Monthly Archives: September 2007

SmartHippo the Social Bankrate.com?

LeadCritic just highlighted an interesting new social networking form of rate comparison. SmartHippo allows consumers, brokers, and banks to post rates and payments. Then, from this information, consumers can quickly shop rates and payments for their situation. LeadCritic’s initial review of SmartHippo:

The rates on SmartHippo are posted by its users and participating banks like Quicken Loans and Bank of Internet. The site gives you ability to input your specific situation, such as credit score, equity, loan amount, etc and compare your offered rate to users rates with the same criteria. SmartHippo is also a lead generation company and if user choose they can also have up to four brokers call them. I have put in a few calls and once I receive a call back I will pass along the information to you, as far as pricing. I will also try to extract more information about their user base on the call.

As a broker you are able to post your own rates, similar to BankRate, view what rates users are claiming to have received from you and also track your competitors.

To LeadCritic’s point this could be another interesting vignette in transparency, social content, and social networking combining to evolve lead generation.

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Bill Rice talks about Kaleidico with Online Mortgage Blog

I spent time with Owen Raun of the Online Mortgage Blog talking about the history of Kaleidico and some of the advantages Internet lead buying and our lead management software brings to a declining market.

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Throw away your loan officer web pages!

You know the ones I am talking about. The one page you or your company has set up that has a nice professional photo of you in your nice suit. The one with your name, address, and phone number. The one with a contact me now form. In fact, you may not even know you have one or what it looks like anymore because you never get any leads from it!

These pages don’t do anything for you, the loan officer, or the client. Let’s briefly look at each of these users’ desired experience.

The Loan Officer

  • Ability for prospective borrowers to find them
  • Prospects to submit their contact information–leads
  • Submissions (leads) to be willing and able to close on a loan

The Client

  • A low risk way to find out about mortgage financing
  • Help understanding what to expect
  • Someone that is knowledgeable and competent, but most importantly someone I can trust

Loan Officer Web Pages

With just these few wants and needs you can see the typical loan officer falls down on the job. Now for my suggestion, and you are going to love it’s price–free

I will give you two levels, beginner and advanced. However, both will accomplish the primary goals:

  • Increase your search visibility–prospects can find you with Google
  • Create compelling reasons for borrowers to contact you
  • Make borrowers more comfortable contacting you

The Beginner Level

Let’s start with the easiest option:

  • Set-up a LinkedIN profile and a Facebook account
  • In LinkedIN, create a strong introduction about what you can do for borrowers (the pitch, search)
  • In LinkedIN, completely fill out you employment history (experience and credibility)
  • In LinkedIN, load up your address book and start linking aggressively (connections = trust)
  • In Facebook, show your personality (comfort, lowers anxiety in contacting)
  • In Facebook, install fun, interactive gadgets (engagement)
  • In Facebook, load your address book and start "friending" (trust)
  • In Facebook, put all you contact information (search)

The Advanced Level

This takes a little more work, but a much bigger bang

The Result

Unquestionably, in a matter of 30-60 days you will be easier for clients to find, appear more credible, convey trust, and seem much more approachable. The result? You guessed it, a bunch of free leads!

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LendingTree Price Increase, Not the Whole Story

In replies from some Kaleidico/LendingTree clients to our comments in the recent Inman News article "Lead quality a two-sided coin" (subscription) and my previous post on the LendingTree Partner Summit it seems our original sources of information may not have revealed a full picture.

Apparently, according to these clients there is also an actual decline in back-end CLO (closed loan offer) fees relative to increases in the match fees in prime and mid-prime leads and there are a significant price cuts in subprime leads.

This seems to be more consistent with comments made by C. D. Davies at the Partner Summit. When queried about the increases he stated that the increases and decreases where indicative of real costs adjustment in those specific segments of leads that have recently become more and less targeted by the market.

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What will you do with your 50 bps Fed Rate Cut?

The White House gave us FHASecure, the Fed gave us 50 bps, I am sure the Congress is working on something to say they helped out. Time to get to work and help some borrowers!

What will you do with your 50 bps?

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TargusInfo Online Lead Quality Summit–Surviving the Mortgage Implosion

I just landed in Vegas! All pumped and ready to take the stage a 2 pm for my discussion on "Surviving the Mortgage Implosion!"

Here is a brief outline for those of you who can’t attend (I will recap in greater detail after the presentation):

  • Where we start?

    • No silver bullet
    • Winners are good climbers
    • Economist and the media are lousy business planners
    • Get real, work hard, NOW!
  • Lenders/Brokers

    • Go where the consumers are–It’s the Internet Stupid!
    • Success is in amazing the customer
    • "Climb the Distrust Mountain"
    • Build trust and credibility; organization AND loan officers
    • Treat them like "Glengarry leads"
  • Lead Generation

    • Generate a better lead
    • Content, Intent, Leverage Community, Get Local
    • Stock the pond–Lead Management and Lead Nurturing

This is the presentation for your review and comments:

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Tips to Help You Close More Loans

Here are a few things from around the Web that will help you close more mortgages this month:

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