Posts

Charles Schwab No Longer Charges Commissions for Trades

Charles Schwab started to offer discount brokerage services (low commission trades) way back in 1975. Much of the financial industry paid little attention to the upstart firm but it nonetheless continued to grow and capture more and more market share. And then finally, 44 years later, Schwab announced that they would charge no commissions at […]Read More

Only 12% of Clients Use Their Agent Again! How To Stem the Loss

I sat on a tech panel recently with the founder of First.io, and he shared some fascinating survey results. 88% of all homeowners surveyed said they would use their real estate agent again if they bought or sold a home. AND….. Only 12% of homeowners actually did. In other words, most agents are not tapping […]Read More

Technology Working – Finally! Small Businesses Can Compete With Big!

SOFTWARE FIRM HONORS PROMISES – 20 YEARS LATE I frequently tell a story about a huge mortgage software company (now the biggest in the industry) that came to me in the late 1990s, offering me online app tools, drop-down fee schedules, awesome user-interfaces, customer portals, and everything else. And – 20 years later, they finally […]Read More

Only One In Five Willing To Apply for a Mortgage Online

We recently spent $26,000 on a new “point of sale” platform (Blend) to make it even easier for our borrowers to apply online. This was a lot for us as a small business, but it is nothing compared to the $80 million that Loan Depot spent to develop their online application and related technology. But, […]Read More

What Homebuyers Really Want In A Lender

The lender you refer your clients to is a reflection on you. I repeat that often because it is true and because we meet so many agents who are having issues with their lenders. In light of this, JD Power’s recent survey of borrowers should be of particular interest, as it illuminates what borrowers look […]Read More

JD Power’s Mortgage Lender Survey – What Borrowers Want

The lender you refer your clients to is a reflection on you. I repeat that often b/c it is true and b/c we meet so many agents who are having issues with their lenders. In light of this, JD Power’s recent survey of borrowers should be of particular interest, as it illuminates what borrowers look […]Read More

Marketing Person or Someone in the Trenches On Your IT Team?

FINTECH COMPANY FORGETS TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS A close friend of ours was the Chief Product Officer at a prominent fintech mortgage lender in Silicon Valley. The firm was very impressive, consisting of about 70 people, 28 full-time engineers and a war-chest full of VC money (about $70 million). They used all that money and all […]Read More

Technology & Easy Doc Uploads Does Not A Mortgage Make

More than ever, lenders are introducing and touting new technology and client interfaces as huge breakthroughs and the solutions to all mortgage problems. One of our competitors recently spent $80 million on new technology, leaving us to wonder … how? and on what? We too are on the technology bandwagon and are in fact getting […]Read More

When Technology Fails…Somebody Actually Has To Think

It took me two and half hours to take an Uber from Manhattan to JFK airport last week. The reason? My Uber driver had moved to NYC four days earlier and he relied entirely on his Waze app to navigate. And Waze does NOT work in Manhattan (too much traffic and too much data, and […]Read More

Technology’s Not Replacing Realtors or Loan Officers; Warren Buffet & Fintech

We have all heard time and again over the last ten years how technology will totally disrupt real estate and mortgages, and replace Realtors and Loan Officers outright. Technology is changing the way we all do business, but it is far from replacing us. One huge vote of confidence for Realtors remaining a major part […]Read More

1/4% = $14 per $100k; Can Refi Guys Do Purchases? Automation?

Another reminder: a 1/4% increase in rates from 3.75% to 4.0% only increases payments about $14 per $100,000. One of the biggest boons to my personal business over the last 20+ years was the advent of automated/online lenders in the late 1990s (E-loan was one of the first). The reason? They couldn’t do purchases. And […]Read More

10 Bold Predictions for the Future of the Mortgage Industry!

Normally, we are loathed to share other peoples’ content, but this is worth an exception:  10 Bold Predictions for the Future of the Mortgage Industry (link to the full article is below) The big takeaways include: Subprime and expanded guidelines are coming, so a lot more buyers can get financing. Technology will replace underwriters and loan officers.  And appraisals […]Read More

Kids Are Now Steph Curry, Not LeBron; Embracing The New

There are a lot of budding basketball stars who practice incessantly at a park I walk or ride through several times per week near our home. What is interesting is how their style of practice has changed in recent years. They were all wannabe LeBron Jameses and Kobe Bryants for years and years, practicing their […]Read More

Waze – Must Have App; Technology At Companies

Yesterday as I was driving back to Walnut Creek from SFO, the primary freeway (US 101) was a parking lot. But fortunately, I had the “Waze” app on my phone, so I was re-routed to the 280 and I cut 25 minutes from my trip. The Waze app checks traffic volume everywhere (using data from […]Read More

Best “App” for Payments, Closing Costs & Net Sheets; Invaluable

I have been using my HP 12C Calculator since my first job at an investment bank in the late 1980s. With so many years of practice, I am extremely good at employing it to yield any and all numbers I might need. About four years ago, however, I found an app that rendered my skills […]Read More

CRM Software Is an Absolute Must; Pays for Itself Very Quickly

In 2008, we spent $65,000 on a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software program and it paid for itself within a year. The CRM program allows us to (1) organize ALL of our client contacts and data in one source; (2) contact ALL of our clients constantly with a single click; (3) track all of our […]Read More

Old School Sales Techniques Rule The Day at Open House

We attended an Open House on Sunday with a very successful, “old school” Realtor, and we learned a lot.  We, and many of our Realtor-partners, focus heavily on technology, database management and slick marketing materials. This works, but sometimes it causes us to forget to employ basic, old-fashioned sales techniques. The Realtor we worked with […]Read More