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Home Buyer and Seller Stress Levels at an All Time High: Here’s How Mortgage Pro’s Can Help

There has been a somewhat recent shift from refi’s to selling and purchasing again but the market currently is quite different than it ever has been before. Epic bidding wars reminiscent of mythic Gods at war have taken their toll on home buyers and sellers alike. Add to that an unprecedented scenario where a pandemic has forced virtual showings and open houses, extra precautions if you’re going into a home and digital signatures whether you like it or not. I recently signed for an appraisal myself that was digitally signing an excel spreadsheet requisition. That was a new one.

The point is, stress levels, anxiety and the unknown for your home buying and selling clients are at an all time high. Their realtors and frankly, your realtor partners are busier than ever managing listings, bully offers, offer days and now even fill in the blank offers, that they don’t have a ton of time for consoling their clients or even answering many questions.

This is an opportunity for you, the mortgage professional. Not just a business opportunity but an opportunity to do some extra good. To step in and be a light for your stressed out clients. This is an opportunity to shine in ways a bank rep never could. An opportunity to deepen important relationships with your realtors and your clients and even their families.

They say the most fulfilled entrepreneur is not just the one that reaches their monetary goals, but an entrepreneur that feels fulfilled and empowered to help and do good.

So how can you be the light in this crazy time when you yourself are so busy?

  1. Your First Appointment Should Look Different

Whether on Zoom, in person or even over the phone, your first appointment should never be one and done app taking. No matter how awesome you are told that is, it does not build a client for life, which you will need in the slower times. Simply replying to an inquiry or referral by sending out an app link, isn’t enough. A high school teenager can do that. Are you a mortgage professional or a mortgage order taker?

No, this time has to be different. You need to talk to them, converse in any way you can and perform the best damn mortgage KYC (Know Your Client for the order takers out there) you have ever done. Why? Because they want that, and in this market they need that. COVID-19 and the stress of the market are exposing some of the lonely island clients are now on due to tech and lockdown restrictions. Trust me, your shiny new tech is very fancy, efficient and convenient but we are seeing clearly now that it does not replace advice and the human touch. At least if you ever want to keep the client that is.

So here are some keys to this new style of appointment:

  • Still use your tech. Like we said, it’s awesome and you need it, so send out the app and the links to upload docs etc.
  • Make the call, set the appointment, have the meeting!
  • Perform a KYC – Learn their life situations, their goals for the future (will they be upgrading in two years? Having kids? Did they buy a fixer upper just to get a place?). Get info on their realtor, their financial advisor, do they have an accountant? Seem dumb? Maybe until you build a referral relationship with that advisor or accountant that will get you through the slow times. Clients love and appreciate when you get to know them well and will hold you in very high regard for doing so.
  • Establish expectations – how long will this take? What will any delays from them cause? What is the clients role in all of this? When will you be checking in (see #2 below). Let them know how you work with their realtor and their lawyer through this process.
  • Make sure they have every piece of contact info you allow clients to contact you by, including social media. If you have an assistant, make sure they have their info and make sure your assistant operates with the same level of service you do.

2. Check in Regularly

This is a step a mortgage pro can take that will take some of the heat off of your realtor partners and they will appreciate you for it. You are a mortgage pro so you are very, very familiar with this whole process and the steps and phases your clients will be going thorugh.

  • Be available to talk about the sales process. How did they feel about listing, the price they listed at, the initial level of showings or lack their of and for the latter, reassure them it will all be ok and to trust the process.
  • Help them understand the requirements the appraiser sends if you need one. Often the appraiser is too busy to clarify the list of questions and picture/appraisal day requirements they need from them.
  • Help them understand what a complete file looks like, how to get there, where you stand with any final reviews and if there is a chance the lender could ask for more.
  • Help to understand the legal process and any questions they have around what the lawyer is doing.
  • Be a sounding board…not night and day of course, you are busy too. But if you sense frustration with any part of the process be there for them. Because if you’re not, that’s when they are going to listen more to their curmudgeonly father-in-law who hasn’t sold a house in 55 years telling them what a bad job he thinks you and the realtor are doing. That’s when you get that sudden call that you they visited good old Dad’s bank manager and you lost the deal.

3. Treat the After Sale as a Pre-Sale and Don’t Stop Answering Questions

With any luck, you didn’t just send the app and perform the transaction and you are actually building a repeat client by providing epic, trustworthy service. If that is the case, keep it going. Never stop communicating with them. Some of that cool tech you are paying for can really help streamline this.

  • Send birthday wishes, to them, their kids, even their pets when you see them on socials
  • Mention the milestones you wrote down in the KYC and look for clues that they may be achieving some of them and it might be time for another call from you (an exploding baby reveal in TikTok for example).
  • Keep them apprised of any market changes. (THIS DOES NOT MEAN A NEWSLETTER) This is a call from you or your assistant saying, “hey this is what is going on and how it may affect you personally”

The home buying process is one of life’s most stressful undertakings and one of the biggest transactions of your clients lives. Treat it as such. It is easy to forget what it was like when you first went through it. Now imagine more stressed out realtors, bidding wars $100k over asking or more, bad advice from their families, frustrations anxieties and oh yeah….a pandemic.

Set yourself apart, be the change you want to see in the industry and most importantly, do some good right now. The world needs it.

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