Overall customer satisfaction with mortgage lenders reaches a seven-year high, with satisfaction among first-time home buyers improving considerably from 2012, according to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.
Overall customer satisfaction improves for a third consecutive year, averaging 771 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2013, up from 761 in 2012 and 747 in 2011. The study measures customer satisfaction in four key factors of the mortgage origination experience (in order of importance): application/approval process; loan representative; closing; and contact.
Quicken Loans ranks highest (841) among primary mortgage lenders and performs well across all factors. BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust Co.) ranks second (798), also performing well across all factors. U.S. Bank ranks third (783) and performs particularly well in the application/approval process (756) and loan representative (810) factors.
“We have 10,000 team members who come to the office each day with one goal in mind – what can I do to help create an amazing experience for our clients,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans. “When you combine that drive with a culture that empowers our team members to deliver on their passion you have the recipe for world-class client satisfaction.”
The 2013 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 3,267 customers who originated a new mortgage or refinanced within the past 12 months. The study was fielded between July 30 and August 30, 2013.
►Overall satisfaction is lower among home buyers than among home owners who refinance (765 vs. 775, respectively), in part due to refinance customers’ familiarity with the process.
►Overall satisfaction among first-time home buyers is 772, compared with 757 among repeat buyers.
►Despite improvements, customers purchasing a home, particularly first-time home buyers, continue to experience difficulties understanding the loan options available to them. In the 2013 study, 61 percent of first-time home buyers indicate that their loan representative clearly explained their options and that these options were completely understood, compared with 74 percent of repeat home buyers and 81 percent of refinancing customers.
►The use of electronic closing documents improves customer closing satisfaction. Closing satisfaction among the eight percent of customers who closed their mortgage using electronic documents in person averages 830, while satisfaction among the 84 percent of those who closed with paper documents in person is 772.
►The incidence of incurring additional fees at closing is higher among first-time home buyers (17 percent) than among repeat buyers (eight percent) and refinancing customers (seven percent).
“As refinancing volumes are on the decline, consumers contemplating purchasing a home are likely to have multiple lenders competing for their business. This can be particularly beneficial for those who are first-time homebuyers,” said Craig Martin, director of the financial services practice at J.D. Power. “First-time buyers often have questions and should not be afraid to ask prospective lenders about the specifics of the mortgage process and how they will be kept informed. Much of the stress with borrowing comes from a lack of information and knowledge during the process. Asking when you will be updated and how that information will be provided are two key questions that may help improve the borrowing experience.”