We’ve all seen the commercials. “Push button, get mortgage” is constantly advertised on television and the internet. In fact one company in particular who piloted a certain spaceship-themed gimmick, went as far as to poke fun at Mortgage Loan Officers in a recent ad campaign. The scene depicts a mortgage consultation where the Loan Officer is droning on about PMI, origination fees, and escrow accounts. The assumption is that this information is unnecessary and consumers would rather avoid any conversations which help further their understanding of their options. Because after all, who wants to be educated?
Recently it was revealed that Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is interested in getting into the mortgage lending business. Bezos is currently recruiting talent from some of the top online lending companies in the country. This news prompted me to think about how I currently conduct business and whether or not this model is congruent with my efforts. My findings? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
After thumbing through my pipeline of closed loans, here is what I found:
– Out of the last 75 closed loans, I met 64 of those clients in-person (85%) at least once throughout the process. Many of these meetings were requested by the consumer.
– Of these 64 meetings, 26 of them required me to meet them somewhere outside of the office (40%). These include their homes, coffee shops, restaurants, their places of employment, etc. Many times they required me to drive to a different county, and twice I drove to a different state (VA).
– 22 out of 64 meetings were conducted after normal business hours (after 5pm) or on weekends (34%).
Overall, I can definitively say that consumers still want face-to-face interaction when they’re faced with one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. Having a direct point of contact like a Loan Officer has many merits that a call center struggles to provide.
First Home Mortgage gives potential borrowers the ability to apply online, sign documents electronically, and transmit loan documents via an online portal or email. We also have FREE App available in the App Store and Google Play. The convenience of the internet is very much still available, which means we offer flexibility. Borrowers can enjoy the benefits of a dedicated mortgage professional; someone who is available 24/7 to answer questions and navigate them to a mortgage loan that fits their budget. At the same time, we offer the technology to make the loan process quick and convenient.
The relentless efforts of marketing by online lenders will continue to have their influence. It’s nice to have a celebrity athlete like Rickie Fowler as a spokesperson. But don’t think that it’s the best fit for you as a purchase or refinance becomes a priority. There is a lot to be done between application and closing, and you’ll be glad you consulted a local lender.
Don’t believe me? Ask your Realtor!