Does the availability of information make loan officers obsolete?

When customers are able to find the answers to practically any question online, is there still a place for the salesperson?

Does the availability of information make loan officers obsolete?
There's a big scare that has been going on in many industries since the proliferation of the Internet. As consumers have access to more and more information, they find themselves needing salespeople less and less. It used to be that consumers needed salespeople because they would have no way of knowing about the product otherwise. This reality is no longer true. If people are motivated, they can easily find out more about our own products than we ourselves know. So has the salesperson become obsolete?

This question weighs particularly heavily on the hearts of us in the mortgage industry. Loan officers are struggling with the same thing as salespeople in many other industries – they no longer feel like they are needed because consumers can know everything that they know. Google has revealed all of our secrets. What is left for us to impress our customers with?

While I think these concerns are real and there certainly has been a seismic shift in the way consumers shop for mortgages over the last decade, I think these concerns are largely exaggerated. Here's why: just because concerns can know everything about the mortgage process, that doesn't mean they will. Consumers have other interests: their jobs, their families, their churches, the favorite sports teams, and so on. The problem is no longer that they don't have access to the information they need when shopping for a mortgage; the new problem is that they don't have time to process it.

So, that's where LOs come in. The new role of the loan officer is to help consumers understand the complexity of the process. Sales isn't dead; it has simply involved. Every salesperson is now a consultant.