Zillow Mortgage Marketplace - Tips for Lenders



This thread is for sharing best practices for lenders using Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. Please feel free to add advice but note that off-topic posts will be deleted. Here's the first list from the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace team:

 

 

Search for requests with few or no quotes! 

On the Loan Request page, select “Sort by: Quotes” and “Up” to see requests with no or few quotes.  These customers are still waiting for quotes!  Don’t worry if a request is a couple days old -- an e-mail notification will sent to the borrower when you submit your quote.


Double check DTI

Some borrowers are incorrectly entering their monthly debts.  We are adding additional help text this section to assist them, but be aware that some borrowers may be entering higher debts than necessary.


Add a photo

We are seeing that profiles without a photo or profiles with a business logo are not performing as well as profiles with a photo. Add yours! 


Build your ratings

When you are contacted by borrowers and help them with their loans, ask them to come back to the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace and rate you. 


Add a personal message

A personalized message can go a long way in connecting with borrowers.  Add a quick message! This is the place you can showcase your differences.



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April 09 2008 - US
We think we've answered this question for you!
 
 

Replies (144)

Here's some great advice from Matt Kelly of RMC Vanguard. Matt says:

 

From the standpoint of the Manager working with a wide variety of Loan Officers, and my over two years experience in working on-line leads, here are my initial thoughts:

  1. Be honest with your quotes. I was quite surprised today to not see anyone on Zillow that appeared to be low balling quotes. They all seemed very competitive and honest.
  2. Accurately describe your fees, all of them. If you look at the vast majority of my quotes, you will see I am charging a .25 discount. Which is actually an escrow waiver fee.
  3. Keep your description short, and relevant. I saw many descriptions on my competitors quotes that were long drawn out sales pitches. Online customers only want to “see the baby, not hear about the entire birth.”
  4. Be patient. Just because someone doesn’t respond back doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. The selling cycle with online consumers is much longer than it was several months ago.
  5. Offer to send them a Good Faith Estimate in your description upon request.
  6. Working Zillow Leads is sort of like a well disciplined work out regiment. Even though your not getting instant gratification you shouldn’t give up. Quote 20-30 deals a day and my guess is that it will pay off.
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April 09 2008

Thanks for the tips. I would be really interested in finding out the percentage of quotes that actually have the details viewed. From my 100 or so it looks like that is running around 25%.

 

I would also be interested to hear some success stories. I think this is a great, and I think clients will get good value, but is it worth the time expended? I would love to know if this is busy work, or actual sales.

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April 10 2008

This is great advise....THANK YOU.  I have noticed the DTI problem and its great to hear your working on it.  I would make some suggestions... and that is to allow lender(s) to send a note to a person requesting quotes without actually quoting.  Some of the scenerios would best suited to be changed slightly to be more advantages to the potential borrower.  For example 100% to 97% can make a big difference and so can a loan amount of 600K to 550K depending on County.  A county field would be a great field to add too since on Jumbo loans there are options based on county and as a loan officer if you don't know the city well enough you have to go looking for the answer of county.

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April 10 2008
Profile picture for metcity

We are finding that a very low percentage of quotes are being viewed, some 3 out of 25 and of those quotes we have given we have not had one response from a Borrower.

Our quotes have been accurate, and in most caeses the best quote that we have seen on those we have selected to quote.

We are totally amazed that we have had ZERO response.

Even more so that our quotes are not even viewed.

Any feelback?

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April 11 2008
Profile picture for Nate

Links to Loan Requests from Quotes

There are links from quote detail pages to the original loan requests in the upper left corner (they say Back to loan request).

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April 11 2008
Profile picture for shapiroamg

Met City. You are not alone. I would say 2/3 of my quotes are active. I've been contacted by 2 possible borrowers with one application emailed out. The anominty of this makes it very easy for a person to post a request and just see what's out there. This is not going to replace the way you currently do business, but it may supplement it at some point. This is why I keep my comments on the quote short. I will not spent too much time writing a War&Pease like comment to a requestor who may be 'seeing what's out there" .

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April 11 2008

Try to take the view that your reponses are part of a marketing efforts and not a sales call. 

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April 17 2008

That comment isn't directed at anyone in particular.  Just a general thought.

 

I agree with shapiroamg no War and Peace, but I do think it's a good idea to think about what your message is, condense it, and use this as a way of getting it out.

