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The Perfect Model.

LEONARDO DA VINCI HAD THE PERFECT MODEL. THE MONA LISA IS THE MOST famous artwork on the planet because of that woman's mysterious smile. The mortgage business should be so lucky.

Many lenders today are searching for the perfect model of a business that integrates the speed and access of the Internet. No one knows, yet, what that perfect model will look like. Today people are experimenting all over the place with different business models for mortgage lending. No one has hit on the winning formula just yet. But we are hearing a lot of talk about business models as the technologists, strategists and venture capitalists find each other and launch the latest twist.

Some in the industry are working in some very promising areas and are having success. Our cover article, "Power to the People," by Robert Stowe England, examines five companies with different e-lending business models. The article notes that early guesses of online origination volume were way off, but the market for e-mortgage business is still big enough to attract many entrepreneurs jostling each other to capture it. The five companies making a mark in different areas of the business are: IndyMac Bancorp, Inc.; E-LOAN; Countrywide Home Loans; LendingTree and For every one of these companies there are at least 10 more doing similar things, but we haven't heard about them yet. But the movement is promising.

What we also learned in putting together this issue is that consumers may not really like the idea of an online-only mortgage lender. In his annual Internet Mortgage Industry Survey, Warren Myer, chief executive officer, Myers Internet Services, San lose, California, found that only 3 percent of the 856 consumers who responded to this year's survey said they would prefer working with an online-only lender. The survey also found that 77 percent of those consumers surveyed online said that the most important factor in choosing a mortgage company is rates. The survey is done every year for Mortgage Banking, and has tracked the industry's growing experience with the e-lending model.

Finally, in this issue, Gomez Advisors' Nick Karris shares with our readers what its widely followed scorecards show about the evolving e-business model. Gomez's latest scorecard puts IndyMac on top of the pack of groundbreakers in the online mortgage universe. Could it have found the perfect model?

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Title Annotation:searching for mortgage banking's perfect business model
Publication:Mortgage Banking
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2000
Previous Article:HOUSING ACTIVITY.

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