Bissada on Online Origination

Few people in this country understand the potential of online mortgage origination better than Yousry Bissada, President & CEO of Kanetix. That’s why it’s always informative to hear his predictions on the topic.

Bissada visited Canadian Mortgage Hangout on Friday and shared his read on the pulse of Canada’s online mortgage industry. Below are key takeaways from that interview.

Bissada on young mortgage shoppers:

“You have to watch the young generation. I think [online] will be their preferred way to do [mortgages].”

“Nobody wants to talk anymore in this young generation. They want to see it all online. They trust it more online…”

On the patience of Internet mortgage consumers:

“The online client is…extremely impatient. I call them ADD…Online people are very quick to make decisions. Yes or no. If they go onto your website and they run into the smallest problem, they jump off. That’s it. No patience to try to resolve it.”

“If you can get back to them within 5 minutes, your probability of closing them is one hundred-fold better than if you get back to them half a day later.”

On how to approach online leads:

Many are rate shopping so “you’ve got to answer questions about the rate first and get them in your trust tent. Then you can talk about the other features and important parts of a mortgage transaction.”

On conversion ratios for leads from rate sites:

“Our mortgage brokers, on average, tell us they close between 20 and 25% of their leads.” (At roughly $65 per lead, that implies a client acquisition cost of as much as $367.25, or more.-Ed)

On rate sites being the cause or effect of online business:

“It is not us telling the consumer, go look for the best rate…The clients have decided that they’re going to use the online world…to find a rate for themselves…[We’re] just responding to that.”

On the evolution of e-mortgages: 

Online mortgage growth is “a steady line that’s accelerating…The point where it tips and hits the majority of people is…building up quite quickly on mortgages.”

On direct-to-consumer mortgage delivery:

“…Over time, a lot of mortgage brokers & a lot of lenders will have their own online capability…They’ll get that consumer going directly to them.”

On RateHub’s decision to become a brokerage:

“Our core strategy is to supply leads to the real producers of the industry. It’s not something we would do…We don’t have a brokerage on the [mortgage] broker side and we would never get one.”

On how brokers should position themselves:

“Do something…Doing nothing is not an option. The world is evolving in online…“It’s not going to be the only way to get business”…but…”if you keep ignoring it, it’s coming anyway…Playing catch-up is going to be more difficult…[Current brokers who are testing online strategies] are going to be much better positioned when this becomes the norm.”


Sidebar: Bissada says RateSupermarket is considering an option whereby consumers can rank brokers based on the advice they give and their proximity to the customer.

Rob McLister, CMT

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