Lender Launches Consumer-Facing Website Touting Benefits Of Working With Mortgage Brokers

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) has launched a consumer-facing website,, dedicated solely to promoting the advantages of working with a mortgage broker for borrowers as well as real estate professionals, and helping both groups easily locate mortgage brokers in their area.

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UWM created the website to enhance awareness of mortgage brokers as a better option than large banks and mega retail lenders for three groups: consumers looking to get a residential loan; real estate professionals who want to build reliable partnerships and empower their clients; and bank or retail loan originators who are looking for the best place to work.

“Consumers are constantly inundated with advertising from banks and mega retail lenders that is only focused on interest rates, but there is more to a mortgage than the rate. More focus should be on finding the best program and lowest overall monthly payment for their specific needs, and the interest rate is only a small part of that,” said Mat Ishbia, President and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage. “A local mortgage broker will educate consumers on the full picture, clearly lay out all the options available from multiple lenders, and help them find the best possible deal. gives consumers nationwide a platform to easily locate nearby mortgage brokers and learn about why they’re the best choice for getting a mortgage.”

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In addition to serving as an educational guide of written and video content explaining the value of mortgage brokers, the website provides a nationwide database of mortgage brokers filtered by location.

“Mortgage brokers are the best way for people to get a mortgage, but it’s difficult for people to use a broker if they don’t know where to find one. This website will make it easy to find a mortgage broker that is local to them,” Ishbia said.

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Investing in this website to ensure that borrowers are educated on why mortgage brokers are best further supports UWM’s commitment to growing the independent mortgage broker channel.

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Wholesale Lender Improves The Broker Experience

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), the No. 1 wholesale mortgage lender in the nation, has launched their newly designed, fully integrated website that was built to serve as a one-stop shop for mortgage brokers. Here’s the significance:

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“A lot of research went into finding the content and tools that our clients most frequently look for online, and we built to be the destination to fulfill all those needs,” said Mat Ishbia, President and CEO of UWM. “We’ve upgraded to an all-inclusive hub of information and resources that is relevant to everyone in the mortgage industry. Now, originators, owners and processors can spend less time searching the web for tools and news and focus more of their time on obtaining new business and providing exceptional service to their clients.”

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The new seamlessly integrates with UWM’s EASE loan origination system. The websites gives users one-click access to improved tools that enable them to start a loan, manage their pipeline, and grow their business.

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The site also provides mortgage professionals with easy access to essential tools designed to make their jobs more efficient, all at no cost, including:

>>Pulling all-encompassing home value reports

>>Getting answers to guideline questions using the “Ask UWM” smart search engine

>>Monitoring current market trends with lock alerts

>>Comparing interest rates and fees between multiple lenders

>>Reading the latest mortgage industry news

To take a tour UWM’s new website and learn more about how it will centralize business practices of mortgage professionals, visit

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Using Technology To Attract Borrowers

In this case, Denver, Colorado-based Reason Real Estate unveiled its new website and brokerage model this June. With new home search tools, a data-centric team, and a model based in creativity and flexibility, the firm and aims to give local home buyers and sellers an edge as the summer home buying season peaks.

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Summer and back to school time brings a fresh seasonal rush to the real estate market. With interest rates still near historic lows, and rents sky high, local buyers and property investors are expected to be out in force over the next few months of fair weather.

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To aid them in their quest Reason Real Estate has made its new website live, complete with new home search tools, access to market data and trends, and insights for investors. The easy-to-navigate portal makes it a breeze to find single family houses, condos, multifamily properties, and land for new construction homes. Right from the home page buyers will instantly see brand new Denver property listings, as well as those which have just reduced prices. Find it online at There is also a free mobile app which can be downloaded from the resources section.

