Mortgage Broker Store Inc has been a “private mortgage first” lender for over 13 years, and we’ve learned many lessons along the way. When we started, the website was built on the now-defunct “RV Site Builder,” and now we run on the world-class WordPress platform with help from industry professionals to enhance the look and feel for the website. Our website is far perfect, but we are putting in more time and resources than ever before to get as close to perfect as possible. This post serves as both my general musings on mortgage website design and a plan for our future.
What We’ve Learned
We’ve made mistakes and learned from other professionals to develop new philosophies on what a modern mortgage website should be like. When we started out, there were fewer competitors, and the current level of expertise put into mortgage websites in Canada is at an all-time high, in my opinion. Top ranking mortgage websites have moved away from the static, newspaper article style media of yesteryear and are more interactive and comprehensive than ever before. Many modern mortgage websites have pdfs, videos, images, interactable graphs, calculators and other rich media elements.
The Change in Text Content
The quality of top-ranked text content has improved dramatically. As a general rule of thumb, ten years ago, a 500-word article was considered “enough text,” but the new top-ranked mortgage pages commonly have pages over 2,000 words. Mortgages are technically a legal debt instrument, and even if a mortgage agent or broker is very good at their job, they may not be aware of all the legal nuances involved. To ensure the accuracy of our website, we’ll sometimes consult the law firm we use to arrange mortgages for feedback. There also needs to be a consideration when it comes to the presentation of the info. Any lists should have bullet point items, and tabular data needs to be presented in a table format.
The Change in Website Navigation
The way that the typical website organizes their pages has become much easier to navigate with a logical hierarchy. Many early websites, our included, had all the pages just put on the site without a clear idea of how each page related to each other. Newer websites have a structure that gets more specific as the topic gets more focused. For example, a page about private mortgages in Toronto would ideally be found at “MortgageBrokerStore.com/Private-Mortgages/Ontario/Toronto” and this gives context about the service, province and city. This structure would be made clear on every page using a website feature called “Breadcrumbs,” and it would allow you to click into the higher level category pages, “Private Mortgages” and “Private Mortgages Ontario”.
The Increase in Interactive Media With all the upgrades make to web coding languages and web browsers, the internet offers a more interactive experience. In the early days, websites were modelled from books, magazines and newspapers, but the new internet has a style all its own. Rich, detailed images can be found on most websites and at resolutions that are higher than paper would be able to display. More simple tools such as charts have graphs have taken on new life, as you can hover over the different graph elements to see more information. Our company has also invested in more interactive widgets that help customers with their decision making on mortgages. One such tool, shown below, is our Loan-To-Value Calculator. We felt that this was a good start since the LTV ratio is typically the most important metric for a private lender mortgage.
A Loan-to-Value ratio for a property is equal to all mortgages on a property divided by the appraisal value of the property. If you own a home worth $1,000,000 and get a new first mortgage for $750,000 then your LTV ratio is 75% (i.e., 750,000/1,000,000)
Most banks and other A-Tier Lenders can loan up to 95% LTV provided that the borrower has a good income and credit score. Most non-bank lenders can lend up to 75% LTV but can overlook income and credit issues.
We are also working on developing in house videos to give better explanations on different aspects of the mortgage process as well as our thoughts on new developments.
We’ve hired some world-class help to bring MortgageBrokerStore.com into the future, from different fields such as journalism, marketing, and software development. We thank you for reading this article, and we are excited to continue to show you the best of what we can do in the future.