In this modern age when over 90% of adults carry a cell phone and 64% prefer texting over emails and calls, the mortgage industry is moving to keep up with the times. Companies that refuse to cater to the new demands of home buyers are certain to be left behind. Understanding today’s communication landscape is vital to remaining relevant in an ever-changing society, and it is clear that mobile communication is the new standard.
While there are different ways to add text messaging to your loan process, the most popular method is scheduling personalized status updates. Many text messaging systems can connect to your LOS and automatically send updates to borrowers and related contacts when milestones are reached throughout the process. Initial outreach is also paramount, as you can even gain new business through text messaging. Since leads come your way from a variety of sources, it’s important to provide multiple channels of communication and allow the borrower to steer the process based on their preferences. Birthday and holiday messages are another great way to stay in front of your clients and show them you care. Touching base on these special days and throughout the year is made easier by including important dates in your database, and it’s a simple way to build relationships and trust.
One consideration when texting your borrowers and business partners is the importance of avoiding systems with short codes. Short codes are the five-digit numbers that appear when using certain services instead of a fully functional phone number. Not only do short codes typically not have the ability to receive response text messages; they make it clear that the text was pre-generated by a system and not sent directly from a person. Text messaging offers a multitude of benefits in the mortgage industry, whether it be avoiding a painful game of phone tag or providing a quick reminder of a missing document before it causes a delay in the purchase or refinance. Customers appreciate easy communication and having vital loan information within quick reach of their pocket!
You can’t have a conversation in the mortgage space without someone asking for advice on which CRM is the right mortgage CRM. While we answered this question in another article, we would certainly say that CRMs are a thing of the past. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager, which was great when all business was referral-based, but in this current age of lead management and machine learning, we need to be looking forward.
CDP stands for Customer Data Platform, and that’s a place where all data can be stored, analyzed for behavior and opportunity, and used effectively. A CDP could save a mortgage originator time and energy when building acquisition strategies. With any platform, it’s the integrations and the UX that make the product important. Knowing when to talk with your database, how to talk with them and the method of communication they prefer goes a long way toward understanding and listening to their needs, respecting that balance and providing excellent marketing solutions.
After experiencing frustration and exhaustion in their own home buying and refinancing journeys, three friends decided to focus their efforts on ensuring no one else would endure the same complications in the future. In 2015, the founders of Maxwell delved into thorough research by consulting with hundreds of people involved in different stages of the mortgage process. With newfound knowledge gleaned from a combination of loan officers, home buyers and real estate agents, Maxwell was able to create a modern platform that makes mortgages fun and fulfilling. Accessible from any device, Maxwell’s intuitive platform helps borrowers easily find their place in the mortgage process at any time.
From the first point in the process, Maxwell’s “smart 1003” makes applying for a mortgage incredibly simple for users. If any actionable items are required, Maxwell makes it easy for borrowers to locate the necessary documents by connecting to thousands of financial institutions for imports and uploads. Secure cloud storage allows documents to be kept in a searchable and sort-able exchange, accessible to both the loan officer and borrower. Documents can even be added through camera capture on smartphones.
While the loan officer’s job is automatically simplified by the improved borrower experience, Maxwell tailors other aspects of the system to technologies already being used by a mortgage company, creating an exemplary, multi-faceted product. The Maxwell technology can be housed on the loan officer’s existing domain, with customizable branding so the borrower never has to be separated from the experience of a mortgage company’s logo and color scheme. As long as the LOS is powered by Fannie Mae or can accept the Maxwell API, it can be automatically integrated for borrower information and status updates. Pulling credit reports is easily done using the MeridianLink integration. A growing list of numerous other applications can also connect to Maxwell.
