New Survey Reveals Mortgage Consumers of All Ages Demand an Online Approach
-Velocify Survey findings point to need for all lenders to adopt online sales strategies and create digital mortgage experience for borrowers-
LOS ANGELES, CA – September 26, 2017 – Newer technologies, such as online borrower portals, online chat, and text messaging are rapidly changing how consumers of all ages approach the mortgage process, according to a new survey by Velocify®, the company behind the mortgage industry’s leading sales acceleration technology.
According to the survey, “The Digital Mortgage Experience: A Study of Shifting Borrower Expectations,” more than a third of all borrowers prefer self-service websites, especially during the research stage of getting a mortgage. As they progress through the application and processing stages, however, borrowers prefer an increasing amount of help from mortgage professionals through a variety of communication channels, including online chat, telephone, text messaging, and email.
Compared to other borrowers, millennials (under 35 years of age) prefer slightly less in-person assistance and more online chat help, especially during the application phase, the survey found, while baby boomers (over 55 years of age) prefer less chat and email assistance throughout the mortgage process, instead, opting for phone and in-person help. However, baby boomers embraced technology more than expected. Boomers were three times more likely to think technology improved the loan process when they were provided an online portal.
“The most interesting discovery was not how borrower behaviors have evolved, but where they are headed,” said Nick Hedges, Velocify President and CEO. “The trend line in our data shows that all borrowers, regardless of age, have a strong preference for more online and digital interaction with their lender. To succeed in this environment, lenders have to put the borrower at the center, which means an easy interface that offers transparency into the entire loan lifecycle, but with humans behind it.”
Among other findings of the survey:
- Overall, borrowers who got a mortgage over the past two years were 3.7 times more likely to find their lender through online research or through social media than they were 5 to 10 years ago.
- Millennials were 45 percent more likely to find their lender online than baby boomers, who were 87 percent more likely than millennials to use their current bank or lender.
- Refinancing borrowers were more likely than purchasing borrowers to use an online lender, but recently the gap is closing. Over the past year, 47 percent of refinancing borrowers used an online lender, compared to 38 percent of purchase borrowers.
- Borrowers who got a mortgage in the last year were 42 percent less likely to find their lender based on a Realtor referral compared to borrowers 2 to 5 years ago. Over the past year, in fact, only 10 percent of borrowers chose their lender based on a Realtor referral.
- Seventy-one percent of all borrowers were provided an online portal in the past two years. Those that were provided an online portal were twice as likely to say technology improved the loan process as those who were not provided this option.
The survey findings align with the results from a previous Velocify survey of more than 500 mortgage professionals conducted last year. That survey, “Growth in a Changing Mortgage Market,” found lenders that relied more heavily on consumer direct channels made greater investments in marketing and sales technology, and were also more likely to experience high growth.
Velocify research increasingly points to the need for all lenders to establish an online strategy and to leverage all channels of communication, both online and offline, throughout the entire loan lifecycle.
“Lenders need to look at technology as more than a tool for marketing and manufacturing mortgages, but a vehicle for creating the perfect mortgage experience for all consumers, regardless of their preferences,” said Daniel Miedema, Director of Marketing Operations at Guaranteed Rate, and a Velocify customer. “Fortunately, today’s tools enable lenders to adapt to changes in consumer behavior quickly and affordably, so borrowers get the help they need when they need it most.”
Findings from the survey were based on responses from more than 500 people who received a purchase mortgage or refinanced a mortgage over the past 10 years. The findings were broken out by the borrower’s age and when their loans closed to examine how consumer behaviors evolved over time. Survey questions included how the borrower found their lender and the type of communication they preferred during various stages of the loan process.
For the full survey download “The Digital Mortgage Experience: A Study of Shifting Borrower Expectations“.