Mortgage Marvel Lenders Benefit from Big Jump in Online Rate Searches and Mortgage Applications in 2009

The growing popularity of Mortgage Marvel (, the innovative and consumer-friendly online mortgage-shopping service from Mequon, Wis.-based Mortgagebot® LLC (, is enabling participating lenders to attract new borrowers and increase their mortgage volume. Rick Allen, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Mortgagebot, said that from 2008 to 2009 consumer visits to Mortgage Marvel jumped 142 percent, resulting in a 66 percent overall increase in loan applications taken by participating lenders.

Allen noted that Mortgage Marvel’s consumer popularity is due to its consumer-friendly design and functionality. The easy-to-use online shopping service was created by Mortgagebot, the industry leader in online mortgage-lending technology that hosts more than 6000 mortgage Web sites for nearly 950 banks and credit unions.

Mortgage Marvel enables mortgage shoppers to search with complete anonymity, yet it delivers accurate, real-time rate-and-fee quotes to consumers in seconds—and then enables shoppers to connect directly to the Web site of their preferred lender, where they can complete a mortgage application and get pre-approved with full disclosures, all in as little as 20 minutes.

Lenders increase awareness, gain new business

“While consumers appreciate its ease of use,” Allen said, “banks and credit unions like Mortgage Marvel because it helps them gain new business with almost no additional effort or overhead.” That assessment is echoed by Cheryl Preston, Vice President of Danversbank (, a $2.5 billion-asset community bank based in Danvers, Mass. “Mortgage Marvel is definitely a cost-effective way to get new loans through the Web,” she said.

Rod Raszler, Vice President of Mortgage Operations for Pentagon Federal Credit Union ( of Alexandria, Va., said his $13.7 billion-asset credit union has used Mortgage Marvel to open up an entirely new business channel. “Every loan that PenFed has obtained through Mortgage Marvel would probably have gone somewhere else if those borrowers hadn’t found us through Mortgage Marvel,” he observed.

Research shows that over 70 percent of consumers use the Internet to search for mortgage loans, so the need to reach borrowers online is critical. Claire Ippoliti, Vice President of Lending for the $760 million-asset Philadelphia Federal Credit Union ( of Philadelphia, Penn., sees Mortgage Marvel as a way to be more competitive.

“Some consumers go directly to our Web site,” Ippoliti said. “But for those who don’t know about us, Mortgage Marvel provides another way for us to reach them. They can find us on Mortgage Marvel through a Google search, and then we become an option for them to consider. But we would never have an opportunity for that business without Mortgage Marvel.”

Ippoliti also says Mortgage Marvel has even helped increase the awareness of credit unions among online borrowers. “We’re reaching consumers who weren’t even aware of credit unions,” she observed. “They’re actually learning about the credit-union concept from Mortgage Marvel—and then they become new PFCU members.”

Preston of Danversbank has also seen an increase in new customers through Mortgage Marvel. “The majority of Mortgage Marvel customers have not previously heard of us,” she said, noting that Danversbank has expanded in the last decade and Mortgage Marvel has enabled the organization to improve its name recognition—and increase its loan volume.

In fact, Preston said, the volume of mortgage applications that Danversbank has taken through Mortgage Marvel doubled from 2008 to 2009. “As our footprint expands, we need to find ways to make ourselves known,” she explained. “Mortgage Marvel is an efficient and easy solution—especially since we already have a great relationship with Mortgagebot.”

Ruth Fritz, Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Milwaukee, Wis.-based Park Bank (, also values Mortgage Marvel’s ability to generate new mortgage business. She said the need for more exposure is what prompted the $798 million-asset bank to sign up. “Everyone who comes to us through Mortgage Marvel is a new customer,” she noted.

Online borrowers = better quality loans

But one of the best advantages cited by lenders—including Fritz of Park Bank—is how Mortgage Marvel delivers better quality mortgage loans than other channels. “About 90 percent of the customers that come to us through Mortgage Marvel are very good-quality borrowers,” she said. “And we fund probably 80 to 85 percent of those loans.”

