Mortgage Myth Busters: How well do you shop before you Eat - Shopping for services vs online rating systems - Part 3 of 3

How well do you shop before you Eat - Shopping for services vs online rating systems - Part 3 of 3


Shopping for mortgages - shopping for houses

There are statistics that say 80% or more looking for a home first shop online. This doesn't say that these same people actually buy a home online, but they start their research. And I am finding that many more are shopping for mortgages online once they have a problem with their current lender or have been denied. So I can safely assume that the internet is being used a lot when shopping for a home or when shopping for a mortgage.

My question and thought process is, how far does one take their shopping. Do they stop at the first person? After talking to three and then deciding?

I read an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer's business section written by Alan J. Heavens from December 19th, 2010.



There has been a lot of talk about Reputation Architecture... well, it's starting to brew, if you haven't been paying attention. I mentioned Jonathan Washburn's article in Part 1 & 2. Read it if you haven't yet, don't get left in the dust.

What I wanted to talk about today, was what was mentioned in the article above. It has to do with shopping for mortgages, which can also be said the same when shopping for a realtor. Here are a few excerpts from the article.


shopping for mortgages


Wow, just 40 percent stop with the first quote? So the first loan officer that sounds good, has a good rate, and that's it? Getting there, be patient....



shopping for mortgages


Okay, so how can one feel confident after just one quote? Are some of these loan officers and or realtors just talking a good talk.  Telling the buyer or seller what they want to hear and not what they should be hearing. Inquiring minds would like to know. At least this fly on the wall.



shopping for mortgages


Ah, the consumer wants someone that says that they will get the job done, which holds more weight now on price or rate. hhhhmmm...  Does this sound like gasoline being dumped on a steady fire? I would say so..



Elizabeth Cooper-Golden wrote :

How are WE going to fix THIS?


In Elizabeth's post, she talked about 1 specific person that had dealt with 6 realtors in her moving career, yet had 5 bad experiences. Think about this...



Summary :  Let me first say that I don't always like being shopped, for various reasons. When it comes to shopping for a mortgage, there is more than just shopping for an interest rate. But the same can be said when shopping for a realtor to help you sell or buy a home. Yes, there will be people with bad experiences, it's a given. But what about those with bad experiences when working with a very good realtor or loan officer, as I mentioned in Part 2. What about those that place shopping over someone that they think will do good for them. The title of my post, How well do you shop before you Eat.  This could be said for any kind of shopping. But if online rating services start to make it to the top, when it comes to shopping, will the personal element be taken out of the equation? Could it be the luck of the draw for some? Others that aren't deserving, still with good ratings?  Can this type of system be manipulated?  Will online rating systems replace expertise and knowledge? Just food for thought... will it be like putting 50k down on red? Wait, black? Will it be a toss up now?

People.. we need to start thinking and preparing for this now. It will happen... especially since others will be able to make a profit off such a system. What do you say? Thoughts?


ps.. Active Rain's theme for 2011 for the RainCamps is Reputation Architecture - are you going?


Don't be that Dust in the Wind - Don't get left out








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Copyright © 2011 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc

Comment balloon 18 commentsJeff Belonger • March 07 2011 10:44AM


Gosh Jeff, I need to go read all these articles. I would say that yes, most of them can be manipulated. The #1 sales team in our area has worked the system so well that few people know how horrible the experience with them can be.

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) over 9 years ago

Reputation Architecture is what everyone is talking about - all of a sudden. Zillow has come up with 'review' from the clients and IncredibleAgents have something similar to that. 

Doing business online has it's own pluses and minuses - and one can surely have a major negative impact on one's reputation when someone has to deal with difficult clients. Some are always happy-go-lucky and no matter what you do, you get '10' and some are so stingy, they will rate you badly on just one negative thing which may not be in your control!

Isn't that the reason why everyone should attend RainCamp this year - the topic is Reputation Architecture for Day 1 (and a freebee for rainmakers on Day 2)

If I happen to attend the one in AC, I'll see you there on April  4-5.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 9 years ago

Jeff, I'm finding it intersting to see the big role that Angie's List has started to play in this area.  There are now Realtors being rated on that site.  And I guess it's a good thing that they've changed the format for Rain Camp! 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago


CONNIE... .  question... what system and how?  Would love to know more... and yes, many differen articles to read... but I think it could open some eyes and opinions to what could be taking place in the very near future. thanks

PRAFUL... .  yes, there will always be procs and cons, people mis-using and abusing any system... time will tell. I never did like the model for loan officers... Zillow thought otherwise... I need to see what they are doing for real estate agents.. and yes, AR will be talking about this... would be interesting to see what they come up with. And maybe see you then.. thanks

PAT... . yea, I brought up Angie's list in my first or second part of this series.. and realtors already on it?  I was trying to find the different services offered through Angie's list, but couldn't find a list of services. Have you found it?  Regarding RainCamp, time will tell.  thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 9 years ago

I agree, good information

Posted by Shannon Coe, 916-597-3818, Lincoln, Rocklin, Loomis, Roseville (Keller Williams) over 9 years ago

Of, course, where there is will there i a way - so the manipulation is there. That's why reach realtor adn team needs to have a strong marketing program online and off.

