A study by Lending Tree drives home the value of good, swift customer service – and that’s the fact that the mortgage application process is now faster than ever. We can thank technology and the speed of communication for that.
The recent study examined 5,000 loans closed between March 2016 and May 2017. From first submittal to loan closing, Lending Tree found that the median time period decreased by seven days – a whole week – over these 15 months. These shorter timelines, due to a mortgage application process that has become more automated, simplified and streamlined, has also resulted in an increase in average overall ratings for home purchases over the past two years. LendingTree noted a 19 percent increase in the number of loans closed within 30 days between this period, as well as a 27 percent increase in loans closed in 60 days.
The good news: a tighter closing process frees up more time to devote to other customers and leads. The bad news: this tightening seems to be occurring across the board, meaning your competitors are also keenly aware they must stay on top of their game and expedite service to remain competitive. And you can bet they will.
Combine that with the traditional holiday slump, and you’ve got a challenge I know you’re worthy of conquering. There are, of course, a few easy ways to ensure you remain available, flexible and able to meet customers’ ever-evolving expectations.
Don’t wait until a question is asked or a concern is broached before you read up on the latest industry-related news. The FAMily and I do the best we can to keep you abreast on pertinent information, but the onus falls on you to make sure you’re up to speed on the latest happenings for your clients.
Speed and chaos are rarely a good combination. You know what customers want: a shorter closing time. You simply need to execute on that. This cannot be achieved if your workspace, electronic files/devices and mind are a mess. Invest a little time up front to get your house in order. You’ll thank yourself when you’re shaving hours off the process for yourself, and days off the closing for your client. Remember, we’re in the business of referrals. Destress to impress.
I know you can only work as fast as your client. However, that client can only submit the appropriate documents and supply the relevant figures if they’re clear about what is needed of them. Do your best to be available by phone and email, and set a tight turnaround time for any missed communications. The faster we clear up their confusion, the faster they can submit their paperwork, the sooner the loan closes, the happier we all are.
Show You Care
Part of a well-executed closing is your ability to connect with your client and display a general concern for their personal pursuits. They’re trying to fund their American Dream here. Identify yourself as a stand-out member of that Dream Team and make sure they can see your level of investment and enthusiasm. This will also help build rapport, which you absolutely need to ensure your client feels comfortable enough to come to you with questions and concerns, and confident enough in your abilities to contribute to their long-term goals.
As with many aspects of life nowadays, technology has made speed the name of the game. Hone your process and develop a reputation for delivering excellence at an impressive pace.