A new CMP article is being called the most persuasive argument for why rate sites are increasingly important to brokers, but try telling brokers that.
“Rates sites attract borrowers who are rate shoppers,” said Jackson Middleton, broker at Highland Mortgage Partners. “These are consumers who will typically switch to another broker over a minor percentage difference in interest rates.”
Simply put, that’s just not the ideal client for brokers, he said.
The comments come on the heels of a new online survey suggesting more consumers are turning to rate sites, drawn in part by the anonymity of shopping online. The remarks may also disappoint the rate site execs contributing to an article in the September issue of CMP. They make a strong case for why they should be perceived as friend and not foe by all brokers.
Still, new research may be on their side.
MortgageMarvel.com recently said visits to its website reached the one million mark and that applications to purchase or refinance homes in August through MortgageMarvel.com quadrupled compared to the same period last year.
In Canada, no less than the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, Toronto Star launched its own mortgage rate comparison site, ComparaSave.
More established local rate sites are meanwhile becoming larger. For instance, RateSupermarket has added a slate of bank account and investment comparisons to its existing mortgage-focused platform.
But mortgage professionals, said Middleton, are better off focusing on “the quality rather than quantity of leads.”
“For example, I only do business by referrals because these borrowers know me or know somebody I know,” he said. “It means these people are serious about the process. You don’t make the biggest, most important purchase of your life with somebody you just found on the Internet.”