November 2012

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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FEATURE with them than ever before. But they also have to contend with high-information customers—and customers who think they're high-information customers. Perhaps more important, they have to deal with the digital wrath of wronged borrowers quickly, before a small voice of dissent becomes a reputation- killing cascade. How do banks and lenders adapt to this space? Online Dating, Only for Lenders O Going Viral A By Adam Weinstein just jacked the interest rate on her credit card from 12.99 to 30 per- cent for no apparent reason. After getting nowhere on the phone, the 46-year-old self-identified "rocker chick for God" took her case to the people: She uploaded a four-and-a-half-minute video to YouTube explaining her predica- ment and declaring a "Debtor's Revolt." "I've decided it's time to nn Minch had a prob- lem. It was autumn of 2009, and Bank of America (BofA) had take a stand against the banksters' usury and greed!" she said. Two weeks and half a million Occupy movements, the revolu- tion to which she lent her voice continues today. Thanks to the explosion in blogs, online news, and social media—Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, and other websites that views later, a BofA executive contacted her to find a mutu- ally agreeable resolution, and she paid her balance off in full. But like the Tea Party or let Internet users connect with friends, family, and brands—con- sumers have more information than ever at their disposal. And in the post-housing-crisis era, those consumers are not just reading the fine print online, but getting second, third, and eighth opinions . . . and making their grievances go viral. That poses both a crisis and an opportunity for mortgage professionals. They can actually find more borrowers in cyber- space, and get more personal The most storied, stable banks and lenders have survived re- cessions and media innovations of yore, so what's so different today? Plenty, writes Brett King, author of the influential book Bank 2.0 and founder of the world's first direct-mobile bank, Movenbank. "Imagine the next generation of customers who are out there looking for a new institution to engage with right now," he writes: Though the real estate and mortgage industries are in recovery, the evolution of social media platforms is creating a new kind of crisis for housing finance professionals. they decide on a lifelong relationship with a financial institution? They're going to ask their peers. They will search on a product or brand and find search engine results prioritized, not by some clever search-engine-optimization techniques, but by how their friends and networks have scored the perfor- mance of that bank or credit union. Where are they going to look before that college intern to start up a Twitter and a Facebook and let's give our existing users a way to tell people they're 'in a relation- ship' with us." Ideally, that's how it starts. USAA was one of the successful early adopters of social networking among bank lenders, and its strategy arose organi- cally out of an existing philoso- phy, according to Tom Vaughn, USAA's director of social media until earlier this year (he's now "Great!" you say. "Let's get THE M REPORT | 31 K, let's get it out of the way now: Why social media?

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