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Reason Real Estate specializes in serving South Metro Denver, including: Denver, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Parker, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, and beyond. The boutique brokerage has differentiated itself in the city by committing to a ‘Single Agency’ approach; meaning it only represents one party in a transaction. Most area brokerages and Denver brokers will act as ‘transaction brokers’ to facilitate the buying and selling party getting together, while ceasing to be a client’s fiduciary and partner. Reason prides itself on bringing a factual approach, with top-notch negotiation talent, to get their buyer clients the right property, at the best possible terms and price, and their seller clients the maximum return on their property investment.

Broker-Owner Michael Schaffer says this approach recently “helped one client close with an immediate 15% equity gain on the purchase of a home,” and “with our attention to market intel, we can provide buyers key information like the value certain architectural differences, valuation of improvements and renovation, or how new zoning regulations or developments like the expanding presence of nearby multi-family rentals can impact them in the future.”

Michael Schaffer is a 12+ year resident of the Denver area, holds an MBA from a Top 25 ranked school, and is a former Hollywood talent agent and professional poker player and coach. Today he thrives on delivering fantastic home buying and selling experiences to Denver residents, while giving them a tenable advantage in the market.

Vendor Launches Dynamic New Branding And Website

MRG Resources Group, LLC has launched a new brand and website. After months of hard work and dedication, the company has rolled out its new website. Here’s why MRG did this:

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MRG’s goal with this new website is to provide its clients and visitors an easier way to learn about how MRG’s services and solutions can assist with mitigating their risk while taking the guesswork out of the constantly changing compliance landscape.

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As a lender, you should be focused on generating and maintaining a profitable business in this volatile market, rather than constantly worrying about the enormous and ever changing regulatory landscape. Your burden is too great and the risk is too high to rely solely on your internal staff to provide legally defensible compliance.

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As these pressures mount, you are faced with an immediate and compelling need to re-evaluate and update your institution’s capacity to successfully respond, analyze and competently implement mandated changes. This includes your ability to produce compliant disclosures and documents for all your lending needs.

MRG hopes that you find the new website informative and easy to access to assist you in easing your compliance burden. Check out the new website at:

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New Informative Website Launches

Specialized Data Systems, Inc., a software development company that provides Loan Origination Solutions (LOS) and Risk Management Solutions to the financial industry is proud to announce the launch of their newly enhanced corporate website; The new website will feature information on both the loan origination and operational risk management product divisions.

Additionally, the enhanced site offers a user-friendly layout, which is easier to navigate. Individuals can access information on the loan origination and operational risk management software, gain key industry insights, learn how technology is solving industry pain points, read the most recent newsletters, and learn more about how the company is delivering much needed solutions to the financial services marketplace.

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The interactive site delivers many enhanced navigation tools. Simply click on “schedule a live demo” to set up a personalized demo with one of our experienced product managers for either RemoteLender or RemoteComply. To learn more about each product and the service each product offers simply click on “download product sheet” and select the product you’re interested in learning about.

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Marc Riccio, President and CEO of Specialized Data Systems, has commented on the launching of the new website: “We have spent a great deal of time and resources to deliver a dynamic user experience that provides key industry insights and detailed product solutions through this highly professional web site that we are proud to display.”

Specialized Data Systems is extremely excited for this launch, which will go live February 23, 2016.

A Creative Use Of Public-Record Data

CoreLogic has signed an agreement with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services to provide public record parcel data for every state and county in which Howard Hanna operates, including sold data going back 10 years. With more than 7,000 sales associates and 205 offices in eight states, Howard Hanna is the fourth largest real estate company in America.

“Today, only third-party websites have a page for every parcel,” said Chris Bennett, General Manager of Real Estate Solutions for CoreLogic. “Look up any address on a portal and they have a page of information built regardless of the property being an active or recently sold listing. If you looked on for an off-market listing last month, you would have received a message that the property was not found. With the help of CoreLogic, all of that has changed. Now every property has its own permanent page.”

