More than a decade ago, the notion of a "new economy" crashed and burned with Pets.com and many of its NASDAQ compatriots. But thanks to the millennial generation, which seems to have been born with a smartphone or tablet in its hand, online commerce is back with a vengeance – and it’s here to stay.
We are living in an age where social endorsements, such as “likes”, “re-tweets”, and “favorites,” have become vital marketing currency—and Cyber Monday has surpassed Black Friday in terms of retail power. People in their 20's and 30's aren’t just buying books, shoes and music online—they are running their businesses with nothing more than a tablet and a wi-fi connection, negotiating car purchases with multiple dealerships, and managing all aspects of their finances through their favorite apps. Why should purchasing a home and securing a mortgage be any different?
It shouldn’t be ... and it won’t be for long. Nearly 70 percent of home shoppers use mobile apps during their homebuying process to compare home prices and review listings, and Fannie Mae recently found that roughly half of recent mortgage borrowers have obtained a mortgage quote or looked for a mortgage lender online.
Those borrowers, many of whom are already banking through mobile apps, expect to be able to do more within the mortgage process over their mobile devices. Similar to other banking domains (or anything transaction-related), borrowers are prepared to engage their lender end-to-end through their phones – from submitting a mortgage application to managing documents, tracking filing deadlines, completing closing activities, and sharing their great experience with the world.
There is a wise proverb that says, “Listen closely, opportunity knocks softly.” In this case, the opportunity is for differentiation among mortgage originators pursuing the “Facebook generation” of home buyers. And with the first-time homebuyer averaging 31 years old, expect borrowers’ demand for 24/7 accessibility and responsiveness from their originator to dramatically increase. Listen carefully and be ready!
Rajesh Bhat is the CEO and co-founder of Roostify, a provider of automated real estate transaction technology. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Roostify provides a new Web and mobile service that benefits borrowers, lenders, and agents. Rajesh may be reached by phone at
(888) 908-2470 or e-mail [email protected]