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The Power Of Appreciation

Companies with above-average customer experience perform better financially

Mary Kay Scully headshot
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Mary Kay Scully
The Power Of Appreciation

Did you know there is a 99% open rate for hand-written thank you cards? People respond well to positivity. You would think this is a no-brainer, but with everything happening in the world today, it’s easy to lose sight of all the good around us.

People also love a good challenge. Many restaurants have their own challenges like eating a giant burger or finishing a huge dessert. Not to mention how quickly people jump on Facebook or Tik Tok challenges.

This month, I want to issue a different kind of challenge. A challenge to give back and show your appreciation to those around you, especially to the borrowers who keep you in business.

Everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated, and beyond sending positive energy into the world, this can benefit you personally in your work. After all, wouldn’t you want to work with people who make you feel valued? According to this Forbes report on customer experience, the answer is yes: 73% of companies with above-average customer experience perform better financially than their competitors.

Getting Outside the Industry

Sometimes, especially recently, the mortgage industry can seem grim. Rates are too high, homes are not affordable, inventory is too low — and the list goes on. This can take its toll on you. As important as it is to give your borrowers a great experience, it’s just as important to have passions outside of work.

There may be nonprofits in your area that need donations or volunteers. Maybe there are clubs in your community that focus on helping others. Whatever the case may be, find a cause you are passionate about and start giving back to it.

Making a positive difference — outside of your day-to-day work — not only helps others, but can help recharge you, too. According to a study published by BMC Public Health, those that participated in other-oriented volunteering experienced improvements in mental health, physical health, life satisfaction, and social well-being, and even experienced decreases in depression. Giving back brings significant benefits for everyone involved and can help you both be and feel better at home and at work.

Simple Acts

Now, you don’t have to sit on the board of a nonprofit or rack up a certain number of volunteer hours to make a difference. There are simple acts anyone can do to start making a difference.

At work, it’s as simple as showing your appreciation for your customers. You may be providing them a service, so it’s easy to feel like they should be thanking you, but without them, you would not have anyone to serve. Don’t forget to thank the borrower that has all their documents ready, or the ones that always respond quickly. Showing appreciation for these behaviors also will encourage them to continue.

Be sure to show appreciation for your coworkers, too. Again, it’s easy to feel like someone is just doing their job, but it’s important to thank the people — regardless of where they sit on the org chart — that help you out at work. Maybe it’s your processor that dealt with a difficult customer, the closer that ensured a speedy closing, or an underwriter that rushed a reviewed file for clear to close — they all deserve recognition for their contributions to the company. More open appreciation also can boost morale around the office and motivate everyone to keep doing great work.

A Different Kind of Networking

You truly never know where these kind words and acts can lead. Your coworkers may go on to other companies and become your partners, or others may be promoted to leadership positions. The seemingly “random” people you help or show appreciation for may end up becoming your friends, neighbors, colleagues, or mentors.

While the goal is to do this just for the sake of being a better person, you may be networking without even knowing it. The people you acknowledge may stand to benefit from the work you do in the industry, or maybe they’re able to use their position to help you out, too. There is no better example than the all-important referral. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. For mortgage lending specifically, the National Association of Realtors found that 29% of referrals come from existing banking relationships and 27% of referrals come from friends and family. It’s critical to build trusting relationships and provide experiences that make people want to work with you.

For the next 30 days, I challenge you to focus on appreciating others and spreading positivity. Let’s all take this month to reset, create a positive mindset and share that positivity with those around us, both inside and outside of work.

You are more than just your job. Get out there and use your talents and influence to make a difference in the industry and beyond.

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine May 2022 issue.
Mary Kay Scully headshot
Mary Kay Scully

Mary Kay Scully is the Director of Customer Education at Enact, leading the development of the company’s customer education curriculum. The statements in this article are solely her opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of Enact or its management. 

Published on
May 16, 2022
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