Technology is changing the world we live in. The way people think about buying a home and getting a mortgage is rapidly evolving. And with every change comes a new way of doing business for both the Loan Originator and the Real Estate Agent. As we step into the future, many want to know – how will increasing dependence on technology change the role of the originator and the agent?
Millennials – the next massive wave of homebuyers, make up more than one-quarter of the nation’s population, and they are the future of the housing industry. Just beginning their journey as financial decision-makers, this generation of first-time homebuyers will likely want to consult a trusted professional along the way. Though they may be tech-savvy, they aren’t ready for a completely digital homebuying experience.
The key to gaining their business though, is understanding what they expect and how to serve this new type of homebuyer. They’re looking for a homebuying process that’s fast, efficient, customer-centric, transparent, and personalized. Delivering that experience is crucial.
While millennials aren’t looking for a totally automated homebuying experience, they are looking for a process that’s made convenient by technology. Millennials have grown up in the digital age and are used to having on-demand information, so anyone looking to serve them needs to come armed with instant access to information. More than any other generation, they use the internet and mobile devices when connecting with businesses. That means having a user-friendly mobile website and easy-to-use apps is a necessity.
Millennials want to work with service providers who are fast with updates, create transparency throughout the lending process, and efficiently close loans. As a Loan Originator you should be able to check a loan status, send a preapproval letter, and pull credit – all from your mobile device; your mobile technology should give you the ability to get everyday tasks done anytime, anywhere so you’re just as effective in the field as you are in the office. The same goes for Real Estate Agents. You should be able to manage your book of business on-the-go, keep clients in the loop with a push of a button, and provide a home-shopping app that gives real-time access to the MLS directory. Otherwise, you may not be able to competitively market your services to an on-the-go buyer.
At New American Funding, we understand this and have created our suite of GoGo app suite to cater to these millennial needs.
Establish Your Online Reputation
Millennials tend to do their research first, then do business next. According to the Online Marketing Institute, 93% of millennials turn to consumer reviews before making a purchase decision and more than 70% of them trust what they read. Millennials care about reviews, and so should you. If you expect to do business in this coming age, you must have a solid online reputation.
Reaching out to each customer after every transaction could be a time-consuming and difficult task, so having the right technology in place makes building your online reputation an easy, set-it-and-forget-it task.
Generating positive reviews and building a good online reputation begins with how you close your customers’ transaction. When you provide excellent service, your clients are more inclined to write a favorable review when you seek their feedback. And as they complete reviews, your automated system should automatically post reviews so you’re constantly building your online reputation. And the reviews should be posted in all the prime places where consumers look – your company website, your personal website, and social media channels.
At New American Funding, we cover all those bases with sophisticated reputation-management tools for our Loan Officers.
Activate Social Media
As you move into the future, social media is going to be essential to your success. The key is knowing how to use it effectively. Millennials don’t logon to Facebook 50 minutes a day to review the latest sales ads. When you approach your social media strategy as a teacher, rather than as a sales person, it may end up being more beneficial. Millennials like to be well-informed, so you have to position yourself as a credible industry expert. Since there’s an enormous amount of competition already inundating social media channels, you’ve got to find a way to separate yourself from the rest. Whether your skill is working with first-time homebuyers or you’re a knowledgeable veteran with years of experience in the industry, you need to showcase what makes you stand out amongst the competition.
Not only do you have to know your brand but you have to know the type of content your consumer wants. Millennials are looking for things that are easy-to-digest, like videos for example, that provide tips on building credit or saving for a down payment. That means any professional looking to find success with Millennials must tailor their approach to accommodate the demand. Having an expert-driven, social media tool that gives you direction on what you should post and when you should post it, is a great way to take the heavy lifting out of your social media efforts.
Build Your Future Now
Despite changes brought about by technology, the future still belongs to agents and originators. Retaining relevancy is a matter of knowing how to use technology to your advantage, adapting as times continue to evolve, and using the right tools to complement your business.