The Black and White on Providing Great Customer Experiences in the Digital Age

Rick Arvielo, Co-Founder & CEO, New American Funding

Rick Arvielo, Co-Founder & CEO, New American Funding

A few years back, to celebrate the centennial anniversary of its iconic Oreo cookie, Nabisco introduced the 110-calorie Neapolitan Triple Double Oreo, featuring layers of strawberry and chocolate between three Golden Oreo wafers.

Nabisco wanted to capture the hearts, minds, and stomachs of a new generation, even if it risked tampering with its iconic 100-year-old chocolate sandwich cookie recipe.

Even if you don’t produce Oreos, you must constantly think of new ways to reimagine your business to capture the public’s imagination.

That is why many Real Estate Agents now showcase their listings with virtual tours and staging and drone-aided aerial photos. They know they have but one opportunity to make that first positive impression.

The same holds true for mortgage lenders–or at least those that want to be around a decade from now.

Today’s home shoppers, especially millennials, expect a game-changing digital experience. In response, lenders must meet consumers where they live–on their smartphones, talking, texting, emailing, shopping and, yes, borrowing. They want powerful performance, not paperwork.

Your customers aren’t just retail consumers

First of all, your universe of customers comprises far more than just home shoppers who need a mortgage. They also are those Real Estate Agent partners your Loan Originators work with, as well your employees. If the latter, for instance, feel you’re not offering convenient, cutting-edge solutions to make them more successful, they may seek another mortgage provider who does.

Let’s briefly examine these three groups, starting with your Loan Originators and how you can help them better fill their sales funnel?

Give your LOs the marketing help and tools they deserve

Although your Loan Originators are large self-made entrepreneurs, they will certainly appreciate and award whatever you can do to make their lives easier.

"Lenders must meet consumers where they live–on their smartphones, talking, texting, emailing, shopping and, yes, borrowing. They want powerful performance, not paperwork​"

Therefore, brand your company’s name and, by extension, their names through a strategic mix of media and marketing–press releases to newswire services, blogs, emails, YouTube videos, industry trade publications, paid search, radio and TV, event sponsorships, and social media.

Because most Loan Originators are lenders first, and not marketers, the more you can automate marketing distribution for them, they will be that much more productive and aligned with your company’s sales mission. For instance, instead of leaving it to them to post their positive customer reviews on their websites and social media, automate the process for them.

Operationally, uses the advances in fintech to liberate your sales staff, so they can function in the field as conveniently as in the office, pulling credit, sending pre-quals, emailing docs, e-signing docs, checking loan details and deadlines, co-branding and performing other time-saving services. Their increasing efficiency will elevate your company’s customer service and improve your bottom line.

Your Real Estate Agent Partners are Key Customers, too

As Real Estate Agents become more tech-savvy, they will increasingly look to partner with Loan Originators who can accelerate their digital transformation. That means, for example, helping Real Estate Agent partners migrate from their yellow notepads at open houses to digital sign-in sheets that automatically upload to their CRMs. By helping facilitate these relationships and the co-branding opportunities that will flow from them, your company’s sales will increase.

Simultaneously, develop technology that makes it easier for your Loan Originators to invite their Real Estate Agent partners to play a more visible role in the loan process. When Real Estate Agents can track every phase of the loan process, and respond, directly to their home buyers’ loan queries, they will provide borrowers with a superior customer experience, which, of course, benefits you.

Connecting with your Customers

This is the holy grail of your business! Connect early with your customers through the channels they prefer and strengthen that connection through every loan phase. If not, you risk losing future customers–and perhaps some current ones–to your competition.

Since most homebuyers today begin their home search online, give them a premier shopping app that not only works better than the MLS but co-brands your LOs and their partners each time a property is requested.

Similarly, if your Loan Originators directly receive customer requests about properties, give them the means to instantly send those customers vital information about those properties, such as current ownership, past sales, mortgage and tax history, comparable home sales, and school and crime data.

Whatever you can do to help your Loan Originators demonstrate their value to their newest, top-of-the-funnel prospects will be a win for your company.

As prospects move and self-guide through the sales funnel, your LOs will be perfectly positioned to assist that journey with thoughtful, artful, and timely communications. By using your company’s technology–always just a click away–your sales force can be remote and promote effortlessly!

Follow this winning recipe and you too may celebrate your Oreo-inspired centennial one day! 

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