Phrases like “customer journey” and “borrower experience” have fast become ubiquitous in the mortgage industry. Ignoring the phrases and the meaning behind them, however, could place originators at a disadvantage today as well as when it comes to the future of their business.
In the upcoming webinar, “From First Search to Final Sale: 7 Steps to Win New and Repeat Customers”, originators will hear not only how they can adapt to the new borrower-centric environment, but also how to increase conversion after a borrower finds them online—because the truth is that even referred clients do their research online first.
“We'll talk a lot in this webinar about how the customer journey has changed, and that's something that [originators] really should be focusing on, because whether or not they learn about it, the customer journey is changing and customers are demanding more and more from businesses,” said Hayley Sonntag, marketing specialist at Podium. “We'll talk about that and then some simple steps that business can actually do today that are that are really easy to keep up.”
When considering the borrower experience, originators should be asking three questions of themselves and their business:
- Can your customer find you? Are you easily found online, and how are you improving your visibility?
- Can your customers connect with you? Are you able to be reached the way people want to reach you?
- Are you building long-lasting relationships with your customers? How?
By the end of the webinar, originators will be able to answer these questions confidently and positively, thanks to the tips from Podium.
For those loan officers who think that they get enough business as it is, or that their referrals are strong enough not to have to worry about their online presence, think again. Online retailers have transformed the digital space in such a way that has spilled over to other industries, and convenience has become more important than almost anything else, Sonntag said.
“We’ve seen that that convenience is translating to all other industries, so customers are used to—and they're demanding—this convenience, not just with online retail, but with brick and mortar retail, with mortgage brokers, with their dentist, with automobiles,” Sonntag said. “We think that all businesses can and should be trying to keep up and adapting to meet these demands.”
Part of meeting those demands begins with originators putting themselves in their borrowers’ shoes and understanding the hurdles that exist when searching for and contacting the originator’s business. Even though borrowers will continue coming through more traditional channels, Sonntag said that it doesn’t make sense for originators to completely discount another “huge” segment of the market that is going to be finding them online and in other new ways involving technology. Engaging new ways to boost online rankings casts a wider net, reaching more customers and making those connections more profitable.
Small-scale business can reap the rewards just as well as larger lenders, which is where technology comes into play. There are so many software options available, however, that it's important to find one that make these things easier, as opposed to being one more thing to manage.
“Of course there are things that the mortgage brokers can do on their own, but if they're using software that can help make it easier for them, that's where they can really stand out against their competitors,” Sonntag said.
Above all else, Sonntag says that originators shouldn’t be afraid of adaptation and making bold new strides for their business, which is the biggest mistake that people make. A lot of mortgage professionals are concerned about compliance issues when it comes to texting potentially sensitive material, for example, but they don’t even consider using it as an alternative method of regular communication, along with phone and email. A vast majority of consumers prefer texting, and being able to meet that need can make the process faster, smoother, and more convenient for both the borrower and the originator alike.
“We're optimistic that people are changing, and we think that's because the customers are demanding it. If your firm doesn't offer the convenience that they're wanting, they're going to find a business down the street that can provide that for them,” Sonntag said.
Change is a slow process, but originators don’t have to go it alone.
Register today for “From First Search to Final Sale: Understanding the Modern Client Journey”, which takes place on Wednesday, September 11th, at 1 p.m. ET.