The big players in the mortgage industry have grown increasingly dependent on promoting “bells and whistles” to the masses, as opposed to providing tangible value, in recent years. Seemingly on a weekly or monthly basis, you see headlines about wholesale and retail lenders claiming to be “the best at this,” “the fastest at that” or the first to “revolutionize the industry” by creating a minor spin-off version of something that has already existed for years.
All of that is just talk. Real value, from a wholesale mortgage lender perspective, comes from a dedicated hands-on approach to ensure that mortgage brokers’ customers are treated to the best experience possible — for the entire life of the loan, not just the closing process. Partnerships should be enduring.
The concept of mortgage lenders effectively delivering a process that is centered on relationships instead of transactions should be all-inclusive on multiple fronts, of the originating wholesale lender, the mortgage broker, the servicer and the borrower all being in lockstep. For any wholesale lender to consider itself to be completely “relationship driven” by only looking through the myopic lens of the lender-broker relationship, it increases the risk of the end consumer having a negative experience — which, in turn, hurts the broker.
The reality is that sustainable, long-term B2B value for mortgage brokers doesn’t come from the closing process. Any lender can offer the lowest rate on a specific product on any given day. Multiple lenders, when dealing with a good borrower, can close a loan well ahead of the industry average. With the advent of Arive technology, several lenders are able to offer brokers access to the most fine-tuned and seamless technological process that the mortgage industry has ever seen. So, there isn’t much long-term value there, in the sense of setting brokers up for sustained success.
Real value comes from a broker and a borrower staying engaged with each other — not just one-way monthly or quarterly emails from the broker — within the same ecosystem over the life of the loan. The servicing of a loan is where reputation of a mortgage broker is made or broken, fair or not. One day, a mortgage broker is the hero for getting a loan closed in under two weeks, and then two years later, that same broker is the scapegoat for an awful experience as the consumer desperately seeks to refinance their mortgage with a giant bank or online lender.
It’s important for mortgage brokers and consumers, alike, that loans remain in the right hands when it comes to servicing, in order for great customer service to be seen as the norm. When a broker and a consumer stay connected by working with a lender that services its own loans, they can easily strengthen their relationship and the broker easily stays top of mind to the consumer. When it comes time for the consumer to refinance, working with that broker is a no-brainer because they’ve stayed connected and oversaw an excellent servicing experience.
The ability of a mortgage broker to drive repeat business and referral business goes a long way in determining their long-term success. It’s important that brokers don’t get sucked in to the bells and whistles that lenders aim to sell them on and, instead, really focus on building partnerships with companies that will truly help them “walk the walk” when it comes to delivering great customer service.
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