Over the past couple of years, equity has been extremely accessible to our clients. Times in our industry are changing with regard to guidelines and lending ability. However, that shouldn't distract your from creating a relationship with your refinance clientele. I have touched on the refinance with debt consolidation clients in my previous post, and I would like to touch on the refinance with Home Improvements clientele as well for this post.
These clients are just like any other refinance client where they are looking for the loan program that fits their needs and overall goals. They might superficially want the best rates and fees, but it all comes down to relationships and rapport. I stress again, that finding out these goals and true needs in the first contact will help establish a relationship and better rapport with your clients, and most likely make or break them from financing with you!
So, how will you be different from the mortgage broker down the street, and create that lasting relationship? You know...the one you get referrals out of? Simple, right?
Right! We ask the right open-ended questions that will trigger emotionally driven responses!
Put yourself in their shoes and get involved with what are their primary reasons of why they need/want to do the home improvements. Here are some key questions that might help emit poignant answers:
- Tell me about the project you're looking to do
- What led you and your family to want to do this project?
- How will these improvement benefit you and your family (besides most likely adding value to the home)
- Tell me about the steps you've already taken for this (estimates, etc)
- What do you think are the next steps prior to the improvements? (more estimates, or are they just waiting to close...hint, if you phrase it right, there could be a potential buying sign here)
- How long will it take before the project is completed?
Once you start getting into how long the project is going to take and you know overall idea behind the improvements, you can keep a conversation going about pictures they can take with their family in their new living room, or maybe by the new in-ground pool. You can go into how good the barbeque chicken is going to taste and how nice it will be to use a grill on that new deck off the back door. There are a plethora of things that you can bring up in discussion that will help them paint a picture of what is to come after they finance with you!
They, most likely, didn't get this feeling from the other guy down the street which puts you ahead of the game even before you've presented figures or programs, and even before you've taken a look at their credit situation.
It's really that simple; to make a conversation out of this first contact instead a straight up, no-conversation, closed-ended 1003. And guess what? If your rate and fees are off a little bit, the client will most likely come back to you anyway because you truly know the value of their refinance. You've also shown that you care about their home, and you care about their unique financial and living situation.
Be different from the average Loan Officer, and create those relationships! I wish you all the best!
-Andy Scherer (Connecticut Mortgage Trainer)