“While homebuyers are certainly using the Internet more and more to look for homes and even financing, the face-to-face and personal touch is still very much a big part of purchase transactions,” says Mark Buskuhl, the COO of Southwest Funding. “Having someone there by your side walking you through the steps can be a lot more comforting, just as a Realtor is by your side showing you homes and helping with the negotiations.”
As the business transitions to the Internet, it is important that they fine tune their marketing for a society that relies on smartphones for just about everything.
Digital analytics company comScore estimates mobile users represent more than half of all Internet traffic; adding that some 74 percent of mobile web visitors will leave a website if it hasn’t loaded within five seconds.
And 46 percent of those visitors won’t ever return.
“Companies need a solid web presence with clear, concise and easy to find information,” says Buskuhl. “Having this translate to a mobile site is key to having success on the internet.”
According to the National Association of Realtors, 92 percent of homebuyers consult the Internet at some point in the home buying process.
One Cleveland-based company has completely invested in online, describing itself as the “eHarmony” of the mortgage business, matching homebuyers with the right loan.
“Buying a home can be a very stressful, emotional decision,” says Buskuhl. “Refinancing will continue to play a big role on the Internet and Gen X will move more and more of the mortgage loans to being entirely web based.”
Homebuyers are starting their search for a mortgage loan online – and for some, doing it all online. What was once a very personal transaction is now possible hundreds of miles away – but does that mean old-fashioned values and service is just as distant?