Posted by Janice Roosevelt, OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker ( Keller Williams Brandywine Valley ) over 9 years ago

Ratings are only an intro in my opinion.  Going beyond the surface always produces better results than taking things at 'face value.'

Posted by Bradenton, Sarasota, Real Estate ~ The Serena Group, Selling Real Life Dreams in Paradise! (Bradenton-Homes, Experts - Keller Williams Realty ) over 9 years ago

When I am suggesting lenders for my buyers in the Prescott AZ area, the criteria I use has very little to do with points or rates. I am suggesting lenders who have consistently helped me get deals closed and have gotten excellent reviews from my buyers. Do I need to be comparing rates too?

Posted by Dave Conners, Are You Ready For Awesome? (Keller Williams Check Realty ) over 9 years ago

Jeff, great post!  Now I have to go read the first two...   Guess maybe I'd better subscribe to your blog, eh?

And I WILL be in Atlantic City; hope to meet you there!

Posted by Paula Burt, REALTOR , SFR, RECS over 9 years ago

I definitely think the online rating systems can be manipulated. In fact, I think it's a little bit scary, because a competitor could blast you right out of the water just by telling blatant lies. AND... they could up their own rankings by getting friends and family to sing their praises.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 9 years ago

I think what is frustrating for buyers is that it's hard for them to really 'shop' for a mortgage when all the buzzwords get in the way of their final interest number. It's harder too now also because of the interest adjustment based on their credit scores. Sometimes you just have to accept the rate & that is what it sounds like to me.  Someone (LO) has said, well at 675 it is X rate. 

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 9 years ago

I think most clients are very intimidated when they get a mortgage.

Posted by Dennis Neal, Your Home Sold in 45 Days or We Se (RE/MAX, Big Bear) over 9 years ago

I will recommend the lenders that do the best job for my clients!  Never looked at a rating system.

Posted by Brenda, Ron, Lee Cunningham & Tara Keator, Realtors, Homes for Sale - Phoenix Metro (West USA Realty) over 9 years ago

We are what we are.  Paying for marketing is always a gamble.  Doing a professional job gets the best shot at quality referrals.  Do not forget to ask for them.  Ratings we give ourself are far more important than someone trying to do a rating system to make a splash in an upside down real estate market.  Control what we can and give the time ratings need to stay abreast of what is going on to be ready to handle questions or objections and then move on.

Posted by Robert Courtney, Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS over 9 years ago


Hey everyone... I will get back to everyone later tonight... just wanted to thank everyone for their comments... But I also wanted to point out two things.

This was not about the realtor giving out the loan officer their client..

Secondly.. I know we can control our own referrals...  this was about marketing and how online rating systems could hurt or effect those that get leads online. Think about it.. you blog... that consumer is not a direct referral... and you know your stuff, write good stuff that has real information that is not misleading... yet you have a bad or just average rating. That might make that person go to the next person in line.

I just had to bring this up, because I think some have missed the point.  Again, I am not talking about direct referrals or what lender you send your clients to.  thanks..


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 9 years ago

I strongly recommend to my buyer clients that they interview a few different lenders to ensure they are getting the deal they want. I give them names of 3-4 great local lenders that have a proven track record with past clients.

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) over 9 years ago

I don't think most people even know how to shop for a loan.  They do not know all the questions to ask and they do not realize how many ways a lender can make money on them.  You might want to do this in your marketing materials - assuming you are the best buy.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 9 years ago

This may be completely off the topic, but there could also be agents out there who are not as internet savvy but can and will awesome, knock-your-socks-off service - so to those people, what will we say? Too bad for you?

At the same time, an agent for participates and being the front runner of technology becomes big-headed with the success, I guess it doesnt matter so as long as this agent gets the job done?

Sorry, it's completely off topic. But all I want to say - all these things are cool, way cool - and when will we stop in doing business the old fashion way? By mouth.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 9 years ago