Things Consumers Want Loan Officers to Know
To best serve your clients, you need to know what it is that’s driving them. You want to know what they want from you so you can present your best self, and so you can give them the best client experience possible. But, if you don’t actually know how your prospects and clients are feeling, you’ll never be able to showcase your strengths while building up the business.
We polled consumers — non-Embrace borrowers — who recently closed on a mortgage or refinanced their home, and here’s what some of the respondents wish that all loan officers knew.
Being Organized Helps You Both
The more organized you are as a loan officer, the quicker you’ll be able to close on loans and continue to service more and more clients. Plus, the happier you make your past clients and give them a positive experience, the more likely they’ll refer their friends and family to you.
To be organized is to be efficient. Speaking about the experience of working with her loan officer, Tracey M. says, “They just seemed to be on top of it. I would submit something and it was processed 24 hours later. Emails were answered super quick, and you could always check the status online. I was barely on the phone with them. It was very efficient.”
Educate Your Clients
The loan process can be confusing for consumers. It’s either the very first time they’ve bought a home or refinanced one, or the last time they went through the process was years (or decades!) before. Take the time to help them understand what’s happening.
Katie A., says, “The mortgage broker didn’t assume we knew anything at all. He was extremely transparent about every step of the process, but offered information and waited for us to express interest in learning more rather than just dumping explanations on our heads. The broker offered information that was in plain language and then corresponded it to the mumbo-jumbo that is classic in home loans. He explained the communications that happened with him versus the underwriting folks, so we understood who we were telling what.”
They continue, “He also gave us checklists of the information we needed to put together, including information that we may not have needed but was helpful to have on hand if it ended up being asked for.”
They Care About the Causes You Support
Looking for a way to bring in new clients? Support your community through local and global organizations, and be vocal about which organizations you’re funding, and why. Many of the consumers we polled mentioned this as being a major factor in deciding where to apply for a loan.
Libbey H. says, “My husband and I chose to apply for a mortgage from a mid-sized local bank because they are a significant supporter of nonprofits we care about and they’re known for customer service quality.”
They Can Tell When You’re Fibbing
While everyone wants their mortgage process to go smoothly, consumers know that there’s a good chance that minor hiccups will happen throughout the experience. They just appreciate it if you are honest with them about what’s happening. Lose a form? Own up to it. Things taking longer than usual because there are a few team members out with colds? Share those details.
Wondering about the status of the loan yourself, and are having trouble getting information from your counterparts? Reach out and let your client know that while you don’t have a status update for them at this time, you’re actively working on their loan package, and you’ll be in touch as soon as you have more information you can share.
More seriously, as an example, Libbey H. shares, “When I saw on the paperwork that my loan could be sold to another mortgage servicing company, I asked our loan officer whether that was likely. She brushed me off and said it didn’t happen often, it was just one of those “just in case” provisions. Our mortgage was sold within the first month, I never made a payment directly to them. We probably wouldn’t have changed our minds if she said it would be sold, since we were so far along in the process, but now I don’t trust them to be honest in the future.”
More Digital Options, Please!
Historically, most loan applications get processed in person. But with access to secure digital options and the current health crisis, consumers are hoping to remove as many in-person touchpoints as possible and would prefer any digital upgrades to the loan process.
Kristen C., says, “We refinanced last May. It had been seven years or so since our initial mortgage, and I was happily surprised at how much had gone digital in terms of process and paperwork, but also surprised still at how much paper and signing there was at the end!”
Don’t Ignore Your Current Clients
New-to-you prospects may get the most of your attention, but if you have current clients who are looking to refinance, treat them just as good as you would someone new.
Amanda M., says, “We just did a refinance, and we made the mistake of doing it with the same company because we liked them, but they really had zero incentive to help us, which we didn’t think of beforehand. It took like five months because someone was always ‘looking at it this week’.”
Remember that these individuals will be quick to share what their experience was like, and if you’re not treating them well after they’ve already given you their business, they definitely won’t be kind when sharing about the process with their peers.