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Fifth Third Using Mobile to Generate Leads

NOV 29, 2012 5:12pm ET

Fifth Third Bank is combining mobile technology and a browser-based loan officer portal to build its mortgage business and better communicate with borrowers, according to a Steve Yaninek, the bank’s senior vice president and director of customer experience.

Speaking at the Mortgage Technology Conference presented by NMN and sister publication Mortgage Technology in Miami Beach, Yaninek outlined Fifth Third’s consumer-facing mobile strategy, which is designed to generate borrower leads through partnerships with Realtor associations.

The bank is providing real estate brokerages in four markets with technology that provides home shoppers with information about subject properties for sale. Rather than the traditional paper flyers included with real estate signs, the experience starts when a home shopper scans a QR, or quick response, code, with an Internet-enabled device, like a smartphone or tablet.

The square, black-and-white code looks similar to a barcode, and contains a link to a mobile-optimized website that provides information about the property, like room count, square footage and other features. The link also serves as a lead-generation tool that connects shoppers with online mortgage tools, like payment calculators.

“What we get out of that is mobile advertising,” Yaninek explained. “We’re putting the Fifth Third brand in yards.”

Consumers that don’t want to scan the QR code can also send a text message to receive the link or call a phone number to hear a voice recording to obtain the listing information. The listing data is integrated with the Realtor-association-controlled multiple listing service, so when a change is made in the MLS, the property webpage is automatically updated.

In addition to the loan shopping tools, the Fifth Third advertising includes links with phone numbers and a short lead capture form for would-be borrowers to provide contact info to the bank and even get pre-approved for a loan, which Yaninek said is designed to be simple and quick.

“The lead capture form is very short on purpose,” he said. “They’re not going to fill out of a 1003 on their smartphone.”

Leads are imported into the bank’s proprietary loan officer portal called Fifth Third Home Connect, which sits on its vendor-provided loan origination system and serves as the central hub for all LO activity.

Leads are routed to LOs based on a variety of metrics, like location and the time when the consumer wants to be contacted, and staff members have dashboards and other tools to monitor their pipeline of business.

When borrowers decide to move forward with a loan application, they complete the process online and have the opportunity to opt-in to receive status updates throughout the process. Borrowers can also choose to provide the same information to their real estate agents as well.

The portal also includes a variety of customer relationship management tools that provide automated marketing pieces to borrowers throughout the pre-application process. By providing the front-end marketing through the mobile advertising and more automated communication with borrowers during the underwriting process, Yaninek said the conversion rate from pre-approval to funded loan has increased 30% and that Fifth Third’s biggest customer complaint, lack of information during the loan process, has been effectively addressed. Plus, borrower interest in using the technology continues to grow among older consumers, he added.

“It’s not just the young crowd like it used to be, but it’s still perfect for that young couple that’s a first-time homebuyer.”