Konut Kredisi, literally “housing loan”, provides mortgage comparison services online and via expert consultants. The current predominant model in Turkey is one where online forms gather leads and pass them onto several banks, harming the credit ratings of prospective customers. Because it runs on a process not driven by the banks themselves, KonutKredisi.com.tr makes the market more consumer-friendly by using standard formats for the presentation of loan offerings, so that comparisons are easy, it does not pass on prospective client information to banks which would hurt their credit rating, and it exposes hidden fees, future penalty commitments and non-mandatory insurance requirements. The democratic nature of KonutKredisi.com.tr means that soon it will provide an alternative channel to smaller lenders with low branch penetration. In short, KonutKredisi.com.tr is going to lower the transaction costs of finding mortgages in Turkey.
Onur’s company is Turkey’s first such online mortgage brokerage company with a corporate structure, sufficient capital, know-how (thanks to its Italian investors, who are the main shareholders and executives of the publicly traded Italian mortgage broker Gruppo MutuiOnline), a professional team, real bank agreements and a service offering that is not driven by the banks themselves.
The US sub-prime crisis is partially to be blamed on the delegation of credit risk assessment by banks to mortgage brokers. Because Onur’s company won’t do credit checks of borrowers on behalf of loaning banks, the moral hazard that brought down the US economy will not exist here.
The days of Turkey’s hyper-inflation (and high interest rates) are behind the country. Yet Turkey is lagging Europe far behind in terms of consumer borrowing for house purchases – in Europe mortgage outstandings range between 20-60%, whereas they barely reach 5% in Turkey. By making borrowing a more transparent process, Onur is financially empowering his people.