This might sound like an obvious question upon first glance, but I’ll give you a second to think about it. Are you taking an interest in interest rates? Like, really taking an interest in interest rates. Because I guarantee you, your clients are. Are you as up-to-date and knowledgeable about rates – today’s yesterday’s and tomorrow’s – as someone who’s looking to lock down a five-figure loan over the next 30 years? If the answer is no, you have some work to do.
Today’s home-buying environment is characterized by rising rates, appreciating home values and competitive bidding. The days of winning borrowers over with your “historically low” interest rate speech are over, at least in this real estate cycle. Instead, you need to be proactive. Yes, that strategy can include reminding clients that this is still a great time to buy as rates remain under 5 percent, but you have the opportunity to do way more than that.
Put yourself in a borrower’s shoes and do some homework. Review competitive rates on a regular basis. Take “inventory” and determine whether you offer the same tools and resources, including mortgage rate calculators, tips on increasing credit scores, and referrals to real estate agents, financial advisors, interior designers, contractors, etc., as the next biggest game in town.
TURN OFF TUNNEL VISION
It always amazes me, but some loan officers spend so much time trying to “close the deal” and fit a square peg into a round hole (or a borrower into terms that might not be the best option for them) that they don’t bother to remain up to date on the products available to them! Do you know the ins and outs of your rate protection program? Does your prospective client know you offer a mobile app? Are you aware one of your Partner Agents just listed a new home two blocks from your office?
Yes, the deal is the end goal and, yes, that all begins (and ends) with rates. Aside from the current number, however, you should be ready to pivot by offering other products that may work with their scenario, tools to help them secure the best rate possible and a plethora of proactive answers to their most burning questions. These are the items that set you apart from the competition as rates across the board begin to trend upward.