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LERETA University Offers Virtual Tax Service Training

LERETA, a national real estate tax and flood service provider, has created LERETA University, a web-based training platform to support and assist servicers in navigating in-depth tax servicing information.

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LERETA University is virtually led by instructors who assist servicers and their staff in real estate-specific tax servicing. Accessed through LERETAnet, the company’s existing hub and customer information portal, the LERETA University platform serves as an extension of on-site training and is focused on helping companies avoid risks that are caused by common mistakes and oversights. Inaccuracies in real estate tax servicing have the potential of costing servicers in penalties, interest and property loss not to mention having a negative effect on borrowers.

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“Training is particularly critical for staff in these roles due to the function’s inherent risk,” said Jonnine Eras, vice president of client relations at LERETA. “Tax servicing is an intricate and specialized function that requires employees to have thorough and specific knowledge. LERETA is in a position to share our resources to better equip our customers and their staff with knowledge, understanding and skill that can protect them against possible risk.”

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Since 1986, LERETA has provided a full suite of national real estate tax services for residential and commercial loans, including automated online research and certification, tax bill processing, a suite of delinquent tax services and customized tax outsourcing service programs. In addition, LERETA provides real-time flood zone determination services that include flexible levels of service based on customers’ needs.

“Sharing our resources in this area is just another way that LERETA is redefining what tax service means and what servicers should expect from their partners,” John Walsh, CEO of LERETA, added. “Our innovative technologies and dedicated team of real estate tax and flood service professionals provide our customers with the service and ongoing support they need to succeed.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Churchill Mortgage Educates High School Students

In recognition of Financial Literacy Month and as part of its commitment to financial health and education, Churchill Mortgage is providing four high schools with Ramsey Solutions’ Foundations in Personal Finance, a full curriculum that teaches students how to manage their finances and build wealth to achieve a sound financial future.

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The high schools include: Brentwood High School (Brentwood, Tenn.), Greenwood High School (Greenwood, S.C.), Pine Creek High School (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and South Ridge High School (Beaverton, Ore.).

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According to the Council for Economic Education, only five states require high school students to complete a standalone semester personal finance course before they graduate, illustrating a greater need for financial literacy initiatives. A survey of more than 76,000 high school students (conducted by Ramsey Solutions) shows that high schoolers who take personal finance courses have a greater understanding of financial concepts, such as:

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>>The differences between credit and debit cards (86%);

>>How to pay income taxes (87%)

>>How home, auto and life insurance work (90%)

>>How student loans work (94%)

Launched in 2008 by financial expert Dave Ramsey, Foundations in Personal Finance is taught in one-in-three high schools nationwide and educates students on avoiding debt, budgeting with intention and investing and building wealth. The curriculum is an easy-to-use, turn-key program that meets education standards and benchmarks in all fifty states and Jump$tart national standards. More than three million students have taken Foundations in Personal Finance curriculum nationwide.

“When established early in life, healthy financial habits can make a monumental difference in quality of life. These habits would not be possible without powerful educational resources like Ramsey Solutions’ Foundations in Personal Finance curriculum and nationwide initiatives like Financial Literacy Month,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “At Churchill, we’re dedicated to educating and helping people achieve financial freedom with the heart of a teacher. Providing this curriculum to these schools is our way of giving back and for these students, it is the first and most important step to building a strong financial foundation.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Making Advancement A Game

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Advancing the mortgage industry is hard. The mortgage industry is slow to innovate. So, when I heard that DIMONT was turning industry improvement into a game, I thought it was a great move. DIMONT, a provider of specialty insurance and collateral loss mitigation solutions to the residential and commercial financial services industries, has launched NAME THAT CLAIM, an interactive new way for clients and industry professionals to test their claimable damage knowledge and skills.

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The trivia game combines various types of claimable or non-claimable damage with estimated and actual recovery amounts secured by DIMONT and presents players with multiple-choice options for each, based off of images of damage. Players receive a certificate upon completion, indicating a skill level of Novice, Intermediate or Expert with the date played, and are invited to print their certificate and try again to increase their level.

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“We designed and developed NAME THAT CLAIM with our clients in mind,” said Anne Foltz, marketing manager at DIMONT. “Client training and education has always been an important aspect of our service offering and we are proud to release this completely customized learning solution that presents scenarios in an entirely new and innovative way.”

