As a mortgage lender, you’re always trying to gain new customers. And naturally, you want to keep the ones you already have. The question becomes – how do you keep your customers loyal?
Customer retention is your ability to maintain your customers’ business over time. It’s one of the most important metrics to optimize if you want to improve your ROI. Unfortunately, customer retention is at an all-time low in the mortgage industry. The majority of mortgage customers change lenders when they refinance or move homes.
In this article, we’ll examine why customer retention is so important. We’ll also provide six powerful tactics that can help you fortify your customer retention this year.
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Why Is Customer Retention So Important?
In the mortgage industry, your business’s profitability is directly impacted by your customer retention. Maintaining the customers you already have is often easier and more cost-effective than constantly replacing them.
Why is this? Well, returning customers are:
- Five to 25 times less expensive to acquire than new customers
- Easier to lend to (as long as you’ve provided outstanding customer service so far)
- More likely to refer their friends and family
- Shown to increase revenues by an average of 25% to 95%!
As you can see, focusing on customer retention has the power to make a real impact on your business’s bottom line.
Customer Retention in the Mortgage Industry
Unfortunately, many mortgage brokers have struggled with customer retention in recent years. In 2019, a mere 18% of customers stayed with the same loan servicer post-refinance.
This means that you may be losing 82% of your hard-earned customers to your competitors.
While these numbers may paint a bleak picture, they present your mortgage business with a golden opportunity. By focusing more on customer retention, you can keep the customers you’ve acquired and see first-hand how it transforms your ROI.
6 Essential Mortgage Lender Customer Retention Tactics
Here are six strategies that can help you earn repeat business from your existing customer base:
#1 Provide Exceptional Customer Service
At its core, customer retention is all about relationship building. If you develop great relationships with your customers, they’ll be more likely to reach out the next time they need lending services.
To build positive relationships with your customers, you must:
- Provide excellent customer service
- Offer transparency throughout the entire loan origination process
- Answer all of their questions and concerns
- Be friendly and engaging every step of the way
While pursuing strong relationships with your customers is important, you don’t want to come off overly ambitious. If a customer senses that you’re only interested in earning a commission, they’ll be more inclined to take their business elsewhere.
#2 Stay In Touch
After you’ve finalized a customer’s loan, it’s crucial to maintain that great relationship you’ve already built.
Roughly 70% of customers forget about their mortgage loan officer within 13 months of completing their transaction. Once you’ve lost touch with a customer, your chances of getting their future business are much lower. If you haven’t reached out since you originated their loan, they may assume that you’re too busy or stopped originating loans altogether.
Fortunately, there are many effective ways to stay fresh in your customers’ minds and position yourself as their go-to mortgage provider.
Nurture Your Relationship With Them
Here are a few ways you can keep in touch with your customers throughout the lifetime of their loans:
Send a monthly newsletter
A monthly newsletter is a great way to share valuable content with your customers. For instance, you could offer them tips for saving money as a homeowner, increasing their home’s value, or making strategic decisions in the current housing market.
Your newsletter is also the perfect place to showcase powerful client testimonials and case studies. This type of content can bolster your credibility and help your customers see you as a leading mortgage broker. In turn, they’ll be more likely to reach out to you the next time they need a new loan.
If you want your newsletters to inspire future business, don’t forget to include a call to action in each issue. Encourage your customers to reach out if they’re considering refinancing or moving.
Check-in periodically with a personalized card
Your monthly newsletter will ensure that your customers think about you regularly. However, it’s also a good idea to reach out personally every once in a while.
You can nurture your connections with customers by checking in with them a few times a year. Send them cards for major holidays and/or their move-in day anniversaries. Ask how they’re enjoying their new home and let them know you’re there for them if they need any additional mortgage services.
These thoughtful gestures will strengthen the relationship with your customers and help you build positive rapport.
Gift your customers with coupons to local businesses
Everyone loves saving money. After shelling out a ton of money for a down payment and closing costs, many customers would greatly appreciate a coupon for the hardware store or a discount to a local restaurant.
By giving your customers a few coupons on their big move-in day, you can show them that you appreciate their business and wish them well in their new home.
As they use these coupons, they’ll think of you and have one more reason to reach out to you the next time they need a loan.
Choose Your Marketing Tactics Wisely
While staying in touch is important, you don’t want to overdo it. Before you send out a newsletter or a card, ask yourself if you’d enjoy receiving it if you were a customer.
By sharing the right content at the right frequency, you can cultivate a long-lasting relationship with your customers without coming off as overbearing.
#3 Use Technology to Enhance Your Customers’ Experience
Modern mortgage customers value the convenience of digitization. As a mortgage lender, it’s important to adapt to the times and offer a customer experience that matches their expectations.
With the right technology, you can offer your customers time-saving conveniences, such as:
- Digital document verification
- Online mortgage payments
- Automatic payments
- And more
When working with you is easy, your customers will be more inclined to choose with you the next time they need a mortgage.
#4 Watch Out For Signs that a Customer May Be Refinancing
As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. By monitoring when your customers apply for new mortgages, you can position yourself as the best broker for the job.
Mortgage software can alert you when a client pulls their mortgage credit report—oftentimes within 24 hours. For example, at Certified Credit, our Cascade Alerts – Mortgage Inquiries can let you know when one of your customers is looking into applying for a new mortgage loan.
Once you receive an alert, you can reach out and try to secure their business before a competitor beats you to it.
#5 Administer a Customer Feedback Survey
Oftentimes, the greatest experts on customer retention are your customers themselves. By administering a brief survey, you can get their honest feedback regarding your:
- Customer service
- Communication frequency
- Newsletter content
- Technology offerings
- Potential areas of improvement
After analyzing this feedback, you can make data-driven decisions that you know will improve customer satisfaction and retention.
#6 Establish Relationships With Real Estate Agents
Lastly, don’t forget to nurture your relationships with local real estate agents.
Realtors are often the ones who bring new mortgage customers your way. By developing a great working relationship with them, you can increase the chances that they’ll suggest you to their home buyers.
However, make sure that you only partner with reputable realtors. If you work with someone who provides mediocre service, your association with them could harm your reputation and reduce your customer retention.
Keep More Customers and Transform Your Profitability
Cultivating a loyal customer base can be a simple process. It just comes down to building great relationships, nurturing them consistently, and reaching out at the right times. As more of your customers choose you for additional mortgage services, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to their friends and family.
Thus, customer retention kills two birds with one stone—it helps you keep the customers you have and win over new ones with minimal effort.
Certified Credit: Affordable Mortgage Credit Reports
As a mortgage lender, you know how important it is to work with creditworthy customers. If you need a reliable credit report provider, look no further than Certified Credit.
At Certified Credit, we offer a full suite of mortgage solutions products including:
- Mortgage credit reports
- Customer acquisition and retention tools
- Third-party verifications
- Fraud and risk support
- Settlement services
- Credit report tools
- Money-saving strategies
With the help of our customized mortgage solutions, you can enhance your customer retention efforts and verify that your new customers have the financial background you’re looking for.
PR Newswire. Black Knight: Servicers Retained Just 18% of Customers Post-Refinance in Q1 2019, a 13-Year Low; Slight Rate Increase Reduces Refinanceable Population by 1 Million
Harvard Business Review. The Value of Keeping the Right Customers.
Homebot. 4 Reasons Clients Forget Their Loan Officers (and how to fix it).