ReverseFortunes.com, a customer relationship manager (CRM) that also offers training and marketing materials to its customers, is branching out and is launching Lead Central as a way to streamline the reverse mortgage lead purchasing process for originators.
Lead-seeking originators can use the site’s Lead Central tool, view the lead-providers, read about them or visit their websites, and then fill out a quick form indicating the type of lead they seek as well as their budget. Lead Central will send those forms to the lead-providers, then the originators will get emails or phone calls from lead companies regarding what leads are available, pricing, and area. In some cases, leads can be uploaded directly from the provider to an originator’s CRM.
“It’s a way to instantly shop for lead providers,” said ReverseFortunes.com President and CEO Eric Hiatt, who loosely compared the tool to Ebay’s format where users can type in what they want and their price range and are shown all the users who are selling that product. He is excited about the launch because it provides originators with an easy source for leads in one place, something he hasn’t experienced anywhere else.
“In developing Lead Central, our biggest goal is to have a place for originators to purchase leads to go to and say, ‘I know these companies are reputable, and someone is having success with these,'” said Hiatt.
Hiatt has personally worked with and purchased leads from all five of the lead-providing companies ReverseFortunes.com is partnering with: Reverse Mortgage Adviser, Pioneer Information Services, Inc., Qualified Reverse Leads, Response Mail Express, and Reverse Mortgage Lenders Direct. He said all five are accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
As for adding more companies to ReverseFortune.com’s list of lead-providers, Hiatt said they’ll going to wait for three months to gauge partner and originator response before taking further action. In the event that a lead-provider were to rip off a buyer by not delivering leads, Hiatt said ReverseFortunes.com would kick them out of the system, as they’re under no obligation to have different companies on or off the system.
The launch of Lead Central prompted those at ReverseFortunes.com to redesign the website, a task that fell into the sphere of Kurt Hoffman, the Senior Vice President of Web Development and Online Marketing.
“[ReverseFortunes.com] is never static,” said Hoffman. “Ever since we started it, we don’t just build something. We are constantly improving the site and what it does for users. We’re constantly adding new features to the CRM, trying to make it the best possible resource for originators. We’re looking to see our users get more utility out of the site.”
With both the site redesign and the launch of Lead Central, Hiatt said he is hoping to help both reverse mortgage originators, lead-providers, and the reverse mortgage industry in general. He cited statistics from HECM reports that show the volume of reverse mortgage endorsements in May 2007 at 10,409, while May 2011 posted a 50% decrease from that number with only 5,188.
“I really believe that if we as originators continue to work our tails off, lead providers continue to provide good leads, and banks provide good products, that we can see this industry grow in a healthy way,” he said. “We want to generate more commerce and stimulate the reverse business.”
And when it comes to timing for Lead Central’s launch, Hiatt thinks right now is perfect.
“There’s no better time than right now for us to be generating more and better technology and services to help and encourage the reverse mortgage originator,” he said. “Now is the time for companies like ReverseFortunes.com to step up and develop technologies. Even though it might be a gamble on our part, we believe it’s a gamble worth betting on. We believe in the [reverse] market so much that we know that by developing this stuff, and spending this money, that it will help to generate those loans that everyone’s looking for.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace