There is intense pressure on lenders today; origination volumes are down, constantly changing rules and regulations have significantly added to the cost to originate loans and competition is fierce. Lenders are looking for innovative ways to attract new borrowers. Online loan applications and lead generation will increase as lenders look to find more profitable ways to originate.
In today’s market many borrowers start the mortgage process online, searching for local companies or the lowest rate from national lenders. It is critical to have a presence where potential borrowers are starting the mortgage process. Unfortunately, just having a website is no longer enough. Borrowers expect more from their lender and that includes a great website.
Below are some points for what we think makes for a great mortgage website.
- Visually appealing design that matches corporate branding
Brand consistency across all aspects of your corporate brand is vital. But beyond brand consistency, a great website delivers appealing design that doesn’t look like every one of your competitors’ website.
- Simple navigation menus (“Don’t Make Me Think”)
Too many times companies over complicate their website. They try to inform the prospect of every conceivable thing that they offer or could potentially provide. The problem is that when navigation is complicated your potential borrower just goes to one of your competitors instead of trying to figure out your navigation. Simple, intuitive navigation is what today’s borrowers are looking for.
- Useful content for borrowers and referral partners
Borrowers and your referral partners are looking for content that is engaging and useful. Great websites deliver highly engaging and relevant content that allows borrowers to make an informed decision so that they can do business with your organization and stop searching your competitors’ websites.
- Powerful Call-to-Action buttons (“Apply Online”)
You can create a website that is visually appealing with simple navigation and great content and still not get the potential borrowers business because they didn’t know what to do next. Powerful Call-to-Action buttons direct the borrower to what they need to do next and help lock in your prospect.
- Domain name that’s easy to remember
The goal of a great website is to make it easy for your prospective borrowers to do business with you. Having a domain name that is easy to remember allows your prospect to easily remember your website when the time comes for them to begin their mortgage process online.
- Integration to back office systems (LOS & CRM)
Along with a great web experience for your potential borrowers, great websites deliver integration with your back office systems (LOS), which helps increase the profitability of each loan by saving you time and significantly reducing errors.
- Can be updated quickly (doesn’t take a week)
Great websites allow businesses to quickly and easily update their website to respond to constantly changing market conditions and competitive forces. If it takes weeks to update your website your competitive advantage will be lost.
- Mobile and tablet device friendly
Today’s borrowers are on the go and accessing website from their mobile phones and tablets. Your website must be mobile and tablet friendly or your potential borrower will just look elsewhere.
Great websites deliver a dynamic user experience while leveling the playing field for lenders of all sizes.
About The Author
Wayne Steagall is the Founder and President of Lending Manager. As President of the company, Wayne works to help mortgage companies take their business online. He works with both customers and partners to help streamline their mortgage processes through automation and technology integrations. Over the last 18 months Lending Manager has expanded to over 3,500 loan officers currently process over $2 billion in loan applications online per month.