Buying a first home is equal parts exhilarating and intimidating. Prospective home buyers are full of questions, such as, "Is the foundation sturdy?" and "What if those tree roots break the driveway?" In addition to property concerns, there are finances to worry about. With endless blogs, podcasts, and seminars dedicated to funding, it's fair to say the word "mortgage" is enough to strike fear in the heart of any new home buyer.
This, combined with a desire among millennials for painless service, has forced the mortgage industry to adapt. Personalization and customization are the norm, and new technology in business can help you achieve both. The right tools can help you provide the services (and service) new homeowners now expect from their mortgage companies.
Providing the Message Customers Want, When They Want It
The customer's expectation of a personalized experience doesn't start when the transaction does. Instead, younger buyers respond best to targeted marketing and sales messages that directly address their current needs and wants. This represents a significant hurdle in the mortgage game, where privacy rules, perceived complexity, and fears about their ability to qualify may prevent viable customers from pursuing a mortgage and companies from reaching them at the right time. How do you sell to people who don't think they're able to buy in the first place? When is the best time to reach those who are — whether they think they are or not?
The best answer may come in the form of personalized, precisely timed marketing messages. According to The Financial Brand, tools such as cplXpress use a combination of prescreening, geotargeting data, and other customer information to approach customers at exactly the moment they need to be approached. A buyer who logs in to online banking after visiting a real estate office, for example, may receive notifications regarding which offers are available.
This new technology in business lends simplicity to transactions, addresses the customer's fear of rejection, and uses personalized data to help institutions master their timing. That's a big step up compared to the old way of personalized messaging, in which prescreens didn't consider the precise times customers might be willing to explore a loan.
Personalizing the Mortgage Experience for Current Buyers
Of course, there's a need for personalization past the initial message. Striving for a pinpoint-specific experience is key to tapping a market that expects superior service. If you treat them like just another customer, they'll be happy to take their business elsewhere.
Following this logic, communicating with customers through the channels they prefer is a relatively easy way to personalize your experience. Adding chat to your list of communication mediums provides an immediate air of comfort and care to your interactions. According to Inc., millennials are notoriously averse to phone calls. Asking a quick question (and receiving a quick answer) via text is far more palatable than swapping pleasantries over the phone before getting down to business.
However, the cloud application benefits don't stop there. Loan officers and other employees can also ostensibly save time communicating via chat, since a growing percentage of customers will always be more comfortable conversing in text format. Like customers themselves, younger employees may even prefer chatting this way, since it lends itself to pointed communication and results in less time spent on the phone.
New technology can also help institutions address procedural aspects younger clients may find undesirable. Where baby boomers may be more patient with long paperwork processes and other bureaucratic delays, younger customers are generally less inclined to put up with them. Self-service digital tools can simplify the mortgage process on both ends. Removing common digital-era frustrations from the equation can also do wonders for your personalized experience. A millennial applicant who receives extra charges for applying online will look for a new bank.
Similarly, tools that give customers access to important documents online — as opposed to making them drive across town or wait by the mailbox — are moving away from a value-add feature and becoming baseline expectations. This trend will only continue as clients increasingly choose to carry out business online.
New Technology in Business Makes Mortgages Easy
As you've likely surmised, younger clients (including millennials) represent a broad group of people with diverse needs, wants, and financial situations. With that said, efficiency and willingness to engage in the channels they prefer is a surefire way to earn goodwill no matter who you're dealing with. It's a big change compared to the old days, when financial institutions dictated the experience and clients were largely compelled to play along. But as with most technology-backed changes, the result is something that works better on both sides of the loan desk.
Visit Vonage Business to learn more about personalizing your business offerings.