The credit union mantra, “people helping people,” is such an all-encompassing message across the industry. From great services to a complete line of products, this message ensures that each member receives the very best, and it’s especially important in mortgage lending.
As a mortgage provider since 1982 and a partner for hundreds of credit unions, we’ve had the opportunity for decades to help CUs nurture their communities with sustainable home loan solutions. The contribution of input from hundreds of CUs and growing expertise over the years has birthed innovative best practices.
Communication best practices include consistent repetition to build healthy habits. Among these healthy habits are the contact, or touch, points with each member. Each time a loan officer or team speaks with a member is a perfect opportunity to build trust and grow the credit union relationship with them.
These touch points shouldn’t be the limiting factor on member communication, but rather set a routine to build upon. In all, the line of communication with members should always be open. In a very busy season, it might be harder to ensure you are always communicating, but you can cover the most important four touch points as part of a set schedule in your routine.
First, reach out to members when they submit their application. Talk through any questions they have up front and set expectations on what’s ahead, including the timeline and who else they will be working with as the loan progresses.
This is also the perfect time to ensure that you understand the specific goals of these particular members. Listening is just as important as asking the right questions to learn their story in creating a complete loan application. Make sure you are putting the time in on this one to set them up for success from the beginning. It’s also your chance to learn if the member is truly eligible for the loan, feel out any fraud and establish eligibility for the underwriters. It all starts right here.
At the Time of Appraisal
Next, talk with the member when the appraisal is in. First, review the appraisal yourself and talk with the underwriter or the collateral review team about any issues so you understand the situation or anything of concern before you call the member. Then, call the members to help them understand their appraisal. First-time buyers might be very confused about what they are reviewing. Make sure all their questions are answered and review expectations to be certain they know what is ahead.
When Documents Go to the Title Company
Then, you’ll want to reach out again when documents are sent to the title company. This is your chance to prepare your members with all the details of the closing. At this point they should know where to go, what to bring and what funds will be necessary, if any. This information will build their confidence in closing. This should be a time of celebration not anxiety. Be sure you set the table to prepare them for what’s ahead and they’ll be smiling from ear to ear.
After the Loan Funds
Finally, the wrap up call should happen after the loan funds. You’ll have a chance to make sure all the loose ends are tied up. You’ll want to make sure you understand the servicing process and who they will need to contact for questions moving forward so you can share that with them. You’ll also want to ask them to complete a survey about their experience and for any referrals to their friends and family.
Asking for referrals is one of the most underrated tools loan officers have to build their pipelines. We can’t stress enough the importance to ask them for business. This will hopefully feed you even more business in the future.
These are four key points of communication, but don’t forget these aren’t all you should do. They are simply the bare essentials to build healthy habits around contacting your member throughout the loan process. Add to these to build more trust and grow your relationship with your member along the way and continue on being people helping people.