California real estate buyers have decided they want to pre-qualify themselves at midnight, in their pajamas.
How do I know this? Two words: MOBILE APP.
Buyers love it.
After inviting some of my borrowers to apply using the mobile app, I noticed 2 things:
- Buyers were on it at all hours playing with the mortgage calculator. (I am notified when they use it)
- Being able to do a complete loan application via text seemed to be a delicious freedom. (Uploading documents by snapping a picture? Yes! Applying at midnight? On the phone? Yes!).
None of this should be surprising. We've all been trained that buying anything else is only a matter of 15 seconds on the phone. It shows up a day or so later on your front porch.
They're Just Not That Into Me?
Mobile app users don't care a hoot about meeting with me. Heck, they don't even want to email, or talk on the phone.
Are home buyers just not that into me? Have I been replaced by technology?
It sure seems that way.
Yesterday, I got a disturbing email from a client who wanted to refer me a friend. Those buyers were reluctant to contact me because they feared an obligation would result. They didn't want to be chased for months while they shopped for a house. They did not want me to refer them to a Realtor who would also chase them, call them, email them
The Do It Yourself Homebuyer
They told me they just wanted to be free agents. To cruise the Internet and open houses. They might choose their agent via an open house. But here's the key: they would be buying in 2020.
And so, they got the mobile app. Instead of me. And without hesitation, those free agents began to use it. Again and again.
Apparently, being a free agent means free to calculate their own payments, in their own private space, without any help or conversation from me.
I miss face to face meetings with clients. But I am willing to roll with this.
Because when they are ready to go, my application will be there waiting. On the app. Along with my picture, and the picture of my preferred Realtor.
And that's when it gets real.
Written by Janet Guilbault, Platinum Home Mortgage Company, Walnut Creek Branch
Your comments and perspective are always welcome.