The Art of Home Ownership

by Kimberly Greene25 Jun 2019

Most mortgage and real estate professionals see their value as transactional. In other words, their role is to help facilitate a transaction, making the process better than the competitor in every way, from rates to closing speed. But what about everything around the transaction?

At Mastermind 2019, top producer Ryan Grant explained why originators need to expand their value beyond the immediate transaction.

“In reality, the transaction is only 10 percent of our value to the consumer. Thirty percent of the value is going to come before they buy the home, and 60 of the value to the consumer is going to come after they buy a home. So we get real clear with the consumer on why that is,” Grant said.

Grant and his team have developed a platform called “The Art of Home Ownership”, which consists of several unique ways that the consumer will benefit from being their client before, during, and after the transaction. With the platform, Grant’s team takes a proactive stance in helping borrowers grow their wealth, make smart decisions about real estate and finance, and doing whatever they can to care about that client’s bottom line.

The pillars of home ownership on the platform include:

  • Home concierge service, where a concierge comes in and does an analysis of the property, keeping everything on file and notifying the homeowner when it’s time to do routine maintenance or upkeep. It can schedule maintenance and keep receipts and invoices all in one place. The goal is to help consumers maintain their property and proactively increase that home’s value over time.
  • Real estate wealth analysis, because very few people know their wealth through real estate. It can be difficult to nail down accurate home values, and most people don’t look at their mortgage statement regularly. Grant believes that borrowers should always know exactly what they can and should do with any existing home equity, so his team sends a monthly real estate wealth digest that’s specific to the client. That digest has a 90 percent open rate, so the engagement with the database is substantial.
  • Annual financial review and annual financial planning, which Grant’s team views differently from an annual mortgage review. Most people think that the annual mortgage review is simply a comparison of interest rates, but in reality,  the actual mortgage review is a chance for originators to learn what’s changed in their clients’ lives over the last year—from changes in income to changes in the health and/or care of their parents, and whether they’ve discussed a generational wealth plan, an estate plan, and/or insurance protection. Their annual financial review is really detailed because it’s not just about the mortgage; their borrowers knows that every year, Grant’s mortgage team is going to help them plan for the future.
  • The perfect mortgage promise, where Grant’s team can guarantee that their client is always in the right loan at the right time. Their platform allows the team to show why that’s the case, and also allows them to add up to 10 agent partners to the platform.

For the last eight years, Grant says, lenders didn’t need to be particularly helpful to the consumer, they just needed to close loans. Now, not everyone wants to buy a home. Part of the messaging to their realtor partners is that it’s no longer good enough just to refer a lender. If a borrower is just being preapproved with an approximate payment, that can scare people off, and could be doing more harm than good.

When a potential buyer says that they can’t afford a home, that’s not always the case.

“That’s the story they’re telling themselves, because the lender told them what they can do, not what they should do. So we talk about how we can help from a psychological perspective, influence their decision-making through education in a very positive way,” Grant said.

Now, his team’s job is to remove the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty that the majority of consumers have, and replace it with excitement, confidence and motivation. Grant said that choices made regarding real estate are often reactive to some sort of external feature, but people don’t realize that they can take a more proactive stance.

“We don’t want our clients to have to live their life that way, so we’re going to help them plan for the future. We’re going to help them set goals. We’re going to help them understand how to build wealth through real estate.”

The Art of Home Ownership platform also gives realtor partners an opportunity for prospecting. If someone walks into an open house, for example, the agent can pitch these services to a borrower, even if they’re not looking to buy a house right then. Then Grant’s team gets to “adopt” the consumer, adding value by giving them value in advance of any transaction.

“Ultimately, we know that we’re going to help [a client] in the next two years. Most people don’t have the ability to prospect at that level, and this gives us the opportunity to do that,” Grant said.

Most lenders may talk about having this kind of devotion to their clients, but they don’t have a platform to be able to actually bring that to fruition, to display it or to actually systemize it and make it happen. Using the Art of Homeownership, Grant has found a way to bring clients into his sphere and provide value to them without the borrower having to do anything in return.