Internet mortgage companies view their web site as another vehicle
for advertising. It is not. And because of this erroneous belief,
their corporate web site does not perform as well as it could.
Not Your Web Site
Internet is different from other mass mediums, in that the web
is interactive, and the customer controls how the interaction
occurs. The customer is in charge of what they want to read; not
the web site owner.
Is What Customers Want
most successful web sites give the customer 'what they want'.
Your web site is for your customer, so design your site to please
your customer (not your webmaster or yourself).
want what you want. When customers go to web sites: they want
content, they want information they are seeking, they want information
that they were not seeking but is beneficial to them, they want
pricing, they want it easy to find and they want it fast and on
It To Me, Now!
customers generally are coming to your web site for one thing
- interest rates - be sure to display your rates and terms on
the top on your main page. Don't put a picture of your corporate
headquarters or staff there. Your customers will get to that information,
if they want. But first things first, they want to know your rates.
site owners cannot just add a couple of flashy graphics and expect
to conduct commerce. That is like taking a '68 VW bug and painting
racing flames on the body, thinking that will make it go faster;
it won't. And your site won't produce more customers with extra
Tell Me, I Won't Tell You
mortgage customers want to easily find information on rates and
plans. They do not want to have to register or submit their email
in order to access the material they seek.
Name Is Mine, Not Yours
customers demand privacy and want full disclosure to any and all
information you have stored on them. This includes any historical,
proprietary, transactional, or confidential information. And don't
sell your customer's information to any outside source.
Like My Browser, It Should Work On Your Site
companies should do their best and test their web site on as many
different browsers as possible. The current browser war can cause
major differences in how web pages appear. Often a site can look
great in Netscape 6.0, but have problems with Netscape 4.7. Your
web developer needs to make sure your site views correctly in
all different browsers.
developers like to use cutting edge technology. But often, in
order for your customer to view your site in all its glory, your
customer may be asked to download and install a plug-in component
of software. Customers don't like this.
Ask For A DNA Sample
with many mortgage sites is that they request a complete history,
biography, social security and DNA sample before they give quotes
to potential customers. Make it easy for the customer to do business
with you by only collecting the critical information to get started.
If you are both interested in going forward; then more information
can be requested.
Your Neighbor, Your Friend, Your Customer
your page not only factual but interesting to read. Treat your
customer as a guest, and "talk" to them as a friend. Your customer
is not a mindless drone, they are normal people. So don't try
a deliver your web content in a boring, corporate monotony.
Or Lack Of, Kills
sure your pages load fast and your potential customer will at
least stay to see your logo and first bit of information. If your
site must use graphics and pictures, optimize the images assuming
that your customer is accessing with a 56k modem; not DSL or cable.
Site, One Map
like familiarity so be consistent with your site look and site
navigation. Don't offer entire new looks or colors for different
sections of your site. Your navigation should be first either
at the top or on the left. Rarely should navigation be at the
bottom of your page and never on the right hand side of your page.
get too cute with trying to be different. Customers like to see
hyperlinks that are blue and underlined.
it easy to review your web site. Use headings and boldface to
allow your visitor to scan your page and find what they want (like
we did with this article). Avoid italics and do not use multiple
fonts on your page; as they are harder to read.
Are The Weakest Link
your hyperlinks either from a computer at home or using a link
checking software program. Broken links will cause customers to
leave and go on to a competitor site.
mortgage companies try and hide behind their web site; only allowing
the customer to contact them via email. With our clients, we find
about half of all potential customers actually call the 1-800
number. And the other half either fill out a form or use email
to request additional information. So be sure to offer toll free
numbers, e-mail addresses, fax numbers and real world street addresses
(no PO Boxes).
Are Like Banks
are like banks - you have to make a deposit, before you can make
a withdrawal. The "deposits" you can make are giving the customer
what they want - information. Allow them to use online calculators
to examine 15 year versus 30 year financing. Offer information
on the pro's and con's of higher points and lower interest rates
or an explanation of what title insurance does for them.
Is What You Get
you give your visitors what they want, you will get what you want…