5 simple ways mortgage brokers can differentiate themselves from their competitors
Customer satisfaction wins
The growth of the mortgage broker channel in recent years is giving consumers more choice when selecting an intermediary to broker the best home loan deal for them. Earlier in 2019, the industry achieved a record 60% share of broker originated loans, and this was during a period of restricted credit. Now, with recent cash rate cuts and lower interest rates stimulating the housing market, combined with a relaxation of lending rules, the proportion of Australians intending to buy a house has hit record highs.
With more buyers flooding into the market – and more mortgage brokers for consumers to choose from – it’s critical to differentiate your services from the rest of the playing field and position your business for success.
Business author, Michael LeBoeuf, wrote the famous saying “a satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all”. For mortgage and finance brokers looking to stand out from the competition, there couldn’t be a more appropriate statement. To win in the customer satisfaction arena, one of the best game plans brokers can execute is to provide your clients with a delightful, memorable experience wherever and whenever they interact with your business.
Here are 5 straightforward tips to help your broker business deliver a superior customer experience:
1) Set clear expectations upfront
For many consumers, purchasing a new home or refinancing an existing property can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. On the finance side alone, there’s a long list of requirements and criteria that need to be met, coupled with a myriad of home loan product options with competing rates.
Think of yourself as a project manager who has set of specific deliverables that must be completed to get the deal over the line. If you’re in control of the project, it will run smoothly, and your customers will feel more relaxed in the process. Be clear with your customers at the start about what you will need from them and by when. Setting clear expectations and deadlines early on in the process gives them confidence, puts their minds at ease and enables you to move the application along much quicker.
2) Build rapport with your customers
The ability to build and sustain rapport with customers is vital to business success. It sets the stage for a positive professional relationship which leads to increased customer satisfaction and ultimately loyalty.
Establishing good rapport requires an understanding of your client’s situation, their needs and objectives. Take your broker blinkers off and put yourself in their shoes. Ask questions and listen. Open-ended questions are an effective means to learn more about them. Show empathy and be relatable. Present options clearly and put the effort into explaining those things they don’t understand.
3) Present your customers with digital options
Complying to regulations and retrieving information and documentation are all standard procedures essential to the application process. However, technology tools can streamline these processes and save your clients time and make their job easier. Document management tools, such as ezidox and FileInvite, simplify document collection and speed up transactions; and CRM platforms tailored to finance brokers, like Salestrekker, help compress the loan application process – and all the necessary back-and-forth client communication – into just a few clicks.
Retrieving bank statements can be a time-consuming and painful process for your customers. Using an automated bank statement retrieval tool like illion BankStatements, streamlines the submission process for your customers and saves your clients hours. It’s easy to forget the pain that your customers experience when having to manually gather their statements and calculate their living expenses. Remember that this is a painful process for them. illion BankStatements automatically provides income and expense analysis and transaction categorisation which help you to verify their living expenses faster, speeding up the application. Use technology where possible to remove pain points and you’ll create a great experience for your clients.
4) Help your customers create a living expenses budget
For some of your customers, working out where their money is going every month can be a laborious task. For these unsavvy budgeters, offer to assist them with accurately identifying all of their living expenses.
Use illion BankStatements’ categorisation feature to help your clients save time and accurately identify what they are really spending their money on. This extraordinary service can go a long way in delivering a positive, memorable experience for them and it won’t require too much additional effort with automated technology.
5) Invest in long-term relationships with your customers
If you implement the tips above, you’ll have put tremendous effort into delivering a great customer experience throughout the application process. Don’t let your hard work come undone after the deal is finalised.
Be rewarded with repeat and referral business by investing long-term in your client relationships, making them feel like more than just another transaction. Small businesses have an advantage over larger organisations when it comes to making customers feel special. Use this to your advantage and continue to send them a birthday email each year. If you established good rapport from the start – and genuinely listened to your clients during the process – you’ll remember the small details that mean a lot to them. Use this information to personalise your future communication with them.
Lastly, if you’re confident you’ve provided a great customer experience, don’t be shy to ask for referrals. A great referral could lead to your next big deal.
To learn more about how illion BankStatements delivers and seamless customer experience and improves business efficiency, get in touch.