As the mortgage market begins to contract, as it always does, the various components begin the typical adjustments–products change, guidelines tighten, loan officers and processors migrate out or are reduced. All of these adjustments we have seen before, but there is one opportunity in the market that I see constant resistance to accept and incorporate as a sustaining strategy…
This is an open mic question. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.
Internet lead generation, as a viable marketing method and revenue model, emerged about the time rates started their record descent and the refinance boom kicked off. This created an interesting dynamic in the market. Almost two completely divergent origination models.
First, and most traditional, was the continued tried and true course of fairly autonomous branch network, dependent on pressing referral networks, and wholesale operations to tap into the 65% or so of the loan production market that are independent brokers.
Then there was the emerging, centrally managed call-center style, origination platforms like Ameriquest, Countrywide, and Quicken Loans. These players created a very consistent and efficient originations methodology that was almost exclusively stoked by Internet leads.
The first model seems to be creaking and groaning in the changing environment and the second seems to be fueling some of fastest ascending originators in the market. Proof? Look at the top 20 loan originators in the market 10 years ago. Quicken Loans is nowhere to be found.
Why does there seem to be such a barrier to adopting this marketing channel to at least be a component of your marketing mix? Even the smallest broker mixes marketing media–mailers, list buying, professional networks, friends and family. Is it that much of a cultural and organizational shift? Have too many people been burned by scam or fly-by-night Internet lead sources? Are referrals really sustaining all of the business you need to be successful? What are your thoughts?