Banner Ad Placement Done Right
A survey conducted on online industry asked respondents how they felt about online mortgage auction sites. Industry Banner Ad Placement participating in this year’s survey expected these sites to have only limited success. Only 17 percent of mortgage companies surveyed felt that auction sites like Priceline.com would succeed. Price line will not work. They are just another intermediary and provide no real value to consumers.
However, 61 percent of consumers surveyed felt that auction sites would dominate the Internet. As yet, no auction site has released numbers, so it is too early to tell how these sites will actually fare. Other such auction type offerings in addition to Priceline.com are those sponsored by Charlotte-based LendingTree, Atlanta-based RealEstate.com’s Mortgage Auction and IMX Mortgage Exchange, San Ramon, which is accessed through mortgage brokers.
The number of companies posting current rate information is on the rise. This particular finding posted a big increase – from 44 percent indicated in the 2006-2006 survey to 65 percent in this year’s survey.Most web sites are currently profitable. More than 61 percent of companies stated that their web site pays for itself. The average company responding to our poll spent only $ 8,716 developing a Web site and spends only $ 864 per month maintaining it. This resulted in an average cost of $ 19,084 per year. Of those surveyed, 74 percent said they outsourced the development of their company’s Web site. This was a slightly higher percentage than indicated by last year’s survey respondents, of whom only 69 percent outsourced site development. Of those companies, more than half (53 percent) are happy with their current Internet provider; however, 23 percent were not happy with their current provider.
Mortgage Company Web Sites are continuing to add new functionality to attract and retain potential consumers. Sixty-nine percent of companies surveyed stated that online loan applications were an essential part of their Web site, while 57 percent stated that providing calculators and interactive tools helped their company originate more loans through the Internet.
Consumers are demanding sites with quick, accurate and secure responses to questions and quotes, with published rates and itemized fees. They want an explanation of the loan programs and details on the loan process. A consumer responding to the survey commented, “I would like the Web site to take all the information needed to complete the process, with the signature being the only exception.” Other consumers stressed the need for phone numbers in case they wanted to speak to someone.
The web is resulting in increased competition. Many of the survey respondents are using the Web to expand their geographical reach and are doing business in areas where they haven’t been able to do business before. Web-based companies are rapidly becoming licensed in additional states in a bid to increase their originations. Several companies responding to the survey stressed the need for a national lending license.
Capturing business on the Internet is difficult, however, and is expected to get even more so as competition intensifies. Consumers shop with mouse clicks and exhibit little loyalty. Also, the quality of leads generated over the Internet is of concern. Thirty-seven percent of the companies polled in our survey stated that Internet leads have a much higher fallout rate than loans generated through traditional channels.
Notably, 27 percent of those companies believed that leads taken from the Internet were superior to leads snared by other channels. It is our feeling that perhaps these companies have discovered the right way to approach Internet consumers.