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April 17 2008

I think this is great advice. I responded to over 40 quotes and didn't get one response. I tried a really low rate and discount pts, no discount pts and a higher rate and even a no cost loan. No luck yet.

 

I will change my business logo to a picture and see how that goes.

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April 23 2008

@Jeremy -

 

Personalizing your profile is a very good idea. Let borrowers know who you are and I also suggest foccusing on loan requests near you - with the offer to meet face-to-face to review the borrowers financial situation.

 

Good luck!

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April 24 2008
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Full disclosure: If you like the Yankees, I will still work with you.

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April 24 2008

I just updated my stats as of last friday on 96 quotes I had 43 viewed 25 of those were detail views. I received 2 email messages out of those. on 75% of those I had the best terms listed. My problem is that all time is a cost and the ROI is null and the conversion from quote to contact is 2% depite a 45% viewing rate.

 

So at the risk of being labled a cynic where does the value come in for the effort? After a couple of weeks I have already noticed the number of inquries and the number of quote level off or decrease. Personally I have no investment, but if I were at Zillow I woul consider some tweeks before volume crashes. First I would suggest a FHA template, a lender paid mortgage insurance option and a escor waiver option. I would also have our comments be included in the email to the client. I would also reccomend that if they are looking to purchase you put there time fram to make an offer and have it flagged for a updated quote every 30 days to the same lenders who quoted it originally. I would also require people requesting a quote enter in comments about the scenario and what they are looking to do and their current situation particularly the ones rating their credit at fair or less.

 

Finally and perhaps most importantly have people looking for a rate and term refi indicate their current rate. Stop lenders wasting time on the quotes where we can't add value and expand the number of quotes and competitiveness of the quotes where we can.

 

This also will stop people with super low rates from wasting there own time looking for the magic loan.

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April 24 2008
We definitely need an option for lender paid mortgage insurance. Zillow automatically assuming that all quotes have PMI over 80% is killing my ability to put back all of my product options. I would also like to see the ability for HTML in the personal note section. This way I can put a link to the actual offer and Good Faith with far more accurate details than what they get on the site.
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April 25 2008

I agree about the LPMI.  I had quoted many loans with it before I realized that the monthly amount was being automatically input. 

 

In lieu of html why not just post the link and request that they cut and paste it to the address bar?

 

Alan's comments are helpful as well.  It would be nice to have a bench mark on rate and term refinances. 

 

It would also be nice to have a mechanism to state why you can't do certain loans.  I received an e-mail from Zillow prodding me to quote

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April 25 2008

Shoot... Hit the button some how.

 

Anyhow, zillow sent an e-mail prodding me to follow a link to quote a bunch of loans that have gone unquoted.

 

So far there have been a lot I haven't quoted for various reasons:  100% LTV is not available in my market, the details have a requirement that just isn't possible, the FICO's too low, etc.

 

It might be helpful to have a switch a means to not quote, and say why.  Maybe this isn't something that gets e-mailed like the quotes, or gets aggregated into one e-mail. 

 

 

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April 25 2008

Most borrowers will not call a Broker or Lender 200 to 1,500 miles away. This is a great new opportunity. Want your phone to ring? Niche yourself, other than your rates the borrowers are reading about you and you are saying the same thing as everyone.

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April 25 2008

Well speaking from experince it is patently not true that people won't work with lenders that are farther away. It isn't my business now, but you are ignorning the success of, etrade, eloan, quicken loans and even ditech. A mortgage is a commodity it doesn't matter where you are. The only difference is that locally you may know the area better, but what does that matter because the appraiser for those lenders are local as well although maybe not the best of the local appraisers. Wait until the appraisal changes are made in January and everyone has to go through a appraisal vendor rather than direct and even that advatage is gone.

 

Niches are provided by product line and expertise. This is not the place to devlop this. Leads like this are always going to benefit most the lender who can operate under the lowest margins and deal with the most vanilla of scenarios.

 

That is the direction of the industry has been on for 5 years and is rapidly accelerating with turmoil. So the choice is be a low margin vanilla lender or a niche FHA, VA, RD lender in local markets.

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April 25 2008

Ialso have had a difficult time understanding if the monthly debt is true, if the assets are cash or are they totaling up the house and vehicles and grandmas jewelry...the system requires an interest rate to submit but heaven help me I just had to respond to one guy with bad credi, recent divorce and all that just to say maybe he should sell or get a loan mod....some of these cannot be quoted a rate but they certainly need some information....this is like running an obstacle course blind!

