A mortgage loan is often the single-largest purchase a person will make in their lifetime. Often surpassing six figures, a mortgage is a key step in helping people achieve their home ownership dreams. And because it’s such a milestone experience, it can also come with a great deal of anxiety and confusion.
You don’t get a mortgage every day, and as a major transaction, it’s not a purchase that’s talked about openly. Your customers will come to you with varying financial acumen and lived experiences. That’s why it’s important to craft a customer journey that guides them along the process with their needs in mind. When you do, you can improve your loan closure rate, customer satisfaction, and reputation in the industry.
1. Be Upfront About The Process
Most people understand that they’ll need a mortgage to purchase a home. However, the average homebuyer rarely knows what it takes to qualify and how best to apply for one. The home-buying process is full of gatekeepers, but it doesn’t mean you have to be one of them. Instead, be a beacon of light in an otherwise gray sky of confusion.
First, lay everything out in the open for potential customers to see. Use your website and social media pages to outline the loan pre-approval process and provide example scenarios. Storytelling can help transform a very helpful bulleted list into a more relatable situation. This can be especially helpful as you’ll need to break down complex industry jargon like income verification and debt-to-income ratios.
Deploy your process outline in new customer packets and information on your website targeted toward potential clients. This can give them a better understanding of what they’ll need before initiating a credit check. If your list shows a requirement they can’t meet, like having a down payment, they’ll know now. By being upfront, you’ll better manage expectations, which can improve customer experience and satisfaction.
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2. Aim To Understand Your Customer Types — And Serve Them Accordingly
There’s no one-size-fits-all house, and there’s certainly no one-size-fits all loan. So why would you treat your customers as if they’re all the same? The answer is, you wouldn’t — especially if you’re of the mindset that your customers deserve customized solutions and service.
Take a look at your last two years of loan closures to get a read on what type of customers you serve. Examine loan products, rates, and details about the customers pursuing them. Scan old email and secure messages to identify schedule-busting hangups, repeat questions, and other details. This exercise may take you a few days to complete, but it’s an effort worth the hours. You’ll end up with a detailed list of information that’ll help you develop a game-changing way of serving your customers.
Use your findings to group your customers into persona groups — a common way of categorizing potential clients. Develop detailed personas using data to create semi-fictional customer types. Get as detailed as you can, but resist the urge to over-complicate it. The goal is to bring life to the data in a way that’s actionable, helpful, and improves your customers’ experience.
For example, your first-time homebuyer persona might be “Leslie and Colin,” a young professional couple with a growing family. You’ll list their needs, concerns, and desires to better understand their mindset and how to serve them. Repeat this process and use your personas to train your team and develop your processes to meet customer needs.
3. Use Content To Break Down Complexity
If a checklist is helpful, a content library is the Holy Grail. Provide context through content early, often, and deliberately to further break down complexity and establish expertise. While you may have years of experience in the loan industry, your customers have been busy gaining expertise elsewhere. Use content to enrich your services before, during, and even after closing a deal.
Kick off your content-generating efforts and start a blog that’s hosted on your website. Walk potential buyers through the process, using your standard new-client checklist as a guide. Help customers understand what documents are needed, when, and why. Take the opportunity to caution potential buyers on risky moves like changing jobs, applying for new credit, or overspending. Use your original research list to inspire topics and commit to posting regularly to build out your library.
After you’ve posted ten or so articles, start promoting them to your current and potential customers. Use them as the beginnings of an email campaign, link them in new client pursuit funnels, and post them on social media. Every piece of content you create can be used to spark a new conversation, clarify the process, and build trust.
Identify keywords that make sense for your business, such as “new+homebuyer+CITY NAME.” This can help you rank high on search results for customers in need of your services. When they visit your site, they’ll be greeted with a wealth of information from an industry expert. As they work through the loan approval process, your content library can support them along the way.
Be The Partner Your Customers Turn To For Answers
It can be hard to get answers, especially about financial matters. And while this fact can be frustrating on the customer’s side, it’s great news for a mortgage pro like you. In a sea of complexity, you can be the clarity-providing partner in your customers’ pursuit of a home. And thanks to their incredible customer experience, you’ll be their go-to for future loans and referrals to everyone they meet.