ARC: Taps customers for market intelligence

ARC Systems, Austin, Texas, is taking a page from the B2C world's playbook and using it to find out more about what its customers want out of its products and services. The company has begun hosting focus groups to find out its users' views on automated lending products.

According to Michael K. Pack, who runs a leading market research firm out of Salt Lake City, this type of marketing technique is new to the mortgage industry. "Consumers or Realtors may be tested, but not [these people]. ARC truly understands they have to look outside of the box to get a better perspective on the business," he told Jeff Siegel, an industry journalist who recently wrote about ARC's experience.

The company plans to call together a number of focus groups around the country. Most recently, several were conducted over two days at the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association in Dallas.

ARC says it hopes to learn more about what its users want out of tools like its Loan Finder Express. It will use this information for product development, employee training, marketing and forming new business partnerships.

Taking something used elsewhere and applying it to a new situation is a key element of creativity. It's not surprising to see it employed in a company that has been developing innovative mortgage technology tools for over 20 years. Well done, ARC Systems.

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