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The backbone of every successful mortgage company is a healthy pipeline of borrowers. As human beings, these borrowers want to feel appreciated, special and important.
Modern technology allows mortgage professionals to use minimal
upfront effort and a simple commitment to consistent, personal interaction
to maintain a virtually impenetrable relationship with existing clients. This
frees up their time to pursue new prospects.
To achieve this, a proper understanding of customer relationship
management (CRM) is required. The personalized market research and
mass-broadcast messaging capabilities incorporated in CRM are mandatory
tools for the effective mortgage professional.
In its “Customers 2020” report, consulting company Walker Information
Inc. notes that the customer experience has become more impactful to
a company’s strategy than its products or prices. Many mortgage professionals, however, simply ask for basic information related to a loan and
overlook the human aspect of the borrower relationship.
Even worse, some mortgage lenders and brokers only ask questions at
the start of the loan process and never update their CRM system with the
client’s current information. A client’s hobbies, favorite sports teams or
even their family members’ birthdays are examples of priceless data that can
establish natural opportunities to reconnect with them on a human level.
The second aspect of data mining should be for a client’s specific areas
of interest in commercial real estate — including asset classes, geographic
locations and specific needs for experienced third-party vendors. This
allows for additional interaction that is impactful but not overbearing.
Although some borrowers may be wary of sharing this information due
to privacy concerns or the possibility of being inundated by marketing
materials, it is important to clarify upfront the reasoning for collecting
Clients should be made aware, in writing, that their information will never
be shared outside your organization and that all marketing materials have
an easy opt-out process. Your goal should be to demonstrate appreciation,
expertise and support — and at any point these interactions are viewed as
something intrusive, your company should stop all communication.
Painless business development
By utilizing readily available mass-customization technology in conjunction with current, accurate client data, business development becomes
The first step is to input five to seven annual opportunities to directly
interact with each client. This may include intermittent market intelligence
or loan-specific dates, such as the expiration of a prepayment penalty or
the final year before a loan matures. You also should include personal
dates, such as the birthdays of the client and their family members, or
life-cycle events such as weddings, births and retirements.
Examples of market-intelligence materials include current capitalization
rates for asset classes in the borrower’s area of interest, highlighting a preferred property-management company, and economic and development
factors that impact occupancy rates. Readily available data sources such
as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., CoStar and Reis Inc., for example,
make it easy to customize this information. All of it can be organized and
communicated via mass emails, ringless voicemails and text-message services.
These programs do all the work and require no time commitments from
Technology should be used as a precursor to a quarterly phone call.
Most clients are savvy consumers and can identify mass-customized
tools. But, when someone speaks directly to them — even for 15 minutes
— it creates a different level of appreciation and loyalty.
Committing to consistent phone calls with clients may be the most
important factor in retaining them. Each week, a block of time should be
set aside for these calls, which should each last between 10 and 20 minutes.
They should initially focus on personal and family topics, followed by a
quick discussion of the client’s previously closed loans and an overview of
their future acquisition and financing goals.
Mortgage professionals should take meticulous notes to ensure accurate
data is in their CRM system, given a client’s personal or business goals often
change. It’s detrimental to send erroneous messages if a client got divorced
or disposed of a property, for example. Confirm the next time you will be
communicating directly and ask for referrals. By having consistent interaction, clients put so much time into their relationship with you that starting
a new one with another broker or lender is generally not worth the effort.
simply ask for basic
information related to
a loan and overlook
the human aspect
of the borrower