What borrowers think of youSteve Bliskocustomer interaction, business approach, customer retention
In today's competitive marketplace, it is not uncommon to spend
so much time working on what we perceive to be important--such as
the "business model," paperwork, vendors and industry news--that we
fail to focus on the living, breathing consumers on the other side
of the desk. While this is not unique to any single industry,
mortgage brokers are in some ways more susceptible. In dealing
directly with consumers attempting to secure their version of the
perfect future, the stress of making the "American Dream" a reality
can push brokers to overlook the personal side of business in favor
of a quick closing. What we must bear in mind is just how emotional
this process is for most borrowers. Typically, consumers are facing
one of two scenarios. Either, they have found the home of their
dreams and are ready to act, or they need to refinance in order to
maintain their current standard of living. Either way, this sort of
financing is exceptionally personal in nature and clients should be
handled with extreme care.
Brokers have a tendency to present themselves as bankers, using
a stern authoritative approach that makes the buyer nervous from
the start. While there is truth to the idea that the average
consumer looks for a broker who appears trustworthy, maintaining
individualized treatment for each client is paramount. Two recent
focus groups conducted by the marketing team at
MortgageConcierge.com indicated that most borrowers view the home
buying or refinance experience as one of the most stressful
ventures in life. The same participants equated the anxiety of
financing a new home or refinancing their current residence with
getting married or losing a steady job. Let's consider this for a
moment. Combine the stress of a financial situation with the
personal nature of one's home, add paperwork and questions asked
with little information or instruction offered in return, and you
quickly create one very apprehensive consumer.
So, what can we do to ensure a positive encounter each time we
meet with a potential client? Again, referring to the
MortgageConcierge.com focus group, participants noted that the
following would make them feel more comfortable choosing a broker
to help them meet their financial goals:
•Have a "Can Do" attitude and a positive approach.
•Practice the three "Ps": Be polite, professional and
•Be responsive. Take the time to respond to a client's
concerns. This may be as simple as pointing him or her to a
resource where they can uncover their own answers.
•Be proactive. Anticipate what a client's concerns might
include. This can be as simple as improving the content on your Web
site or providing a fact sheet at your first meeting.
•Be resourceful. So, option 'A' won't work? Tell them what
will! Be prepared with several alternatives as well as simple
explanations of the pros and cons of each.
Used individually, each of these will serve to improve client
relations and make the loan process more manageable for everyone
involved. Added as a collection to your current sales repertoire,
the five qualities listed above will aid in expanding your client
base and increasing your closing rate. Essentially, take the time
to make a friend and your client will respond in kind. The
referrals alone will be worth the investment in time.
In the end, the lesson is no more complicated than the age-old
mantra, "Treat others as you want to be treated yourself." The
great Golden Rule strikes again, and with an ever-expanding group
of licensed brokers now available, consumers have the desire and
the wherewithal to search for someone whose bottom line involves
more than commissions and credit scores. Make the little changes
today and go from the broker who helps them find a house, to the
broker who makes their house a home.
Steve Blisko is CEO of Global Inet Marketing in Ponte Vedra,
Fla. He may be reached at (888) 244-5622 or e-mail