Brokers should seek and use the most-advanced tools to retain borrower business
Pamela C. Milano, chief product-design executive, Document Systems Inc.
September 2006 - Mortgage brokers don't need anyone to tell them how important their borrowers are. But most brokers working today are not aware of just how much their past customers are worth to their business.
Given the number of times U.S. homeowners typically refinance, change their primary residences, purchase second homes and refer additional business to their brokers, all borrowers are worth more than $100,000 apiece to the mortgage broker who originates their first loans. Mortgage brokers can only earn this if they turn each client into a customer for life.
The industry, however, has not trained borrowers to develop long-term relationships with their brokers or lenders. U.S. mortgage borrowers have so many options for financing that it is difficult for the same broker or lender to get their business more than once.
The tool for the job
These are the minimum tools required to originate mortgage loans today. But they alone will not help brokers forge long-term relationships with borrowers.
But the technology itself is not the answer to creating better relationships with customers. The platform -- whether it be customer-relationship management, contact management, sales-force automation or a LOS -- is only a tool to help originators improve.
As important as customer service is, without the right technology, mortgage brokers may be unable to provide service levels high enough to create loyalty. The secret is in marrying the two.
Modern LOSs typically can expedite mortgage-loan-application processing. They also typically fall down in the contact-management area, however, and are dismal at automatically reconnecting brokers with borrowers who qualify for a new loan.
Pamela C. Milano, CMB, CMT, is chief product-design executive at Document Systems Inc. and has recently taken over the development of DSI's LoanMagic contact-management software. With more than 25 years' experience, she has spoken on mortgage-banking-technology issues at Mortgage Bankers Association technology conferences and national conferences and has taught at the School of Mortgage Banking. Milano can be reached at (804) 777-9051 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the company's Web site at www.docmagic.com.
As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, September 2006.