Don’t Give the Internet a Bad Name

I just read a great series of posts by Rhonda Porter, “Joe Buyer and the Lending Treehouse of Horror: Part 1 and Part 2.”

She also links to a typical (IMHO) “traditional” Loan Officer’s reaction to Internet lead generation and origination. This link was intended to explain why Joe Buyer got the experience he received from his selected Internet originator. However, I am not sure all of the problems are unique to that space.

I think that a single case study may give too broad an impression. Much of the motivation to vilify the Internet seems to come from the increasing lose of past client and current opportunity to the Internet–“80% of home buyers said they used the Internet to search for a home.”

One other point to note. If any of us had as much visibility and as much volume as LendingTree we would certainly have a few anonymous posts and complaints. Did you have any frustrated borrowers this month? Sure you did. Something you didn’t understand about their situation, an assumption that wasn’t accurate, a low appraisal, etc.

However, casting aside any potential weaknesses in generalizing the whole Internet lead market with one case study, these stories are critical to read and understand! I opened by calling Rhonda’s posts great and I was sincere. She did an excellent job of documenting a training scenario that all originators should heed. This scenario could have just as easily played out via a traditional mortgage broker handed a lead from a Realtor or friend.

So, there are a couple of points here:

  • Internet originations are new and therefore viewed with suspicion
  • Internet consumers are no different than any other referral source–they just chose a different route to inquire
  • Treat Internet consumers with the same respect you would a referral from your family
  • Your goal should still be a long-term relationship
  • Create a trusted advisor relationship by delivering on every little promise along the way
  • Read the “bad press” and create processes that will avoid these notable pitfalls

We all need to work a little harder and polish our expertise to make the Internet a convenient and trustworthy place to do business, an experience consumers expect.

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7 responses to “Don’t Give the Internet a Bad Name

  1. Pingback: Why is Leads2007 Important to You? — Leads2007

  2. Hello, you might want to have the correct author that you’re referencing. Eileen did not write the post, I did.

  3. Rhonda,

    I apologize! I corrected the error and also added a link to your personal website to amend my confusion.

    Bill

  4. I think the bigger overall issue is that there was a massive amount of business out there for a while. Many firms were hiring any LO with a pulse, handing them the leads, and living off the mediocre closing rates.

    It’s fair to say this sort of incompetence effects the entire industry, but I also think it effects the Internet lead market at a higher level.

    The good news is, with the market going away, many of these types will be going back to work at Dairy Queen, meaning more leads (of all kinds) for the LO’s who take it seriously.

  5. I definitely agree with you that big mortgage markets attract the worst kind of incompetence (the abundance of relatively easy money often does). I also tend to agree, because of the availability of leads for purchase with minimal lender qualification, that it may have a higher concentration of the incompetence–not completely convinced on this point.

    I think articles like this one yesterday in the WSJ (may need a subscription to read full article) http://tinyurl.com/39nzen show that these ugly scenes can be in many corners of the market. The good news on this one is he is in federal court and for the time being is only fleecing people buying cars.

  6. Pingback: Big Mortgage Leads Starts a Blog « Lead Marketwatch

  7. Pingback: Ever Wonder What Happens to Internet Leads? « Better Closer Blog

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