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Creating Customers for Life

Austin Niemiec
Mar 13, 2020
Photo credit: Getty Images/Urupong

Brokers presently have their pipeline full of refi opportunities. Why is it important for brokers to not lose sight of the upcoming purchase season?
With the market the way it is, there is no “upcoming” purchase season–consumers are eagerly searching for the home of their dreams all year. At Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS), this February was our best month EVER. Usually, the industry sees a bit of a seasonal lull this time of year, but with low rates improving affordability and inventory so tight, we are seeing the spring homebuying season creep earlier and earlier.
Austin Niemiec is executive vice president of Quicken Loans Mortgage ServicesFrom a broker’s perspective, I would be hard pressed to imagine anyone that has lost sight of purchase season. We urge our partners to always be building infrastructure and process. In our current era of abundance, brokers should have their profits work for them. That means not becoming complacent but instead doubling down on efforts to become even more successful. While it can be easy to become distracted with our current refi boom, if your process is buttoned up, you will be better prepared for any economic cycle.
ELITE loan officers build enough scale and efficiency to take advantage of both the refinance and purchase markets at the same time. The key is preparation and great partnerships. Here at QLMS, we take pride and responsibility in helping brokers do both.
What are the keys to creating the best customer experience in a purchase transaction?
Brokers should always focus on speed to certainty when their client is buying a home. There are many things that could come into play when scheduling the closing of a home purchase, but the buyer and seller both want the assurance the loan will close when that day comes.
Brokers should work with partners who can both provide incredible pricing and the certainty clients are looking for. This will allow clients to feel more secure about their loan, and that means feeling more secure about their relationship with you.
If brokers work with the largest lender in the country, they have access to some of the fastest initial underwrites in America and get the ability to speak directly to underwriters. Not only that, but they get access to QLMS’ award-winning “The Answer” technology to ensure they can give their clients the best advice 24/7/365.
We all talk about client experience, but what about partner experience? How do we get real estate agents to become raving fans?
We have a saying at Quicken Loans: “Responding with a sense of urgency is the ante to play.” If brokers live by this when engaging with their clients and real estate agent partners, it will build and reinforce trust in you.
When working with real estate agents, I cannot stress enough the importance of speed to certainty. Agents don’t want to get weeks into the home purchase process, then learn there are problems. Brokers should work with lenders who can quickly confirm their client is qualified and is proactive with all communication. 
Another key is BEING DIFFERENT. There are many loan officers entering the industry, and the focus on real estate agent relationships has never been more competitive. Agents will send business to brokers who clearly demonstrate they are at the top of their game and have unique tools at their disposal to get the job done. One of the many tools we provide our Pinnacle Partners is Fresh Start. Agents love it, and it allows brokers to separate themselves from the competition!
In what ways are mortgage brokers using the Fresh Start program to do business with more borrowers?
Fresh Start is a truly groundbreaking program that is beneficial for both brokers and real estate agents. If a client is denied a loan due to poor credit, they can be sent to a Fresh Start consultant who will create a personally tailored plan to ensure the client’s credit is boosted to a point where they will be able to secure the ideal loan for them and their future home. On the flip side, if a borrower has good credit, but is looking for better pricing, Fresh Start can make their credit great. This will allow the client increased flexibility and more robust loan options. Loan fallout is a broker’s biggest expense, but Fresh Start opens up doors to a whole new group of clients who may not have qualified in the past. Instead, they will have the tools available to them to enhance their credit score and learn how to maintain it over the term of the loan.

Austin Niemiec is executive vice president of Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS). He has led QLMS through meteoric growth, doubling the number of partners over the last year, and closing more loan volume in 2019 than in the previous five years combined. Austin oversees an ever-expanding team of account executives based in Detroit and Charlotte who work directly with QLMS’ thousands of partner mortgage brokers, regional banks and credit unions. Austin joined Quicken Loans in 2009 as a mortgage banker, where he learned the various needs of homeowners and mortgage brokers through his work with thousands of clients.

This sponsored editorial originally appeared in the March 2020 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

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