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A recent case study of sample claims showed that claims vendors closed an average of 6,300 files without filing a claim. However, DIMONT determined that 5.3% of those closed files did in fact contain claimable damage. After filing over 350 claims, DIMONT was able to recover $572,058 in settled claims.

The trivia game, complete with host, “Ace Claimster,” provides necessary training and education on what is and is not claimable damage and will assist loan servicers and their team’s in understanding the process, while equipping them with the knowledge to question their claims vendors if they see a peril that could in fact be claimable damage.

DIMONT will use NAME THAT CLAIM as a tool during on-site trainings and ongoing education, and plans to release new questions, levels and additional modules.

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

A New Way To Further Awareness

DIMONT, a provider of specialty insurance and collateral loss mitigation solutions to the residential and commercial financial services industries, has launched NAME THAT CLAIM, an interactive new way for clients and industry professionals to test their claimable damage knowledge and skills.

The trivia game combines various types of claimable or non-claimable damage with estimated and actual recovery amounts secured by DIMONT and presents players with multiple-choice options for each, based off of images of damage. Players receive a certificate upon completion, indicating a skill level of Novice, Intermediate or Expert with the date played, and are invited to print their certificate and try again to increase their level.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 

“We designed and developed NAME THAT CLAIM with our clients in mind,” said Anne Foltz, marketing manager at DIMONT. “Client training and education has always been an important aspect of our service offering and we are proud to release this completely customized learning solution that presents scenarios in an entirely new and innovative way.”

A recent case study of sample claims showed that claims vendors closed an average of 6,300 files without filing a claim. However, DIMONT determined that 5.3% of those closed files did in fact contain claimable damage. After filing over 350 claims, DIMONT was able to recover $572,058 in settled claims.

Featured Sponsors:

 
The trivia game, complete with host, “Ace Claimster,” provides necessary training and education on what is and is not claimable damage and will assist loan servicers and their team’s in understanding the process, while equipping them with the knowledge to question their claims vendors if they see a peril that could in fact be claimable damage.

DIMONT will use NAME THAT CLAIM as a tool during on-site trainings and ongoing education, and plans to release new questions, levels and additional modules.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

New Reverse Mortgage Education Initiative Starts

In a series of four online events next week, the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association will educate a broad range of professionals who serve older adults about the role home equity can play in meeting their clients’ financial goals. Dubbed Reverse Mortgage Education Week, April 18-22 will mark NRMLA’s first major national initiative to expand the network of professionals who understand how reverse mortgages work, their strategic uses, and new consumer safeguards for borrowers and their spouses.

“Educating kindred professionals who work with seniors has always been at the core of our mission as a trade association, but Education Week is taking our outreach to new a level and we’re looking forward to developing new relationships through the planned activities,” said NRMLA President and CEO Peter Bell.

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NRMLA is joining with the Mortgage Bankers Association on April 18, the American Society on Aging on April 19, the National Association of Realtors on April 21, and will host Meeting Your Clients’ Needs with a Reverse Mortgage on April 22, to provide professionals with an overview of the home equity conversion mortgage program and specific examples of how seniors can use a reverse mortgage to: manage the costs of in-home care services not covered by Medicare, make home modifications to safely support aging-in-place, delay collecting Social Security until age 70, protect investments from market volatility and sequence risk, pay off an existing mortgage, purchase a new home, and more.

“It’s because reverse mortgages are so versatile that NRMLA is working to educate diverse groups of professionals about the spectrum of ways a HECM can fit into a comprehensive financial plan for funding longevity,” said Bell. “By working together, across industries, we can better serve our clients whose concerns for the future range from the financial to their housing needs and options, health and wellness expectations and possibilities, access to transportation, to methods of maintaining the social engagement that brings joy to life.”

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In addition to online educational sessions next week, Bell will meet with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to educate staff and advisors about recent changes and updates to the HECM program.

Featured Reverse Mortgage Education Week speakers include leading retirement income planning expert Jamie Hopkins from the American College of Financial Services, nationally recognized gerontologist Barbara Howard, investment advisor representative/financial planner Suzette Blackburn with CapStar Financial, loan servicing expert Leslie Flynne, and NRMLA Education Committee members Craig Barnes, Lorraine Geraci, and Dan Hultquist.

