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The Elite Performer: Feedback Fuels Your Business

Andy W. Harris
Apr 03, 2012

Over the last decade I’ve spent in this industry, I’ve found that the greatest reward and growth for my business has been from the feedback of clients and testimonials. Being in an industry which offers a service rather than just a product means we must always strive to make our level of service excellent. After all, we have control over our actions and reactions, and how we handle our clients during the loan process ... do we not? We also have the ability to create systems and adapt to the needs of our clients under any lending climate, don’t we? The quality of our service can only be determined by our clients through their experience with us during the application and loan process. There is absolutely no doubt that communication is the most important factor in what we deal with on a daily basis. This is not a skill you should have, it’s simply a requirement. Having consistent and accurate communication will allow you to gain customer loyalty, trust and respect. In addition, it will allow you to get the most beneficial feedback available to customize your services for the very clients you’re working to attract and retain. Feedback helps you build, while testimonials help you grow. You might think things are going fine in your business, but it really doesn’t matter what you think. It only matters what your clients or potential clients think. Obtaining vital feedback will help you improve or update sections of your loan processing systems in order to create the most favorable client experience possible. Our industry and lending climate is constantly changing, and we must always be prepared to listen to clients and implement change in order for them to successfully understand and navigate through the process. Testimonials are extremely powerful and a free source of marketing. Nothing promotes your services better than testimonials from past clients. You are almost guaranteed that if someone is willing to provide you with a testimonial they are also referring you to family and friends. You must ask for testimonials, not just referrals. Each loan closing should include a closing package with handwritten thank you, business cards and promotional materials. It should also include a customer survey and request for both written and online testimonials. Use these client testimonials in your marketing and to attract new clients, but never attempt to use self-generated or fraudulent testimonials. Another added benefit of testimonials is that they are extremely motivating. They help remind you to be thankful and appreciative for the clients you’ve met and been able to assist. It also allows you to confirm you are making a difference by meeting personal goals in customer satisfaction by exceeding their expectations. Always remember that most consumers are doing their research on service providers, especially in the mortgage industry. Let them find something special when researching you! Tip of the month ... If you are a mortgage loan originator (MLO) looking for a company to partner with, take the same approach as your clients do. Before even interviewing with a company, check their ratings and customer feedback online and through any and all channels available. If you see a consistent negative trend or complaints, don’t even bother interviewing. There is no excuse for repeat offenders. Do yourself and your clients a favor by just moving on and working by reputation and referral when considering a new home base. Andy W. Harris, CRMS is president and owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and 2010-2011 president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431 or e-mail [email protected]
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