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Ensuring a positive member experience during the mortgage process is one of the top issues facing mortgage lenders today, according to lenders participating in a Mortgage Roundtable Tuesday during the 2018 CUNA Lending Council Conference in Anaheim, Calif.
“People want the process to be less hard, painful, stressful, and agonizing,” says Tracy Ashfield, president of Ashfield & Associates and the session’s moderator. “Consumers want to feel in control, and they don’t want to feel the absence of control.”
Communication is the backbone of a positive member experience. “Members don’t want to think their loan want into a vacuum,” Ashfield says.
Some credit unions use texting to ensure solid communication during the mortgage process. When borrowers reach a certain milestone, such as an appraisal taking place, members receive a text message.
Emails tend to get lost in the shuffle, roundtable attendees said, and consumers are more likely to look at texts and follow up with them.
Some vendors provide automated emails when certain triggers are reached to keep members in the loop.
Communication with real estate agents also is important. While some lenders are reluctant to share information with agents, doing so provides assurances that the credit union will get the job done.
“If a Realtor has strong feelings that you’re not reliable and fast, or that the loan is not in safe hands, they will block you,” Ashfield says.
Other ways to make members and Realtors love you through the mortgage process:
Check in with members frequently, and build relationships with them.
Use the Realtor as an ally to stay in touch with the member. “Become the Realtor’s friend,” Ashfield says. “They have even more motivation than you to make sure the loan goes through”—the commission.
Provide value in your member touchpoints. Include useful information in your emails to members, such as home buyer checklists, articles about school districts, and so on. “The content is out there,” Ashfield says. “Send them a link.”
Conduct home buyer sessions and store recorded versions on your website. Allow Realtors to participate in the seminars.
Produce a podcast about credit union services.
“Give them a reason to select you as a home buying resource,” Ashfield says. “Be relevant to them.”
►Click here for more conference coverage from CUNA News, and get live updates on Twitter via @CUNAJennifer, @CUMagazine, @CUNACouncils, and by using the #LendingCouncil hashtag. Learn more about the CUNA Lending Council, a member-led professional society for credit union executives, at cunacouncils.org.