March 23, 2012
There’s a fine line between using someone’s personal data for good or evil, for their benefit or your bottom line. It’s a line that LoanTek founder, Adam Stein, is familiar with, and he continues to craft his service to stay on the right side of this line, so to speak.
Stein’s service, which provides qualified leads and tools for home loan officers, is built with the foundation of twenty years experience in the mortgage industry.
“We wanted to provide greater clarity and immediacy to the consumer, without the requirement of compromising the consumer’s information into a ‘lead farm’, ” Stein says, “Inherently this means we want to change the way financial services are presently offered online.”
By working with major real-estate websites such as Zillow and Yahoo! Real Estate, LoanTek automatically matches lenders to consumers that pass through their specific criteria. The contact is in the hands of the consumer.
Clearly LoanTek is onto something. Stein says that consumers transact at a multiple five-to-ten times greater with his service compared to the lead-farm alternatives. “No reselling of lead data over and over… no barrage of telemarketers… just an informed consumer contacting the financial professional they vetted in an anonymous, real time, web environment.”
Starting Up in Boise
Based out of Nampa, ID (a neighboring town to Boise), I asked Stein about the positives and negatives associated with building a company on a relatively small tech island. As for how his business has benefited, Stein quickly cited the development costs, saying that his current rate is 30-40% less expensive compared to when operations were in Seattle. Additionally Stein says, “The business community and climate here is extremely friendly to helping grow local enterprises and the local economy. In Seattle LoanTek was ‘just another one’ of a few hundred tech start-ups; it doesn’t feel that way in Boise.”
On the other end, Stein brought up the challenge of raising capital. He also alluded to a shallower talent pool saying, “We vetted close to a dozen engineers for skills, aptitude, and attitude, before we settled on the ones we hired. It took longer than I would have liked.” Overall though, Stein is happy with his decision, “All things considered I am convinced that LoanTek’s relocation is paying off in spades.”
LoanTek is one of the featured startups at the upcoming Tech Cocktail Boise Mixer.
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