As the quantity of purchase volume continues to show signs of stalling or worse, the competition among originators has intensified. According to Gibran Nicholas, chairman and CEO of The CMPS Institute, a primary tool for loan officer success is using cross-selling strategies to fully understand how a home loan would fit within the complete financial environment of the prospective homebuyer.
Speaking at this weekend’s NAMB National, the annual convention of NAMB–The Association of Mortgage Professionals, Nicholas argued for a more holistic understanding of the borrower’s needs, rather than a single-minded focus on pushing for a mortgage as a standalone object.
“I think that it is important for any salesperson to understand where their product fits in the context of what their client is going through,” Nicholas explained. “If a loan originator can understand what the customer is going through, what the challenges they are facing with college funding or retirement planning–the sort of things that a financial planner looks at–then they can bridge the gap between the housing decisions and what the client is facing in their life financially, and they will be more effective in what they do.”
Nicholas added that this big picture would also apply to the investors who still constitute a considerable presence in the residential property market.
“In the case of a real estate investor, originators should understand how to calculate rate of return or how to analyze a property from a financial standpoint,” Nicholas said. “Then, you are able to put the mortgage product in the context of what the investor is trying to do.”
Nicholas warned that not understanding the full value of cross-selling can generate a new wave of compliance problems.
“From a compliance standpoint, the last thing you want to do as a branch manager or an executive is put somebody without the proper training or experience into the field, because now they are taking your brand and representing your company in a way that may not reflect the way you want it to reflect,” Nicholas said. “From both a compliance and branding perspective, it is very important for a company to look at more than just compliance training. It’s not just about how to close the loan legally—it’s about how to close the loan the brand image you want to project.”
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected]