Mortgage Prospects Are Shopping You

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When I ask Mortgage Brokers the number one reason they miss a sale, the answer is generally a variation of "the borrower was just shopping rate".
When I ask how they knew that, they tell me something like, "they asked about rate, but weren't ready to go to loan application".
The reality is that this dialogue between Mortgage Brokers and borrowers is relatively common, but just because the borrower is asking about rate, doesn't mean that rate is the most important criteria for selecting a Mortgage Broker.
The fact is the borrower is far less concerned about rate than they are with trying to figure out whether or not they can trust you to guide them through the maze of mortgage options.
In other words, they are not shopping rate, they are shopping you and how you answer the rate question will determine your success or failure.
Ask yourself a question and think honestly about your answer.
If you were getting a mortgage, would you buy from someone who withheld information they obviously had until you gave them your personal information about your job, income and credit? To us, providing a mortgage is just another transaction, but to the borrower it is likely the biggest financial transaction they will ever make and they generally have a great deal of anxiety about making a good decision.
To make a good decision, they want and need information and somebody they can trust to help them with making a major financial decision.
They ask about rate because it is logical to ask about rate, because all of our advertising and the news media emphasize rates.
If we know this to be true, then why do we get so frustrated when borrowers ask about rate? Why do we assume that just because they don't go to loan application that they are shoppers? Let me be clear.
If your borrower is willing to speak with you about rates, then they are interested in getting a mortgage.
The rate question is a buying sign, not a shopping sign.
If you avoid or evade the question and fail to service the borrowers need for information, then you might actually create a credibility gap that causes them to shop when they preferred to buy.
Let me ask you another serious question.
Would you rather work on getting a loan and lose it or not work on it and lose it? I prefer to work a loan and lose it rather to fail without even trying.
You might feel that way too, but if you are evading and avoiding the rate question, then it is probable that your sales process is coming to an abrupt end before it gets started.
If you are unable to get past the borrowers rate question and get to the loan application more than 50% of the time someone asks you about rate, then you are losing the loan without ever working it.
In the absence of a strategy, you are better off to give them a rate range than avoid rate all together.
You are far better off to answer the borrower's questions directly than trying not to answer them because you are afraid you will be shopped.
You will have much more success if you work the loan and lose it, than if you lose the loan before you are able to get deeper into the sales process.
You need a strategy and hoping that the next prospect will be easier is not an effective strategy.
What kind of impression are you making when you speak with prospective borrowers for the first time?Is your focus on getting a loan application or taking the time to find out what they want so you can spend the rest of the time helping them get it? Which approach would you prefer as a consumer? Are you giving advice orally or are you presenting options in writing? Which is more credible to you as a consumer? How is your appearance and/or tone of voice? What kind of appearance and/or tone do you expect from sales people who are trying to get you to buy from them? If someone asks you a question, do your replies get people to take notice of you or are you like every other Mortgage Broker out there trolling for an easy sale? What kind of salesperson do you prefer to buy from? What kind of salesperson are you most likely to trust? The one that services your need for information or the one that withholds information and grinds you for a loan application? Why do we ask our borrowers to buy using a selling process we would never allow to work on us? You can represent the biggest, most powerful lender in the universe.
You might have the lowest rates ever available.
You might be the most qualified person alive to help them secure a mortgage.
Yet, with all this in your corner, you will not earn the borrowers business if they do not trust you.
What do you look for in a sales person you want to do business with? Do you share those characteristics? If you knew that what you were doing was creating resistance to doing business with you, would you stop doing it? How you present mortgage advice determines your success or failure.
Borrowers rarely select a Mortgage Broker based on rate alone.
In almost every case they select a Mortgage Broker because they trust them.
Borrowers are not shopping rate...
they are shopping you.
Can they trust you to guide them through the maze of mortgage options?
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