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Survey: With mortgages, buyers prefer the personal touch


LAS VEGAS – March 14, 2017 – Almost six in 10 new homeowners applied for and completed their mortgage in person rather than online, according to the 2017 Borrower Insights Survey conducted by mortgage automation provider Ellie Mae. An additional 28 percent of recent buyers used a hybrid system that included at least some personal time with a mortgage lender.

"There's no question that technology is playing a larger role in the home buying experience, says Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Ellie Mae. "But what's even more telling is that homeowners still want a personal interaction with their lender. They want someone who can answer important questions and make them feel confident that everything will be handled correctly and on time."

When asked about the mortgage process and how they experience could be improved, 27 percent of millennials identified the process' speed as the top area to improve their experience; but surprisingly, 23 percent listed more face-to-face interaction as the second-greatest opportunity for improvement.

"By leveraging technology, lenders can provide a more high-tech experience to simplify and speed the overall process, while still having the high-touch interactions when and where homebuyers want," says Tyrrell.

Among all age groups, 40 percent of new homeowners said they would have liked a faster process with fewer delays; 20 percent indicated that a shorter, easier-to-understand application would be preferable; 11 percent asked for more communication with their lender throughout the process.

Millennials were the most likely generation of homebuyers to begin their mortgage application online and finish it with an in-person interaction with their lender (30 percent). Gen X (28 percent) and baby boomer (20 percent) borrowers weren't far behind.

Millennials and women were the most likely to cite security as a most important factor when they applied for a loan. Gen X and baby boomer buyers were more likely to value process speed. All three generations equally valued simplicity.

Ellie Mae's study also revealed that referrals remain the predominant method consumers use to select a mortgage lender despite the abundance of online marketing by lenders: 61 percent of respondents chose their last lender based on a referral from a friend or family member (23 percent), bank (17 percent), Realtor (16 percent) or financial advisor (5 percent).

Online search was used by 18 percent of survey respondents, though that percentage rose to 25 percent of millennials.

© 2017 Florida Realtors  

Related Topics: Mortgages