As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, July 2008.
When clients call and ask about a particular loan product they heard about on the radio, it's important for mortgage brokers to have the appropriate answers to guide them to the best-possible decision for their situation. You should educate them not only about the loan product about which they're asking but also about other options that could work for them.
Many mortgage brokers, however, don't think about educating their clients. Instead, they often are more concerned with originating and funding loans to increase their bottom line. Many also just tell clients what they want to hear, for fear of losing their business.
To better serve clients, brokers must work toward helping clients reach their goals. This starts with knowing what clients' goals are and then educating them on the appropriate loan products that will help them achieve those goals.
It also requires that you recognize the differences between the various loans so that you can best explain them to your clients. If you understand the concepts and know the basic facts behind the numerous options, you can build a solid clientele that will challenge almost anyone else's book of business. After all, a knowledgeable borrower is a better borrower. Therefore, your business shouldn't be about selling. It should be about educating.
When you have education and knowledge to impart to your clients, you will be the professional they call for advice, and they will respect you and your words.
To make this happen for you, start learning everything you can about the mortgage industry and the available products you can offer. Set aside time daily, weekly or monthly to do this.
A good way to start educating yourself on different products is to read handouts, rate sheets and similar materials on various loan products. Talk to account representatives from the lenders that offer the loans. Take notes on everything you learn.
There are different loans for different reasons, but if you do not know how they work and their nuances, how can you differentiate them for your clients?
The biggest mistake that many loan officers make is assuming that clients who call and ask about a specific product have done the research themselves and realize this is the best option for them. It's more likely that they heard about it in the media or from a friend, rather than from someone who really understood the program.
Educating your clients is only one benefit of this knowledge. It also can make you feel empowered. Educated people often find a new energy, and they leave no stone unturned to get their message out to anyone who will listen.
For instance, once you grasp how shorter amortization can benefit certain borrowers, you often will automatically want all your present and past customers to understand your newfound knowledge.
Knowledge can give an average loan officer an incredible advantage over the leading salesperson who "can sell ice to the Eskimos." Try it, and you will find energy, business and respect beyond your wildest imagination.
Roger Schlesinger, a
loan officer with Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Metrocities Mortgage, is originator of the nationally renowned "Mortgage Minute," heard daily on more than 400 radio stations nationwide. He has been helping his clients meet their real estate financing needs for more than 25 years. Schlesinger also is featured on Salem Radio Broadcasting with national talk-show hosts Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved. Reach him at email@example.com.