In the software ecosphere around mortgage “manufacturing”… ie, sales, origination, processing, closing and post-closing, secondary marketing…. the Contract to Close section for processessing and closing get the majority of the investment and attention. This is the obvious place where consumers are most impacted by the user experience (ignoring servicing here). However, the cost to originate a loan is skewed heavily by the sales commissions paid to originators to woo real estate agents, get referrals and convert leads.
If the work of a loan originator is largely BEFORE the Contract on a purchase, isn’t it strange there is little attention paid and little investment made in this BEFORE Contract stage?
Where are the software tools focused before the contract? Where are the differentiated ideas and services to create mortgage demand?
I mentioned this in the subsequent update video… but I was gone this week… off the grid. Camping with my kids’ Scout Troop at Camp Winton.
For Bay Area and Northern California folks… this is SW of South Lake Tahoe. Winton is a little closer than Kirkwood Ski Resort. The time leading up to and just after this week was a bit down on productivity. No new features. No big marketing push. Because the app is will a solo effort, schedule time away has an effect of nulling marketing efforts leading up to that time. Photos:
I wanted to develop a community for mortgage professionals around the downpayment.gift product. I did not want to run that community in a Facebook Group. I wanted them to return to the app to participate in the community or consume the content posted by us or other users. …so after some consideration, looking at options like Discourse, Tribe.so, Circle.so, and other custom Rails frameworks that would embed a message board, in-app… I decided to implement a new, single page app called Peerboard. The reasoning was around it’s simplicity and support for integrations like SSO, JWT authentication and full, evolving API and Zapier support.
Peerboard can be found at https://community.downpayment.gift. It mostly public except for groups that are secured by login. To login… well here is the beauty… you have to login to the downpayment.gift registry app as a partner. If you click Login from the Community site, it redirects you back and forth.
The goal in the short term for the Community is to post content here, marketing content, templates, ideas for marketing down payment registries, video ideas, slide decks and more. Think like a bit of a dumping grounds for marketing ideas and we’ll see want takes off. I expect we will be direct linking from emails, social posts and ads, directly to the community posts. I expect to be blogging to clients and consumers on the main site, downpayment.gift. …however, I expect we’ll “blog” on the community site for partners instead of posting on a traditional blog. We may spin up a few “tent-pole” partner blog posts… the sky-scraper technique… for partners but that it is.
Being a bolt on to the app, we can simply move it to the next version of our platform and re-integrate it. Due the JWT authentication, we have a simple SSO solution path our app is the authentication server. The new version only needs to carring forward that implementation to maintain the integration. The categories might narrow and then expand. Right now we have the ‘ghost-town’ problem for a forum software.