Mortgage.com was launched as a division of mortgage leader ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc. (AAMG). Unlike other online lenders, the Mortgage.com Web site offered a wide selection of home lending services right away, including new mortgage applications, home refinancing, access to current mortgages and rates, and the low-cost ABN AMRO Mortgage OneFee Closing, which provided a single, guaranteed closing cost.
The main obstacle to overcome when AAMG purchased the URL was poor consumer perception of the Mortgage.com Web site. Although the URL had changed ownership when the stand-alone business Mortgage.com, Inc. went out of business, consumers weren’t aware of the change. The site needed an image of its own to match its new ownership.
At Eiler, our main focus was creating recognition of Mortgage.com as an AAMG company. Eiler also recognized the need to distinguish the site as a leader in online lending and as a new marketing channel for AAMG. Having already established a successful track record with AAMG’s InterFirst Wholesale Mortgage Lending division, Eiler expanded its services to include every division of AAMG, which was one of the initial marketing strategies performed for Mortgage.com.
To overcome the poor image the previous Mortgage.com had left and abolish the idea of another doomed dot-com, Eiler tested the waters of consumer response through a media relations campaign. Eiler targeted technology, finance and consumer publications with a series of press releases to build recognition of the Mortgage.com name as an AAMG company, differentiating the site from its previous owner and current competitors. Eiler pitched every relevant media outlet, building positive media relationships with consumer finance, technology and banking/mortgage trade publications.
The change of Mortgage.com to an AAMG company has been covered by such media as The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Miami Times, L.A. Times, Mortgage Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, National Mortgage News, American Banker, CBS Marketwatch, CNNfn, The Detroit Free Press, and the Ann Arbor News. AAMG’s InterFirst president William Newman appeared in an interview on CNNfn. Since the change, AAMG has experienced a 188 percent increase in Mortgage.com submissions, 139 percent increase in locked loans, and 152 percent increase in approved loans.