HousingWire Engage.Marketing 2019 Liveblog – Day 2

We’re back for day 2 of our live coverage of HousingWire’s Engage.Marketing event. If you want to know how lenders, realtors and consumer finance pros are selling to you, keep refreshing this page to follow along.

Don’t miss our day 1 coverage here.


HousingWire CEO Clayton Collins kicked off the day with an all-star panel on how mortgage CEOs think about marketing featuring Vishal Garg, CEO of Better Mortage and Casey Crawford, CEO of Movement Mortgage.

Garg got into finance after working at Salomon Brothers, the infamous Wall Street trading firm where “The Big Short” author Michael Lewis got his start.

“American finance works really well for 10,000 people in Manhattan and not very well for everyone else,” he said.

Garg wanted to make finance easier for the not-super-rich—even after working as a trader on Wall Street, he found the mortgage process too difficult when buying his first home.

“Mortgage is a much more valuable problem to solve than just trading things to other people on Wall Street,” Garg said.

Crawford is a former NFL player who won a Super Bowl in 2003 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and after he was done with football, realized all he’d done was entertained people and not made meaningful changes in their lives. That desire to make an impact led him to mortgage lending.

Crawford shouted out the newly-formed Truist Bank, which got some cheers—Julian would be pleased with that.

“Financial institutions that underpin communities need to develop trust,” Crawford said.

Better Mortgage’s goal is to turn the lengthy, complicated mortgage process to a one-click process you can do on your phone.

“But what we realized was the American borrower wasn’t ready for the Interactive Brokers of mortgage—they need a Charles Schwab. They need advice, a hand to hold,” Garg said.


Unfortunately I had to cut coverage of the keynote short for a meeting with Grant Moon, CEO of HomeCaptain. HC helps you work with the real estate pros you want to work with by linking you up with the preferred realtors of your lender.

“Homebuying is fundamentally a human, emotional experience,” Moon said. “That’s why we have concierge on staff to give people tools and technology to operate in today’s world.”

More from Grant later—stay tuned.


Back on the main stage, Sales Boomerang CEO Alex Kutsishin grabbed all our attention by dumping a bale of hay on the stage. He’s going to show us how to farm data for repeat customers.

Repeat business is key for lenders now—it’s cheaper for them to do multiple deals with you instead of serving you and moving onto the next person. That means your lender is now thinking about a lifetime relationship with you, and how they can serve you as your needs change as you reach different life events. Sales Boomerang helps lenders keep in touch with you and know what’s going on in your life so they can help you better.

“This industry has to stop thinking like hunters,” Kutsishin said. “We’re farmers now. The best deals come from your database. Within every ear of corn lies the ability to create another ear of corn. This is your borrower. Yeah, I called your borrowers corn.”

“How can we make the mortgage industry as close as possible to the concept of a recurring-revenue subscription model?”

Kutsishin says LOs should schedule a meeting with closed borrowers for when mortgage insurance comes off your loan. There’s no timeline on that—it’s an event, not a date. But when a mechanic changes your oil, he says come in again in 5,000 miles. An event, not a date. LOs can do the same thing.


To close out the day, we have a super session on referral marketing with Amy Mahar of TPO Strategist, Mike Eshelman of Jornaya, Jim Anderson of Stearns Lending, Dustin Brohm of Massive Agent Podcast, Raymond Bartreau of Best Rate Referrals, Jorge Davila of Flagstar, Grant Moon of HomeCaptain, and Leigh Brown of RE/MAX.

Eshelman started off by sharing data from Black Knight that shows repeat biz is dropping at lenders.

88% of borrowers pick the first or second lender they research online. Even though lots of people shop for loans on LendingTree, only 10% of website visitors fill out a lead capture form.

That means lenders are trying to figure out how to connect with those of you who are looking for a mortgage but not filling out forms on LendingTree.

Then Eshelman brought Raymond Bartreau of Best Rate Referrals and Grant Moon of HomeCaptain onstage. Bartreau said those of you shopping for loans are more likely to actually close a loan you find online if you’re specifically looking for a loan and not window shopping on Zillow.

HomeCaptain works with lenders to connect borrowers that get pre-approved with preferred realtors. Since relationships are so much more important to lenders now, it’s important for them to keep you as a borrower in their family of preferred agents and pros.

Bartreau said lenders need to follow up with you for more than just 10 days—sometimes you need 6 to 9 months of followup before you’re in a position to actually buy a home.

Then, HousingWire managing editor Sarah Wheeler brought Flagstar’s Jorge Davila and Stearns Lending CMO Jim Anderson onstage. Davila said the best loan officers don’t have 30 or 40 referral partners—they have 3-5 good ones.

Then RE/MAX’s Leigh Brown and Massive Agent Podcast host Dustin Brohm hit the stage and took no prisoners.

“Borrowers think lenders aren’t necessary because they can go to LendingTree, and think realtors aren’t necessary since they can go to Zillow,” said Brown. “But they need us to save money and get the best rates.”

“Lender partners never talk to realtors about borrower education,” Brown said.

“Now lenders have unlimited ways to communicate with realtors and clients,” Brohm said. “Put a system in place and do it.”


That’s it for day 2 of our HousingWire Engage.Marketing liveblog. Check back for when we round up the most important lessons from the conference next week. Tell your friends all the cool stuff you learned from the liveblog at the bar this weekend.

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