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CoreLogic offers data for 99.9 percent of U.S. property records, representing more than 3,100 counties and 5,000 data fields, many of which are updated daily. In total, CoreLogic has more than 4.5 billion records spanning 50 years.

“We fulfill three enormous strategic goals for Howard Hanna with this data acquisition,” said Howard Hanna Executive Hoby Hanna. “First, from an SEO perspective, we will develop more authority for every property in our marketplace. Secondly, consumers will find information on every property in the market place, not just active listings. This will inform what transactions have happened in the neighborhood around a subject property and when. This leads to the third benefit of creating landing pages to develop opportunities for our company to invite homeowners to generate a seller inquiry on their property.”

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“Howard Hanna is striving to maintain its website as a center of excellence that differentiates its services,” said Bennett. “Public record data is the next frontier for brokers who intend to compete for consumer engagement online. By licensing CoreLogic data, Howard Hanna is aiming to beat the big portals at their own game and invest in long-term success.”

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Fireman Phil, Not To The Rescue

A few years ago, I became enveloped with an overpowering sense of altruism and decided to get involved in a volunteer program in my neighborhood. Since I am a desk jockey by profession, I figured that it would make sense if my volunteer work involved a bit of physical activity and intensity. Thus, I decided to poke around at the volunteer fire departments and EMS operations in my area.

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Long story short: I never got a chance to become involved with the local volunteer fire departments or EMS operations. My efforts to become a good citizen were short circuited by slopping technology and indifferent human actions. There might be a good business lesson in here – after all, ineptitude knows no boundaries, and many industries share the same mistakes when it comes to their online and in-person activities.

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Here are some of the practical business lessons that I learned from this weird experience:

  1. Make sure your website is in working order. One site for an EMS group had its officers’ e-mail addresses listed – but when I tried to contact them, all of my messages bounced back. Another site had a PDF application to download, but it turned out that their software was a bit off-kilter and I was never able to open the application.
  2. Make sure your website has all of the necessary functions in place. One site allowed me to download a PDF application to fill out, but it did not provide an address (either e-mail or snail mail) where I should submit the application. Two sites requested that I fill out my application online, which is fine, except that they wanted my Social Security number; one of those sites also wanted my driver’s license number. Neither site was secured, so I would be making my important data openly available to any joker who wanted to hack into them. Can you say “identity theft”? (I must say that I am amused by the idea of a public safety site that is unsafe.)
  3. Acknowledge all inquiries. The site with the bounced-back e-mails did list a phone number. I called and left two messages, but neither was returned. I submitted my application to that group by fax and mail, but no one contacted me. Separately, I e-mailed one of the sites with the unsecured application to alert them of this problem, but my message was ignored.
  4. Avoid last minute call-outs. The one group that actually acknowledged my inquiries – a volunteer fire department in the neighboring town – twice asked me to visit special events they were hosting. That was very nice, except that the invitations came less than 24 hours before each respective event. Since I already made plans for those days that could not be altered, I had to decline. If I knew about the events in advance (which could’ve been done very easily), I would’ve been able to participate. Strangely, the person who made those last-minute invitations seemed a little annoyed that I couldn’t drop everything to join in.
  5. Keep your appointments. That group in the fourth example invited me to visit their HQ. I agreed to show up at a specific time to meet with a specific person. I was on time, but my contact person wasn’t there – he decided to go out on a meal run with two of his colleagues. Needless to say, one of his comrades at the fire station (who did know I was coming) had to fill in and keep me occupied until my contact person returned – 20 minutes after I arrived.
  6. Listen to people and don’t force your agenda where it is not wanted. When the contact person from the fifth example finally showed up, he was very happy to meet me, but for the wrong reason. He knew that I had years of experience as a public relations specialist and he wanted a PR person to help improve the public perception of his volunteer fire department. The only problem was that I was interested in learning how to become a volunteer firefighter – I had no desire to coordinate PR programs as a volunteer. (I get paid for that type of work, thank you.) When I kept mentioning I was more interested in firefighter training, this guy didn’t seem to be paying much attention at first. When it finally sank in that he was not getting a free PR rep, he then told me there were other duties I could possibly consider, such as volunteer janitorial work within their HQ (and, no, I am NOT making that up!).
  7. Have someone with a brain answering the phones. Out of frustration at being ignored by so many different volunteer public safety entities, I called an EMS group outside of my immediate area and got some loopy old timer on the phone. All I wanted was for him to leave a message for the person in charge of volunteer membership reviews, but you’d think I was explaining the space-time continuum to him – I had to repeat myself four times just to get him to leave the message with the person in charge. My message was never returned.

