Myers eases the online transitionEric C. PeckMyers Internet, NCAMP, Web design, company Web sites San Jose, California-based Myers Internet Services recently formed a strategic alliance with the North Carolina Association of Mortgage Professionals (NCAMP) to enhance the presence of the Mortgage Broker on the Internet and ease the transition to online brokering. "We are excited about this partnership with Myers Internet Services because of their strong focus on the mortgage industry," said NCAMP Executive Director Mike Borden, CAE. "Myers offers a high volume of mortgage-related Web sites and we are pleased that our membership can now take advantage of the company's many Web-related options." In addition to the recent NCAMP alliance, Myers has pre-existing relationships with several other National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) affiliates including the California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB), the Massachusetts Mortgage Association (MMA), and the Oregon Association of Mortgage Brokers (OAMB). At the NAMB 2000 Annual Convention and Showcase, Myers and NAMB also announced an alliance to enhance NAMB members' Web capabilities and allow them to receive a 20 percent discount on Web site set-up fees. "There are five different packages available to brokers and depending on the level of the package, brokers get features such as mortgage calculators and many other useful online applications," said Warren Myer, CEO of Myers Internet Services. Myers currently offers the broker seven different design cells. Once a broker selects their cell, they may add things such as company logos, corporate biographies, etc. Each site is also given a custom domain name. The process is done entirely online and takes approximately 10-15 minutes. Myers Internet Services provides all of the default content, and once the site is completed, brokers may go online and make updates at any time. "We have seen a dramatic rise in the number of Mortgage Brokers getting Web sites," noted Mr. Myer. "In the last quarter alone, we saw a 50 percent increase in new Web site orders from the previous quarter. Our goal at Myers Internet Services is to electronically link the entire mortgage process, from the consumer to the broker to the wholesale lender, right up until closing." Brokers who sign up with Myers will also have access to the company's other online products, BestRate and LoanApp. BestRate acts as a rate search engine in which consumers enter data such as points, fees, and geographic location and are given a list of brokers registered with BestRate who meet the desired criteria. For a monthly fee of $80, brokers set up shop in a virtual mortgage shopping mall where consumers may browse or contact brokers directly. LoanApp is a mortgage auction site where consumers fill out an online loan application, submit it, and have approximately 400 registered LoanApp brokers bid on the loan. Like BestRate, consumers can specify points, fees, and geographic location. When the bids are in, four different brokers will simultaneously receive the contact information and try to get their business. On the horizon, Myers is working on a complete online solution for Mortgage Brokers that would not only allow them to perform basic mortgage-related online tasks, but run their entire business through the Internet. "We are developing a portal through which a broker can log on, download their applications, see what leads have come in, and update their sites" explained Mr. Myer. "There will also be links to affiliated service providers such as appraisers and direct mail marketers. Ideally, this portal will electronically replace the highly paper-intensive mortgage loan process." As consumers increase their Web savvy, brokers too must recognize this fact and adapt to the E-mortgage environment. Consumers are utilizing the Web as an educational tool to increase their knowledge of the highly-complex mortgage process. "Research from Morgan Stanley indicates that 60 percent of consumers are going online to shop for mortgages," noted Mr. Myer. "Consumers may not apply online but they are going to further educate themselves through the Internet so when they walk into a mortgage office, they know the latest rates and programs available."