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April 25 2008
Profile picture for mikey07nj

I see plenty of lowballing come on 5.75% 30 yr fixed no points or lender fees Not possible

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April 26 2008
Profile picture for MEL C

Yes you are absolutely right I'am a lender and this is a problem for the industry I understand things are tight and the Market has changed but we have to be realistic  if one of us gets a bad rap it really effects the reputation of all of us. I don't like it and maby its people who are knew to the industry we don't  Care. we are like Doctors we get paid for our service but our Clients

deserve good rates low fee's we would want the same if we were doing a loan treat people fair and it will go along way but there are younger people in the industry who don't understand it hurts us all.

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April 28 2008

Mortgage mentor,

You can't compare those on-line lenders with Zillow leads (we are talking about doing better here right?) My coments are for those who need help, to pull in more deals here and it will work. The borrowers are reading about you trying to get a feel of you. If rates were the only thing that was important to borrowers then most mortgage originators would be out of business.

I agree with David at Zillow above, personalizing your profile and loan request  near you. This doesntmean you can't do distant loans but when I hear Loan Officers here saying they are not getting much you have to do different things and to niche yourself will not hurt. Heck your name is a niche.

Don't want to take to much of everyone's timehere, e-mail me so we can really have some fun.

 

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April 28 2008

I just currently joined and by the sounds of this I am not sure if I did the right thing? I just know I am not Country Wide-" 5.75% NO POINTS,NO FEES" Who works for free?

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April 28 2008

I have joined Zillow and so far I have not seen any response from borrowers calling.  I hope this will be something good in the long run.  I have not added a photo of me because we are not realtors and we are taught as originators that we need to distinguish ourselves and if you think about it, I don't think that Lawyers have pictures when they hand out their business cards.  I don't know I guess that is just my comment.  I hope this zillow works out for all of us. 

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April 29 2008

Well, clearly this is a numbers game.  AND I've read through the threads and it all seems like very good advice.  More importantly though, I would be interested how Zillow intends on stopping those that are obviously low-balling - The Code of Conduct is certainly something that should be respected.  If you watch the markets, I don't care how big a Lender you are or how many forward commitments you have - money just isn't as cheap as some are quoting so it is clearly a bait and switch.  The borrower's have become quite savvy over the years and we have to hope that they will browse their options and notice those that are quoting an unobtainable loan...  

 

My biggest conern now is that I can't even quote - I've paid my fee, been approved, received my email but my account still says that I am not approved... I would love to join in and submit a few honest quotes in my State but even two emails to customer service have gone unattended.  There is not a phone number listed for zillow that I can call to get assist, so unfortunately, I can not join in.  Does someone have a number I can contact for them to open my account up now that I've received approval to quote.

 

Lastly, after 23 yrs. this is certainly the worst I've seen it and it sadens me to know so many friends and families are suffering through these hard times - I wish all of you good luck and future prosperity....   We may all be world's apart but we sure are in this together!

 

D.S.

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April 29 2008

first source. No I am not comparing them I was meerly addressing your point that to get a good deal you have to work locally. I mean I do work locally for the most part, and yes the quotes on here will get the client a better deal than working with almost any of those companies, but I wanted to point out that people need to be realistic and that national competition is here at all levels of the business.

 

I do not think that this is a place to develop a niche ( maybe when it gets bigger I suppose) I think if you have a niche this is the last place you need to promote it. This is a sight for the vanilla deal which pretty much anyone competent can do anywhere they are licensed. Sorry if my post was rambling, but that is all I really wanted.

 

again I also believe that the low ball quotes are far less of a issue to me than the low response rate and conversion we are currently getting. Just because the opportunity is free doesn't mean that our time is. I anxiously await improvements and if there aren't I think people need to stop posting rates. Don't ever forget that is where the true value comes from. I have nothing against Zillow I love the site, and I love the premise here, but I won't shut up about the need for increased contact rates it benefits both the onsumer and the lenders and in the long run Zillow.

 

I am sure they have plenty of great ideas I just look forward to seeing them.

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April 29 2008

I just signed up on Saturday and was wondering how long it has taken everyone to get approved.

 

Thanks,

Mark

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April 30 2008
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Mark.

It takes about 3 to 4 days to get an email response. Check your junk mail too.

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April 30 2008
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I've

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April 30 2008
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ne

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April 30 2008
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Sorry about that. Don't know what happened! Didn't touch the submit button.

 

 

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April 30 2008
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