More information about Reverse Mortgage Education Week webinars and registration links are available below.

Reverse Mortgage Education Week Event Calendar:

Monday, April 18
Mortgage Bankers Association
2:00 – 3:30pm ET

Recent Developments in HECM and Reverse Mortgage Lending

Tuesday, April 19
American Society on Aging
1:00 – 2:00pm ET

Planning for the Costs of Aging

Thursday, April 21
National Association of Realtors
2:00 – 3:00pm ET

What to Expect When Selling a Home Subject to a Reverse Mortgage

Friday, April 22
An Online Educational Event for Professionals who Work with Seniors
3:00 – 4:00pm ET
Meeting Your Clients’ Needs with a Reverse Mortgage

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Get Educated About TRID

Indecomm Global Services, a provider of process outsourcing, learning, and technology solutions, announces that Alice Alvey, Senior Vice President of Indecomm – Mortgage U, will be leading a free webinar on how people, policies, and procedures can be leveraged for successful Truth in Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure (TRID) implementation. Here’s the scoop:

The online webinar, TRID Implementation Beyond the LOS, is being hosted by Indecomm – Mortgage U at http://mortgage-u.com/ on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM EST.

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“The LOS is seen as either the solution or the constraint to a successful TRID implementation,” Alvey said. “Yet neither approach accounts for the vital role people and training play in the process. Their actions as well as the policies and procedures adopted by the firm to address the TRID changes are among the determining factors for success.”

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During the webinar, Alice will address:

>> Corporate Level Management Impact on Project Success

>> Staff and Team Challenges

>> TRID Impact on Job Roles and Responsibilities

>> Common Policy Decisions That Are Still Up in The Air

>> Procedure Improvement Ideas that may Save 3-5 Days in the Loan Process

“The mortgage industry continues to be in the grips of rapid regulatory flux,” said Rajan Nair, CEO, Financial Services, Indecomm Global Services. “The key to prospering in this period is building awareness and human capital. This webinar adds to the library of specialized regulatory knowledge, which Indecomm offers the industry and its clients.”

While the deadline for TRID implementation has been moved to October 3, 2015, the need for compliance officers, mortgage education providers, and compliance technology companies to rapidly prepare people, systems, and processes to comply with the rules remains an imperative. This free webinar from Indecomm – Mortgage U is aimed at helping the industry resolve TRID issues ahead of the deadline.

Join Alice for the complimentary TRID webinar by pre-registering at http://mortgage-u.com/?page_id=121.  The deadline for registration is 24 hours before the start of the webinar.

Separate from the free webinar, Indecomm – Mortgage U offers a 3-session webinar that takes participants through the Integrated Disclosure Rule, Completing the Loan Estimate, and Completing the Closing Disclosure. More information about this series can be found at http://mortgage-u.com/?page_id=7115.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Educating A New Generation Of Mortgage Execs

The inaugural class of next generation mortgage professionals has been completed by the first class of the Churchill Mortgage Academy (CMC Academy). The lender is now seeking participants for its next class, which will begin in the spring of 2015. Here’s what’s going on:

The CMC Academy is coordinated out of Churchill’s headquarters in Brentwood, Tenn. and aims to support the unique needs of younger homebuyers, while strengthening relationships with existing customers. After an evaluation, selected participants engage in an eight-month training program, where they gain essential mortgage knowledge from industry professionals and receive on-hand training from current employees. Upon successful completion of the academy, participants become licensed home loan specialists.

“For the younger generation, the home buying process can be downright intimidating,” said Seth Bellas, a graduate of Churchill’s academy and now a home loan specialist. “But the Churchill Mortgage Academy provides training and on-the-job experience that teaches you how to communicate with the borrower and make the experience enjoyable.”

Foster Kelly, another graduate of the academy, said, “I thought it was an exceptional opportunity to go through a rigorous training program and really learn the mortgage industry. During my training, several senior loan officers told me that just by going through the program, I’m leagues ahead of where they were when they first started. That created a confidence in me to do my very best.”

“Younger homebuyers approach home buying much differently than previous generations, but they still want to own a home,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “In fact, nearly three-fourths of consumers 18-34 plan to buy a home within the next several years, making it imperative that our mortgage professionals appropriately identify and address their unique concerns and home-buying needs. We’re thrilled with the success of our first CMC Academy and look forward to our next class in 2015.”

