I’ve recently blogged about Zillow Mortgage Marketplace and the fact that it has proven to be a terrific platform for lenders to connect with borrowers. Unfortunately this is one of those products where success doesn’t necessarily beget more success because borrowers aren’t prone to brag to their friends about this terrific place that they found a mortgage (yawn), and lenders aren’t likely to share marketing successes with their competitors. But occasionally a lender testimonial crosses my inbox that’s too good not to repost.
Here are excerpts from an email from a California lender in Zillow Mortgage Marketplace who’s a loan officer at one of the biggest banks in the country. (All types of lenders are welcome on ZMM – independent mortgage brokers, regional mortgage banks, and national mortgage banks, and all flavors in between).
Hi John and Michael [they are his account managers at Zillow] – I’ve talked to several [other] MLOs who have also used Zillow, and we have all seen increased business from this website. Zillow offers something that would otherwise be almost impossible to find through any other operation – a continual, non-stop steady stream of buyers who are ready to move forward and are looking for a good loan officer (and lender) to work with.
Through Zillow, we have acquired new clients for million dollar loans; clients who come to us with top credit scores and great income and healthy assets. These are ideal clients for [our bank] - some have switched assets to [our in-house money management firm], and the potential is great for more investments, as well as clients for [other of our] banking products. These new clients are also great pipeline additions; I have done several refis for clients who originally did a purchase loan with me in the past 2 years, and several have referred their friends to me. Unless a mortgage loan officer works in a high end community (which I do not), it is very difficult to acquire jumbo loans. (The average selling price in my area is $200,000 - $500,000.) The top producing Realtors in such high valued areas, from my experience, have long term relationships with established lenders (and are being courted by other local lenders) and are not likely to call on a mortgage loan officer in another area simply based on a marketing piece received by mail or email. And of course, it is difficult if not impossible for a mortgage loan officer to travel all over the state to attempt to create new Realtor relationships in person.
With Zillow, I was able to establish a relationship with a long distance borrower first, and then get introduced to their Realtor. As a result, I now have several long distance Realtor relationships throughout my state, and these have brought me continued business and leads. Without Zillow, I would not have these relationships.
In today’s modern computerized society, the majority of buyers who do not already have a relationship with a mortgage agent (or a Realtor-referred loan agent), are either going online to find the best loan, or they are stopping at their local bank. I do not currently work in a bank branch, so I am missing out on that opportunity to reach buyers. Using Zillow on the other hand did give me the opportunity to be connected with serious buyers, in great numbers.
If you're a lender and you want to learn more about Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, please call 877-661-3171 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (and tell them Spencer sent you!). If you're a real estate agent, you're probably saying to yourself “thanks but no thanks, I already have a lender to whom I refer clients.” Yes, I know. But many of your clients are going to seek out competing loans through other channels anyway, just to keep your guy honest. You can gain a lot of credibility with your clients by referring them into the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace where they can get free, customized quotes from lenders and remain anonymous until they're ready to select which lender(s) to speak with. Try it for yourself. After all, if you haven’t refinanced yet, you should.