Mortgage News

Google Page Rank Update in Progress

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Posted by on June 24th, 2009

Google PR (PageRank) updates are under way again, just a month after the last update. Typically updates occur every 3 months or so making this update a bit out of the ordinary.

PageRank Forumla = PR(A) = (1-d) + d(PR(t1)/C(t1) + … + PR(tn)/C(tn))

Page Rank is an often misunderstood and misinterpreted part of the many signals and components that make up the Google ranking algorithm like. To keep things complicated, read this primer. To keep things simple, PageRank uses a logarithmic scale and is based primarily on incoming links. In plain speak, this means that if PR were on a point scale and moving from PR1 to PR2 took “10 Points”, then moving moving from PR2 to PR3 might take “200 points” and moving from PR3 to PR4 might take “1500 Points” and moving from PR4 to PR5 might take “9500 points”. I think you get the idea, while my points system is just nonsense I’ve made up, the point is that each move upwards in PR becomes exponentially harder. What does PageRank mean to you? Well for starters, PageRank does not guarantee high search engine rankings. PR is more of a qualitative measure of a site, but does not translate into directly higher rankings, although there is no reason why a site with high PR shouldn’t rank well also. Well it’s perfectly normal to get excited as you watch your PR grow. The truth is that I’ve had sites that I’ve put no effort in building links to become PR4. While PR5 is definitely respectable, I think PR6 is a real accomplishment and requires a real sustained effort, most blogs will never become a PR6. At the end of the day you can NEVER go wrong focusing on publishing high quality content that others find useful. If you do, people will link to you, you will rank well and eventually your PR will follow. PR is a lagging indicator, so don’t put the horse in front of the cart!

One thing is for sure, over the last couple of years it seems to me that PR3 is the new PR4. In other words, PR ranking has become harder to achieve.

Legislation

HVCC: Home Valuation Code of Conduct Update

Posted by on May 8th, 2009

A year or so ago, I wrote a petition called “Request For Careful Reconsideration of HVCC” when the implications of HVCC became clear to me. Although HVCC has been looming for quite some time, many are just now hearing about it recently since it was implemented on May 1st. In the last couple of weeks alone, the petition has gained roughly 5000 signatures. If you have not signed, PLEASE DO. Will the petition have any effect? I don’t know, but it can’t hurt. In fact, the true effects of HVCC are still playing out as we speak.

In an email to LeadPress, Douglas Bowes point out:

The HVCC causes the appraiser to have many reasons to appraise a property BELOW it’s true value – because…

  • the appraiser is fearful of being kicked off the approved list because someone thought the value was too high.
  • the appraiser is being paid less per appraisal, he has to do more appraisals… meaning not enough time will be given to justify a more accurate, higher value.
  • So, far my experience has been ….appraisals are coming in about 10% less than the true value. ( 180k instead of true value of 200k).
  • At a time when billions of dollars are being spent to allow as many refinances as possible, HVCC serves to actually DECREASE the # of refinances that are possible.

We were also contacted by Craig Butterfield, whom has been very active in raising awareness about HVCC. Craig pointed out this great CNBC video on HVCC and this article as well to us, they are worth a look.

Craig hand delivered the following letter to all 71 Congressional members on the banking/finance committee in DC last week.

I was there all week running through the Congressional halls with three other appraisers), I’ve also E mailed it to about 200 Appraisal board members in all 50 states, and spoke with perhaps 50 of them on the phone.

#################################

Dear Senators and Congress persons:

Please take a moment to review the attached information packet that relates to the new legislation that took effect May 1, 2009 regarding residential appraisals. We represent the more than 1,000,000 people whose livelihoods are being compromised by the passage of the new Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC).

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Mortgage News

3 Questions with LeadPress #1: Dustin Luther

Posted by on May 4th, 2009

barcamp

I’m happy to announce the first installment of a new LeadPress Video Series called 3 Questions with LeadPress! Following shortly will be a weekly podcast and other related series!

I was lucky enough to catch BarCampLA this weekend and got to hang out with some amazing folks. One of those people was Dustin Luther, the founder of 4Realz.com and the ultimate in veteran real estate blogs, Rain City Guide. After two days worth of great session, learning and an epic Scotch tasting, Dustin was nice enough to be the first victim participant of the 3 Questions with LeadPress Series. We discuss the following topics: social media, twitter, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, scotch, Rhonda Porter, Rain City Guide, 4Realz.com, mortgage brokers and Dustin’s latest projects.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZmKCdthORk&fmt=35[/youtube]


Mortgage Marketing

A La Mode Mortgage Websites

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Posted by on May 3rd, 2009

A La Mode Inc. ( alamode.com ) builds real estate, appraisal, home inspector and mortgage websites. Their offerings are grouped by:  real estate agent websites, mortgage broker websites, appraiser websites and mortgage originator websites.

From the Alamode corporate page:

Founded in 1985, a la mode has become the leader in real estate technology by developing software, workflow management systems and e-commerce technology for a wide range of participants in the mortgage lending and home selling processes.

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Mortgage Marketing

Myers Mortgage Web Sites

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Posted by on May 3rd, 2009

Update: Myers has announced it is closing its doors. Learn more about the Myers No Setup Fee Migration Program here!

Myers, found at MyersInternet.com is a MGIC owned company that builds mortgage websites and real estate agent websites. Myers is one of the original players in the mortgage website design space, first entering the space in 1995. From the Myers website, “Myers founders created the first online application in April, 1994.”

Myers Mortgage Website Packages:

The Standard Package set up fee is $199 with monthly fees of $50. This package includes an online editor, nine mortgage calculators, mortgage content and a secure application suite.

