OpinionIndustry News

Why lenders are missing the online party

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Divergent Paths Historically, the Internet real estate and mortgage industries have used different content and tools to attract consumers. The mortgage industry has relied on rate tables, mortgage calculators and, for lead generation companies, assistance finding the right mortgage by soliciting multiple lenders in one easy step. This approach is epitomized by LendingTree's slogan: "When Banks Compete, You Win." Internet real estate companies have used for-sale property listings, assistance finding the right agent and, more recently, home valuations to generate traffic. For the most part, home-valuation sites like HouseValues have consisted of little more than a form that captures consumer information then relays it to a subscribing agent who contacts the consumer and provides a home valuation. This model's simplicity has not limited its popularity. Collectively, sites such as HouseValues, HomeGain and other lead-generation companies attract more than 8 million unique visitors per m...