An irony of the times is that in this age of automated mortgage application platforms, Loan Officers are increasingly dependent on online c reviews and client recommendations for new business prospects. Younger clients, especially, rely on friends, family, and online comments for guidance before selecting the firms and individuals they want to do business with. This can be an excellent pipeline for loyal and regular business.
As a Loan Officer who deals with clients face to face, you have an advantage over your automated competitors, and are in a better position to earn client recommendations. This factor makes each loan you close an opportunity for lead generation. Even if you received the lead from a call center, there is still a high level of service you can provide to keep your clients happy and those recommendations coming.
Five To-Dos for Better Client Experiences
To ensure your clients have the kind of experience they will want to share, here are some tips for enhancing relationships:
- Be an Active Listener. Whether in-person or via call center, hold a conversation with your client. This enables you to create a connection. It is also an opportunity to identify and intervene where a client’s words may be mismatched with their actions so that you can direct them to a more appropriate loan program. Get a sense of their level of anxiety about the entire process. If they are nervous, be reassuring and figuratively hold their hand every step of the way. They’re not likely to forget this personalized service.
- Be Specific and Responsive. Everyone says, “I’ll get right back to you.” However, it can mean different things to different people. For you, it may mean you’ll get back to someone as soon as you have an answer to a question, which could take a few days. To a client, it can sound like they shouldn’t leave their phone because you’ll be calling back any minute. A good rule of thumb is to commit to replying to phone messages and emails the same business day, even if the answer is, “I don’t know but I’m checking on it for you.” When someone is hanging on a response that can mean whether they get into their home or not, a day of unanswered correspondence can seem like a week.
- Be Interested in the Person. Engage and get a sense of who they are and what they want. Learn about your client, their goals and their family as a foundation for an ongoing conversation. Being personally acquainted and taking the time to learn about a client are critical components to prompting additional referrals.
- Be a Counselor as Much as a Lender. Never be afraid to give advice. Clients come to you for a mortgage, but they will find value in your insight, often literally. In today’s world, being patient and taking the time to explain details and offer guidance are rare. Be willing to go as deep into the loan agreement and specifics as each client needs. It helps ensure they receive the customized experience they will remember later.
- Be Human. Convey excitement when appropriate. For instance, you know your client will be over the moon when their mortgage is approved. So, share the news with joy if over the phone or with exclamation points or even emojis if appropriate to your brand and your own voice. You are celebrating along with them and they’ll remember how genuinely happy you were for them.
Even after the loan closes, follow up to see how each client is enjoying their new home, renovation, or better financing arrangement and to make sure the payment process is progressing smoothly.
Establishing relationships with your clients and ensuring satisfaction makes customers feel good about doing business with you and will inevitably lead to positive client reviews and referrals.