When teaching someone how to become a loan officer, marketers will often focus on the need for content, like mortgage lead generation forms, mortgage calculators or social media ads. Mortgage brokers and lenders, on the other hand, will likely focus on having the right LOS and CRM technology. In truth, an effective loan officer needs to combine all of these elements to create a seamless and cyclical borrower journey that will power a loan officer’s or mortgage broker’s business for years to come.
What is a mortgage borrower’s journey?
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A mortgage borrower’s journey is the path a consumer takes from becoming interested in securing home financing to closing on a loan and continuing through a post-close relationship.
There are many starting points for the mortgage borrower’s journey. Borrowers may begin looking for home financing as home shoppers armed with a strong income, a high credit score and plenty of cash on hand. Or they may start from the opposite position, with none of those advantages.
Borrowers may also come into the journey as homeowners looking to save on payments or shorten their term by refinancing. Or perhaps they are looking to consolidate debt, fund home improvements, underwrite college tuition, purchase a second property or pursue another investment opportunity.
Once borrowers make an application for home financing, their journeys will become more similar through the loan process and beyond.
What makes a seamless borrower journey?
A seamless borrower journey is one with relevant, timely communications that arrive where the customer can engage with them, such as their mobile device or laptop, and that help the customer move through their current stage in the borrower journey.
If a lender simply blasts various types of content to all contacts, they’re not creating a targeted, seamless journey for borrowers. Instead, they are sending their contacts information that may be irrelevant and not likely to be remembered when needed.
To create a seamless borrower journey, lenders can rely on two primary tools – strong mortgage content and strong mortgage technology. Fortunately, lenders can find both these tools in one place – an integrated mortgage CRM like Surefire.
What kind of mortgage content is needed for a seamless borrower journey?
To help them reach their full potential, in-process and closed borrowers, loan officers and mortgage brokers will need mortgage content that is tailored to many types of prospects – from the most qualified to least qualified, from first-time homeowners to existing owners, and from new contacts and in-process borrowers to long-time clients.
A suite of mortgage calculators will help all types of prospective borrowers determine their eligibility, spending limits, potential house payments and more. When built well and delivered at the right time, these calculators will facilitate a borrower’s journey by providing self-service answers to common questions. Educational mortgage flyers and online interactive content will serve the same purpose.
Single-property sites offer a self-service educational option for prospective borrowers who are shopping for a home. To be most effective, cobranded single property sites should come not only with loan program and rate options but also with mortgage calculators and interactive neighborhood information.
Loan milestone marketing content can keep in-process borrowers engaged and informed during the sometimes-tedious weeks between application and closing. Much like the self-service options for calculators, timely and informative in-process communications can save time for a loan officer or mortgage broker by reducing the need for direct back-and-forth communication with a client.
Like prospect marketing, effective post-close marketing will employ an omnichannel marketing approach. In this case, the goals are to collect feedback, to show appreciation and to remain top of mind for years to come through personal and relevant communications. Extending the borrower’s journey long past closing increases the chance they will return to their original lender when they start their next borrower journey for a refi or new purchase.
What types of mortgage technology facilitate a seamless borrower journey?
Many loan originators can feel like they’re behind the eight ball before they even get started. They simply don’t have the staff to create a large volume of mortgage content, and they certainly don’t have the time or energy to stay on top of deploying it at the right times. It feels like the “billboard guys” are destined to win all of the business.
The answer to this dilemma is using the right mortgage technology, including a strong mortgage CRM and marketing automation tool like Surefire, which is integrated with a strong, broker-focused LOS like Black Knight’s LoanCatcherSM.
Along with a full library of marketing content, a strong mortgage CRM will provide targeted workflows. Each is a series of curated communications tailored to various types of borrowers, whether they’re credit-challenged buyers, first-time buyers, trade-up buyers or refi prospects. The most effective workflows employ omnichannel marketing strategies – email, text messaging and postal mail to name a few – to educate prospects on the facets of home financing they need most – when and where they need it.
Best of all, the mortgage CRM can automate workflows. If a new prospect completes a form to say they’re interested in a refinance, the CRM can automatically create a contact record, set the prospect on a workflow and notify the LO. The first event for the workflow, typically a text message, can be deployed within the crucial first minutes after the form is received. The LO doesn’t need a call center or marketing manager for backup, and the process is seamless for the prospect.
When an LOS is integrated with the CRM, the two platforms can work together to share contact records and update loan information. For example, when the LO enters a loan update in the LOS, it can trigger on-time loan milestone marketing communication from the CRM. The borrower is kept up to date on their loan’s progression for a seamless borrower journey with no extra work for the LO.
The right mortgage tech creates a seamless LO journey, too.
By using the right integrated mortgage CRM, lenders can create a seamless journey for themselves, too. The set-it-and-forget-it rules and workflows of a marketing automation system keep borrowers informed throughout their customer life cycles while creating minimal work for the LO. To see how Surefire can make this happen for you, schedule a demo today.
As content manager at Top of Mind Networks, Renita develops award-winning marketing materials and strategies for mortgage companies. Throughout her career, Renita has managed public relations and produced both printed and online content for clients in the home building, affordable housing, real estate, mortgage lending, financial planning, and
environmental industries. As a ghostwriter, she has contributed to two books on social media marketing. Her work has also been published in numerous print and online trade publications for industries she supports.