If it’s been said once, it’s been said a thousand times: mortgage lending is a relationship business.
But what originators don’t mention is how to master the early stages of the relationship-building process in order to win the business of a prospect that is likely also inquiring about a loan with your competition as well.
Because unless the LO already has the connection or an incredibly strong referral, most borrowers will take advantage of the “shopping window” that opens when they first have their credit pulled by submitting applications with any number of mortgage lenders.
This contributes to a lot of extra up-front work for LOs, and also is likely a large contributor to the 69% average pull-through rate that originators experienced in Q1.
Fortunately, there are proven tactics that can help LOs get off on the right foot with prospects, and win more deals over their competition.
Back in 2011, the Harvard Business Review published what was at the time a ground-breaking study into the lead response habits of businesses and how it correlated to sales success. What they found was staggering.
Businesses that responded to potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead as those that tried even just an hour later.
As the time-to-response increased, the results were even more drastic. Those same businesses responding within an hour were nearly 60 times as likely to qualify the lead than those that waited 24 hours.
The message here is simple: potential borrowers want to know that an LO is responsive and want to feel like the LO actually cares about winning their business. Very few things will put-off a prospect faster than receiving a long silence after spending their time and effort completing a loan application.
And while the borrower is awaiting one LOs response, another has already made the connection and gained an incredibly valuable headstart on building the relationship that will win them the deal.
When a Floify employee sought to finance a home purchase recently, this exact phenomenon was the driving factor in making their decision.
They could have obtained a better interest rate with other lenders, but one LO was able to distinguish himself immediately by his communication and responsiveness. In a competitive market like the Denver-Boulder area, this was the most important quality the LO could have.
Is there a better, faster way to get the lead’s information into the LOs hands so they can make initial contact? The more time that passes, the less likely an LO is to acquire the customer and the more effort that has
More Than One-and-Done
Building a relationship with a prospect, and successfully winning their business, rarely occurs after just one phone call or email.
Lead nurturing is the process of developing a relationship with a prospect throughout the sales journey by providing information and expertise that helps build trust in the partnership and establishes the LO as an authority.
In general, nearly half of all sales leads are not quite ready to buy at the time of inquiry. Nurturing allows the LO to keep the lead warm, stay top-of-mind, and secure the deal down the road when the prospect is ready to commit.
Referring back to the aforementioned Floify employee’s LO search, one of the other major determining factors in their choice was the expertise provided by the LO they ended up choosing.
This LO went beyond boiler-plate and was able to show very quickly that they knew their stuff, understood the situation and would be a great partner.
As they say, mortgage lending is a relationship business. The LOs that do it best, and prioritize responsiveness and nurturing, will win more deals and successfully grow their client base.