Churchill is currently accepting applicants for its next CMC Academy. To apply, please email your resume to MyFuture@ChurchillMortgage.com.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Online Training Vs. Traditional Classroom Training

You Can Download This Full Article As A PDF HERE

TME-Becky-BarbaraOne of the least discussed requirements of the CFPB is training. As part of the new regulations, a lender must have training programs and training materials provided to the staff on an ongoing basis so that they can be used to educate them on the regulatory requirements. Part of these education requirements is a thorough knowledge of the organization’s products, procedures and consumer service standards. It is no longer acceptable, at least according to the CFPB, to fail to provide accurate and timely information to a consumer.

Of course, the industry has never lacked for training programs. Numerous vendors, including the MBA, have offered training programs on any number of topics. In addition, the MBA provides various certifications for specialized areas that are deemed to meet their expectations. Today, most of these training activities are provided through online training programs that are designed to provide the necessary education when and where individuals have the time to participate. But is it effective training? Did the student retain the information and can they apply it to everyday activities? Is it sufficient to meet the complexity of dealing with consumers and other members of the industry on an ongoing basis? If the CFPB or even an investor asked to test your staff as part of a review, would they be able to pass the test? In addition, as lenders know all too well, training programs can be expensive, so it is important to ask whether you are really getting what you paid for. Are online courses giving the dollar for dollar value that face-to-face training does? In other words, are we really educating the staff or are we going through the motions and paying a high price in exchange for little value?

What is Education?

Education is defined as “a change in behavior” meaning that once a participant has become aware of or has knowledge about a subject, they will incorporate that knowledge into their actions and/or daily activities. Take, for example, someone who needs to use a spreadsheet in their work activities. If they begin working on it without any education, they may be able to work through the basics and produce some results. However, the time spent accomplishing this task will more than likely be lengthy and result in possible poor outcomes. If the individual takes a class specifically on spreadsheets with the objective of learning how to use them, the time spent producing good information will shorten and the quality of the result will be much improved. This is the value of education. In the example above, the objective for this class is clear; to learn how to work with spreadsheets. Without understanding and/or identifying the objective of the class, there is no way to determine if the expected change in behavior has been achieved. In other words was it effective? So how is senior management to know if today’s programs are working or not?

Today’s education process in the mortgage industry is a combination of online training and face-to-face instruction, with the emphasis on face-to-face instruction decreasing at a rapid pace. Management knows that staffs need to be able to take classes based on their availability and timeframes and online training accomplishes this at a much lower cost. Yet there is a belief among many that face-to-face instruction is the best approach for ensuring that the training is effective. So is it better to have paid less for training that is not effective or spend more time and money on more traditional approaches.

Therefore the most important question to answer is how does the effectiveness of online learning compare with that of face to face instruction? Most individuals in the industry would answer that if the approach used in giving classroom instruction was instead given in an online format, the level of learning that occurs would be the same. While there is some research that supports that statement there are many other facets to the education process that have to be considered. If we are truly concerned that the staff actually learn something we have to explore what is the most effective way to conduct training?

In researching these questions we came across a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education that focused on these very issues. This study looked at the effectiveness of online learning compared with face-to-face instruction while considering what practices, such as whether or not there was an online course facilitator, and conditions, such as student demographics or the instructor’s qualifications, influence the effectiveness of online learning. In addition to just online training or face-to -face instruction, the researchers included one of the newest trends in education, “blended learning” programs. Blended learning combines elements of both the face-to-face approach and online study and adds new methods of involving students in the learning process. According to Christine Cadena, in the Yahoo Contributor Network, “what makes blended learning so unique is the dynamic by which the subject material is delivered.”

What the research tells us

In conducting this study the researchers included several critical questions regarding the conceptual framework for online learning while comparing the results to actual face-to-face instruction. One of the most basic questions was determining whether the results were different when the online activities were a replacement for face-to-face or an enhancement to it. Another dimension considered was the way students actually acquire knowledge. Is the material presented to the student in a lecture or via written material manner, or is it an interactive approach in which the student has control over the content and nature of the learning while the focus of the training emerges as students and teachers interact among and between each other.

