Think the Internet is changing the way you do business? Try being a mortgage loan officer

online businessby Dan Rafter

The Internet has certainly changed the way commercial real estate professionals do business. But the impact hat the Web has had on other professions has been positively enormous. Just look at the latest survey by Discover Home Loans for proof.

According to the survey, released earlier this year, 36 percent of home buyers who took out a mortgage loan said that they would prefer to complete the entire financing process online with no phone calls or in-person meetings.

Think about that: More than one-third of buyers would prefer to have no contact that wasn’t online with a mortgage loan officer.

The message here is clear, for commercial real estate professionals and anyone else who serves the public: More consumers want to do more of their business online. And this trend isn’t about to slow down. You can bet that when Discover Home Loans does the survey three years from now, that figure is going to be higher than 36 percent.

The commercial real estate industry is in many ways a bit old-fashioned, with many deals relying on networking and many years of relationships. But those CRE pros who hesitate to embrace the online world already find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. That disadvantage is only going to grow.

Consider the other findings from the survey. Discover found that 92 percent of buyers who used online tools to submit documents to their lenders said that it saved them time, while 83 percent said that it helped them stay organized. The survey found that 86 percent of buyers felt comfortable sharing personal and financial information electronically with lenders, while 68 percent said that electronic communications made it easier to work with lenders.

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