The Budget Package set up fee is $199 with monthly fees of $35. This package includes an online editor, nine mortgage calculators and mortgage content.

The Spanish Package set up fee is $199 with monthly fees of $35. This package includes an online editor, nine mortgage calculators and mortgage content.

myers-websites

Myers lists the following mortgage web site benefits:

  • Multiple lead capturing tools to maximize ROI
  • Easy and instant customization at no cost!
  • Fast, secure, reliable & compliant online app
  • Automated assistant for referral sources
  • Customizable email auto-responders
  • Free training, toll-free support and product upgrades

Additional Myers Mortgage Web Site Features:

  • Online Full 1003 Application
  • Flash Intro Pages
  • Quick Mortgage Quote
  • Flash Message Display
  • Quick Mortgage Calc
  • Slideshow
  • Featured Text
  • Flash and Graphical Headers

Myers mortgage web site design can be reached at 800-693-7730 and are located at 250 E. Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202.

LeadPress

Mortgage Podcast: LeadPress Round Table

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Posted by on April 28th, 2009

knights_of_the_round_tableWe are going to be starting a weekly mortgage podcast involving mortgage originators, service providers, bankers, underwriters, lead providers and anyone that is interested in discussing the state of mortgages and sales today.

Each week the topic and participants will change, but we will likely build up a crew of regulars that will participate when they are available.

Are you interested in participating? Do you know anyone who you would like to hear? What topics do you want to hear about?

LeadPress

Sneak Peak: LeadPress is Easy to Use!

Posted by on April 27th, 2009

Here’s a quick and dirty sneak peak at the Ipagio Classic theme for LeadPress!

LeadPress

What Can LeadPress Do for You?

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Posted by on April 26th, 2009

I am always thinking of the ways we can reach out to mortgage industry leaders, vendors and bloggers. Getting traction with loan officers in the mortgage space is different. Blogging alone doesn’t cut it, many (if not most) loan officers don’t read blogs or at least don’t actively partcipate in online discussions.

This means that the traditional avenues of that blogs can use to gain readership such as guest blogging on other blogs and inviting others to guest blog on LeadPress provides less of a value add for all parties involved and quite frankly just doesn’t have the impact it does in other verticals. For this reason we haven’t actively engaged others to write here or guest post on others blogs.

Which brings me to my point, what can LeadPress do for you? If you are a vendor, blogger, or other participant in the online mortgage space, what can we do for you? Can we build you a tool? Can we help you with your WordPress install? Can we help you move from TypePad to WordPress? Do you need server space? Let me know in the comments!

One tool we are playing with is HomeBase. HomeBase is a central online meeting place where real estate agents, loan officers, net branches, title reps, and appraisers can collaborate with and communicate about specific loan files or topics. You can find a demo at HOMEBASE …. Let me know if you have any feedback or suggestion for HomeBase use!

Mortgage News

The Mortgage Blogosphere is Dead

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Posted by on April 20th, 2009

There are many knowledgable and talented Mortgage pros that write about all things mortgage, but their content is going unnoticed. The talent at Lenderama, The Mortgage Cicerone (aging theme be damned), Straight Talk About Mortgages and others provide cutting edge commentary and market insight, but their traffic sucks (my opinion based on limited and possibly inaccurate data), there are very few comments and overall, dialogue between mortgage professionals is non-existent. B2B mortgage blogging is dead. Consumer facing blogs are another story.

The same is even more true in terms of online mortgage communities catering to mortgage professionals. If you can still bare to venture to BrokerOutpost, you know what I’m talking about. Sad.

This means the space is wide open for anybody willing to put in the time to crack this nut and that’s why we’re building the LeadPress Campus. The space is in a sorry state when there is so much potential to bring mortgage professionals together, yet nobody is getting traction and unmoderated forums like BrokerOutpost continue to dominate.

What is my point? We’re failing to engage mortgage professionals. Writing killer content is not enough to get and maintain their interest. Mortgage finance related blogs like Housing Wire and Calculated Risk are an exception and are filling a niche and doing well where mortgage blogs covering general mortgage topics are unable to. There is so much work to do.

Mortgage News

Mortgage Lending in Crisis: Insufficient Warehouse Lines Affect Lenders

Posted by on April 14th, 2009

As demand for mortgages increase, many lenders are finding that they are unable to fund loans or are extremely slow in funding as their warehouse lines are shrinking or disappearing altogether. This means that as the economy struggles to recover, homeowners that have the biggest need to refinance are finding their loans are not funding or are funding significantly later than they had expected. These funding delays can mean increased rate lock fees for consumers as lenders much extend their locks and many times requires borrowers to resign loan docs when their loans do not fund on time.

These factors can mean significant harm to homeowners and the economy if predicted future shortfalls in warehouse lines prove to be true.

Warehouse Lending Basics from WarehouseLendingProject.com:

* Warehouse lending is a critical link in the housing finance chain, providing short-term funding for loans that are eventually sold into the secondary market to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.

* Lenders that utilize warehouse lines of credit account for approximately 41% of all residential mortgage loans in the U.S., and nearly 55% of popular FHA loans.

* Estimates are that since 2006 warehouse lending capacity available to the industry has declined by nearly 90% to approximately $25 billion today.

* Based upon newly revised projections of 2009 lending volume there could be a $630 billion shortfall in home mortgage availability caused by a lack of warehouse lending capacity.

* Unless federal policymakers promptly address the issue, borrowers seeking to take advantage of today’s low rates will face rising interest rates and reduced credit access.


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