In this 4 part series, we tackle all the things you need to be thinking about, as a broker, to optimize and be proud of your process. Below is the first article in the series, Getting Started.
Most mortgage professionals employ a mortgage process that, to some level, fails to meet their client's needs. So we’re here to talk about how to do better. This is an introductory post to a short series that has one main idea:
Thinking through your mortgage process from your client’s perspective will allow you to optimize for a better client experience, which will help grow your mortgage business.
Optimizing your mortgage process begins with understanding how your client thinks, what drives their actions, and what they're looking for. Try to see things the way they see things. Your mortgage process isn’t about you. Your mortgage process is about your client. And while this might seem pretty straightforward, it’s worth unpacking a little as many mortgage professionals struggle here.
If your mortgage process is about your client, then it only makes sense to build your mortgage process from your client’s perspective and with your client’s needs in mind. But here’s the problem: it’s likely you’ve never thought through your mortgage process entirely from your client’s perspective, or you’ve unintentionally built your mortgage process to suit your needs more than the needs of your client.
So if you’re looking to do better, this series will provide you with a framework to optimize your mortgage process by exploring the following four themes from your client’s point of view:
The best client is the one who has been referred to you. You’ll close a warm lead or referral at a considerably higher rate than a generic online lead. In fact, many of the mortgage professionals I work with won’t even take on a new client unless they’ve been referred.
But just because someone has been referred to you doesn’t mean they’ll actually contact you. Chances are, they’ll google you first, and if they can’t find you, or worse, if they find inaccurate information about you, they can’t contact you. That’s a lost opportunity.
Here we’re talking about search engine optimization or SEO.
How a client finds you is important. However, what they find when they find you is even more important. They’re looking for you because they have a problem that needs solving. So, before they contact you, they need to know (and see) that you can help them solve their problem.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because you understand the process of securing mortgage financing, that you’re communicating that clearly and effectively online! Unfortunately, there’s often a disconnect between what we know and what we communicate.
A client will only reach out when they have clarity. The information they find online stands for you; it’s what speaks on your behalf before they actually contact you.
So first, you need to provide them with confidence that you understand their needs and that you can help them to secure mortgage financing. Then you have to show them that you’re alive and want their business. From there, you have to tell them exactly how to get in touch with you by providing them with repeated calls to action.
Here we’re talking about your website, social media, and a consolidated online presence.
Please understand that your client is the hero of their own story. They’re in this relationship for themselves, not you. You’re their guide, and your job is to help them move towards achieving their mortgage goals. You need to give them a plan and walk through the mortgage process with them; you should never leave them guessing the next steps of your mortgage process.
As you build systems to help automate client communication, be aware that you can’t automate authenticity, despite what tools marketers try to sell you. So instead of only using automation as a way to stay “top of mind,” consider using automation also to trigger actions that remind you to connect with your client in a personalized way.
While the purpose of automation is to save you time, you don’t want to do this at the expense of authenticity. Your client wants to know that you’re personally engaged with them throughout the entire mortgage process. Don’t make them feel like just another number or deal on your desk.
Your goal should be to add value at every step of your mortgage process.
Here we’re talking about content marketing, drip campaigns, and automation.
Adapting to new technology and using it to build systems while optimizing your mortgage process is where you’ll see the biggest wins in growing your mortgage business.
We’re living in exciting times. With little to no innovation in the mortgage industry over the last 20 years, the advancements we’ve seen in the last two years have been incredible. For example, three years ago, a software company would have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to build something that you can subscribe to today for a small monthly fee.
Innovation and choice are accessible in the market like never before. And with financial tech companies like Finmo working towards a future where they can help you offer your client a mortgage in minutes, it will only get better from here. Needless to say, we’ve come a long way from paper applications, fax machines, business cards, and office meetings.
It’s no secret that today’s client expects to browse MLS on their phone, run a few mortgage calculations, complete an online application, get a pre-approval via email, stay in touch digitally, submit documents through an online portal, and sign their mortgage commitment from the comfort of their own home.
Today’s client expects a digital mortgage experience. You need to give this to them because if you don’t, someone else will.
If you aren’t adapting to the recent advancements in technology because you’re just too busy to learn new technology or you’re content doing things the way you’ve always done them because that’s easier for you, expect to be met with an impatient client who won’t be satisfied with your mortgage process.
Here we’re talking about mortgage software, automation, CRM integration, and ultimately, the future of your mortgage business.
When you optimize your mortgage process, you’ll be able to capture and generate more referrals, which is how you grow your mortgage business.
I challenge you to take this information and walk through your mortgage process wearing your client’s virtual shoes. This will help you see what they see and should expose ways to improve your process. Your mortgage process isn’t something you set and forget; it should evolve as your business grows.