Establish Trust to Win More Mortgage Business

In difficult times, knowledge and empathy will separate you from competitors

Establishing trust to win more mortgage business is key as we traverse through this historic period in the world from a societal and a business perspective. We need to evaluate what will give us the best chance for personal and professional success in the mortgage business during the second half of 2020. After having the core foundation of our business philosophy shaken, we now have to reassess our traditional business-to-business development strategy as well as interactions with our borrowers.

By effectively being able to handle a new world without physical interactions for much of the first half of this year, we have learned how to be more effective at selling over the phone. Additionally, our use of electronic communications — such as email and social media — has expanded and improved out of necessity, which is a positive that has risen out of this pandemic. Yet we realize through all of this change that success for mortgage originators is truly based on one irrefutable component that will always be a part of the industry: establishing trust with your client.

When we interact with Realtors, homebuilders or borrowers, each and every one of them places the word “trust” in our hands. Whether it’s a commission check or a mortgage, they have provided an opportunity for us to prove they made the right decision when they chose us as their partner. Trust is earned with consistent performance and execution throughout the entire loan process, so let’s evaluate how to create the foundation for a long-lasting relationship based on the concept of trust.

Business connections

With our business partners, we need to show empathy through these challenging times while still projecting optimism for an exciting and profitable second half of the year. By educating business partners about your product offerings and detailing your loan process from start to close, you begin to establish the first level of trust — understanding the value of working together.

In addition, by evaluating their expectations for communication while doing business together, you set the stage to form a bond through proactive delivery of their standards. Once you know their preferred method of communication (voice, email or text message), you can always be a step ahead in getting them the information required for a quality mortgage experience before they have to reach out to you. By doing this, you set in motion the next step of earning their professional respect and trust.

When your business partner places their commission check in your hands, an originator’s responsibility is to utilize professional sales techniques and — most importantly — timely follow-ups. This will earn their trust while differentiating yourself from competitors who also are seeking that person’s approval. The little things matter in this critical juncture of a relationship. Providing a high level of support for a Realtor’s client and serving as an extension of the agent drives their client back to them for repeat business.

Originators impact the referral cycle for real estate agents, who have to earn these sales opportunities by placing trust in their financing partners. The end result is a long-lasting business partnership that provides the ultimate compliment: repeat business based on proven performance.

Borrower motivation

Let’s shift our focus to the second (and most price-sensitive) part of doing business by discussing borrowers and the reasons why establishing trust with them is so critical. This potentially represents the biggest area of opportunity during the last six months of 2020. With each point of contact, borrowers consistently offer mortgage originators a chance to establish the reasons why they should utilize your services, based on our understanding of the issues the borrower is currently facing.

As a society, there is pent-up demand to make decisions and to do business, something that has been created by the lack of normalcy in the purchasing process. How we buy things in the future may have been permanently altered. By transitioning to a voice- and electronic-based decision making environment, we are acknowledging the new dynamics for how consumers choose a mortgage lending resource. The majority of these decisions will be more price-based than ever before but only if we allow this new environment to treat the process of getting a mortgage as a commodity-based transaction.

In today’s low interest rate market, we know that borrowers will shop around more than ever. If we feed into that mindset, however, we set ourselves up for failure.

By sticking with the core sales principle of truly understanding the motivation behind the client’s loan inquiry, originators have an opportunity to set the foundation for the borrower’s decision making process. What are their long-term goals? Are they looking to refinance their current loan to get cash out and consolidate debt? Are they buying a house because of family growth or a career opportunity? We should remember to put our sales skills to work through a consultative, questioning approach and use the client’s answers to guide them to the proper loan product while explaining why we are recommending it. In this way, we establish trust through professional knowledge of what is best suited to achieve the client’s goals.

Our true purpose as an originator during these difficult times is to not make short-term, price-based recommendations for our clients. Rather, we must do everything possible to help borrowers know we are listening to them. We also must show an understanding of how important it is to make the right decision about what is likely the largest debt transaction of their lives.

The value of trust

All of us have choices to make in our personal and professional lives, whether it’s choosing a partner, deciding to have children or buying a home. The common theme in each of these decisions is trust. We place our goals and long-term vision in the hands of someone we can relate to and we feel understands us.

This is more important than ever as our trust in society and its institutions has been shaken. We cannot allow this erosion of trust to be our final destination. As business professionals, our obligation is to earn trust with every sales call we make by delivering on what we say, making promises that can be kept and, most importantly, alleviating anxiety for the Realtors we support and the borrowers we represent. As we enter the second half of 2020, look with enthusiasm toward a strong finish to this calendar year.

Rates are low and homebuying opportunities for our clients are plentiful. Approach every day with an energy level that becomes infectious. With each client interaction, establish the trust they need to have when making a mortgage decision. Be the right person to guide them through these times by displaying professionalism, patience, empathy and knowledge, all of which will allow you to achieve your goals for the second half of this year. Selling never stops and now is the time to be at your best with each client interaction.

Originally posted in the 2020 July Issue | Scotsman Guide