Do you want to close more loans this year? Then you need to know these 4 sales tips for loan officers.
1. Connect With Your Customer
Let’s say you’re sitting at your desk. A lead pops up in your inbox. It’s lead #48174. What does that number mean to you? Nothing. And what do you mean to that lead? Nothing. Because you haven’t connected yet.
How do you connect with a customer?
You connect with their dream.
Everyone has a dream. Buying a house is a dream shared by many people, for many different reasons. Some people want to be closer to work. Other people are starting a family and want to be in a good school district. Some people want a house with a basement big enough to have a laundry room and play room for the kids.
But when you get your customer on the phone, the first thing they’re going to ask is “what’s your rate?” That’s all they care about. That’s all you are to them. You’re just a number, just like they’re just a number.
You ask them about the house they’re buying. Was it the first house they saw? Or the last one before they were about to give up? What do they love about it? Is it near a park where they can go rock climbing? Is it close to work and will cut their commute in half? Does it have a great elementary school for their young kids? There has to be something they love about that house, and you need to find it. Because if you can tap into their enthusiasm and share your own excitement about that park or that school or that commute, you’ll be establishing a bond. A connection. Spend a minute sharing their excitement in whatever way is natural to you. Who doesn’t love a shorter commute? More time to sleep in the morning; more time to enjoy your evening. It’s all good.
Some loan officers think this part of the call is too “fluffy”. A customer called you for a rate. Give it to them.
Not so fast. Sometimes, lost in the search for the best rate and terms, we lose sight of the emotional aspect of buying real estate. This is their home you’re talking about. Where they celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and maybe raise a family.
They have a dream. A positive, appealing vision of life in their new home. Take the time to show them you share that dream.
But how do you get this info if they keep asking for a rate?
You ask questions in a natural, conversational way while you’re getting information you need to quote them a rate. Ask how much they need to borrow and how much they’re putting down. Ask about the house they’re buying. If you know anything about the area, throw it into the conversation while you’re pulling up your rate sheet. Because the minute you quote that rate, they’ll have what they need. And the more you can build a rapport with the customer first, the more they’ll remember you.
2. Have A Thorough Discussion About Rates
That’s why they called, right? So now is when you quote them a rate based on their specific financing scenario. You not only quote the rate, you ask what other quotes they’ve heard. Because if you’re going to stand out, you need to convince them you have the best rate they’ll find. Let’s say they have a lower rate that’s been quoted to them. Don’t just give up – ask what the terms are. Maybe this lower rate is for 30% down instead of 20% down like they asked you about. Maybe this lower rate is with points, and your deal is with no points. This low ball quote could be for a 15 day lock and you quoted them a 60 day lock. Probe and ask questions. You may legitimately be outsold by a competitor, but more often, especially if it’s a stale quote and the market has worsened, there are enough ways you can chip away at that quote and come out ahead.
3. Impress The Customer With Your Knowledge
After you’ve gone over rates, you want to extend the call by going through everything they need to know about getting approved, what documents to provide, what closing costs they should expect, what happens at the closing, etc.
What if they don’t have any questions?
Then you ask the questions. “Did we go over how underwriters look at your income?” You ask not only how much they make but how they get paid. Because you know that getting paid on a 1099 is different from getting paid on a W2, and you want to make sure they don’t run into any bumps in the underwriting process.
Then you ask about their assets. They’re putting down 20%, but is any of it a gift? Then they’ll need a gift letter, and you can email them the form. Same with credit. They may say their score is 720, but you ask how many different accounts they have, because you know you can have a good score and thin credit.
In short, show them you’re the expert. The expert on everything related to their mortgage and how to get approved. You have the knowledge and experience to help guide them through the loan process and handle anything that comes up that could delay them getting approved.
The more time you spend on the phone with them, the greater likelihood they will go with you.
Why? Not only because you’ve impressed them with your knowledge, but it’s just human nature to be predisposed to using the person they’ve just spent a half hour on the phone with. The thought of giving all this information to someone new should make them groan.
4. Follow Up
This is probably the most important sales tip of all. You can strike up a rapport, quote aggressively, impress them with your knowledge, and have a terrific first phone call, but guess what? If you don’t follow up, that call is worthless. You have to continually email and call your clients as they search for a home and a lender. If you’re not in contact with them, someone else. And you can’t close a client if you’re not on the phone or in their inbox on a meaningful basis.
So if you want to close more loans this year, remember – you’re not talking to Lead #48174. You’re talking to Tom and Nancy, who have a dream of owning a house with a big back yard and a great commute.
And after talking to you, they’ll know you not only share their dream – you’re the one who can make it happen, and at the best possible terms. When you follow up with them, you’ll be one step closer to closing more loans in 2019.