It is important for our purposes to recognize that technology can support any of these approaches. In the lecture focused approach the technology delivers the content. An example of an inactive approach would be a taped lecture that students watch on their computer or attend in a classroom. This presentation may also allow students to include digital material to address questions such as having the ability to select and read related documents as they proceed through the lecture. In interactive learning, the technology allows inaction between other students, teachers and material as well as the ability to identify material and artifacts related to the topic both while the lecture in on-going or afterward. One additional benefit to this approach is that the interaction does not need to occur at the same time, but one student can pose a question to all others in the class and have it answered by them whenever they sign in to the program. Each of these issues was taken into consideration during the course of the study.

A study conducted as part of the research compared two groups, one of which received lectures face-to-face and one that watched narrated Power Point slides shown online. Neither of these groups was given access to other online material but had access to e-mail, online chat rooms and threaded discussion forums. Upon completion of the lecture the students were evaluated to determine if the process had been effective in teaching the students. The results found that the students in the purely online section scored eight percent lower than those receiving face-to-face discussions. While this study, according to the researchers was the only one to show this decrement in performance for online programs, it is important to note that many classes and webinars in use today in the industry are presented using this very approach.

Other research, outside this study, has also supported this finding. An article, written by Arleen R. Bejerano, a doctoral student in Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, evaluated the effect of such variables as peer and teacher interaction as well as the possible misinterpretation of meanings and messages when studies are offered courses online. One of her findings indicated that there was a decline in the retention factors that occur when students do not have access to other students and faculty to support the learning activities. A second problem identified was the lack of self-discipline found in some students when involved in online education. This shows up as a failure to take the initiative to access and learn the material. Overall her studies indicate that students involved in online courses may not have the support they need in order for the course to be considered effective. Many classroom instructors will tell you that the most important part of their job is knowing when the student has really grasp the ideas and concepts being presented to them which, they believe occurs when you can see it on their faces or in their eyes. This cannot occur in an online training program.

So what methods do work best?

Does this mean that if we really want the training to be effective we should abandon online sessions and revert back to classroom instruction? The answer to that is no. There is other research, some of which was identified in the Department of Education study that shows there is no significant difference in the effectiveness of online education and face-to-face instruction. The study of pure online versus pure face-to-face education leaves many critical factors untested.

This research included various independent studies on such aspects of learning as types of media that were incorporated into a program as well as how much control individual students had over the use of the media. Other studies focused on the approach of the activities that were part of the face-to-face sessions. Studies which evaluated active versus inactive learning were also incorporated into the research as were the type and level of educational material to be learned.

When the research was completed and the various studies analyzed and compared to others, the key findings were this:

1.) Students in online conditions performed modestly better, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction. It also has to be noted that the online and face-to-face conditions generally differed on multiple dimensions, including the amount of time that students spent on task. In other words, students using online classes actually took a longer time working on the material and inculcating it into their knowledge base that those attending lectures. Having access to the educational material and taking the extra time to work on the material appears to influence this result.

2.) Instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction. When using the blended approach, which incorporated materials and/or artifacts found online, the education was more effective that allowing students in online classes access to this material. In other words, combining a face-to-face lecture with the ability to research material and collaborate with other students and teachers was more effective than allowing online students to do this alone.

3.) The positive effects were larger for studies in which the online instruction was collaborative or instructor directed than in those studies where online students worked independently. Once again this finding supports the effectiveness of the educational experience that provides for the option for students to work with others and collaborate in the educational process.

What does this mean for training in the mortgage industry?

Based on these studies it is obvious that the most effective learning is not necessarily whether it is online or face-to-face but instead, effective learning occurs best when there is access to various material and an interactive collaboration with other students and educators.

For individuals in the industry charged with ensuring that the training programs required by the CFPB are met, this means that just signing up for programs may not be sufficient to ensure that the funds spent are the most effective way to educate the staff. Rather it tells us that interactive sessions among the staff, whether online or in person will result in ensuring a broader more effective knowledge base for the company.

For senior management it means that rather than just picking online courses or allowing staff to select any related sounding program, there should be work done to evaluate these programs and imbed them in a comprehensive educational approach.

Does this ultimately mean that more money will have to be spent? That is really up to each executive to decide. However, there is one study, conducted at the University of Maryland, University College that compared the cost-effectiveness of online versus traditional classroom costs and found that while the start-up costs were basically the same the incremental costs of online courses increase at a much slower rate than traditional course costs.

