People watching the Super Bowl this year were treated to a knock-down victory by the Denver Broncos — but those looking to buy a house may have had something else grabbing their attention. A plethora of new firms took to the airwaves, broadcasting information about their mortgage offerings in a whole new light. The real estate industry has been famously slow to adapt to the Internet age, but this ad campaign may indicate the tipping point to more aggressive digital offerings from real estate professionals across the board.
Rocket Mortgage, a new self-service tech offering from Quicken Loans, made the message crystal-clear by comparing their digital sales transition to the ones seen in the music, travel and retail industries. Online prequalification was a popular selling point, with SoFi (short for “Social Finance, Inc.”) promising more house for less headache and regional advertiser Guaranteed Rate touting their “anytime, anywhere” applications.
Although some viewers took to social media to decry the ads’ insensitivity to the lingering financial effects from 2008’s subprime mortgage crisis, the vast majority of the commercials were well received, prompting positive Internet buzz and increased chatter about mortgage options.
So what does this mean for the real estate industry in 2016? Despite the fact that the housing market is still recovering from the recession, and the mortgage industry is dealing with complex new regulation, many Americans are optimistic that the new digital offerings are a sign of good things to come.
The enhanced speed and convenience of online loan applications are a major client draw. In a 2015 survey conducted by J.D. Power & Associates, a whopping 36% of Millennial respondents (and 23% of those polled overall) said they were willing to pay a premium for expedited loan application processing. The same survey also revealed that the vast majority of respondents had experienced redundant and/or unnecessary document submission requests, further slowing down the process.
The key takeaway for loan professionals is that the online revolution is here to stay. What was once a drawn-out process is now being simplified by consumers’ ability to grant access to primary sources of data like bank accounts and credit history. Customers who complete their loan application through new media channels report significantly higher satisfaction scores than those who used mail or fax. The savvy real estate professional should be looking for ways to strengthen their digital presence and use new media tools for their services.
As far as title insurance and closing support goes, lenders and loan officers can come to Acuity National Real Estate Solutions for cutting-edge technology, document management, and 24/7 closing support. Visit our homepage to find out more about our title, escrow and closing services.