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Better Mortgage Experiences: Give Each File the Attention it Deserves

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By Moshe Abudarham

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“The customer experience is definitely important. We give them what they want. They can see all the answers customized to their situation. And what makes my company, my process so good is that we give them the control. They are the ones that fill out our application. They are the ones that submit the document to us. They are the ones that monitor the rate. They are the ones to tell us to lock the rate. So they are in control of the entire process, not us.”

That was one of many insights Loan Factory Founder and CEO, Thuan Nguyen, shared in our recent Ask the Expert webinar. And you might be wondering why the customer experience came up in a webinar entitled “The Age of the Tech-Assisted Mortgage.” Because, as nice as better processes, time-saving automations, and easier closings are for lenders, brokers, underwriters, and title and escrow providers, arranging mortgages is a relationship business. So without satisfying the customer on this transaction, how can you hope to build a pipeline of future transactions?

Allow one of our States Title marketing contractors to illustrate the point:

“Hi folks! Just thought I’d let you know we’re closing on a house this Friday, and the process is, just as Max has said, so preposterously complicated. It makes no sense that it’s this complicated. I have spent waaaaaay too much time dealing with paperwork, multiple wire transfers, literally 7 different people weighing in on all the things we’re supposed to do, etc. Also, virtual closings are apparently legal in Georgia but not everywhere is set up for it so they’re letting us sit in our car outside the lawyer’s office on Friday.”

Ok, not every closing experience is like that, and we certainly live in inconvenient times, but would you risk your customer being left with that sense of frustration? Or worse, risk your frustrated customer telling other potential customers? Well, for a large swathe of this industry, that’s what happens on a multiple times-daily basis.

A better experience for LOs provides a better experience for homeowners

States Title offers our customers bespoke pilots, dedicated podlets of title and escrow experts, and two single points of contact – a customer success manager and a concierge. With our patented technology, we can instantly underwrite title insurance for more than 80 percent of files, and our instant closing disclosure, which includes instant fee collaboration, is changing the game.

Yes, for LOs and the various professionals involved – lenders, realtors, attorneys, and notaries – all of this saves time and money. In fact, for one States Title customer, a top five lender with a nationwide footprint, we have already helped them achieve a 93 percent CSAT score, 43 minute faster processing on instant files, a 10 percent reduction in days to close, and recently, a 5-out-of-5 stars customer rating for our RON pilot.

According to global management consultants, McKinsey & Company, maximizing satisfaction across the customer journey has the potential to increase customer satisfaction by 20 percent, lift revenue by 15 percent, and lower the cost of serving customers by as much as 20 percent. But the justification for all this effort-saving is so the end customer can have the best experience possible.

Why? Because, according to data from STRATMOR’s MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program, 36 percent of homebuyers are going through the process for the first time and 87 percent of those first time homebuyers choose their lender based on a personal referral. Now if you consider that customers who have a positive brand experience are 77 percent more likely to refer your business to a friend, and 72 percent of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people, the benefits build on top of each other.

For LOs, providing a positive experience means spending the right amount of time at each step on each file, whether that is a two-minute underwriting process, or a two-week curative search, customers are “happy” when the process doesn’t take longer nor cost more than it’s meant to. We’re talking about convenience and improving the experience for the end customer so the process has to take into account what is convenient for the buyer. That’s what Thuan focuses on, putting as much of the transaction – from application to close – in the control of the customer. And that’s much better than closing on or refinancing your dream home from a car on a hot Georgia day.

Ultimately, each customer has the right amount of time spent on their file. If there are no issues, there’s no reason it should not go through fast. We won’t delay because of a standard procedure if your file doesn’t warrant that, and we’re helping our bank and lender customers do the same.