Mortgage originators — just like real estate agents, title companies and insurance professionals — sometimes struggle with staying in front of clients once a home sale closes. It can be a real struggle to ensure engagement with clients in the long run.
Often, originators tend to be focused solely on closing the deal at hand. The problem with putting so much energy on current clients or the next deal is that you may be missing out on your next three deals a year from now because your clients forgot about you.
A personal touch combined with innovative technology will help originators stand out not only as a resource but as a long-term partner who cares about clients on a personal level.
Real estate finance is all about relationships. The more that a mortgage originator can build on their relationships with current clients, the better the chance they’ll retain their business for years to come, and these clients will be more likely to refer their family and friends to you. There are several ways you can stay top of mind with past clients.
Marketers say that the golden number for positive touchpoints is seven, meaning that people need to hear from their mortgage originator that many times before making a purchase. It’s not too few to be forgotten but also not too many, which will lead to consumers being turned off.
Originators should aim for consistency and talk with their clients on a regular basis — even after they’ve closed their loan. Do not overload them. A mortgage originator doesn’t want to bombard their clients with emails that’ll be automatically ignored and viewed as “that real estate pro that bugs me all the time.” They should focus on reaching out when they actually have something of value to share. Originators should want to stay in front of clients without being omnipresent.
While having multiple touchpoints through email has value, branching out into other channels of communication is another key. Reaching out over the phone or meeting for coffee are significantly more memorable than an email. A great example is an originator who sent a lottery ticket to clients for their birthdays each year. It seems silly, but it is quite memorable, even if the homeowner doesn’t win anything. (As always, check with your compliance department first.)
Moving is a hassle. Nobody likes doing it. And worse, a homeowner who has a bad experience moving could transfer this frustration to the entire homebuying process, including the part where they obtained a mortgage. So, imagine if you get to know a client on a personal level and recommend a mover who breaks your client’s antique slag glass lamp.
The reverse is possible, too. A good moving experience could mean that the homeowner views the purchase process in a positive light. Parts of it are out of the originator’s control, but being able to visualize what the homeowner wants and reading in between the lines will greatly improve the odds. There are companies out there that can help clients with the moving process every step of the way, from arranging a moving truck to changing over utilities and welcoming them to their new home.
There also are tools out there that can help homeowners manage their home. A lot of homeowner questions can be answered or solved by using a home-management platform that already exists. Homeowners typically appreciate being referred to platforms, especially if they don’t know which questions they should be asking or if this is their first home. Steer homeowners to apps and help them with the ongoing issues that may arise as a homeowner. From finding a handyman to checking their credit or home value, some apps can do it all in one place.
Much of the time, the mortgage originator must initiate the conversation with the homeowner. Sometimes, the past client will reach out with questions about owning the home. Savvy originators will be prepared.
Especially if a client is a new homeowner or is new to an area, they might call their originator for suggestions on home repairs. They could ask for a recommendation on a plumber or a contractor. Have names, places and backups at the ready. Being able to make a recommendation can help you stand out among your peers.
Be prepared to offer options, too. A homeowner may not be particular about which electrician rewires their home, but they may have a specific list of criteria for a person to redesign their kitchen. Having lots of options is great, but knowing which ones fit which needs is superior.
As an additional benefit, these professionals will appreciate the recommendations, and they may send people who need help with a purchase or refinance your way. At the very least, being a valuable resource for your clients will help you stay on top of mind.
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Mortgage originators should make a commitment today to do more outreach to clients who are already in their network. Homeowners will not only be more likely to use their services the next time they need a mortgage, but they also will likely think of the originator the next time one of their friends asks for a recommendation.
When the originator receives these much-needed referrals, they should be intentional in thanking their clients. Sending them a gift card, giving them a bottle of wine or sending a handwritten thank-you note are great options. (Again, check with compliance.)
A personal touch combined with innovative technology will help originators stand out not only as a resource but as a long-term partner who cares about clients on a personal level. That will go a long way in helping the mortgage originator achieve their business goals in the years ahead. ●