What Mortgage Loan Officers Really Need From a CRM
A CRM aligned to the needs of a mortgage loan officer (MLO) can make or break lead conversion. Simply put, if leads aren’t properly managed, conversion rates suffer. Understandably, staying in touch with dozens or even hundreds of people on a regular basis can be a difficult task, and the last thing MLOs need to think about is where each and every case stands at all times.
Sure, most CRMs consolidate records, merge calendars and automatically parse information to help eliminate this paperwork. But what does an MLO really need from a CRM? There are some surprising features which can take a basic CRM to new levels – all it takes is the proper implementation with the right team.
· Managing a portfolio of available mortgage programs, rates and qualification criteria: CRMs aren’t only about relationship management, they’re about starting off a client relationship on the right foot. For mortgage lenders, that often means being able to provide options for different mortgage programs with a reliable loan rate estimate right off the bat. Tracking the rate estimates quoted to the client helps ensure continuity throughout the process, that estimates stay accurate and customers aren’t subject to any unexpected spikes. Credibility, after all, is the cornerstone of any good relationship, and sticking with the original estimates is important to building an MLO’s credibility.
· Automated follow-up: It takes anywhere between 5 and 12 contacts – phone calls, emails, texts or other means of communication — to secure 80 percent of transactions. With dozens of leads to cover each day, it can be easy to forget when it’s time to touch base with that prospective lead. Tools to automate the follow-up process ensure that each lead is contacted when he or she needs to be, without requiring any additional phone calls or emails from the MLO. This frees up MLOs to pursue other prospects without leaving any potential loans out in the cold. Not to mention, each action is automatically recorded within Salesforce, so there’s no chance of losing track of who contacted who, how and when.
· Automated status updates: Much like automated follow-up, automated status updates keep borrowers, loan officers and other affiliated parties alike updated in real time. MLOs can simply look up a profile to see the status of an application or review. Action can be taken without delay as soon as a client is prepared for the next step. Speeding up the process saves time, money and frustration, making for a more satisfied client, less waste for the lender, and a higher likelihood of a positive referral and continued business.
· Automated education : CRMs can also offer borrowers automated education updates based on the stage of the loan process in which they find themselves. This step keeps borrowers engaged in the process, aware of what’s going on and with a fluent understanding of what will come next. By knowing what to expect, borrowers are more prepared and less stressed than they would be if they were left in the dark. When a step is completed, a CRM treats that as a trigger to follow up with additional information, keeping borrowers apprised on how to best proceed. Everybody likes to be kept in the loop, and thanks to automated education components of a smart CRM system, borrowers can remain in the know without adding another item to the MLO’s to-do list.
· Nurture programs: Nurture programs are the cornerstone of any ongoing MLO-client relationship, ensuring customer loyalty, repeat business and referrals. Salesforce can automate this process to demand minimal effort from lenders. Whether it’s already a secured borrower or a lead not yet ready to buy, nurture campaigns drive conversions and aid closing the deal. The process involves sending relevant and engaging content to clients and leads that keep their interest and encourage further progression down the conversion pipeline.
· 3 to 5 year refinance programs: A detailed borrower history, with information collected and stored in one profile, provides the information necessary for the CRM to automatically contact borrowers who may be eligible for a refinancing program. An MLO can create a personalized follow-up quickly and easily, since all the necessary information is immediately available at their fingertips.
If we had to sum up the purpose of a CRM in one word, it would be “simplification.” The tools and customization software to support the MLOs needs is all about simplifying his or her process. From initial contact to years after they secure the mortgage, MLOs need a simplified way to view and manage all the moving parts in one fell swoop. For the MLO, that means less time sitting behind the desk and more time getting out there and growing their business.