Similarly, Raszler has found the average loan amount of Mortgage Marvel borrowers to be 35 percent higher than PenFed’s average portfolio loan amount—indicating that online borrowers are more affluent than some might think.

According to Ippoliti, PFCU also reports higher-than-average loan amounts for mortgages gained through Mortgage Marvel. “The typical Mortgage Marvel application is for a loan of about $315,000,” she said. “That’s over 57 percent higher than our typical loan of under $200,000—so we’re definitely reaching a different market.”

The cross-selling advantage

Lenders are also taking full advantage of Mortgage Marvel’s cross-sell opportunities. For example, Raszler said that PenFed regularly cross-sells other products to the many new members the credit union has gained through Mortgage Marvel.

Preston noted that Danversbank actively cross-sells other financial services to new mortgage customers. Every mortgage application is assigned to a loan originator who is a trained sales professional. The bank then sends out new offers via e-mail. “Mortgage Marvel loan applicants applied for their mortgage online, so they’re also much more likely to respond to our e-mails—and apply online for another product or service,” she said.

A low-cost, low-maintenance solution

While lenders must be users of the Mortgagebot PowerSite® solution to be able to participate in Mortgage Marvel, they report that Mortgage Marvel requires no additional work from them—which makes the service convenient and worry-free.

Preston appreciates Mortgage Marvel’s low maintenance, noting that the cost-effective service requires no heavy lifting. “One big benefit is that we don’t have a lot of work to do,” she said. “We simply upload our rates, and that data goes right into Mortgage Marvel—but that’s all part of what we’ve already been doing for years [with Mortgagebot PowerSite].”

Mortgage Marvel operates under a pay-for-performance model, so lenders pay a modest fee only when they receive a completed mortgage application. And by transforming the entire mortgage shopping and application process into a paperless, online experience, Mortgage Marvel is helping contribute to a “greener” mortgage industry.

A “greener” mortgage process is something Raszler and his team can relate to. That’s because PenFed won the “Green Originator” Award during the 2009 Mortgage Technology Awards ceremony, which was held last October in San Diego. And according to Raszler, PenFed could never have won the award without the paperless origination functionality provided by Mortgagebot PowerSite and Mortgage Marvel.

Raszler says he can definitely recommend Mortgage Marvel. “Mortgagebot is great to work with,” he stated. “And they manage Mortgage Marvel very well—which means it’s something I don’t have to worry about. And since our mortgage business has been setting new records lately, that frees up my time for other things.”

About Mortgage Marvel and Mortgagebot

Mortgage Marvel ( is the only nationwide, online mortgage-shopping service that instantly delivers accurate, real-time quotes from multiple lenders in complete privacy. The award-winning Mortgage Marvel enables consumers to quickly get mortgage quotes from trusted lenders by entering as few as four key pieces of non-sensitive information. In seconds, Mortgage Marvel presents free, accurate, up-to-date mortgage-rate-and-fee quotes from multiple lenders in an easy-to-understand display that is fully compliant with all government regulations. But unlike other online mortgage-shopping services, Mortgage Marvel enables borrowers to link directly to their preferred lender—where they can complete a mortgage application and get approved with full disclosures, all in about 20 minutes or less.

Mortgage Marvel is operated by Mortgagebot LLC (, the industry-leading, Inc. 5000 company that provides the unique, award-winning PowerSite family of integrated point-of-sale (IPOS) solutions for taking mortgage applications from every business channel: consumer-direct via the Internet, in the branch or call center; or through professional loan officers. Mortgagebot blends deep mortgage experience with innovative software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology to create scalable and affordable Web sites for nearly 950 banks and credit unions nationwide. Lenders large and small view PowerSite as a “must-have” solution because it helps them grow their businesses, reduce costs, and compete more effectively. In addition, PowerSite is flexible, easy to use, and features a rapid and proven implementation process.

Mortgagebot, Mortgagebot PowerSite, and Mortgage Marvel are registered trademarks of Mortgagebot LLC.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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