MReport July 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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26 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE articles for first-time buyers, and instructions for creating an online presence can only go so far though. Ultimately, real estate agents and other partners want and need new clients from their home loan partners. This is where technology can really help a loan officer shine. From the collection and analysis of online searches, purchases, social media posts, likes, and shares, sales professionals now have access to a wealth of information about consumers' likes, dislikes, and sales intent that can power an effective marketing campaign. For housing industry profes- sionals, this means knowing when a consumer is ready to start looking for a home when their credit scores have changed, and if they might qualify to purchase a home or even their likelihood of refinancing. The good news is that the technology needed to procure this valuable data is typi- cally already in place. Companies like Sales Boomerang, Mortgage Data Solutions, and others are providing this information to housing professionals across the country. Those real estate agents and loan officers who don't have access to this kind of consumer data are falling behind. In particular, many of these platforms provide information on: • When previous clients (or anyone in a lender's database) has their credit score pulled by another lender, allowing loan officers to go out and "check up" on that client. • Interest rate updates and alerts for when a potential client's ex- isting rate has changed enough to warrant a refi contact. • The LTV on clients' mortgages and alerts for when they reach the 80% threshold that would allow them to refi out of their PMI. • Credit score updates and alerts for loan officers to reach out when a potential client's score meets a certain threshold. • Notifications for whenever someone in a lender's database lists their house for sale, which may indicate their interest in buying another home. Some of these data points are only useful to home loan profes- sionals, but information on when someone lists their home for sale, credit score updates, and if their score is being pulled by other lenders, for example, could be shared with real estate partners to help them find new clients who may be ready to purchase a home. And, the loan officer who provides qualified leads to real estate agents can help those partners grow their business, which inevitably grows their own as well. The Cost of Engagement R eal estate professionals remain the best conduit to homebuy- ers, even in the Information Age, and as such, productive relation- ships are worth the investment for loan officers. However, such engagement is a serious investment for lenders. Beyond the time spent research- ing market trends and advice, there are costs associated with the adoption of new technologies and tools. Creating shareable materi- als such as co-branded marketing flyers, online advertisements and eBooks might also require the addition of a graphically-minded assistant or staff member. Unlike real estate professionals though, who generally work solo or in smaller local offices, loan officers can identify large, national mortgage companies who are equipping their loan officers with the right tools for success. Loan officers should look for a company that not only provides professional, shareable marketing and engage- ment materials for their local part- ners, but also one that has access to innovative technology to help them build their own business. The time has come for housing professionals, real estate and mort- gage alike, to engage consumers via the digital channels they have become so accustomed to. The more collaboration that occurs between lenders and their real estate partners, the healthier those relationships will be, and the more success each will see when working with borrowers. WHITNEY BLESSINGTON is VP of Marketing & Sales Conversion for Churchill Mortgage, a privately-owned company with more than 400 employees. A full-service and financially sound leader in the mortgage industry, the company provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states. Although it is true the vast majority of today's homebuyers go online for information initially, a clear majority still turn to real estate professionals for help before making a purchase and more than half still attend open houses. This makes it more important than ever for lenders to engage with real estate agents and, in turn, help them engage their tech-savvy clients.

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