Spring … the time to delight in warmer days ahead, anticipate baseball’s Opening Day – and get ready for the peak home-buying period. More homes changing hands means this is also the season for new mortgage loans. Will your CU or community bank be ready for some big plays?
Improve your statistics
Figures from the Federal Reserve show the total outstanding U.S. mortgage debt was more than $14 trillion as of third-quarter 2016. But today 6 of the top 10 mortgage lenders in the US aren’t even banks, signifying a major change in the industry.
For community financial institutions looking to gain a bigger share in the mortgage industry than ever before, this move to non-bank lending may be disheartening. But there are still plenty of borrowers out there who are the right fit for your organization – if you have a comprehensive plan to attract them. Without such a plan, you may find yourself missing your mortgage lending targets entirely. Or, in the words of baseball sage, Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
Yogi’s right. Growing your mortgage volumes takes more than a clever ad with mom, dad and the kids playing catch in the backyard. You need a well-planned strategy to identify leads, nurture relationships and know when to make the right offer.
Make a game plan
Baseball and successful marketing have a few strategies in common. Consider these tips to grow your mortgage loan portfolio:
1. Analyze competitors’ customers to generate leads. Successful baseball teams know their competitors and the fans who flock to them. Similarly, you can use the data you already have to identify customers or prospects with mortgages or HELOCs at competing financial institutions or mortgage companies. Here’s how:
• Look through recent credit reports for payments to mortgage lenders. Prioritize prospects with loan balances in the hundreds of thousands and those with longer terms because they will generate income for years to come.
• Search ACH reports for monthly payments averaging $1,000-$1,500 or to financial institutions specializing in mortgages.
• Add local real estate agents to your database and team up with them for referrals. Joint webinars or seminars on topics that would attract home buyers can boost your business and theirs. For example, consider topics like what to look for in buying a home, understanding the mortgage process and tips for home maintenance.
2. Build relationships. The manager, coaches and players on a ball team know strong relationships are vital to winning games. You, too, can work to make customers and prospects feel like part of your community bank’s team. With the right business analytics tool, you can learn where customers are in the mortgage lifecycle (e.g., interest, research, choice and closing). Develop a series of messages relevant to the home buyer’s place in the lifecycle to establish or position your community bank as the customer’s partner in both home buying and lending.
• For prospects with large mortgage balances at other institutions, highlight the advantages of moving their mortgage to your bank, including mortgage rate offers, discounted rates for homeowner’s insurance, and more flexible terms to pay down principal.
• For borrowers who will soon pay off their mortgages, feature lending solutions for needs like home repairs, purchasing vacation property, updating the kitchen or starting a small business.
• For current mortgage holders, offer information on how HELOCs can enable cost-effective borrowing for other goals, like paying off higher-interest credit cards. Be sure to mention that HELOCs may have tax advantages over other loan types.
3. Use the right equipment. An effective club manager understands the importance of quality equipment and what works best for his team. Managing a successful sales campaign also requires the right digital tools, so you can see if your messages are getting through or need to be fine-tuned.
• It’s vital for the sales team/loan officer to know when a customer wants to learn more about your mortgage and refinancing products, as well as which email offers were opened, which were forwarded to someone else and which prompted a click to your website. Knowing what interests your customers makes it easier to adjust messages for best results.
• Make use of a robust, automated CRM platform to monitor customers’ purchase and payment patterns, as well as their communication preferences. With today’s do-it-yourself banking, it’s the best way to stay in touch with customers and provide relevant offers.
With strong digital tools and a little creativity, you can hit a home run with your mortgage business while increasing customer satisfaction. The power of digitization and a defined plan of action can put your credit union or community bank at the top of its mortgage and HELOC game.
Learn more about growing mortgage and HELOC volumes by downloading Doxim’s new “Spotlight on Mortgages and HELOCs”. Or book your personal demonstration of Doxim Loan Accelerator, to see how to put these strategies into action.