Financial Advisors: Finding value in MortgageCS

The past few months at MortgageCS have been an incredible blur. In addition to wrapping up the initial product development cycle for launch, we spent a great deal of time on the road, presenting MortgageCS to financial advising organizations. Presentations were given to large mutual insurance companies as well as smaller, more independent, advising teams.  

Over the course of these meetings, financial advisors shared how the various components of the platform support their business better than the status quo. Here are two of the more common responses we have heard:

Streamlined mortgage shopping saves time and eliminates the hassle.

Creating and sending a mortgage quote request to 5 validated loan officers takes less time than a single phone call. MortgageCS allows users to protect their personal contact information, refresh a quote request with a single click (for those that need a pre-qual prior to buying a home), and provides ratings and performance metrics for loan officer selection. Also, comparing offers is faster and easier because all offers are collected in one spot. Financial advisors with a strategic relationship can include their known originators too – allowing all involved to benefit from a more efficient process.

Monitoring rates across an entire platform exposes money saving opportunities that were previously hidden.

Creating a rate monitor at MortgageCS is more dependable than any manual process of checking interest rates. Rate monitors at MortgageCS work around the clock by comparing the target criteria to each new offer provided to any quote request across the entire platform. Rather than a single bank or lender offering a rate watch service, MortgageCS provides real-time monitoring of offers from an entire market for comparison. Superior data and an efficient process provides for superior results at MortgageCS!

Increasing confidence when mortgage shopping

Since the early stages of building MortgageCS, we have been interacting with financial advisors to validate the platform features. Throughout this process, the platform’s ability to harness real-time mortgage data has earned and maintained a top value position. In fact, this component addresses one of the “aha” moments we learned of back in early 2015. Here is how we learned of the mortgage confidence problem – and what we did to solve it.

Uncovering the Confidence Problem

In early 2015, we conducted an anonymous survey focused on understanding buying behaviors surrounding mortgages.  We asked respondents to rank the factors they consider important in a mortgage offer.  Perhaps not surprisingly, interest rate took the top spot, followed by bank or lender fees in the second position. The next three positions were inconsistent but included proximity to institution, reputation of institution and personal relationships.

We then asked respondents to rate their level of confidence in obtaining the best loan terms for their given situation. The scale included a 5-point range from Very Confident to Not Confident At All.  Shockingly, only 9% of respondents revealed they were Very Confident. When combined with Confident, the number grew to just 21%.

According to this data, only 1 in 5 recent mortgage shoppers were Confident they obtained the best loan terms – despite it being the top priority when ranked against other factors.

How could this be?  One possible explanation can be found by looking at the existing mortgage landscape.  A fragmented market, with lots of advertising dollars and a perception of a complicated transaction could take some blame. Perhaps consumers are settling early and avoiding “pain” (a human tendency) – rather than continuing on what can be perceived as a long and complicated journey. Or, perhaps there is just no way for consumers to know, given the current tools available to the market.

Solving the Confidence Problem

We looked at what makes people feel confident when shopping. When it comes to many large buying decisions, using prices that other people paid can be a good judge of deal quality.  Anyone that has purchased a car recently, likely reviewed what others have been paying. Based on that, they either approach the car buying process with confidence or, if after the fact, may realize they overpaid. Regardless, the fact remains that access to information can create confidence in approaching a buying situation.

So, we applied this to mortgage shopping when building the MortgageCS platform.  Market Insights will collect proprietary data, harnessed within the platform, to inform consumers of “what others paid” for a mortgage that matches the key terms of their loan. This is part of our magic sauce and routinely generates a “Whoa!” reaction from financial advisors during a demo presentation.

So, will the Market Insights component solve the problem of “lack of confidence in mortgage offers”?  Based on initial reactions from professionals who have witnessed Market Insights in action, it certainly will.