Virginia Beach Home Loans: Swimming with the sharks...

Swimming with the sharks...

Rates are low. low, low!

Rates are low, as low as they were in 2004 when I began my career. Refinance applications are up and so we (company and I) decided to start purchasing leads. Wow, what a shift in gear working Internet leads is from working referrals.

Sleazy sales tactics...

Is what I am up against. The thing with Internet leads is that most people shopping on the Internet have filled several forms with several "Comparison Shops" like and

I am not really enjoying the quality of these leads as I have noticed that while the sneaky lender's out there low-ball their prospects, those same prospects low ball other LO's. Here's what I mean; if I quote someone a 5%, they will take that 5% and shop everyone else who is contacting them from the web.

That 5% may not be locked in, and rates may shift slighty to and fro. They may find someone offering a 4.75% a day or two later and think that they are getting a better deal with that company.

Loyalty VS. Internet leads...

People shopping on the Internet for a mortgage will often times go with whomever offers the lowest rate and fee. Unfortunately, many people do not understand that we all get the same rate's and fees. There are slight variations depending on which lender We take the loan to, but we all have the exact same products and pricing available to us.

I like the Internet leads because the "more looks" the better. Still they are not my primary source and never will be. I like to work with level-headed people who want to work with a recommended professional. It seems with Internet leads, no matter what a person is offered the next guy will offer something lower, no matter what... Even if it does not really exist. Many predatory individual's in this business see it as a great way to get people "on board" and once they are on board, committed, and appraisal is paid for they beat them over the head with details and so called "facts" that make the increase in rate and fee at the closing table the borrower's fault when in fact it is their fault for not properly disclosing.

I won't Lie...

To my clients or to my prospects and that makes competing on these Internet leads very difficult. Still, I'd rather keep my integrity and work with those whom want to work with me based on my merit and SterlingReputation. I'd rather someone come to me by recommendation because they want to be treated right and they now that I will take care of their needs, not because they think that I may be able to beat their neighbor by and 1/8th of a point of interest. Truthfully, I may be able to quote someone a rate and one hour later I may be able to quote them an 1/8th of a point higher or lower. By then they may be getting a quote from another company that is an 1/8th of a point lower.

I love this business...

But I hate the way that it is advertised, it is such a commodity. It's as though people do not respect our profession and they believe that everyone can do exactly the same thing. My service is not identical to my neighbors and my neighbors is not identical to mine.



Christopher Ohlsen

37 Boynton Ave

(845) 243-5293 (Office)

(518) 565-0799 (Cell)



Comment balloon 3 commentsChristopher Ohlsen • January 17 2008 09:10AM


Referral is the only way to go.  I don't like the lead game at all.  Referral is the only way to go.  I'm swamped and my value is not being the "lowest rate in town."  Rather the most honest and most fair.
Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) almost 12 years ago

It is difficult to compete with companies that employ intense marketing strategies as you describe. The best we can do is to continue to maintain our good reputations. Clients will realize our superior value lies in our integrity and service.

Posted by Rosario Lewis, GRI, SRES - DDR Realty - Orange County, NY (DDR Realty) almost 12 years ago

Larry - Referral is absolutely the way to go. When an agent refers one of their client's to a Mortgage Professional or a Mortgage Professional refers one of their clients to a Realtor both professionals are to some extent risking their own reputation. If I send a Client to a Realtor whom does not perform, I look bad in the eyes of my Client and so it is something that I try to avoid doing. If one professional refers to the services of another professional, chances are that the professional being referred to is of a high caliber and gets the job done. So my point of this rant is to point out that not only is it easier to work with a client whom has been referred, but it is also beneficial for the client to work with the person being referred to them.

Rosario - I love your words of wisdom, you are always optimistic and I like that in people. Also, I must say that I completely agree with you. These people out there slinging these rates and programs that don't even exist, or lying about the condition of a home, or whatever malfeasance they are involved with are not in it for the long hall. They are hard to compete against because they don't care what the future holds. One thing that is for certain though, is that they cannot continue to go on that way forever. they will get called out and at some point they will decide to leave the business because it has become too hard for them, or they will be pushed out.

Posted by Christopher Ohlsen (Credit Werx, LLC.) almost 12 years ago