Lenders, Real Estate Agents Top Online Sources as Mortgage Influencers--For Now

Mike Sorohan msorohan@mba.org

October 25, 2017

While consumers increasingly go online to get information for a wide variety of shopping experiences, Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C., said for mortgage information, person-to-person engagement still plays the key role.

In a Special Topic study, the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research surveyed recent mortgage borrowers about their experiences with real estate agents, mortgage lenders, friends and family and online resources such as mobile apps, websites, and social media. The survey sample was constructed from borrowers with purchase mortgages in the Fannie Mae book of business that were originated in 2016.

Key findings:

--Borrowers said lenders and real estate agents (industry pros who offer a personal touch) were more influential than online sources during the mortgage-shopping experience.

--Among those surveyed, Millennials reported using both online and person-to-person resources with similar frequency when they shopped for their mortgage--but they said that personal interactions, not online sources, were the most influential.

--Overall, mortgage lenders, real estate agents and family and friends are seen as more trustworthy and credible than online sources, which were ranked primarily for their convenience.

--But consumers do have an appetite for online resources during the mortgage-shopping experience--respondents said they want to use mobile devices nearly twice as often in the future.

"To be competitive, lenders and real estate agents must evolve their digital offerings to provide an omni-channel experience that allows consumers to move conveniently between online and personal interactions," the report said.

The report can be found at http://www.fanniemae.com/resources/file/research/housingsurvey/pdf/oct2017-topicanalysis-presentation-mortgage-shopping-influencers.pdf.

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