Unfortunately there is no clear cut answer to the question which type of classes should the industry offer to obtain the best results. However, it does tell us that in all likelihood, what is being offered today in many of the programs is really not effective and that it is time we focus on getting our money’s worth for the education we must provide. A good question to ask oneself is “what is the most effective training style we need in order for staff to understand and comprehend what they need to know?”

About The Author

[author_bio]

Rebecca Walzak is a 32 year veteran and Industry Expert on Operational Risk Management and Organizational Control. She is a leader in developing Operational and Control automated assessments for lenders, rating agencies and investors. Walzak has expert knowledge in all areas of the mortgage industry including production, servicing and secondary. Barbara Perino is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach guiding her clients who are executive leaders and their staff. Barbara has been trained through The Coach Training Institute (CTI) located in San Rafael, CA. She completed a Coaching Certification Program through CTI and the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Prior to becoming a coach, Barbara was a 16-year veteran of the residential mortgage industry.

How About Your Own Radio Show?

Few mortgage originators are likely to have noticed that the Local Community Radio Act of 2011 enabled a major expansion of non-commercial low-power FM radio stations, those with a radius of 3 to 7 miles. However, if your best approach to lead generation is educating consumers, hosting a weekly local low-power radio show might be a very effective way to underline your credentials as a trusted financial advisor in your community. And pairing your broadcasts with Internet radio could allow you to expand your reach, especially when you support that reach with a Facebook page and other social media.

Getting yourself a weekly spot on a tiny non-commercial community radio station will not be difficult – but is it worth the trouble? There are some definite questions you’d better ask yourself before you even bother.

First of all, are you sure that you have enough to say? Describing a few do’s and don’ts about applying for a loan will not get you through your first program. Most people who apply for mortgage loans already start with the Internet, where they’ve come across plenty of Mortgage 101 tutorials. Do you have a lot more to say about (as well as to) real estate agents, builders, appraisers, landscape gardeners, and other possible referral sources you hope to gain for yourself? How successful have you already been at showcasing yourself before a mass audience? If your main claim to fame is that you are a whiz at getting loans closed quickly and reliably, a radio show may be a waste of time. Stick to Little League sponsorship and ads that pull for you.

Veteran mortgage professional Hans Bruhner is taking a serious look right now at Internet radio as a lead-generation tool. Branch manager for First Priority Financial in Sebastopol, California, he has long written his “Ask The Loan Man” column in a local newspaper and reinforces that brand with his personal website (AskTheLoanMan.com) where he posts videos discussing various mortgage-related topics.

“Internet radio seems like a good way for me to get my message out there in another way,” Hans told me. “I always wanted to do podcasting but this is simpler. If you are constantly consuming information and putting it out there with your spin on it this is an easier way to present it for your audience.” Hans said he has a lot of confidence in podcasts and online videos because he got good instruction from them when he was building his own backyard patio.

A good place to start experimenting with Internet radio is spreaker.com, where you can create an account immediately and start recording half-hour programs for free. You can practice there and add background music to record a professional-sounding introduction. You can hold off actual broadcasting until you are satisfied that your voice is coming across as confident, professional and appealing. Once you pick a time slot and start broadcasting live, spreaker enables you to send automatic e-mail alerts to your followers on Facebook. Spreaker posts listener stats on your individual homepage so you can track your audience-building success. You also can e-mail recorded shows as podcasts.

If you catch a serious Internet radio bug, you may decide to switch from spreaker to BlogTalkRadio, which allows you to host a live call-in Internet broadcast via compute and phone. You can host up to five callers at a time if you want to host a round-table discussion on, say, proving a borrower’s ability to pay or the most effective ways for borrowers to use FHA 203k loans. As with spreaker, shows are archived as podcasts, with half-hour shows for free and longer shows requiring a subscription fee. BlogTalkRadio is widely lauded as the leading Web-based talk-show platform. Currently mortgage mainstays like David Lykken have successful lending radio shows through BlogTalkRadio.

Low-power FM and Internet radio can be useful tools for mortgage originators to differentiate themselves from competitors by showcasing their superior expertise – provided, of course that their expertise is genuinely superior. But lax preparation and thin show content will be disastrously counterproductive. The barrier to entry into successfully marketing yourself on radio is careful preparation. “If you just want to regurgitate a bunch of second-hand information, stay home,” said First Priority’s Bruhner.

