How to rise above a consumer-direct world

by Heather Turner21 Feb 2017

Competing in the digital age of fast, easy results is only getting more difficult as more lenders offer online direct-to-consumer loans, encroaching into mortgage brokers’ bread-and-butter trade.

“People are shopping online and we can’t fight that,” says United Wholesale Mortgage’s CEO, Mat Ishbia. “What we need to do is coach them to understand the difference of going direct to a lender. Educating customers and being competitive in the digital world is something loan officers and mortgage brokers have to do because there is a benefit to not going direct.”

Getting the message out about the benefits of working with a mortgage broker or loan officer is key in today’s world. By utilizing savvy and effective marketing, brokers can avoid being overshadowed by consumer-direct services. At UWM, Ishbia and his team offer resources and tools to help brokers market themselves, from social media banners, to customizable videos, to radio ads and more. “The big thing mortgage brokers need to realize is that the world is more digital and more people go online to find a mortgage. It is important to educate consumers on the value of wholesale and the broker-role. Make yourself present online, whether it is with social media, with digital marketing, or having an intuitive website,” he says.

Battling the common notion that “cutting the middleman is better” in an age where fast, easy results hail above all else is not easy to achieve. Many times, the middleman is viewed as an unnecessary hurdle to the end result. According to Ishbia, that is a far cry from the truth, and something that brokers should make their customer-base aware of

“It’s cheaper to go through the middleman rather than going direct, and that is all because of wholesale pricing. That’s the thing that people don’t understand. You go to the broker because all the lenders have to price more competitively,” he says. As Ishbia mentions, getting your target audience to understand the key benefits of consulting a mortgage broker for a loan is paramount.

“The best thing a mortgage broker can do is be an expert in finding the right loan or option for the borrower. It all comes down to options – having lenders bidding for the business of the consumer. If you are working for a bank or lender and are captive to those loans, your client misses different options and opportunities to save money; so you, and your client, lose every single time.”

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