential mortgages, now would be a very good time to review, revise, adapt -- or completely change -- your current messaging strategies.