That’s right, we said it. You should not be selling to borrowers shopping around for a mortgage. Sound like an oxymoron? When it comes to interacting with a potential customer shopping around for a mortgage, you need to change your mindset.
Here’s what we’re talking about. When someone calls, visits, or submits an online inquiry regarding your rates, what do you do? Many loan officers make a very foundational mistake: they immediately answer the “rate question.”
Why is this a bad thing? Well, in that situation, the loan officer has not asked any of the basic questions they should have. This is why you should not be selling to borrowers who are shopping around for a mortgage.
Here’s what you should do instead of selling to your leads:
Change your strategy
Ask for the basics
Find out why they’re calling
Understand the weight
Change Your Strategy
Okay, so if you’re not selling to borrowers shopping around for a mortgage, what are you doing? Consider how to help your borrower, not just how to sell them a mortgage! The first step to knowing how you can help a borrower is to get to know them and their needs.
But, if your very first interaction with someone is over the phone or even over email, it can be difficult to know how to even begin to get to know them.
Ask the Basics
For instance, what is the lead’s name? Did you get their phone number and email address? You’ll need those for follow-up. How about asking if they are working with a realtor? Have they been pre-approved for a loan? All of this data is important for you to have, whether you end up working with this lead in the future or not.
This is because when you have data on a lead, you can market to them more effectively. Additionally, by gathering data about your leads, you can learn how to better communicate. For example, if you notice that the majority of the leads that reach out to you asking, “What kind of rates can you get me?” are millennials, then you should probably adjust your marketing to even better target this demographic.
Find Out Why They’re Calling
Yes, they’re asking about mortgage rates, but there’s a deeper story. After all, if they’re shopping around for a mortgage, that means that a big life change has probably occurred, or is just about to. For example, perhaps your lead just got married, had a baby, or changed jobs. Whatever is making them consider buying a new home is probably a pretty big deal!
Therefore, in order to truly serve your clients, and not just sell to leads that are shopping around for a mortgage, you have to find out why they are really calling. It could be something as simple as the lead not knowing their loan options, or being discouraged by other originator’s opinions about their credit score.
Whatever the reason may be, by truly finding out the reason behind their inquiry, you can better fulfill their needs.
Understand the Weight of Their Decision
Similarly, to best help leads shopping around for a mortgage, you need to understand the weight of their decision. Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions that most people will make in their entire lives. Therefore, it’s important to be as helpful and educational as you can.
Take the time to answer the leads questions, and offer to send them resources that would help them. For instance, after a phone call with a lead, you could send them an email thanking them for their call. Then, share helpful articles or blog posts regarding their needs! Whether that’s information about best practices while applying for a mortgage, or tips for improving credit, you need to prove your value to potential borrowers shopping around for a mortgage.
Answer The “Rate Question”
Okay, now it’s finally time to answer the question that the lead probably asked in the first place: “What will my mortgage rate be?” For borrowers shopping around for a mortgage, this is a critical piece of their decision.
And now that you have a bit more background on the potential borrower, you can answer in a much more personalized way. For instance, perhaps your borrower is a veteran. Since you had a full conversation with them, you can offer them information about VA loans. Or maybe, their unique financial circumstances make them eligible for down payment assistance.
Therefore, telling them about mortgage rates just became a lot more personalized.
Changing how you approach leads asking about mortgage rates is a great way to improve your customer experience. Plus, you’ll convert more leads! People shopping around for a mortgage do need concrete information from you, but they also need you to build trust with them. And you can only truly build trust if you get to know them.
So, focusing on the person instead of the sale will ultimately earn you more business as well as an excellent reputation.