The average mortgage borrower today is comparable to customers utilizing online shopping and social media. Brokers need to appeal to and interact with clients that are accustomed to the modern marketplace with its range of technological adaptations and efficiencies. Accordingly, the mortgage industry can learn more about their customer base by analyzing their expectations and preferences with these other transactions.
So, what exactly is shaping borrower’s expectations? First and foremost, the integration of social media into virtually every commercial industry means that customers are increasingly using it as a research tool to discover the options available to them and compare other users’ experiences. They may even test out a new business relationship by interacting with representatives to test the responsiveness of their staff. They expect companies they will obtain services from to publish quality and consistent content that will assist them in making informed purchasing decisions.
Brokers can look to online shopping retailers to learn a great deal about their prospective clients’ expectations. Whether it’s Amazon, Apple, or eBay, these companies have been shaping what customers expect when shopping online by delivering exactly what they are looking for easily and fast at competitive prices—which is something mortgage servicers will need to model to develop a sustainable business model. Mortgage borrowersare also likely comparing their mortgage experience with the online banking services they receive—with the majority of financial institutions providing their clients with all of their information in an easily-accessible, convenient online platform that offers the complete control of all their accounts in a single, user-friendly interface.
By using these experiences as reference points and applying them to the mortgageindustry, brokers can accurately predict what their consumers want and more effectively market their products. Here are some areas to focus on:
Personalized Service: The majority of online vendors regardless of industry are adept in providing a personalized suite of services. They are able to recommend their customers new products based on their purchase history and use this information to tailor their customers’ experiences with regards to payment, delivery method and contact preferences. This proactive style of business model optimizes customer experience and increases satisfaction—which boosts referrals and keeps a steady stream of new clients turning to your organization for their mortgage needs.
Responsiveness: The majority of modern commercial websites feature a chat feature that grants customers immediate and around-the-clock access to trusted professional input on any questions or concerns they may have. This has resulted in consumers becoming accustomed to having quick customer service—meaning that having to wait several hours or even days for a response call or email may seem too troublesome for the average consumer. They shouldn’t have to contact you to find out what is going on with their loan package—brokers need to reach out to borrowers on a regular basis to keep their clients informed at all stages of the loan process.
Efficiency: It’s basic human nature to take the path of least resistance—and mortgage borrowers are no different. They want the quickest, most convenient solution to their funding needs that will cause them the least stress and paperwork. Accordingly, brokers should focus their efforts in reducing filing tasks, streamlining processes and keeping borrowers informed at all stages of the transaction. Borrowers should know beforehand how long the application and servicing timelines will take, what pricing options are available given their financial status and what qualifications they will need to obtain funding.
Telling customers what to expect is an ideal approach to establishing trust and transparency in the lending relationship.