If any of these examples mirror what is happening in your office, then you need to get your office in better shape. As for those volunteer public safety groups – all I can say is if that’s how they treat people reaching out to them to become a volunteer, I shudder to think how they respond to people who call up with life-threatening emergencies.

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Must Haves When Building A Financial Services Website


Brian-GreenbergIt’s an amazing feeling when someone contacts your business through the company Web site and is completely sold during the telephone follow up. Unfortunately, countless professionals end up losing business because their Web site is poorly designed and does not utilize an efficient process for generating and capturing leads. I have made a living selling life insurance through my own Web site and have also worked as an Internet marketer building and optimizing hundreds of Web sites for other business owners.
Over time, I’ve keyed in on a few specific factors that set a successful site apart from one that does not serve a company well…or at all. The following are five of the most important elements to include on your Web site to successfully build a business and a favorable online reputation in kind.

Professional Design

As a business professional, you must always put your best foot forward to not only attract clients but also to inspire confidence and trust. A Web site is a business card, a Yellow Pages advertisement, a brochure, a sales kit, a lead engine and so much more. For many, professional Web design is simply a re-allocation of marketing dollars, and the money spent on your site will likely result in a better ROI than any other type of advertising or communication strategy.

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How much should you invest in professional Web development? That depends. The cost of developing a Web site can range from a few hundred dollars to over $30,000, and that can be for a simple 10 to 20 page site. While you certainly don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars, be prepared to budget between $1,500 to $5,000 for a professional Web site in the financial field. While it might be tempting to save money by outsourcing the project overseas, keep in mind Web development is one area where you absolutely get what you pay for.

For the majority of financial professionals, I always recommend WordPress Web sites. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), which basically means it utilizes a comprehensive template to use for your Web site. WordPress is the most common CMS solution available so finding designers and developers at a low cost is easy. When it comes to hiring a Web designer, it helps to choose a designer who has a portfolio of sites that resonates with you.

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If you tend to be a do-it-yourselfer, this is not the time to dive into Web design and development. Your time is much better spent focusing on other aspects of Internet marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to drive prospects to your Web site. Just a few years ago the Internet was flooded with Web sites just clamoring to rank for certain keywords in Google. If you plan on trying some type of marketing plan to trick Google into ranking your Web site, I have bad news for you: it doesn’t work anymore. The way to be found on the Internet and distinguish your site from spammers is to simply be transparent. Let customers know that you are a real business with real people. One of the best ways to do that is through your “About Us” company page.

About Us Page with Executive Headshots

The About Us page is one of the most important pages on your Web site, especially for those who are considering doing business with you. Don’t be afraid to use at least 500 words on your about page to convey something personal about you and your business. How did you get started? What do you specialize in? What do you believe in? It doesn’t take much, but not having an About Us page is a sure-fire way to lose a potential customer.

Also, make sure to include professional headshots on your about page. Executive headshots of you and your staff let visitors know you are a real company with real people. This small thing can put you above many other financial Web sites that don’t include such information. People are very wary of things they find on the Internet so the more legitimate you are perceived the better. Executive headshots typically cost between $100 and $250, and can be professionally edited in Photoshop as needed.

