New homebuyers have many choices when it comes to finding a lender who will provide the money to fund their mortgage. This will likely be the most complex financial transaction they have ever experienced, and they are trusting you to protect their interests. Borrowers are more likely to trust lenders with particular characteristics over others, and cultivating these characteristics will help borrowers trust you and the mortgage process. What are the characteristics that a lender should have to invite the homebuyer’s trust?
Quality word of mouth reputation. What do your former clients, associates, and industry partners say about you? A lot of business comes from referrals; the homebuyer will rely on people they trust, such as their real estate agent, family, friends, or financial advisers. Ultimately, as a lender you will want words like “reliable,” “responsive,” “knowledgeable,” and “helpful” to be the words that describe your services to future clients and professional relationships. Invest in your relationships so that people see you this way.
That said, perhaps the best reviews are your worst reviews, because they help you understand where you can grow in order to become the lender homebuyers will trust. Don’t let poor reviews discourage you, but consider them when looking for ways to improve your word of mouth reputation.
Matching the reputation to first contact. Your reputation is likely what opened the door to meeting a potential homebuyer. For the homebuyer, the first contact tells them if you match what they have been told and read. Your first contact will confirm questions like: Are you friendly or courteous? Are you responsive? Are you trustworthy in all your communications ( e.g. advertised quotes, loan qualifications, timelines of the loan, and when rates change)? Are you the lender they can depend on to provide quality service? Have you clearly defined the loans for which they can qualify? Does the homebuyer understand what makes you different?
Always expanding knowledge. The mortgage industry is continually changing. What continuing education classes are you taking to keep yourself up-to-date on loan products and industry changes? How do you help clients understand that you are providing them the latest and best guidance possible?
Welcome and encourage questions. Ask and encourage questions. The questions we ask determine the answers we get, and often, the homebuyer is not aware of the questions they should be asking. It’s a very good practice to help your client understand the questions they should be asking and why. Creating an open dialog helps both parties increase trust and clarity with every step in the loan process.
No pressure. Deciding on which loan to pursue is a big decision. Be upfront and honest about loans and expectations. Give the homebuyer all the time they need to decide what makes the best purchase for them. Don’t make the homebuyer feel obligated to pick a particular loan, or even go through with getting a mortgage in the first place.
Take care of your existing customers. Change is constant in the industry. Are you willing to always take care of current customers by offering them the same deals you offer new clients? If not, this is a clear signal that you value new clients over current customers. Are you willing to have current customers talk to new clients about your service? If not, why?
Confirmed credentials. Help the borrower understand your credentials and what they mean. Confirm that you are licensed by the state where you live or service. Confirm your employment by the bank, broker, or finance company.
Availability, responsiveness, commitment. Confirm and demonstrate consistently that you are impeccable with your word, service, and responsiveness at all times. You do this, for example, by providing your customer regular updates, responding to calls and emails in a set time period, communicating with both the agent and homebuyer on needs and deadlines. When you are on top of the process, it shows the client that they are a priority and are taken seriously.
Be consistently focused on details. How well do you help the homebuyer understand the entire mortgage process in the first few meetings? The homebuyer needs to know and trust that you have their back throughout the loan process. Be upfront and honest about all aspects of the loan. Help the homebuyer understand details and what those details mean to them; what is clear to you is often confusing for the homebuyer. These details may be about the following: personal information security, interest rates and fluctuations, locking a rate, closing costs, private mortgage insurance, monthly payments, prepayment penalties, timelines for closing, and more.
Have an organized and clear process. Be clear about your process and schedule. Every step in the loan process has a deliverable and a deadline. Do you provide the homebuyer with clarity and insight into the that process and what you need them at key points in the timeline? Do you provide consistent and proactive communication as to your progress and issues? Are you willing to move mountains to ensure that your client has sufficient time to close?
At Chenoa Fund ,we offer DPA in the form of second mortgages. We go to great lengths to work closely with our correspondents to provide up-date-training and all the resourcesneeded to help them be successful when serving their clients. We offer five different second mortgage options, each with their own individual underwriting requirements and guidelines, in an effort to provide options to borrowers of any income and any DTI. Some of our options include products for both FHA and Conventional loans; some features for our products include zero percent interest rates and no monthly payments. Click here to become an approved Chenoa Fund lender.« What Lenders Should Tell Real Estate Agents about Down Payment Assistance Programs