As a company in the mortgage industry, and especially if you’re on the more traditional side, you’re probably already used to providing a high level of transparency in your marketing due to licensing requirements and regulations. It’s obviously proper business practice, and frankly necessary to avoid being misleading in your marketing efforts or employing bait-and-switch advertising tactics. However, once you’ve covered yourself from both a legal and ethical perspective, there lies a gray area where companies must decide just how open they want to be in their communication with customers and how much they want to pull back the curtain when delving into certain issues.
Many companies in the mortgage space first ran into this dilemma when COVID-19 hit two years ago and they had to put a pause on originating loans. Some companies chose to fudge the truth and string their customers along, hoping to get operations back up and running before any damage was done. Other companies chose to stay silent, leaving their customers in the dark and hoping to have better news before long. A final group chose to be transparent with their customers. While the thought of telling clients that you cannot originate their business was no doubt terrifying, these companies decided honesty was the best policy regardless of the outcome. As we saw at the end of this scenario, the companies that chose to be upfront with their customers tended to come out of this period relatively unscathed, while their silent or dishonest counterparts suffered serious reputational damage.
As we go into a rising interest rate environment, and companies are forced to increase their own rates, and in turn, make major changes to their businesses, we are already witnessing a similar situation start to unfold where, once again, many companies are not choosing to be as upfront with their clients as they should be. It’s time for companies to realize that honesty really is the best policy, and here’s why.
There is nothing worse than working with a company that overpromises and underdelivers. When the final product pales in comparison to the expectation that was set, it shatters any sense of trust that customer ever had in the company. The same is true when companies withhold crucial information from their customers that has a direct impact on them.