How To Manage The Customer And Get The Deal Closed
One of the toughest things as a loan officer to do is to know when to keep or kill a deal. Of course, we all want as much business as we can handle. But, spending time on loans that dont close, wastes more time and leaves you with nothing to show for it. Not to mention, the good deals suffer and youre out your commission!
Knowing when to give-up on a loan is just as important as knowing how to get the loan to the closing table. Here are some suggestions on how to manage your customers and get more loans closed:
1.Keep control of the customer from day one. Set down your expectations for the loan process and what you expect from the customer. Tell them that this is a team effort, and you are working as diligently as possible to get them the best rate and terms available for their situation. But, in order to do this, you need their cooperation and commitment to move forward. Tell them what you need, and ask them on what day you can expect to receive things by. I like to pin people down to a specific day. They hold me accountable, and I, in-turn, am holding them accountable as well.
2.Build rapport early on. Get a sense of the customers personality and what matters to them. Understand completely what their reasons are for doing the loan, and use these motivating factors to help steer them through the process. Every time I speak with a customer, I again tell them why they are doing this and hit them with their benefits (cash-out, debt consolidation, monthly savings, lower rate, etc.). It is the customers point of view that is most important. (By the way, my system will help you to uncover the customers true motivation and build rapportI include very specific questions to ask!).
3.Explain every detail of the loan process. Sometimes, being in the industry, we forget that not everyone understands how mortgages work. It can be a long road to the closing table, and you want to make sure the customer understands exactly what is going to happen and when. You dont want them to think that they can just cancel third-party appointments such as appraisers or surveyors without consequence!
4.Always assume the loan is moving forward. Customers like to make excuses and waffle on certain things like getting their documents to you. What I do, is always assume we are pressing ahead and on track. I am the driver of this bus and let the customer know it. For example, Mr. Jones, I was just getting your file ready for underwriting, however, there are just a few more pieces of information we need. Do you have a pen and paper ready? How soon do you think we can get these by? O.K., I will expect to see your documents on (date). Let me give you my fax number, etc.. Everyday, you want to push the file ahead as far as you can. Push! Push! Push!
5.Listen for signs of waffling or hesitation. Here are some things to be aware of, (which may mean the customer is still shopping you or is not completely sold): customer holds-back on getting income/asset documents to you, customer keeps putting off appraisal appointment, there are recent inquiries on their credit report from other mortgage companies, you have received negative feedback from the lawyer or any other third party, customer doesnt return calls. These are signs of a customer that isnt fully on-board.
If youve done all these things and are still having difficulty with the customer, then its probably a good idea to kill the deal. There are many roadblocks you can overcome, but when the customer isnt fully committed, you shouldnt be either. You cant drag someone to the closing table that doesnt want to be there. Get rid of the bad loan and focus on loans you can close successfully!
by: Loan SystemAbout the Author:The Sink or Swim Loan Closing System is a set of mortgage loan pricing and processing worksheets I developed over many years in the mortgage industry. These sheets cover both types of loans: purchases and refinances; and will work for conforming home equity lines of credit (HELOC) and commercial properties.