About The Author

[author_bio]

Since 1996, when he wrote “NetSuccess: How Real Estate Agents Use the Internet,” Scott Kersnar has been chronicling the development of technology in real estate finance. He is a past editor of Mortgage Technology magazine.

Educating The Homebuyer Matters

*Educating The Homebuyer Matters*
**New Partnership Forms**

buyer-teaching***The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced that the initial stage of its partnership with EverFi, the nation’s leading education technology company, will provide interactive, web-based financial literacy education to more than 10,000 Americans across the United States as part of the Association’s Financial Fitness USA program. EverFi helps banks and other financial institutions drive innovation in financial literacy education through its learning platforms with their customers and employees or in local schools.

****“We are thrilled to partner with EverFi, a leader in technology-based education, to deliver financial literacy products to Americans across this country,” said MBA President and CEO David H. Stevens. “MBA and its members are constantly looking for new ways to invest in communities and serve our neighbors, and our partnership with EverFi is doing just that.”

****“We are thrilled to partner with EverFi, a leader in technology-based education, to deliver fin“Today’s consumers are digitally savvy and do almost everything online, from paying bills to finding a new home,” said EverFi CEO Tom Davidson. “EverFi learning platforms enable companies to educate consumers in a fun, engaging, new-media way – all while aligning their brand with an educational mission using robust analytics to measure the impact of their efforts.”

****“We are thrilled to partner with EverFi, a leader in technology-based education, to deliver finFour financial institutions — Arvest Bank, BrandMortgage, Sente Mortgage and US Bank — have already signed on to bring EverFi’s cutting-edge, new-media technology to the communities they serve. Together, their programs will provide financial fitness courses to more than 10,000 adults and high school students. MBA and EverFi plan to announce additional participating financial institutions in the coming weeks.

****“We are thrilled to partner with EverFi, a leader in technology-based education, to deliver fin“BrandMortgage is utilizing EverFi’s adult platform with our first-time homebuyer mortgage loan product to ensure that clients are fortified in the area of core financial competencies, and we donate the product to our non-profit partners with a supportive housing focus,” said Deirdra Cox, President and Community Development Officer of BrandMortgage, a wholly owned subsidiary of BrandBank. “Further, BrandBank uses the EverFi platform in 20 Gwinnett County high schools, 51% of which serve lower-middle income populations, thereby helping us meet CRA eligibility criteria. The more we improve graduation rates, credit profiles, and homeowner success rates in the communities we serve, the more we all win.”

****“We are thrilled to partner with EverFi, a leader in technology-based education, to deliver finMBA’s Financial Fitness USA program brings together lenders from across the country to help educate homeowners and potential homeowners on the core concepts of personal finance – mortgages, credit scores, savings, student loans, planning for retirement, and others.

****“We are thrilled to partner with EverFi, a leader in technology-based education, to deliver finEverFi@Work is a turnkey way for companies to empower their adult customers or employees with the skill-set to successfully manage their finances and make sound financial decisions. The platform features eight modules covering such critical topics as mortgages, taxes, overdraft protection, identity protection, 401Ks, savings, and investments. Interactive lessons focus on skill building, from choosing the right insurance plan to building good credit. The program can be seamlessly integrated into business-banking, rewards programs, local advertising, and other key areas. Back-end analytics provide robust data on number of users reached, user progress, polling results, top referring URLs, and more.

****“We are thrilled to partner with EverFi, a leader in technology-based education, to deliver finFinancial institutions can also private-label EverFi technology in local schools. The high school platform uses the latest in new media technologies – video, animations, 3-D gaming, avatars, and social networking – to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation, covering critical topics including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401Ks and other critical concepts that map to national financial literacy standards.  The learning platform tracks knowledge gain as well as students’ attitudes and behaviors on these important issues.

****“We are thrilled to partner with EverFi, a leader in technology-based education, to deliver finEverFi’s network now extends to more than 5,000 high schools, colleges and universities, including 69 of the 100 top school districts in the United States, such as Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Houston and Los Angeles. The company has cumulatively reached more than 5.5 million consumers with its suite of learning platforms.

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