Online giant Zillow has officially moved into the mortgage business. Can you survive Zillow as a Loan Officer? Is it even possible? If so, how do you do it?
Zillow recently bought Mortgage Lenders of America, adding home loans to its own line of business and sprawling monopoly. Many mortgage companies and loan officers may fear for their financial survival. Some should. Here’s what you need to know, and how to stay alive and keep the revenues coming in.
‘GodZillow’ is Coming for You
Zillow is stomping on more an more market share, in an increasing number of real estate fields. It’s coming for your business. It won’t be happy until it can put as many competitors out of business as possible.
It’s ironic that this beast of a company has grown so large on the back of one of the most controversial, flawed and damaging home value tools ever to hit the industry. It just shows you what can be accomplished with mountains of marketing and dollars.
Zillow recently started flipping houses for itself. That means buying up properties, renovating and relisting its own inventory on the site. That alone should have been enough reason for most real estate professionals to have fled the site and cut off any business with it. You can’t expect it to remain objective when its advertisers are competing against the company’s own best interests.
The company also recently began taking over the rental and property management industry. It now aims to be the portal for taking tenant applications and processing rental payments.
Now, with its new mortgage lending division Zillow has even more control over the market, who buys what, and what lenders buyers will have to use to buy properties they find online.
Between its billions in revenue to throw at dominating the home loan sector, influence through hundreds of magazine partnerships, partnerships with search engines, brand recognition, staffing, technology, volumes of content, and influence through reviews, Zillow has many strengths and advantages.
How to Survive the “Z-pocalypse”
You and your mortgage business and career can survive. You’ve survived so far, despite much larger and more established banks being in the playing field. It may be challenging and frustrating, but it is possible to maintain your income and a long term business.
The first step to success is prepping and to know your advantages. Want to see how BNTouch can help? Request a free demo of our marketing software here.
This may include:
- Local market knowledge and expertise
- Better local industry connections
- The ability to deliver superior personal service
- Ability to deliver more accuracy
- Speed and flexibility in business decisions
Personalize Your Brand
Don’t try to mimic cold corporate sites or Zillow and think you can beat them with your David versus Goliath sized marketing budget. Stand out by being unique and human instead.
Build Real Relationships
It’s going to be virtually impossible for Zillow to do this. Don’t look at customers as transactions and digits to add to this month’s stats. Be a partner in their financial success for life. Cultivate loyalty, customer retention plans and campaigns. Keep nurturing relationships every quarter.
Big corporations are notoriously slow. It’s their achilles heel. Be ready, willing and able to jump on new opportunities faster. When new loan programs come online or new cities and neighborhoods become popular with home buyers, be there to capture the market before Zillow.
Get Better at Follow Up
Wow your customers at your fast and consistent follow up. They’ll reward you with their business. Be there with texts, emails, mail, phone calls and other ads every month. Consider hosting appreciation events. Build in-person relationships. Do what it takes to win their referrals.
Invest in Your Own Online Assets
Zillow’s biggest and best asset is all the content that professionals like you contributed to making it so big. It’s now using that against Realtors, mortgage loan officers and other industry pros. So, stop feeding the beast. Don’t give it backlinks, quote it for data, give it your content or customers or dollars. Invest in building up your own online assets instead. Maybe try your luck at some of the best social media platforms for loan officers.
There are still effective ways to market for mortgage leads on and offline. You just have to be more targeted, have professionals on your team who can spot the opportunities Zillow is weak in, and create better lead funnels.
Zillow is on a mission to take over the world with its real estate listing and mortgage platform. No one seems to be challenging its monopoly status yet. So buckle up for the ride. You can survive and thrive if you understand your advantages and Zillow’s weak spots. Focus on these strategies to stay in business, build great habits and even grow during the months and years ahead.