SELFi started with a simple idea: to offer the absolute lowest interest rates. That’s it. You see, I had worked for mortgage lenders that charged higher than market rates and it didn’t feel good knowing customers could get a better deal elsewhere. I felt that the best way I could make a difference is to help consumers pay as little interest as possible. So I left my senior position at a bank and set out on this mission.
Here is the story:
The problem with banks today.
What I’ve learned from my years of experience is that banks are terribly inefficient.
I have witnessed sales managers earn half a million dollars a year while spending most their time emailing motivational quotes. I’ve seen massive dollars wasted buying data and calling internet leads non-stop. I’ve seen mortgage transactions take over 90 days to close, that should have taken 25.
When I looked at the data, it confirmed my experience. Mortgage banks cost per loan file is over $7,800. All of that inefficiency adds up!
Banks then pass this cost to the consumer by charging higher than market rates.
Inefficiency gives way to opportunity.
I started studying the mortgage process to see where costs could be eliminated. I found that on every loan, there are as many as five sales people being compensated: junior sales agent, senior loan officer, team lead, regional manager, and division manager. That’s a lot of mouths to feed!
I questioned, “did mortgage transactions really need a full sales department?”
Perhaps when buying a property. Purchasing a home is stressful and emotional; it’s good to have a full staff ready to assist.
Refinances, on the other hand, are much simpler. Despite this, sales departments are paid the same on refinances as purchases.
That seemed like an inefficiency and an opportunity to offer the lowest rates by just focusing on refinances.
Empower the consumer to save.
There are a lot of mortgage companies. To offer the lowest interest rates required thinking differently.
The goal of most mortgage companies is to connect consumers with sales agents as quickly as possible. “Speed to lead” is what every sales manager says.
I’ve decided to turn this way of thinking on its head and question, “how long can a consumer self-service their mortgage application?”
If the consumer can self-service, the cost per loan file would significantly decrease, and then we can pass the savings back in the form of lower rates.
Kind of like TurboTax, but for mortgage refinances. And with that, SELFi was born.
I designed SELFi exactly as the company that I would want to get my loan from. First, to be able to see customized interest rates from a marketplace of lenders without having to provide a phone number or email. Second, to have those rates be the lowest. Third, to be able to apply quickly and securely online.
Today, SELFi is the only mortgage company that offers those three things completely online.
I do not know if SELFi will be a success but I am certain of its mission, and that is to help people save money and achieve financial freedom… faster.