Where Consumer Reviews Can Hurt A Company
Consumer Reviews And The Lending Industry
The company I am discussing here is a mid to large sized nationwide direct lender. They are located here in Southern California and the company is called Intelliloan. It has been in business for 23 years and of the various lenders I have worked with over the years, I believe it is a pretty good company.
To become a top producing loan officer, aside from hard work and great effort put into the education of one's borrowers, a companies good pricing, very low fees (if any depending on the loan) and good business practices are somewhat key to its success.
Without getting too much into details on it, I will say that from what I have seen, this company does not seem to put any money into reputation management or social media. They do at times ask various clients to leave good reviews from time to time at one of the major review sites. If you looked at their Trust Link profile, you can see, there are hundreds of good reviews. But for the most part, great pricing and just taking the best care of the borrowers seems to work well.
In general, I find that most lenders who have been around awhile (especially if you don't work much at keeping on top of your social media and reviews) have bad reviews. When I looked up a few of intellililoan's competitors, I found the same thing.
Unfortunately, unlike restaurants or hotels, banks and financial institutions typically draw reviews when something goes wrong (unless solicited or manipulated in someway as I have seen some brokers and lenders do). What I mean is, of the past 30 loans I have done which have gone smoothly, my borrowers have sent my nice emails and thanked me and in some cases commented they would miss our conversations. But unless I asked them for a review, I am not sure they would even think about it. The one client who turned out to have back child support issues which he hadn't made me aware of before, threatened to report our company on one of the business review sites if we didn't somehow make the loan happen without him taking care of those issues.
Granted, the company (Intelliloan) speaks with thousands of borrowers or potential borrowers each day of the week and there are a lot of staff, so there is plenty of room for things to go wrong. Could there be a loan officer who makes a mistake? I believe so. Could I sometimes make mistakes or miss something? I try my best not to and I think I do great most of the time, but there are definitely times when I have been swamped and missed something. I then owe my borrower my best efforts to quickly resolve the matter and straighten things out.
At the end of the day though, when searching for a lender who can help you with your loan (whether it is a refinance or for a new home purchase), important things to consider will always be:
0) I won't get into this too much because I think it goes without saying that the lenders out there will be licensed and have NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System) numbers.
1) The loan officer should be knowledgeable, patient and be able to answer all of your questions.
2) You should find out up front what the fees involved (from the lender, broker as well as any costs from various third parties) in the loan are as well as the rate you are getting.
In my opinion, many lenders out there have very similar rates and fees and a lot of it comes down to the level of comfort the borrower has in dealing with you. That you will treat them fairly, be available to take their calls, educate them on the process, competently deal with any issues that arise and generally set proper expectations and at the end of the day, give them the best loan for their situation.
I am not being paid to write this article. I am only doing it on my own time personally on a public forum. Some of what I have written above is based on my opinions and is not necessarily based on the opinions of Intelliloan or its parent company, Metropolitan Home Mortgage. This is general information and nothing I wrote here is an offer to give a loan and you should always speak to your licensed loan officer to get exact information for your specific loan needs.
Metropolitan Home Mortgage, Inc. doing business as Intelliloan, NMLS #3290.