Quick, how do people choose a service provider? There are lots of factors to consider, not the least of which are cost and convenience. Even if you have these two factors nailed, however, you won’t secure that business – or future business – if the potential client doesn’t trust you.
We’re not even talking about the kind of trust that goes with honesty and transparency, though we all know how important those are. I’m talking about your abilities. The client has to trust that you know what you’re doing. That you have their best interest at heart. That you have a certain industry knowledge and service expertise that ensures their loan and financial future are in good hands.
How do you do this? By taking a consultative approach to loan advising. This starts by listening to a borrower’s goals, questions and concerns, and then offering your professional opinion. This could mean more legwork for the borrower before they apply for pre-approval, or it may mean introducing them to a lending product they weren’t aware of before.
We’re certainly not accountants or certified financial planners, but we play a large role in a family’s financials and, as such, we should take a vested interest in their well-being. This type of thoughtful, proactive approach not only builds trust, but helps the borrower overcome any hesitancies they may have, especially in an uncertain market.
To do this, you can offer services like:
- Cash-flow check-ups. This is where you take a borrower’s financial data, including net income, and factor in how a new mortgage might effect that. Though we’re moving past the pandemic, many people are still worried about their jobs and financial futures. You can allay these fears by showing them how a mortgage fits into their financial snapshot. This extra affordability boost can really put people’s minds at ease.
- Rent vs. buy analysis. Like the cash-flow check-up, a rent vs. buy analysis will create a side-by-side comparison of what a person’s financials will look like if they rent, and what they’ll look like if they buy. Now, buying is not always cheaper than renting, which is why you’ll want to talk about historical and average home appreciation in their desired area, as well as the benefits of a long-term investment like a house.
- Product introductions. You know there’s many ways to get a borrower into a home, but is the borrower aware of that? Many people are familiar with conventional loan products like the 30-year fixed, but be sure they know all their options. This includes private mortgage insurance, reverse mortgages, cash-out refinances, adjustable-rate mortgages and more. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Arm your borrowers with the knowledge they need to make a sound financial decision for their family.
- Annual check-ins. These are just like they sound. It’s the ability to check in with your borrower once a year (or on whatever timeframe they feel comfortable) to go over their financial health, any changes that have occurred, and their short- and long-term goals. This will not only give you knowledge about the borrower’s current ability to repay the loan, but provides an opportunity for you to uncover other lending solutions that can benefit them as well.
A service-oriented, people-first company, I like to think of APM as a one-stop shop for a borrower’s every need. If we’re going to position ourselves that way, then we need to make good on our promises. That starts by taking each borrower’s full financial picture into consideration.