Godzilla vs. Bambi; Zillow vs. JVM

    In the classic 1969 film, Godzilla vs. Bambi, the action only lasts for 90 seconds as Godzilla stomps Bambi into oblivion with a single step.

    But, that was in 1969.

    In 2019, the much smarter Bambi would be empowered and waiting for Godzilla with superior technology and nimbleness.

    He would most certainly take Godzilla out with either a drone strike or stinger missile.

    I think of this every time someone warns me about the entry into the mortgage market by a huge competitor.

    Today I received a warning about Zillow’s entry into the mortgage market, and I am not the least bit worried.

    Here’s why:

    1. Purchase Money Mortgages remain highly regulated and highly complex. Mortgages will remain highly regulated indefinitely and I explain why in this blog called Why A.I. Will Not Take Over Mortgages. B/c of this, lenders will continue to require a large number of inane conditions that regulators love and borrowers hate. These include the ridiculous paper-trails (of funds to close) and other minutiae that drive borrowers crazy. The problem for the big Godzilla mortgage companies is that their call-center guys often miss these conditions and deals blow up in escrow. I discussed this in January in a blog called A Call-Center Horror Story. I have mentioned this numerous times, but we constantly get transactions that previously blew up at a Godzilla lender.
    2. Buyers want massive amounts of advice and info. We are often amazed by the amount of info and advice that even our most sophisticated buyers demand. If we did not have a collection of super-trained team members, we could not begin to keep our buyers happy. The Godzilla loan officers are all about selling and simply unable to answer the many questions buyers have. We know this b/c buyers tell us all the time.
    3. Our Closing Specialists (Processors) are highly educated, fully licensed, very tech savvy and exceptionally smart. We call our processors “Closing Specialists” b/c they are the best trained people at JVM and b/c they play both a loan officer and processor role, as they solely take files from contract to close. This matters b/c issues pop up constantly during escrow periods that are out of our control, and that only someone with exceptional experience can navigate. These include paper-trail issues (of course), debt ratio issues when jobs change at the last minute, appraisal issues, rate lock issues, and issues involving seller and lender credits, among many other things.
    4. Interest Rates. I am not sure if it is greed or inefficiency, but the Godzilla lenders almost always offer higher rates than we do when it comes down to locking in actual rates. So, I welcome this competition too.
    5. Our website is about 1.9 trillion times (give or take) more informative and better than anything the Godzilla lenders offer. In 2019 this matters more than ever, particularly with millennial buyers.
    6. Reviews. I beat this dead horse so often it is pretty much hamburger, but today’s buyers rely heavily on authentic reviews. Zillow Home Loans will no doubt have a lot of awesome Zillow reviews, and that will of course only make buyers think… “hmmm.” Most Godzilla lenders, however, have horrible reviews on the sites that actually enforce authenticity.

    The Godzilla lenders may end up closing a large number of vanilla mortgages, but in complex purchase markets like the Bay Area or Austin, we remain very confident with our position as an empowered, very nimble Bambi.

    Jay Voorhees
    Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
    (855) 855-4491 | DRE# 01524255, NMLS# 310167

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