In periods of great uncertainty, we frequently become burdened with two primary fears: emotional and economic. Thanks to the relatively strong position those of us within the lending industry enjoy, we are being called to provide reassuring service during this time of uncertainty.
Dale Vermillion spends countless hours engaging with lenders across the country to identify what’s working, what clearly isn’t, and what steps each individual can take to continue the customer dedication that defines success within the industry. Join Vermillion and Blend’s Brandon Hoyles as they discuss how we can find strength from each other as we look to serve consumers everywhere.
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During the conversation, three primary calls to action emerged for the LOs and lending teams working tirelessly to ensure consumers remain liquid, secure, and at ease.
1. Seize opportunities to serve amid the chaos
The mortgage industry right now is the darling of the economy. And although this is a privileged opportunity for all those within it, it can also be paralyzing.
Many LOs are, unsurprisingly, feeling overwhelmed. Vermillion notes that those he speaks with are dedicating their time and energy toward closing the deluge of low-rate loans that flooded (and for some lenders, continue to flood) the market post-rate drop. Laser focus on the mechanics of getting loans out of the queue, however, risks shifting into the background the dedication to customer service that drives long-term value.
According to Vermillion, seizing the opportunity to proactively be there for consumers does double duty in soothing both the emotional and economic fears consumers are feeling.
2. Remember your proven recipes for success
As Vermillion notes, most of the techniques that can drive success now are the same that successful LOs already utilize each and every day. The key is to maintain — even overemphasize — the principles of cultivating and originating loans.
As you engage with borrowers, a few practical tips include:
- Adopt a check-in (start with the human basics), check-up (get alignment on their financial fears), and check-out (gently provide tangible financial solutions) approach
- Focus conversations on the three S’s: stability, security, and savings
- Be open and honest about how the current process will be impacted by operational realities, focusing on what this means for the customer’s experience
3. Don’t ignore the importance of communication and positivity
Among the myriad challenges we currently face, one of the easiest to overlook is the interference to the social connection we need to survive. As borrowers engage with lenders, they are doing so amid feelings of disconnection and distance. You may be the unlucky beneficiary of pent up frustration, overwhelming fear, or even downright anger.
You probably didn’t ask to step into the role of pseudo-therapist. But you are fully equipped to succeed with aplomb.
Patient listening is key. Start with yourself. Understanding your emotional state before each interaction and taking the time to separate your anxieties from the needs of your customers can provide the neutral starting place from which healthy connections will bloom. From there, continue this openness as you engage with each and every prospect.
Even basic communication has become a technological hurdle. Overcommunication is a simple tool that will help maximize clarity both for yourself and for your customers. If you think you’re communicating enough, you probably need to dial it up even more.
Above all else, keep in mind that we are all in this together. The consumers you serve stand to benefit greatly from what you can provide them — you may even offer the financial peace of mind separating a ho-hum work-from-home period from a full-blown personal finance disaster.
Find the tools and support mechanisms at your disposal, seek out the grace emerging from serving others in need, and chase the positivity that can make this strange time feel that much less trying.
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