It may be the ultimate in putting your money where your mouth is: A Vancouver broker has removed any and all rate charts from his website – a lead few of his peers, despite talk about broker value propositions, have followed.
“I believe it would help to move the industry beyond rate,” Scott Dawson, a mortgage broker with Verico Paragon Pacific Mortgages, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I removed rates from my site two years ago, and it has probably lowered the number of leads I get, but improved the quality of those leads.”
It’s also done away with the hassle – what Dawson prefers to call the “distraction” – of hunting down and updating rate information, increasingly used by most brokers to lure to Internet shoppers. Ultimately, that’s not a game most brokers can win, said the Burnaby broker.
“Marketing on rate attracts clientele who are just interested in rate, not really your services as a broker,” said Dawson. “Rate shoppers can be a waste of time and by shifting my sites’ focus away from rates and to focus on the value I bring to clients, that has saved my time for clients who want that service.”
Dawson, in fact, uses his site as a complement to other, primary marketing efforts. Regular video blogs and a thorough analysis of mortgage terms have helped to better position him as a mortgage expert in the minds of prospective clients, he said.
The majority of brokers appear to be moving in the opposite direction, hoping to capitalize on the growing number of homebuyers using the web to shop rate.
A growing number of brokers are actively relying on online referral website, specifically focused on rate and often requiring mortgage professionals to buy down rate in order to convert those leads.
“At the end of the day, I found that I got the lead if my rate on that product was the lowest on the (referral site) that day,” Paul Poirier, a top -20 broker with Dominion Lending Centres based in Toronto, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.
The broker with DLC - Eagle Group uses one of several sites focused on generating “quality leads” for mortgage-broker clients by offering Internet users a daily comparison of their clients’ rates and then linking them to an individual broker’s website. Fees are entirely based on leads and not just the number of clicks to the client’s landing page.