Monthly Archives: November 2007

Speed Matters in Lead Management

Often times we import bad habits from old business models as technology and consumer behavior takes us into new paradigms. Mortgage originations moving online is one such scenario.

LeadQual, a leader in lead response and lead qualification–hot transfers–proves that speed matters in lead management:

Does this scenario sound familiar? Bob the realtor gives Cindy the mortgage broker a referral. A young couple hoping to buy their first home. Cindy thanks Bob and suggests she treats Bob to lunch today (hoping to shake out another referral or two). Meanwhile, the young couple’s contact information goes on the yellow tablet next to the phone. Cindy thinks, I will call them tonight when they are probably home from work. Cindy proceeds to finish a few files in process, takes Bob to lunch, calls a few of her other referral partners now that Bob has put them top of mind. Cindy finally heads home from work, "oh, shoot!," she exclaims. "I forgot their number–oh, well I will call them tomorrow."

This might work, sometimes. More and more frequently I would venture this is a lost deal. Why?

Here is what is going on in the back story: The young couple has already pulled their credit reports and scores, they went to Zillow and found out what the home they want is probably worth, and done the math to know what they need in a mortgage. They found the realtor online to show them a couple of properties they have already pinpointed. Now they are waiting on the realtor and you to get your butt in gear.

No calls??? They get home and decide they are tired of waiting.

The couple goes to at 7:00 pm after dinner with all of their information. They fill out the mortgage qualification form and hit submit.

Ten minutes later their phone rings. Hi, this is Jeff from Quicken Loans

The couple has a 20 minute informed conversation with a highly motivated and friendly loan officer, but insists that they are going to be prudent and wait for the other offers to compare with the three Jeff gave them.

Back to Cindy the mortgage broker. Cindy, like the other three mortgage brokers that got the LendingTree lead referrals make their call the next day. As they fumble along trying to make contact and tell them they will talk to their lenders and get right back with them–Right just like yesterday, huh?

This deal was gone last night and they are done taking mortgage calls. Don’t believe it? The California Association of Realtors reinforces this fact with its survey that affirms that 78% of consumers pick the first agent they talk to.

Speed matters! Get My Next Lead is your secret weapon when 5 minutes is the difference between Deal or No Deal.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


New Zillow Product Targeting Mortgage Professionals

The mortgage lead generation market is a notoriously crowded and certainly not as strong as in past years. This is punctuated in recent Experian reports:

The share of U.S. subprime mortgages entering default in the first quarter was the highest in almost five years, according to the U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association, as the country had its biggest house-price decline since the 1930s.

“The hit from the subprime mortgage market in the U.S. is quite worrying,” Seymour Pierce’s Lapwood said.

And IAC/InterActive reports:

LendingTree revenue fell 41 percent to $63 million because of the deteriorating mortgage market and a decline in real- estate values, IAC said. The unit posted an operating loss of $5.6 million and will have a loss in the fourth quarter, the company said.

“It will be a very steep mountain to climb to get back to any growth” at LendingTree, IAC Chief Financial Officer Tom McInerney said on a conference call with analysts and investors.

However, despite the gloom in the market Zillow appears to be headed headlong into this choppy water according to its brief teaser, "A New Opportunity for Mortgage Professionals," on the Zillow Blog.

Zillow’s announcement also seems to have a job opportunity attached to it. This has brought out a couple of bloggers that have put forward their best proposal (or rather a quest for good ideas) and opened discussion on what the "new opportunity" should be to interest mortgage professionals.

I won’t go into my thoughts on the topic here since you can read what I think is important to Zillow’s success in my comment to Morgan Brown’s excellent analysis. However, it sounds like you certainly should if you have ideas or are interested in the job since Drew Meyers and Zillow are paying attention and taking notes!

Seems like the right way to build a company, loyal and fanatical clients, and great products–IMHO.

Tags: , , , , ,