COO Alexci Copeland refers to Agent Find as “the complete end-to-end home buying experience,” using their agent matching technology to help lenders provide their customers with access to a network of over 30,000 vetted and proven agents nationwide. When lenders work with an Agent Find they optimize their conversions by establishing relationships with agents whom work with them to close more deals.
Copeland was at the recent Mortgage Banking Technology Conference in Dallas and met with Mortgage Media’s senior technology advisor Dave Matthews to talk about what Agent Find and their latest technologies have to offer.
The company provides a technological avenue to boost the relationship aspect of the business, of strengthening the bond and the network between lender and customer — it’s tech with a purpose. Too many latch on to the latest thing tech-wise, she said — “Hey, let’s automate, let’s automate, let’s automate, it’s all about technology.” But it’s really not. As always, the mortgage business is about making connections and building trust, with the tech as a powerful tool.
“One of our biggest things is that it’s also all about that human touch and that human interaction,” Copeland said. “Our team of coordinators, they are constantly on the phone with buyers or constantly on the phone with agents. After every transaction you do a review on the lender, on the agent, to make sure that the end goal is that that buyer is happy, that they had a great experience — and if that buyer had a great experience from start to finish, they’re more than likely going to refer that lender again. They’re gonna say, ‘Hey, they connected me with a great agent, they have a great solution.’
“So now the lender is not only providing a home loan, they’re also providing them the agent, how to search for a home, and they’re really giving that buyer the complete end-to-end digital home buying experience because they’re able to provide all of that instead of having your agent here, your lender here. We’re able to bring it all, pull it all together.”
A new tool in Agent Find’s toolbox is their new MLS solution for lenders. Through Agent Find lenders can now provide their borrowers access to a white labeled MLS portal themselves, that’s free of advertising and solicitation from competing lenders.
Established in 2012, Agent Find got started to meet a need for borrower attention in purchase lead conversions and such — a solution for lenders that were pre-approving out-of-state borrowers. “The problem that especially consumer direct lenders will see is that when you’re working with out-of-state borrowers and they end up working with their own agents, many times those deals are going to get poached … they’re gonna nab your deals because they don’t have a relationship with you, being an out-of-state lender.”
If a loan officer pre-approves a buyer who doesn’t have a real estate agent, the loan officer can refer the borrower to Agent Find, which will connect the loan officer with one of its realty advisors. Then a realty advisor will connect the buyer to one of their vetted agents. The advisor’s role is to “stay in communication throughout the entire home buying journey, so our realty advisors are going to stay in communication with our agents, with the lender, with the borrower” — and, due to the weekly engagement with borrowers, can apprise the loan officer if the borrower puts an offer in, is considering other lenders, or such. And with their MLS tool, the lenders can, essentially, give their customers their own MLS (multiple listing system) to get started on from their own homepage, rather than the customers going online to search for a home on other MLS sites.
“So now our lender partners are able to engage borrowers by having a ‘Hey, click here to search for our home’ — on their own website,” Copeland said. “A buyer can go to the lender’s website for the home loan, they can go to the lender’s site to search for a home. In that way, they’re not out there getting solicited by other lenders.”
The Agent Find MLS solution was in development for about two years — and involved, “pretty heavy process” of pulling the various data feeds from all the MLSs.
And to underscore the import of the lender-consumer connection, Copeland noted that the customer’s entry point is through the lender, not directly through Agent Find.
Meanwhile, Agent Find’s revenue stream comes from the real estate side of the transaction, not the lending side — so there’s no cost for the lender to do business with them; their only cost is it the integration, getting it operational (and the company sends a tech team in to help with the set-up, working with a lender’s in-house technology. (“Once you’ve done it about 20, 30 times it’s super quick, we know what we’re doing,” she said.)
What kind of difference can Agent Find make for a lender? She says it’s not uncommon to find oneself converting 100 percent more when utilizing the service, giving the example of one who has gone from around 18% to converting at 40%. “The biggest thing we tell people is, ‘Just give us a try. It doesn’t cost you anything and you’re going to see significant growth in your conversions within a 90-day period.”
What’s next for Agent Find and its new platform?
“I would say in the next two years, the goal is to see as many lenders as possible with this platform … putting more control back to the lenders, because lenders are spending so much money, tens of thousands, millions even on purchase leads, through these lead sources, and so many of them are just going down the drain because of the solicitation by other lenders as soon as they search for a home,” she said. “Our goal is to have Agent Find and our lender MLS solution spread more throughout the market.”