An NFM TV Interview with
Ernie Graham, CEO & Co-Founder of Homebot
2020 07-24 | NFM TV
83% of a person’s net worth will come from the equity in their home when they retire; this according to Homebot, a leader in homeowner financial empowerment. In this exclusive NFM TV interview, host Greg Sher discusses with Homebot CEO, Ernie Graham how in just 5 years, his company has gone from startup to revolutionary A.I. platform designed to give Loan Originators and Real Estate Agents a powerful tool they provide to their customers to help them build wealth through actionable, at-your-fingertips financial information.
Full Transcript is Below:
- Welcome into NFM TV. I'm your host, Greg Sher. It's taking the lending industry by storm. Of course, I'm talking about Homebot and joining us right now is Ernie Graham, the CEO and Co-Founder of this incredible tool for lenders, homeowners, real estate agents, for everyone in the lending ecosystem. Ernie, thanks for being with us on NFM TV.
- Thanks for having me, Greg. Happy to be here.
- We're so happy to have you. You're coming to us from your headquarters in Denver, Colorado. We appreciate your time today. Let's start by talking about Homebot and how it has impacted lenders. Currently, you've got over 10,000 clients, over 3 million homeowners plugged into your system.
- That's right. So, it's been an amazing ride for us. From the very beginning, we saw an opportunity to empower the homeowner with the largest asset they'll ever own. And it's been really amazing to see this turning into a tool for lenders to basically stay connected with all of their past clients, as well as all of their potential new clients as well.
- So 83% is a number that we've seen here, you publish. And that number is what?
- Well, it's actually the reason we started Homebot. And that is the percentage of wealth at retirement for the average American that comes from home equity. People aren't retiring on 401k's, they're not retiring on their savings. People are actually retiring on home equity. So that's the number.
- So at NFM Lending, we've got many, many people that swear by Homebot. Let's start off, 'cause I know you impact various sectors of the real estate industry. Let's first focus on lenders and how you help loan officers stay in front of their customers for life.
- Sure, so Homebot is a client portal. We call it a "client for life" portal that the lender can give away like candy to each one of their past clients. And so their clients see this thing as a financial dashboard for their home. So this is all the homeowners in your past database. And so for the lender, what this does is it keeps them front and center at a brand level with all of their past clients to drive more repeat and referral business. And that's the "what" we do. But, Greg, I always like to really emphasize it's "how" we do it, which I think resonates with our customers, with the lenders. And that is, we empower the consumer. We help the consumer see their home as the asset that it is, and we help them be incredibly smart about managing that asset. And by bringing that lender into that equation, just an incredibly powerful way to stay connected to your clients by being, we like to say, being captain of the wealth team.
- Give us a couple of examples of how the lender stays connected to the borrower and how they kind of show up over time.
- Sure, so the way the system works is kind of like LinkedIn or Credit Karma, insofar in that our customer, the lender, their Homebot account, we'll send out an email, like a little heartbeat pulse, a couple of times a month to all of their database. It looks like it's coming from them, but it's this little heartbeat. They click on that. And what happens is, there's really two pieces here. The first piece is, is I always call it like tracking. So Homebot will track your client's home value, their loans, their equity, it tracks their market conditions. Is it getting a more of a seller's market, more of a buyers market? But it's really tracking. And it's the cadence of helping each one of your customers understand what's happening with their value, with their equity. And so in that regard, any time any client has a question about their, whether it's their home value, their equity or any of that jazz, they can engage with their lender. The second part of it is cool, in so far as that Homebot's taking sort of approximate numbers, average rates from Freddie Mac and approximations to help the individual borrower understand things like, is it time to buy, sell, rent, remodel, refi?
- Having been on Homebot myself. In fact, my own personal property is on there. It's just amazing all the different things that you can do on your website. There's also the option for the homeowner to look at how it impacts them if they were to get aggressive on their mortgage payment or cut their mortgage term. What kind of traction have you gotten with that facet of the website?
- Our customers, the lender who puts a hundred clients into Homebot, they can expect 50 of those clients every single month, in there, engaging with that content, Greg, and the most successful lenders have become almost a victim of their own success. Their database is so big. They don't know who to contact, when to contact, everybody's on their phone, completely distracted with social media. So with Homebot engaging so much of your database every month, the lender's job really becomes answer your phone.
- So when a borrower, when a customer, who's in the portal, clicks on something, takes a deeper dive, is among that one out of two, that 50%, does the lender then get notified that they took a peek?
- A hundred percent, yes. And it's funny you ask that question, too, because we talk about, and we sort of pitch Homebot as this set it and forget it. Give it to all your clients and just answer your phone because all of the calls to action, all of the clicks, always go to that lender. But what you're talking about is really the second half of this, which, I always thought it was funny, top producers would always say Ernie, Ernie, Ernie, I didn't get to be a top producer sitting around, waiting for the phone to ring. And so the way they use the product and the way that we built the other side of this is to give them this full click stream of all the stuff that each of their clients are doing all the time. And when you've got a 50% monthly engagement rate, guess what? As a lender, you can say, you know what, two o'clock on Thursdays, I'm gonna sit down, look at my little Homebot NASDAQ ticker, if you will, and pick out the ones I wanna reach out to. So that's really, you could, you know, you wait for the phone ring, you can reach out.
- We focused a lot on the lender side of things. Why don't you message the real estate agent and tell them why they need to be leaning on their loan officers to sign up for Homebot and run, not walk?
- That's right. So first and foremost is that as a real estate agent, I was for 10 years and a managing broker, I know how much the real estate agents struggle staying connected to clients because they only do one transaction every 12 years. So with Homebot, they can partner with a lender and basically provide this home finance intelligence throughout the entire life cycle. And it's not just about the technology, it's about Homebot plus their lender partner, they're now providing that to their entire database to help them understand when to make principal payments, when to refi and all the stuff that is really the purview and the expertise of the lender.
- So when the lender gets a notification, is the real estate agent's information also on there, if it was a purchase transaction that they did together in the past?
- Well, so when the real estate agent and the lender partner together, and one of those clients of the realtor wants information, the lender gets notified, the agent gets notified. Yes.
- Wow. All right. That's powerful. Anything else you wanna add before we let you go?
- We always like to say either you're first or you're last, you're either top of mind with your clients or you're not. And somebody else becomes top of mind with your clients when it's time. And so we always like to really emphasize that whether it's Homebot or anything else, figure out a strategy to make sure you're top of mind with your clients, with content that empowers them because that's the kind of content and the type of relationship that you want.
- Excellent stuff, so if you're a loan officer and you're at a company that doesn't necessarily want an enterprise agreement, are you able to go just one off and sign up with Homebot, or you need the entire company?
- Nope, you can just sign up one off just as an individual loan officer.
- Okay, so how do people get more information? Where should they go right now?
- They should go to www.homebot.ai.
- That makes great sense. Ernie Graham, CEO, and Co-Founder of Homebot, it's been a real pleasure spending some time with you today on NFM TV. Continued success.
- Thank you, Greg.
- I'm Greg Sher. We'll see you next time on NFM TV.