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How to compete with Google for the new GFE rate shoppers

Mark Madsen
Mar 01, 2010

According to their company overview, Google's mission is “To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” With a commitment to provide its users with the most relevant search results in the shortest amount of time, Google's new Mortgage Rate Quote Comparison Ad Campaign appears to be well-positioned (pun intended) in light of the new Good Faith Estimate (GFE), encouraging borrowers to shop interest rates. Since Google has the proven ability to simplify complex concepts, mortgage originators will have to get serious about education and communication in order to compete with the commoditization of mortgage rates. There are several online mortgage video communities and mortgage blog networks that have risen to the challenge of helping loan originators provide valuable consumer-focused educational information so that their clients can see the bigger picture of what's really involved in a successful mortgage transaction. While mortgage brokers adjust to new legislation, certification requirements and underwriting procedures, it is important to remember to view the home loan process from our clients’ perspective. A borrower’s need to feel like they’re getting the best deal on a loan program is simple human nature, and something that mortgage professionals should empathize with as we accommodate multiple requests for closing cost scenarios. Instead of worrying what Google says about rates at any particular moment, take this new GFE as an opportunity to regularly inform your clients about the economic and political factors that impact markets. If you're concerned about what your potential clients might find online, try contributing a series of articles to your agents’ Web sites or blogs that their viewers can read while they're still looking for properties. By building trust and authority with people ahead of time, it will be easier to get their full attention and respect when the rate debate topic comes up. Loan officers know that rates change several times throughout the day, but we forget that the typical homebuyer doesn't live and breathe mortgage-backed securities (MBS) charts on a regular basis. An educated borrower is better for our agents, underwriters and the overall stability of our communities. To get started, search for “GFE Webinars” online for a list of resources and videos that can help you get a better grasp of how to explain these new changes to your clients and referral partners. Mark Madsen is the communications manager for Raintree Mortgage, a Las Vegas-based mortgage brokerage and serves as co-chair of the NAMB Communications Committee.
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