High-volume mortgage markets are the ideal time to embrace a streamlined approach to mortgage origination. As a busy mortgage loan originator, do you know how to expedite the application while securing relationships in your approach?
Expediting the application in an upmarket can involve shifting from a two-step sales process to a one-step sales process depending on the situation – and tactfully leveraging technology to assist your operational processes.
Typically, a two-step sales process should be used in your mortgage loan origination approach. However, exceptions come into play during high-volume markets that merit shifting to a one-step sales process. If you are working directly with the decision-maker or if there are limited options on the table for the borrower, for example, it paves the road for a more efficient sequence of decisions and events. In a single call with a decision maker, you can receive commitment, build a relationship with the borrower, and start completing the application process.
Before you make the call to the borrower, ensure you have gathered all the important information needed in the application, and that you have locked that rate in. Make sure you get the “Intent To Proceed” completed. Once on the call, look for moments where you can connect with that borrower as you are evaluating their application and getting key information, such as asking open ended questions about their new home, financial goals, family members and retirement plans. Listen carefully to their answers without cutting them off. In turn, the borrower will feel more connected to you as their mortgage loan origination partner. They will feel more cared about. At the end of the call, always communicate timelines, expectations and what the next steps are going to be in the process.
When to utilize a one-step sales process:
While the calculus for completing a mortgage application on the first call is ultimately case-by-case, there are some ideal situations that favor a one-step sales process:
- When there is a sole decision-maker.
- When there are limited options available to the borrower(s).
- When the borrower explicitly asks to apply.
But what about more complex borrowing scenarios? Should you, as the mortgage loan originator, attempt an up-front application to avoid losing those borrowers to your competitors?
The answer is yes, with one glaring condition: if you have taken the time upfront to build true relationship and have earned real commitment to move forward. Barring that, attempting a one-step sales approach will likely falter, and could even create insurmountable discomfort to an uncommitted borrower.
While building relationships may seem unthinkable with the number of leads in your queue, taking the time to build relationships and earn commitment is the only way to ensure a sale—regardless of a one-step or two-step approach. So, make that your focus.
What about Technology?
Mortgage loan originators can leverage modern technology to help streamline applications.
However, too many loan officers make the mistake of replacing their entire sales process with the conveniences offered by digital technology. Unfortunately, relying on this approach let’s your borrowers self-serve to a single outcome: shopping. Technology should not change your mindset into an “order-taking” mode. It should instead complement your existing relational sales approach.
So, while you can (and should!) be leveraging technology to simplify common time-sucks, like scheduling calls, verifying borrower information, and collecting documentation; under no circumstances should you allow or encourage a borrower to complete an application without speaking to you. The technology should serve a complimentary purpose to your approach – not replace your emotional selling and relationship building techniques.
Top producers are exceptional at adapting to current market conditions without abandoning the foundations of relational selling. Understand how to move swiftly through the application, without rushing at the expense of gaining commitment and building relationships.