Americans in the market for the right mortgage — either for a new home or to refinance — enjoy shopping around for the best products to suit their needs. Online lending technology provider Mortgagebot reports in the latest results of its benchmark survey that mortgage originators with substantial Internet presence are taking the lion’s share of these transactions. Such lenders, who answered the firm’s survey questions, were able to garner eight times more online application volume than their less successful counterparts. More firms also report that online originations are growing (see chart below): In an interview with HousingWire, Matt Cotter, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Mortgagebot, said the results show web use to sell mortgages is growing. As a firm’s online presence moves from the backroom to front and center, webpage design is as important as remaining connected to potential clients, he said. For example, more successful websites showed rate trackers. And when someone clicks on an interest rate, they are immediately taken to a refinance or new mortgage portal. A big mistake, Cotter said, is when a website redirects traffic to another lender. Today’s mortgage consumers are too savvy and will leave the search completely when that happens, he said. There is no single method to building the perfect loan origination website, but it is “rather the sum of a million little parts,” Cotter said. Online originations will not replace face-to-face interaction and some mortgage lenders still view the Internet as outside their core strategy, he added. “There are no expectations that the Internet will completely take over the origination process. Rather the Internet and automation frees lenders to focus on delivering vital hand-to-hand customer service,” Cotter said. “A large number of mortgage lenders don’t do anything in the online space.” Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @jacobgaffney.
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