It’s no secret that real estate portals like Zillow dominate real estate-related traffic on the web. Indeed, Zillow has 195 million monthly unique visitors, and 80% of all US homes have been viewed on the site at least once. What many lenders may not realize, however, is the direct threat that this traffic poses to their businesses: According to NestReady’s own study, 58% of top US-based mortgage lenders face medium- to high-risk levels of website audience loss to platforms like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and Redfin.
Nevertheless, lenders like Bank of America have reversed this trend by building digital mortgage experiences (in-house or through a platform like NestReady) that combine local expertise and superior customer service with the convenience of real estate portals. As Zillow and other major companies add lending services to their portfolios, banks that fail to follow in Bank of America’s footsteps by investing in technology are in danger of losing borrower business.
Since introducing its digital mortgage experience, Bank of America has increased applications, reduced closing times, and cut audience overlap with major real estate websites by an average of 43 percent. Read on to see how Bank of America’s investments in digital mortgage technology have helped the lender achieve renewed success.
Mortgage Banking Solution: Bank of America Real Estate Center®
In late 2016, Bank of America launched its Real Estate Center®, a digital platform that guides consumers through every stage of the homebuying journey. The Real Estate Center includes the following tools and features:
- Modern property search tools
- Educational articles and guides about topics related to buying, selling, and borrowing
- A complete pre-qualification platform, along with calculators for mortgage rates, monthly payments, and closing costs
- The Home Loan Navigator, a digital mortgage application portal that enables borrowers to communicate with their lender and track every step in the process
In addition, Bank of America has partnered with a network of real estate brokers to provide property listings and connect with consumers.
Results of the Bank of America Real Estate Center®
Bank of America has enjoyed numerous benefits as a result of its Real Estate Center. Since the tool’s launch, consumer adoption has steadily increased. Today, 20 percent of Bank of America mortgage applications are now sourced digitally. In addition, the Home Loan Navigator has helped Bank of America streamline loan processing, reducing closing time by 20 percent.
Just as important, Bank of America has successfully lowered its audience overlap with major real estate portals. This decrease in overlap has reduced direct competition from major real estate websites, and is likely one of the major reasons that Bank of America’s weekly application volumes have increased tenfold.
To see this audience overlap trend in action, let’s start with Zillow:
As the chart above illustrates, Bank of America has reduced its audience overlap with Zillow from 34 percent in April 2018, to 22 percent in September 2019.
Audience overlap results for other major real estate portals are similar. Here’s the same data for Trulia:
Since April 2018, Bank of America’s audience overlap with Trulia has been reduced by half, from 15.3 percent to just 7.7 percent.
Finally, there’s Redfin:
Over the same period, Bank of America’s audience overlap with Redfin fell from 16.3 percent to 9.3 percent.
Build Your Digital Mortgage Platform with NestReady
As Bank of America’s example shows, investing in an advanced and comprehensive digital platform for homebuyers can help lenders keep their target audience’s attention online, helping them convert and retain more clients. Of course, not all lenders have the resources or expertise to build their own digital experiences from the ground up. That’s where NestReady comes in.
NestReady’s white-label solutions for mortgage lenders integrate all aspects of the home-buying journey, providing a simple, seamless way for loan officers, homebuyers, and real estate agents to communicate and build relationships through every stage of the process. The result is an experience that’s easier, faster and, most importantly, more satisfying for everyone. If you’re ready to learn how our digital platform can help you grow your lending business, visit our site to schedule your free demo today.