Thursday, April 5, 2007

Mortgage Design: Brother-in-Law or Professional?


You've got a mortgage company and you think you need a web site. At least you want to try it out the "Net" and see what happens. But you don't have a big budget. Maybe you could do it yourself. Or, better yet, you've got a relative or friend who knows a lot about computers -- why don't you ask one of them?

This is a typical scenario for many mortgage companies that don't have big marketing budgets. The owners of these businesses are savvy enough to know that they need an online presence to provide information to potential customers, but many have turned to a family member or friend to design their web site.

This may work for some first-generation web sites, but small companies, just like big ones, need to move on to the next generation of web site design. And that's when it's time to stop having your brother-in-law design your mortgage web site.

CEO Designed His Own Web Site

I was amazed recently to find out when a larger mortgage company called (25 offices throughout the USA) and the CEO had actually designed the company web site. The site looks like it was designed by by preschool daughter. And I was surprised that he took it upon himself to design it when he could have paid a professional to do it...for much less than the cost of his time.

Now we all know that sophisticated web sites with fancy graphics and powerful back end programming can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop. But when your purpose is to inform and educate, rather than to entertain or impress visitors, it doesn't have to cost a lot of money to create a decent web site.

In fact, custom designed web sites with 5 to 10 pages can be created for around $5,000 - $10,000. Which is about as much as closing around 3 to 6 mortgage loans.

Less Expensive Options

There are some decent "template type" of web site services that cost significantly less than custom designed web sites. But unfortunately, your company will look like numerous other mortgage companies.

The other drawback to these "template type" of web sites is that there is not much room for custom features. But it is definitely an inexpensive short term solution for a mortgage company.
What's more, the site doesn't look like it was designed by a relative or friend.

Pay Now or Pay Later

So why is it that most small-business people don't take it upon themselves or get amateurs to design their company newsletters or brochures, but they do for their web sites? Maybe it's because most of us are self-taught when it comes to computers. But learning how to type copy in a Word document or compose an email is very different from designing a web site.

Perhaps it's that many small-business owners don't realize the potential of their web site as a marketing tool, or they've decided it's better to have some web presence than nothing at all. Maybe they like having family members involved in their business. Whatever the reason, in the end, when it comes to web site design, most mortgage companies come to the realization that it is time to hire a professional.

For online mortgage leads please visit our mortgage leads page.

Originally published January 2003.

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