Banner Ads Range In Price From Very Affordable – To Affordable
Will a few companies dominate the Internet for banner ad rates? Will the online mortgage industry consolidate and shrink to a few large players? Several of the companies interviewed felt that the Internet would result in a small number of very successful players. Certainly, the increasing cost of building a highly transactional Web site could restrict the ability of smaller players to compete on a level playing field. However, what’s expensive today could become cost-effective tomorrow, as technology advances and the transactional elements of a Web site become commodities available to every mortgage company.
In the end, it appears the only differentiating factor may be the service element. That’s not surprising. It has always been service – so the Internet, while changing everything, has changed nothing!
The Internet is dreams come true for Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., Calabasas, California. The decisions the company made more than a decade ago seem to have been made with the Internet in mind. Countrywide had already been using a decentralized, distributed computer system, which just blended with the Internet. Countrywide has all its cylinders firing on the ‘Net. Some highlights of the company’s Internet success:
* Maintains a consumer-direct Web site – one of the leading mortgage company Web sites.
* Participates in most multilender sites – including QuickenMortgage, E-LOAN, iOWN and Microsoft’s HomeAdvisor.
* Is the top wholesaler – with brokers dominating the ‘Net, this also works to Countrywide’s advantage.
* Is one of the leading correspondent lenders – many of the loans that close on the ‘Net through other lenders are eventually sold to Countrywide.
* The Countrywide brand is familiar to Realtors – Realtors are therefore less apprehensive about their buyers seeking financing over an online channel.
According to the executive vice president of Countrywide’s Electronic Commerce Division, Countrywide has no channel conflict and can freely refer borrowers to its branches or to its telemarketing units. “We want to be like Coca-Cola” he says. “No matter which grocery store you go into, you can always find it.”
Not according to Paul Burger, a loan officer at Encino, California-based Skyline Funding, whose Web site address is http://www.hotloans.com/. Burger used the Internet in 2006 to originate a cool $ 20 million, working from home. His company accrued no overhead costs and employed only one assistant, who managed Burger’s office pipeline.
Burger did not meet the majority of his clients. In fact, he did not even go into his office for three months. However, using the latest computer technology and systems such as Goldmine[R] and Citrix[R], he was able to dial into his office’s intranet and check current loan status, outstanding loan conditions, lock confirmations and expiration dates.
“The key to success on the Internet is to choose a good Internet provider who understands your business and can provide you with tools like RateTracker, use the latest automated underwriting technology like Desktop Originator[R], Loan Prospector[R] and [IndyMac’s] eMITS[R], and provide great service,” says executive vice president of Countrywide’s Electronic Commerce Division.