If you want to succeed in the mortgage industry, you need to provide your borrowers with an excellent experience. If you do, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to their friends and family and think of you the next time they purchase a home or need to refinance.
So, how can you improve the experience for your borrowers?
Below, we’ll review three strategies for optimizing the lending experience for lenders and borrowers alike.
#1 Cultivate Stronger Connections With Your Borrowers
Buying a home is an emotional experience. While many borrowers appreciate digitized processes, they still require personalized customer service.
As automation eases your workload (which we will discuss below), you can invest your extra time into forging stronger relationships with your borrowers. Here are a few strategies to do just that:
- Host a few in-person meetings with all of your applicants – The latest research has shown that borrowers who meet with their loan officers in person are more likely to report five-star experiences and higher levels of trust.[i]While you can take advantage of convenient tech solutions, you still need to host a few in-person meetings with your borrowers. These meetings can give you a chance to build rapport, establish trust, and inject more of a human touch into the lending experience.
- Consider generational differences – While younger generations lack trust in institutions, older generations often lack trust in technology. You don’t have to forgo all digitized processes with your older borrowers, but you may want to spend a little extra time walking them through them. For instance, you can invite your older borrowers to complete digital applications with you in the office. You can also use phone calls as your primary mode of communication with them, rather than texts or emails. Meanwhile, you can safely send emails, texts, and Zoom call invites to your younger borrowers, as long as you’re also having a few in-person interactions with them here and there.
- Build your personal brand on social media – While social media will never fully replace in-person interactions, it’s a wonderful place to build your personal brand. You can use your personal brand to showcase your professional expertise and unique personality.If any aspiring homeowners stumble across your social profiles, they may decide that they like you and want to work with you. When they do, they’ll naturally trust you more than they would if you didn’t have a social media presence.
#2 Educate Borrowers on Trending Issues
Buying a home can come with unexpected challenges and risks. As a mortgage lender, it’s important to educate your borrowers about these issues so they can avoid certain pitfalls.
For instance, you may want to educate your borrowers about:
- Credit scores – You likely rely heavily on credit scores during your underwriting process. However, many borrowers don’t understand their credit reports or how to increase their credit scores. By offering basic credit education online, you can bring potential applicants up to speed. If an applicant applies for prequalification with you and their credit score falls short, you can even use some of our credit score improvement tools to help them raise it over the next few months.
- Housing market fluctuations – The housing market has been very volatile in recent years. This has presented challenges for lenders and borrowers alike. Unfortunately, borrowers don’t have the same market expertise as mortgage professionals. You can help your applicants understand the evolving housing market by providing them with updates in the form of weekly podcast episodes or newsletters. One timely topic to explore is the effect of interest rates on housing affordability. Many borrowers may be disappointed to realize that they can’t get the same homes that they may have been able to afford back in 2021. They may not even be able to afford the same home they had their eyes on six months ago—a home buyer who could purchase a $600,000 home six months ago can now only afford a home that costs $390,000.Explaining these market conditions can help your borrowers adjust their expectations and tailor their home searches accordingly. It can also increase their confidence in their lending decisions.
- Undisclosed debt – Many homebuyers don’t realize that expensive credit card charges or new auto loans can be detrimental to their mortgage origination. While Cascade UDM can monitor your applicants’ credit reports for undisclosed debt, you can proactively prevent it by educating them about the risks early on in your lending process.
- Wire transfer fraud – Wire transfer fraud has been on the rise in the past decade.[ii] It takes place when a hacker impersonates a mortgage professional in order to get a borrower to send them money. Trying to get the money back after a fraudulent wire transfer can be incredibly difficult. It can throw a massive wrench in your borrowers’ home-buying process. You can prevent your borrowers from falling victim to this type of fraud by warning them about nefarious emails that may arrive in their inboxes.
As you can see, borrower education presents you with ample opportunities to engage with your borrowers and protect them from upsetting mishaps during their time with you.
#3 Streamline Your Lending Workflows
Currently, many lenders piecemeal several lending solutions together to build their originations process. While these tools may operate exceptionally well on their own, if they aren’t integrated, managing them all can present some challenges.
For example, you may:
- Have to deal with disjointed workflows – If your solutions don’t talk to one another, you may end up having to fill in the gaps on your own. In this situation, it’s all too easy for some applicants to fall through the cracks. Failing to move an applicant onto the next stage of your loan origination process can leave a very bad impression with them.Luckily, our solutions at Certified Credit can integrate with your LOS/POS with ease. For example, our settlement solutions integrate with MeridianLink Mortgage, Encompass, and several others.
- Have to juggle several points of contact – Technology is incredible, but it’s not immune to issues. When tech problems arise with your lending software, you may find yourself scrambling to locate your various points of contact’s information. Keeping track of multiple vendors can be overwhelming. You may even have to hire a vendor manager, which can put an unnecessary strain on your payroll.
Reaching out to the right point of contact also requires you to know which solution is causing the issue. Sometimes, this may not be so obvious.
Working with an end-to-end solution provider can help you avoid these problems. It enables you to enjoy one point of contact for your entire tech stack. As you build a long-lasting relationship with this point of contact, you’ll have more confidence that they’ll diligently maintain your lending workflows.
- Brace borrowers for inconsistencies – Some applicants may get frustrated if they have to log into several different systems during the loan process and upload the same documents in each one.
When your solutions share information with each other automatically, you can save your borrowers from this repetitive process.
The concept of “one workflow” has gained popularity because it circumvents these problems. With one workflow, you employ an end-to-end solution that encompasses everything from your LOS to your closing in one technology.
This solution may outsource to various third-party vendors for title services, credit reports, and verification of income and employment (VOE), but it ultimately looks and feels the same for the end user.
Simplify Your Workflow With Certified Credit
Here at Certified Credit, we can streamline your workflows using our Cascade line of lending solutions. These tools automate the following processes:
- Prequalification – Cascade Prequal is a solution that allows you to offer automated prequalification to interested applicants. You can customize Cascade Prequal to suit your specific credit thresholds.
- VOE – Cascade VOE™ automates your VOE vendor ordering process. All you have to do is select your preferred third-party and consumer-permissioned vendors and let Cascade VOE run through them until it receives a hit. If no hit is returned, we’ll take care of the manual VOE process on your behalf.
- Undisclosed debt monitoring (UDM) – Cascade UDM continuously monitors your applicants’ credit reports throughout the loan origination process and alerts you of any noteworthy changes to their creditworthiness.
- Lead generation – Cascade Leads enables you to create customized marketing campaigns with targeted offers for each of your distinct audience segments.
- Borrower retention – Cascade Alerts monitors your past and present borrowers’ credit reports so you can find out when they’re in the market for a new mortgage within 24 hours.
Our Cascade solutions can integrate with your existing LOS. Best of all, you can enjoy access to our excellent customer service team. As your sole point of contact, we’ll help you optimize your workflows and ensure they’re always running smoothly.
Improve Your Mortgage Lending Experience With Certified Credit Today
Now that you know some tactics for improving your lender and borrower experience, why not implement them today?
By partnering with Certified Credit, you can receive customized workflow optimization tips from our experts. You’ll also gain access to our leading mortgage lending solutions. Our suite of products and services includes:
- Automated loan manufacturing solutions
- Lead generation tools
- Affordable credit reports
- Flood zone determinations
- Fraud and risk support
- Settlement services
Are you ready to improve your borrower experience? Schedule a credit consultation with our team today.
[i] National MI. 2022 NextGen Homebuyer Report.
[ii] Rocket Mortgage. How To Beware Of Mortgage Wire Fraud During Closing.