5 Things Mortgage Lenders Should be Communicating to Customers
As worry mounts over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s hard for your customers to feel in control of their financial well-being. Although lenders are in triage mode right now, consumers want and need clear answers from professionals they trust. How you respond in these days of uncertainty and change will set the tone for your brand’s reputation in the years to come.
Here are 5 things you should be communicating to customers to help them navigate these unprecedented times:
1. Appoint a Point of Contact
Whether your customers are having trouble making their mortgage payments or simply trying to plan ahead, this is a time for human connection and personalized outreach.
To hit the mark, lenders need to reassess not only what but how they’re communicating to their customers. Start by ensuring your customers have a point of contact they know how to reach for any mortgage-related questions they have. Equip that person with customer data insights they can use to deliver timely, relevant communications that add value to each customer’s unique situation. Ultimately, your goal is to make sure they know you’re there to serve and guide them through these unprecedented times.
2. Educate Around Coronavirus Mortgage Assistance Options
There is so much hype from the media that many of your customers may not have accurate information from credible sources about loan forbearance or the other mortgage assistance options available to them. That’s a problem because nearly 3 million borrowers had been granted mortgage relief as of April 17.
Customers impacted by the pandemic need your guidance now more than ever. Help them stay current from reputable sources and arm them with accurate information. Don’t assume that they know what they need to do.
If you haven’t already, set up a communications plan to educate your customers around:
- Key provisions of the CARES Act.
- Differences between forbearance, deferral, and forgiveness.
- Next steps for customers who need assistance.
3. Present Refinancing Options
Lower rates are enticing homeowners to consider refinancing, and most of your loan officers are enduring heavier-than-normal workloads. Lenders can assist by educating prospects and customers in refi-specific communications.
We recommend educating customers about around:
- Refinancing guidelines and best practices.
- Different loan types.
- Rate changes.
- Processes and procedures impacted by COVID-19.
Just remember: You’re walking a razor-thin line between being helpful and being tone-deaf. No one wants to hear about refinancing their home if they’ve just been laid off or furloughed from their job. Take steps to ensure you’re sending the right message to the right person at the right time.
4. Define the New Normal (business as usual)
At a time when social distancing due to COVID-19 is in effect, home appraisals and closing appointments may raise concern and even present roadblocks to moving transactions forward with some customers.
Communicate any precautions you are taking to complete real estate transactions in a safe and secure manner, including:
- Engaging with appraisers and signing agents to ensure anyone exposed to COVID-19 or presenting symptoms stays home.
- Ensuring team members and partners understand and follow all CDC guidelines and best practices.
- Encouraging appraisers, signing agents, and customers alike take proper sanitary measures the entire time they are in a home or in any other physical location.
Above all, make sure customers understand that the health and safety of your employees, your customers, and the communities you serve are important to you.
5. Deliver the Latest News & Updates
Finally, commit to keeping your customers informed so they can make the best decisions about their mortgage, finances, and family.
Keep Your Communications Out of Quarantine
During an ongoing crisis, the way you talk to your customers matters. Creating direct, human connections with them has never been more important. Communicate early. Communicate thoughtfully. Communicate often. Your customers will not only thank you for it, they’ll also remember you for it in the years to come.