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On Wednesday, March 24, the Mortgage Leadership Outlook featured Kristin Messerli, vice president of mortgage sales for Experience.com. Messerli and series' host Andrew Berman, head of engagement and outreach for National Mortgage Professional Magazine, explored what independent mortgage companies can do to reach young buyers, how to embed inclusion and diversity in your organization (no matter the size), what is BrokersUnited and why have some of the biggest lenders and tech vendors in the mortgage industry teamed up to support mortgage brokers and help them grow.
Messerli is a leading strategist and speaker on NextGen finance and homeownership. She founded and sold the digital marketing agency, Cultural Outreach, with the mission to promote homeownership in young and diverse markets. Messerli has also consulted for over 50 financial institutions, including in retail, wholesale lending, banking and servicing.
Highlights From The Interview:
- Messerli watched her father grow his own mortgage business and get through the financial crisis. However, she decided to be a social worker. Throughout her career, she did a lot of financial education, housing coordination and mortgage education. This would later drive her to start Cultural Outreach to help bridge the gap between lenders, financial institutions and underserved communities.
- “I think it’s important whether you’re working in a specific cultural segment or a generational segment. It’s identifying people who are already trusted in those communities and are already leaders. It may not be somebody that you would automatically think of, but I was coordinating a lot with the church leaders in the Latino immigrant community. I was coordinating a lot with some of the nonprofit leaders and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. So, by connecting with them and building relationships with those leaders on a one-on-one level and saying, ‘Hey, I really want to connect with this community and what are some ways we can better support you or be involved.’ It’s important to not come in and say, ‘Hey, sell right away, there’s a lot of distrust here,’ but to build relationships with key leaders and show up on a regular basis, to events and groups that are important in that community. Then you become known as a trusted resource in that community and start collaborating.”
- “It’s all about ultimately empowering the customer and building the customer experience around that consumer.” Messerli says you must first make a connection with someone, empower them and ultimately provide options to help them make informed choices.
- “The most surprising thing in the report (2020 NextGen Homebuyer Report) is the gender gap. Single women are the second-largest cohort of homebuyers today, single-women and women overall are making a lot more financial decisions… The only thing that was consistent across the board was that women were less likely to have been taught about financial education as children.”
- “Next-gen homebuyers lack confidence across the board,” said Messerli. “We were surveying people who were about to buy or just recently bought a home. One out of five said they were not confident in any step in the homebuying process. That’s just a huge amount that had zero confidence in any step even including basic looking for a home or what is a mortgage. This generation really is nervous about starting the process. They search online immediately, that’s always what we do as consumers, but it’s overwhelming. There are so many things online and conflicting information and then where do you go from there. When they find someone, a loan officer or realtor that they trust, then they feel a whole lot better about the process typically.”
- “We need to work around empowering all of the segments that we’re speaking to and being very cognizant of the specific needs and resources needed for each community, especially I think single-female homebuyers.”
- “I think to provide a good experience to everyone today, it’s really about in my opinion, having consistent communication and providing the education as the consumer wants it, information in a way that’s digestible.”
- “It (BrokersUnited) started out as a conversation that Scott and the team was having with Caliber I believe, out of ‘Hey, we want to make this available to brokers and here’s how we can do this’ and it has evolved into something really fantastic…Right now we are making this available completely free for brokers. You can join the waitlist now if you’re a broker. We’re offering Experience.com, the review generation platform, that aspect of the platform free for brokers. Then the lenders who are participating, we are able to deliver to them some benchmarking data. We’re not giving any kind of consumer information, it’s just about helping them understand your brokers are getting about an average of 4.1 score on their loans when working with you, that’s in comparison with your competitor who is getting about 4.3. We’re able to pull specific insights that allow them to improve their customer experience and improve their relationship with their brokers. So again, it’s about empowering the brokers and delivering a better customer experience to consumers.”
- Messerli said that Experience.com is only the tip of the iceberg as there are plans to expand BrokersUnited as more of a consortium of major, enterprise-level technologies.
Check out the full conversation between Messerli and Berman below.
See all the interviews from the Mortgage Leadership Outlook series on its YouTube channel.