How tight is your bond with your customers? As a mortgage broker, your success is influenced by people’s desires to shop around for the best deals, and by customer retention.
In today’s information-rich market, consumers don’t feel obligated to do repeat business with the same mortgage broker if they can get a better deal elsewhere.
However, a lower rate isn’t everything — experience is.
When you look at statistics of how customers perceive their banking experience, the numbers are quite sobering:
● Nearly two-thirds are dissatisfied with their banking experience.
● Two-thirds are frustrated with communicating with their banks (for example, automated customer service that makes them feel like they must jump through flaming hoops in order to speak to a live person).
● Over half dislike the inconvenience of not being able to access information via their preferred communication channel.
It’s not surprising, then, that retention rate is low and customers will comparison-shop at every opportunity.
Getting into the minds of your customers can help you better serve and retain them.
Every customer has a different background and, more importantly, a different money mindset.
The old mortgage model used to be: if you have (x) in your portfolio and your assets are valued at (y), you automatically qualify for (z) amount.
But today, things are different. This model doesn’t consider that there are many ways that people think about, manage and use their money.
Money is more than just a means of exchange. It’s part of an individual’s identity and determines how much risk an individual is willing to take, whether they are more apt to follow their gut or their spreadsheet, whether they are "savers" or "spenders", and how a big purchase like a home fits into their life’s goals.
Knowing your customers' money mindset helps you give them the best experience possible. Here are four of them:
- Achievers love to feel in control and prepared for the future. They have a specific budget, clearly defined goals, and they are rigorous in sticking to the budget. Long-term financial goals are important to them. They will appreciate advice in how to maximise their returns and are typically ideal candidates for creating a real estate investment portfolio.
- Intuitives are intuitive money handlers. They are less interested in guidance from mortgage professionals (often eyeing bankers with great suspicion). They are dedicated savers, conscious value shoppers, and they understand the value of trade-offs such as buying a smaller home so that they are not house-poor and can spend money on things that matter to them. They value a direct and no-nonsense approach without any hidden surprises.
- Balancers look to get the best deal, and they are conservative with their financial plan. They are cautious and risk-averse. They will exhaustively comparison-shop in order to save money. They are faithful savers and value mortgage services that give them the most value for their money. They appreciate knowing all the options available to them and need to have those options presented clearly up front.
- Experiencers put lifestyle first. They are impulsive, with a hedonic approach to money. They are prone to splurging on experiences such as travel, and if a home-buying opportunity presents itself, they don’t hesitate to jump on it, even if it means paying higher interest rates. They will see a villa in Tuscany and call their banker immediately. A mortgage broker will satisfy this customer by making it as easy as possible for them to make a purchase. Even if it means higher interest rates and fees, the Experiencer is willing to pay for the convenience and immediate gratification.
Now that you know the types of money mindsets, ask open-ended questions to help you identify each customer’s money type, including their values, needs, expectations, money behaviors and goals/desires.
This will help you avoid a one-size-fits-all mortgage solely based on income. Customers will appreciate this approach and will be more likely to do repeat business with you and give you glowing references.