Roxana Davidoff of Big Purple Dot: COVID’s Impact on Mortgage Marketing

Roxana Davidoff is founder and CEO of Big Purple Dot, Irvine, Calif., a provider of an ecosystem of mortgage marketing technologies that includes CRM lead management, lead recapture, predictive analysis and video production and texting. Since founding the company in 2011, she has overseen its growth into the first complete and collaborative lead management solution for lending institutions and real estate firms. She can be reached at

MBA NEWSLINK:  How has COVID affected mortgage marketing?

Roxana Davidoff

ROXANA DAVIDOFF, Big Purple Dot:  Between social distancing protocols and low interest rates fueling volume, home lenders have been more open to investing in digital technologies and services, including marketing automation. Over the past two years, we saw much less focus on print mailers and phone calls and greater emphasis on finding creative ways to connect with consumers online. More lenders have been hosting virtual events and beefing up their social media and SEO efforts, too. In particular, we saw a rapid increase in the use of digital marketing that blends automated intelligence with customized text and multimedia messaging, including video. With carefully crafted communications delivered at just the right intervals, lenders have been able to enhance the borrower’s experience and increase their closing ratios.  

NEWSLINK:  How did lenders do in capturing as much business as possible during the COVID-driven refinance boom?

DAVIDOFF: Most lenders struggled to some degree with capacity issues. Because of the emergence of new marketing technologies, however, many did surprisingly well at capturing new business. We saw more lenders adopt tools that helped their originators know the exact moment when they needed to connect with a prospective borrower. A growing number of lenders also have automated systems in place to ensure that, even though they are swamped with business, all of their customers are kept informed throughout the process about where their loan stood and what additional things were needed from them.

NEWSLINK:  How have closing ratios changed during this period?

DAVIDOFF: I can’t speak for the industry at large, but as for our own clients, closing ratios have gone through the roof. By implementing AI-powered, collaborative software that provided instant access to leads at any time, from anywhere and from just about any source, many saw double-digit increases in their application-to-closing ratios. We have one client, a single originator, who closed just under $1 billion so far this year by himself by using marketing automation to grow business more efficiently.

NEWSLINK:  What has stood out to you over the past 18 months or so?

DAVIDOFF: I was struck by how well the industry was able to pivot to social distancing. Many originators figured out how to address their borrowers’ desire to get a mortgage without having to come in contact with other people in the process. As a result, in-person interaction has been virtually eliminated.

NEWSLINK:  Was there any other impact?

DAVIDOFF: Because everything became virtual, most lenders began to take a second look at the technology they were using to capture business. Many found themselves hamstrung by legacy technologies that weren’t helping them attract and respond to today’s borrowers. As a result, they decided to invest in automated lead distribution and automated response technology, including customized text messages. Very few lenders were doing this a few years ago.

NEWSLINK:  Which kinds of lenders best pivoted?

DAVIDOFF: Lenders that were able to remotely connect and communicate with borrowers never skipped a beat. They were able to reach customers when they wanted to be reached and how they wanted to be reached—even through video text messaging—so their originators were able to stay on top of their pipelines.

The very best lenders were those who adopted marketing platforms that were easily integrated with other leading mortgage technologies and kept all their business partners apprised of the borrower’s transaction. This not only made transactions faster but also eliminated the type of miscommunication and redundant communication that happens all too often in the mortgage process.

NEWSLINK:  How has the customer’s response changed during this period?

DAVIDOFF: More than ever, consumers want things to happen now. They don’t want to wait, and they want to be able to choose how they communicate with their lender. Also, most consumers don’t want or need to deal with their loan officer in person anymore and are much more agreeable to a purely digital experience. These changes in borrower behaviors aren’t temporary. Going forward, it’s going to be critical for lenders to be able to pivot and adapt to what consumers want and how they want to communicate. If they don’t already do this, they should find a way fast—because the spring homebuying season will be here before you know it.

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policy of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor do they connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. MBA NewsLink welcomes your submissions. Inquiries can be sent to Mike Sorohan, editor, at; or Michael Tucker, editorial manager, at