LenderSpotlight has become one of the most popular rate search engines for mortgage brokers. And now, just a month after completing its first acquisition, it’s launching expanded premium services.
LenderSpotlight, run by the folks behind DocAssist, recently acquired Niche Sheet, an app-based service out of Alberta. Like LenderSpotlight, Niche Sheet helps pair mortgage brokers and their clients with the most suitable lenders.
Given LenderSpotlight’s new launch, we asked founder Jason Henneberry what it means for brokers.
Why was acquiring Niche Sheet important for LenderSpotlight, and why now?
Our first priority was to make LenderSpotlight fast and easy for brokers to filter through the noise and find the most appropriate products and rates for their clients. We started by collating all the lender rate sheets into one searchable database where users can refine their search by transaction type, property use, LTV and other details that are difficult to classify on a static PDF.
Niche Sheet caught our attention because it beautifully solves the next priority: it helps brokers determine which lenders will actually approve their file. The Niche Sheet app allows users to search a detailed database of lender policies across more than 70 different categories of underwriting guidelines.
Acquiring Niche Sheet allowed us to accelerate the development of LenderSpotlight, so that we can deliver on our promise and help the industry get back to advising clients, instead of wasting time trying to make sense of what has become an insanely complex environment.
What does the acquisition mean for the future of the company?
Our goal is to make the [program] so incredibly functional that brokers can confidently find the best lender in seconds, freeing them up to do what they do best.
The future direction stays the same, but we get there a lot faster. Niche Sheet instantly advances our timeline by about six to eight months. Now we can focus more resources on building the next round of upgrades…
We also intend on playing friendly with other technologies by making our data and search functionality available through third-party platforms. There are several important organizations that are spending a significant amount of effort on the development of new tools for our industry, including client-facing applications, CRMs and lender submission platforms. We are already working with several of these companies to incorporate our data feed into their systems.
What will the new “Platinum” service cost and what features will it entail that the current free subscribers don’t get?
The free version will always be available to agents and will support the ability to filter rates for national AAA lenders.
LenderSpotlight Platinum unlocks the full range of lender brands and enhanced search filters for more granular search and a greater depth of information. There are more than 1,950 different rate options and 22 lenders on the system today, and we are adding 1-2 lenders per week to the system.
The Platinum Team account provides a more tailored user experience with white-label branding for the brokerage and product compensation details based on their unique lender status.
Some of the advanced filters already available with Platinum Solo and Team accounts include:
Platinum Team and Solo accounts will officially be available on September 7…Brokers can set up a free account and start using the tool on any device in less than 30 seconds. We currently have over 3,000 brokers performing more than 15,000 unique product searches every month. We expect to surpass 30,000 searches per month within the next 60 days.
What are some other features that LenderSpotlight is working on for the future?
We will be releasing a number of new features in the coming months, including a team page and message board where brokerages can share important information with their agents, such as upcoming events, preferred vendor relationships, contests & promotions—whatever they want.
The team pages will provide dynamic lender details that are unique to the brokerage, such as key support contacts, portal information and documentation processes.
We are also working on client reports, where agents can generate a custom client quote directly from the system. These reports will support the brokerage, agent and lender brands, and provide important details about the mortgage such as loan amount, term, rate, payment and amortization schedule.
One of LenderSpotlight’s biggest flaws is that it hasn’t included status pricing. How have you addressed that?
LenderSpotlight Team accounts allow brokerages to pre-set their unique lender status and automatically display compensation details, as well as published and unpublished promo rates.
Some brokerages have access to what is commonly referred to as ‘exclusive’ promo rates. One of the features that we will be providing Team accounts is the ability to manage the publication of these exclusive rate offerings through the brokerage portal. This feature is part of our planned releases scheduled within the next 90 days.
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