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Today’s Purchase Market: Change on the Horizon

Nov 25, 2013

It’s becoming more evident that change is coming to the mortgage industry. The record low rates are coming to an end, and lenders will soon see, if they aren’t already, an industry-wide shift away from a refinancing market to a purchase-driven market. With these changes, a trend is emerging on the lender side of business. High-quality loan officers are moving from large banking institutions to smaller and livelier mortgage banks. Why the shift? These smaller banks are better able to service their clients and referral partners. With the current rise in mortgage rates, applications for refinancing will see a big decrease. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), they predict that rates for the 30-year fixed loan will reach 4.4 percent by the end of this year. By the fourth quarter, the MBA predicts the refinancing share will only account for 40 percent of home mortgage application volume. At the same time, they expect purchase originations to increase this year by 16.8 percent and 20.5 percent next year. As originations change, loan officers will need to adjust to these new dynamics. Refinancing is very different from purchasing. It requires communication, trust and speed. Needs are demanded every day by clients, and loan officers must be in an environment that provides the resources to meet these needs in a timely manner. Below are some tips to remember when writing the copy for your purchase direct mail marketing. If you cannot engage your reader, you won’t see the return you are anticipating. 1. Keep it short and sweet. Long messaging discourages people from investing their time in your direct mail piece. If you keep your message brief and to the point, your reader can quickly determine the importance of your message and choose to read further or take action. 2. Use acronyms and short forms sparingly, if at all. Most industries, especially the mortgage industry, are filled with daily uses of acronyms or short forms, such as Ginnie Mae, ARMS, MBS. Unless you know for certain that your reader understands these terms in their abbreviated form, it’s always best and safe to spell everything out or provide the complete definition of the term. 3. Create a personal tone. Your direct mail piece may be sent out to hundreds of people at a time, but your message should be created as if you are only writing to one person. Determine the best “voice” to fit your audience. Is it formal? Friendly? Funny? Etc. 4. Cross your T’s and dot your I’s. It may seem like an obvious step, but it’s critical to check your spelling and grammar in all content that is sent out. Readers will be turned off if they feel you didn’t put the effort into making your direct mail a worthwhile piece for their time. Having multiple people review the content will help prevent these errors. Overall, this shift for loan officers will have a positive effect on consumers. Officers will be better equipped to provide service and speed to close these loans, which is critical to all parties involved. K. Justin Restaino is vice president of Titan List & Mailing Services Inc. For more than 13 years, he has led Titan’s Mortgage Division, helping lenders of all capacities grow their businesses utilizing targeted direct mail. With a specialized focus in refinance and purchase markets, Restaino has the insight for proper data and mail application for success. He may be reached by phone at (800) 544-8060, ext. 204 or e-mail [email protected].
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