Being a loan originator in a competitive environment is hard work. Not only do you need to combat the increasing threat of FinTech, but you need to overcome friction in the homebuying process caused by high demand and low inventory.
The good news is that there are specific actions you can take today that will enable you to hit your production goals despite these challenges. Here is a list of four essential skills from the team of mortgage experts at MBS Highway that can help you be an advisor, gain more leads and close more loans.
Be an Expert on the Market: Most of your competitors will do a good job of selling rate and guiding their clients through the approval process. While those things are important, you need to deliver more to leave your customer feeling like, “What am I going to miss if I don’t do business with this person?” Surprisingly, the majority of MLOs don’t understand the driving force behind interest rates or can’t effectively convey the financial value of homeownership in a particular market. By speaking intelligently to the economic data and news that could influence rates, refuting the negative headlines in the media, and showcasing what the potential financial gain is based on metrics like forecasted appreciation, you will immediately build trust and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Deliver a Personalized Experience: One major advantage you have over FinTech competitors is your ability to connect on a personal level with prospects and clients. Purchasing a home or even refinancing an existing mortgage is one of life’s biggest decisions. Buyers not only need to find the home of their dreams, but they also need to feel confident that they are making the best financial decisions. Take the time to get to know the priorities, concerns, and financial goals of every client so you can recommend the best long-term strategy. Whether it is selecting a loan option or determining the optimal way to build wealth, the path forward will vary for each client.
Remove Points of Friction for Your Realtor Partners: Everyone wants more referral partners – but it takes more than just handing out your business card. You need to demonstrate how you can add value to a potential partner’s business first; create a reason for them to want to work with you. Start by understanding the points of friction and pain points your partners are facing. This will not only allow you to demonstrate empathy, which is foundational to every strong partnership, but it may present you with an opportunity to demonstrate your market expertise. Providing market specific resources that can help drive urgency and educate their customers on the potential opportunity of homeownership is critical in a highly competitive market.
Build Your Social Media Presence: Connecting with local real estate agents and potential homebuyers is critical. Social media presents an easy, low-cost way to reach your target audience. A great way to start out on social media is to create a list of frequently asked questions or common challenges potential homebuyers are likely to have in your particular market. Use this as your guide to create relevant, valuable content. The biggest rule when it comes to social media is consistency. Be sure to have enough content to be able to post at least weekly for two months. Ideally, you want to build up to posting three to four times per week.
As you start to build and refine your skill set, you might even want to consider acquiring software tools designed specifically to empower MLOs to become top performers. For example, a mortgage market intelligence and sales solution like MBS Highway can give you access to a full suite of valuable tools. A monthly subscription gives you access to things like:
Daily market updates and insights
Real-time rate and lock alerts
Customizable market analyses and reports
Social media marketing tools and ready-to-use content