Display Trust Signals

The e-commerce industry knows better than anyone that trust is a huge issue on the Internet. Utilizing Trust Seal graphics serve as a risk reliever that can increase conversions by up to 10%. In fact, surveys of online shoppers show that one of the most stated reasons for leaving a Web site is the absence of trust seals. There are specific trust seals you should be displaying on your financial Web site including those from the Better Business Bureau, an SSL certificate, a malware scan seal, Chamber of Commerce membership, NAIFA, Trusted Choice, and even a custom guarantee seal. Trust seals can be expensive as you will be required to become a member of these organizations, however, they provide ancillary member benefits beyond the ability to display the digital seals on your Web site. You don’t need to display every trust seal, though having none at all will certainly not help you build a strong online reputation.

Testimonials and Reviews

I love testimonials and reviews. So do prospects. Customers want to know you’re competent, and one of the best ways to convey this is to let your current or past customers and business partners do it for you. The easiest way to start off is by getting testimonials, including permission to publish them. While there are no shortage of methods used to procure feedback from customers, I’ve personally found that the best way is to simply call them. Make it easy on your customers and have them give you a testimonial right there on the phone. Take notes during the call and have your customer sign off on what you have transcribed. Best to have them send a follow up note indicating their explicit approval that you can keep on file.

Displaying reviews is a bit trickier. There are several new review plugins you can use on your Web site, although most if not all require monthly fees. The most valuable social proof is from third party review platforms such as Google, Yelp, BBB, and Yellow Pages. They provide the most benefit because they are not under your control. A great strategy for leveraging these platforms is to ask customers that you already know love your service to post a review for you on one or more of these sites. Just be careful that you do, in fact, offer a great service because negative reviews on some of these sites can be devastating to your online reputation.

Contact Information

I have been an editor in charge of the life insurance category, the industry in which I work, at–Google’s online directory–for many years, so I see just about every insurance Web site submitted for inclusion. It’s astounding how many of these financial professionals build a Web site and then neglect to put a physical address anywhere on it. I know many financial professionals work from home these days but there is nothing wrong with listing your home address on your site. Even worse are the sites that do not even provide an email address. Instead, the only way to contact the agent is through a contact form. I understand people are attempting to avoid getting spammed and that people want their privacy, but the whole point of your business site is to have people contact you. I have had my email address displayed on my site for years and I do get my fair share of spam, but this is handled exceptionally well by the spam and junk filter that comes with my email system. Your Web site is a tool to allow your potential customers to get to know you and your business. Appearances and authenticity goes a long way on the Internet so don’t hide.

Today’s consumers downright expects financial professionals to have a strong online presence and the quality of a Web site can either bring in more business or drive customers away. It’s as simple as that. I have personally built my business around consumers shopping online for life insurance, so I urge you to learn from my mistakes and wins and duly capitalize from my experience. Your Web site is a direct reflection of you and your business so spend the time and resources to ensure it’s something that will meet, and optimally exceed, its goals and objectives.

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Lending Valuation Firm Launches New Website

LRES, a national provider of residential and commercial valuations and asset management for the mortgage, banking, credit union and real estate industries, announced the launch of its new website, which acts as a source of valuable industry information and provides greater detail of the company’s products and services in an easy-to-navigate format.

LRES designed the website to not only provide easier access to its services and product offerings in a more functional and visually appealing format, but to offer valuable information to clients and vendor partners on best practices and practical solutions impacting the valuation and asset management market.

Highlights of the new website include more downloadable how-to information, tips on timely industry challenges, resources to easily showcase the company’s service offerings and a fresh design that adapts to a broad range of devices.

“The new website better reflects our company brand and serves as a resource for visitors looking for practical solutions for their valuation and asset management needs,” said Roger Beane, LRES founder and CEO. “As LRES continues to expand its corporate footprint, we needed to update the website to adequately represent the professionalism and culture of our firm.”

Great Websites Deliver A Dynamic User Experience

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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