When rates are dropping and home values are rising homeowners line up to refinance their homes and take advantage of lower interest rates, reduced monthly payments, or to tap into the equity in their homes at a low cost.
During other market conditions times occur when fewer consumers are seeking out new mortgage transactions, and industry professionals must work hard to differentiate themselves to continue to grow their businesses. Here are a few tips for leveraging a tough housing market to your benefit, and continuing to thrive.
The most successful brokers and originators know that the mortgage industry isn’t all about dollars and cents, basis points and benchmarks – it’s about people. The clients buying their first home or their dream home. The real estate agents working hard for their buyers and sellers, and to build their own businesses. The co-workers playing a key roll on your team.
Building strong relationships can help whether hard markets. It means more repeat and referral business, greater efficiency, and a better work experience start to finish.
How to make it happen? Provide excellent service on every transaction. Follow up on every phone call and email. Give updates and information before it’s requested. Put systems in place so that everything is done on time and with a high level of accuracy. When volume causes service and turn times to suffer add more excellent people to your team.
Put your message in front of customers and potential referral partners, and not just during the course of a transaction. Send market updates via email or mailing. Keep the communications short and to the point. Succinct messages are often more effective than long ones. Grab attention in just a few seconds so that your email or postcard doesn’t get simply passed over. This also allows you to share updates more often as you won’t have covered it all already.
Reach out on birthdays and the anniversaries of a home purchase. Pick up the phone and call –don’t simply rely on automated technology. A good customer management system can help you stay on top of the tasks with reminders over time.
When there are fewer people buying homes and refinancing it is crucial to make the most of every inquiry. Expand your offerings so that you have a program that is a great fit for just about every scenario.
This could mean learning new programs – but this is also a great way to expand your skills, keep your mind fresh, and re-invigorate your team with a new challenge. Consider products such as those for less than perfect credit, manufactured home loans, one time close construction, and renovation mortgages.
In any market there are always people who could benefit from a refinance. Maybe they were underwater when rates moved very low. Maybe they were just too busy to consider a new home loan. Perhaps past clients have a need for cash for education expenses, a home renovation, or for a down payment on a vacation home or investment property.
Mine your database of past clients and don’t just look at numbers, look at the individuals you have worked with. How long have they lived in their homes? Could it be time to move up to the next property? Are they nearing retirement age? Could it be time to downsize? You might reach out to them just as they are beginning to plan for the next step – before they have thought about asking around about mortgage rates.
Photography by [Brian A Jackson] © shutterstock.com
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