Concerned with more than the financial transaction aspects of a home, Maxwell dedicates time to providing homes for those in need. The company strives to address the global issue of homelessness and hopes to one day be in a world where no one has to worry about basic needs and survival. In a short span of four years, Maxwell has joined with New Story to build over 1,600 homes.\n\nBased in Denver, Colorado but with customers throughout the country, Maxwell is a fast-growing company with a clear vision. Dedicated to mortgage companies regardless of their size, Maxwell has a feature-based pricing structure with added flexibility to accommodate the way each team already enjoys doing business. To explore the Maxwell product offerings, click here or see below.
Mortgage professionals can offer mixed reviews on technology and how it fits into creating a seamless experience for their homebuyers. Systems exist that allow for this marriage of technology and personal relationships, and that makes a world of difference in taking some of the paperwork burden and follow-up off the shoulders of loan originators.
Below are some tips on how to sell value while allowing systems and technology to work for you.
Understand your brand:
Knowing how to articulate your value is incredibly important. One of the keys in sales is being able to explain the difference between you and your competition in a simple, clear way, without being negative.
Create loyalty by listening instead of selling
Allow your customer to explain their fears, excitement and objections. Guide them truthfully and make sure to answer all their questions.
Remember that trust is everything
Systems and technology are great, but trust starts with a human connection and a willingness to be vulnerable. If a buyer is trusting you with the biggest decision of their life, they want to talk with a real person.
Service is valuable
Answer your phone when they call. Make time for every question. The delivery of your customer service sets you apart from technology.
Deliver messaging to the right platforms at the right time
Too much is too much for everyone. Put yourself in your customer’s position — would you want the process to feel easy and convenient? Allow them to choose among calls, text, video and email, and then have the ability to deliver to all of those platforms.
Your websites and application should be user-friendly
If applying for a loan is complicated and overwhelming, a customer may stop filling in information. With so many amazing technology platforms available when applying for a home loan, the time for updating your process is now.
Form relationships through social media
Long gone are the times of hiding behind your social media profile. Pick a platform that you are comfortable connecting on and make sure you create a bond.
Make instructions clear
Remember that you do this every day, but patience and clear communication of needs will make a big difference in not stressing out your customers.
Share the process with them
You should be using a CRM that makes life and updates very easy. That CRM should explain everything to the buyer and prepare them for what comes next.
Don’t put them on the referral hamster wheel once they close
It’s important to receive their feedback and create a few raving fans, but don’t inundate your database with requests for more business. Keep the level of respect throughout the next few months by providing value when you reach out.
At Intent, we understand that the balance between human relationships and technology is very important, and we work hard to play a key role in integrating the systems you need when you need them.
Purchase power is driven by today’s unlimited online resources, and home buyers are likely going to do a Google search for every real estate agent, mortgage company and most other aspects of the mortgage process. With so much education at their fingertips, home buyers are now in the driver’s seat when it comes to the buying experience that they expect, and we — the purveyors of the customer experience — need to understand when to allow technology to walk them through the process as well as how to personally guide them when they need advice or have questions. It’s a new way of doing business, but one that will doubtlessly change the road map from buyer acquisition through the sales cycle.
Partnering effectively means that real estate professionals and mortgage professionals work together to nurture leads and create solutions for problems, instead of insisting that the model that has existed is the only way for the future. But with so much technology available and many resistant to the ideas that borrowing a huge sum of money is as easy as clicking a button or that finding a home is as easy as taking a virtual tour and making an offer, the home buying end-to-end solution needs to give seamless instruction with cohesive messaging that serves the customer. Anything besides one platform that will meet those needs means remembering passwords to a variety of apps, sifting through emails and texts from multiple vendors, and feeling overwhelmed. That is not how these industries will drive business moving forward.
There has never been a time when the right messaging with the right timing on a succinct platform designed and branded to your company has been more critical to the sales funnel. Luckily, Intent provides guidance and support for the home buying industries in a multitude of ways that will revolutionize how opportunities are sought, cultivated, respected and, ultimately, converted. The digital mortgage is here. The digital home buying process has begun. Make sure you are ready.