The wholesale mortgage lending division of Rocket Companies has launched a national mortgage broker directory on its website, providing potential leads to mortgage brokers and also poking at its biggest rival, United Wholesale Mortgage, in the process.
“The directory not only includes the 43,000 individual loan officers who work with us, but every mortgage broker in the country,” said Austin Niemiec, the executive vice president of Rocket Pro TPO. “This new resource is not about us; it’s about giving consumers more choice and assuring they know how an independent loan officer in their community can help them.
“Brokers are now featured on one of the most well-known mortgage websites in the country. Whenever Americans see the Rocket Mortgage brand during an NFL game, on HGTV or while watching eSports, it can lead them to their local mortgage professional,” Niemiec said.
The prompt for consumers to use a mortgage broker is high up on Rocket Mortgage’s homepage, with a message that says, “Connect with a mortgage broker in your community. A mortgage broker can be your trusted guide close to home. They can really get to know you and tailor loan options to meet your needs.”
Rocket, the second largest wholesale lender in America and biggest lender overall, says its main website draws over 115 million visitors a year and will be a source of free leads to thousands of mortgage brokers, whether they use Rocket products or not. There are about 14,000 brokerages on the directory, a spokesperson said. Earlier this year, the company said it issued up to 10,000 fresh leads to brokers.
In today’s low-inventory environment, complicated by external factors such as forbearance and foreclosure moratoriums, it’s crucial for real estate agents and brokers to be proactive in order to grow their business.
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Rocket Pro TPO has been devising even more new ways to drive business to its broker partners, according to Niemiec.
“So we looked at all the options and said, ‘We have RocketMortgage.com and every month there are over 10 million Americans visiting the site. And not everyone likes doing a loan a different way,’” Niemiec said in an interview.
“Consumers love optionality. Giving them a way to connect with their broker in the local area is something we knew is pretty special that we’re able to do as a partner and can provide a great experience to Americans looking to get a loan locally in their area,” he said.
According to Niemiec, nearly every broker in America is on that list.
“And the reason being the majority of brokers are partnered up with Rocket Pro TPO,” he said. “And if they’re not – every single month we’re adding 300-plus new brokers to our platform. So we assume that the majority of mortgage brokers in America are a partner of Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Pro TPO. So we made the decision to include everybody.”
There’s a segment of the mortgage broker world that won’t work with Rocket because it competes with brokers through other channels, namely its consumer-direct business. Niemiec said all brokers would benefit from the directory.
“The majority of folks going to Rocket Mortgage.com, whether they have a directory or not, they’re going to RocketMortgage.com, the most heavily trafficked mortgage website in the country,” he said. “And so by putting our partners right there front and center and giving people the ability for these folks to connect with them, it’s all additive business. It’s not competition, it’s additive business that gives our brokers an opportunity to get in front of those clients when they wouldn’t have anyways.”
Asked how it’s different than UWM’s FindAMortgageBroker.com, which was launched several years ago, Niemiec pointed to scale.
“It just has a lot more foot traffic, significantly more. There’s 100 million consumers who go to RocketMortgage.com, whether they see a commercial or see an advertisement, radio,” he said. “I don’t have the numbers but I have to imagine [there’s] 50-to-100 times traffic to [RocketMortgage.com] than other platforms out there. But that’s what’s awesome – it’s great they have a platform, we have a platform. It’s just more ways for Americans to choose how they get a mortgage.”
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