There’s always something to howl about

How Can The iPad Can Change Mortgage Marketing? It’s The App, Stupid

I was plunged into the Apple world when my daughter won an iTouch from a magazine drive.  I dived into it nine months ago when I bought an iPhone.   Here’s why mobile devices work-  you can harness the power of the internet and international communications in your pocket.  To ignore this trend is to deny what most Europeans and Asians already.

Why then are Americans the laggards in the mobile me movement?  I think it’s because we’re wealthier than our cousins across the ponds.  Until we get mobile devices with a readable screen, that aren’t hard to use, we’re going to stay chained to desks or flopped with lap weights.  Americans won’t adapt because we don’t have to…yet.

Enter the iPad.  Everyone can use it and that says a lot about it’s user-friendliness.  More importantly, my father can use it and that says a lot about it’s reach.

What can this  mean to the mortgage industry?

POINT OF SALE: For the most part, mortgage shoppers care less about the loan terms than convenience and the ability to get approved.  I want the ability to give them all three on a mobile app.  I want them, and the real estate agents to use that app to get a pre-approval, check payments and cash-to-close, follow the mortgage market as it relates to their loan approval, and watch the loan process from a magazine sized computer.

MOBILITY:  The loan process lasts 30-150 days.  I want that borrower or agent to check rates and recheck their application status by simply touching that app button.  If  I’ m the user, I want the ability to take a loan application…anywhere:

  • at a Chargers tailgate party while watching the ribs on the BBQ
  • in the schoolyard at my daughter’s school
  • at a Chamber of Commerce networking mixer
  • in a real estate agent’s office
  • at an open house on a Sunday
  • at the beach

COMMUNICATION:  I want to receive a text message every time they open that app and/or login.  I want to know what they’re doing in there so that I can anticipate their questions and perceive their concerns.  I want them to be able to send me a text message, from inside of the iPad app.

I thought the iPhone was going to deliver this platform but the screen is too small.  I’ve gone from fighter pilot eyesight to Mr Magoo, in nine short months, because of that small screen.  The iPad can restore my 20/20 vision.

How can I make this happen?

My customized mortgage rate search provider, which powers,  has to build the front door.  It has to be my brand so that I control the most important real estate in the mobile marketing world; the screen.   The iPhone/iPad screen is today what the refrigerator used to be; a “magnet” holder.

After the consumer sees the approximate loan terms, she needs the ability to convert to a full loan application screen.  All that data has to interface with my loan origination system (LOS) so that I can pull credit and secure an approval.   Then the app has to have a document management screen so that we can communicate what is required to see an approval.

Smart, tech-savvy secondary market investors will have a mobile platform that allows my customers to enter through my app button and keeps me in front of our mutual customer for the life of the loan.  I want to know when that customer enters through my portal…forever.

I know I’m asking for a lot.  While we’re “dreaming”, I’d appreciate what real estate agents would like my app to do.


8 Comments so far

  1. Tim Derylak February 1st, 2010 5:49 pm

    If it were up to me, I would have an app that would drive buyers around for hours on end looking at properties they will never buy. 🙂

  2. Tim Derylak February 1st, 2010 5:50 pm

    PS. I am a REALTOR from Charlotte, NC. I love the site!

  3. jeffrey g February 1st, 2010 8:35 pm

    I dont see Ipad being that big of deal, the last thing I want is a non keyboard tablet to fit between my droid and my laptop.

    Apple is still on the wrong “closed” track and this poorly named product is just an attempt to shut out google.

    Jeffrey g

  4. Tom Johnson February 1st, 2010 10:04 pm

    Co-Brand the app and share the login activity. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. You see home searching activity that anticipates loan activity, I see prequal activity that anticipates search activity. Each of us are prompted for a timely “check-in”.

  5. Brian Brady February 2nd, 2010 6:41 am

    “Co-Brand the app and share the login activity”

    Tom, that’s brilliant because it can be duplicated. Agents are often neighborhood specific so an originator could co-brand with 10 agents who, in turn, are promoting the heck out of the app.

  6. Mark Madsen February 3rd, 2010 8:44 am

    Brian / Tom – Good ideas. It would definitely be beneficial to give my agents a rate watch / pre-qual tool that was mobile and always connected to me.

    Something that served more of an educational purpose as well would be helpful.

    The new GFE literally encourages rate shopping, which unfortunately leads borrowers to believe that a successful mortgage transaction is as simple as finding the best rate and closing cost scenario.

  7. Aaron Fischer February 3rd, 2010 10:23 am

    I like your idea, but will Apple approve 100+ apps that are all the same but for color and data recipient?

  8. Greg Swann February 3rd, 2010 10:39 am

    SmarterAgent exists on the App Store as an unbranded client. The branded clients pass a parameter at launch time (equivalent to a coded.url?param=123) and the custom branding is transmitted from the server on the fly. That’s a way of dealing with the issue.