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Premier Lending Desk is a program, therefore, that begins on an agent’s website, inviting consumers to click links to request that a Citibank mortgage specialist contact them, links that may direct the consumer to call Citibank to access pertinent information related to home financing. These requests are filtered directly to the experienced mortgage team at Premier Lending Desk, who proceeds to manage the leads on behalf of the agent. If the lead is buyer-ready, it is immediately sent back to the agent; if the lead requires more time, the team nurtures it until the consumer is ready to transact.

“Agents cast these nets on their websites, but what are they doing to follow up on traffic and convert these leads?” asks Ellinthorpe. “That’s where the fall-off is. Through Premier Lending Desk, we centralize that process. If someone raises their hand and is interested in learning about mortgage rates and what type of home they can afford, you have to react fast. And that is exactly what we do in the partnership channel on behalf of our agent partners.”

According to Mike Mills, vice president of Premier Lending Desk, prospective homebuyers visiting an agent’s site are encouraged to connect through various calls to action, such as banner ads, text links and 800 numbers. The website graphics are designed with co-branded messages, such as “Click for today’s rates,” or “Find out more about getting preapproved for a mortgage.” Once the consumer clicks through and completes a brief form requesting that Citibank contact them, the team at Premier Lending Desk places an outbound call to that consumer within two minutes.

“When a lead comes through, it’s important to be the one who gets there first,” says Mills. “If you are first, when the customer is ready to transact, they will put you first, and that’s a direct benefit to our real estate partners and retail Home Lending Consultants.”