“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.”– Victoria Holt
By keying the client’s file directly into the online application system as you are speaking with them during that opening call, you create the ability to calculate payments and maximum mortgage amounts under varying scenarios (debt payments, property tax amounts, strata fees, etc.). This skill once mas- tered allows you to put most other Brokers to shame with speed and quality of answers.
You can instantly tweak the file from 15% down to 20% down and give clients the precise difference in CMHC premiums and payments over the two different maximum amortizations for instance. Having this data input gives you phenomenal power to answer questions precisely and instantly.
More than once being able to show a client the tiny impact of putting 5% down as opposed to 7%, allowing them to keep some cash on hand that they assumed was better used for downpayment has been pivotal. Clients often expect an extra ten thousand dollars down will lower their payment by far more than the ~$45.00 per month it actually does.
Being able to show clients the significant mortgage insurance premium savings achieved with 10% down, rather than 8.5% down, is also key information that few other Brokers think to present during an opening conversation. These are the small, yet critical, differences that lock clients into you as their dedicated mortgage expert.
Per Chapter 13, I have my hands free and dual monitors in place so I can easily Google the address of the client’s work- place on one screen while inputting the details into the system on the other. I am always ready to go. I am sitting in my office, not my car or a client’s home. Often, I intake these appli- cations between 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The clients calling during their commute home mostly love this kind of efficiency.
Do not send your clients an online link to “test their commit- ment to the process” as some Brokers suggest. Do not send them a paper application to print out, sit down and fill out, as if they were in fifth grade again being assigned homework.
Do you like homework? Do you like inputting personal data into a website?
Right, so then why would your client?
Our role is not to test a client’s commitment; our role is to make the process painless. The clients have bought a home, or are planning renovations or debt consolidation. Whatever it is that is going on, they are committed to the process by having picked up the phone and calling you. Keep in mind they have taken the not insignificant step of calling a stranger. This is a big deal. No way should we be blowing them off by giving them “work” to do; instead, we should give them answers, ask them questions, deliver speed and simplicity, all right now on call #1.
Sending the client an online link or pdf application is a “you thing.” It makes your life easier at the expense of the client’s. It may seem more efficient, but really, it is just an efficient way to push clients away, never to return. Sure it saves you time, because you are going to have less client files to process.
When the client fails to log in and enter the application, Bro- kers say things to themselves like, “They weren’t serious. They weren’t committed to me or to the process.” How very wrong this is.
Do you think these clients gave up in their search for a new home, their quest for renovations or their debt consolidation? Seriously? No way. They are still looking for a Broker who will make it just a little bit simpler for them—a Broker like you.
Our job is not to test clients.
Our job is to simplify their lives.
Clients will fail to fill in online links for a variety of reasons, such as being uncomfortable typing in their sin and dob into a portal that goes who knows where, or their computer con- nection drops halfway through the process, twice, and they lose all they have inputted and in frustration say, “That’s it. I am not filling all of that in again.” Sure it was their Wi-Fi that caused the problem, but really, the problem was not their Wi-Fi. The problem was the Broker who could not take 10 minutes to ask them a few simple questions during that first phone call.
In the case of paper apps, clients may feel their penmanship is weak, or again, struggle with how exactly to fill in certain blanks. Think about the last time you filled in a customs dec- laration form, for instance. Recall that immense self-doubt about whether you were doing things correctly or not. “It is a super-simple form. What’s wrong with you?” says the customs agent.
“Ass,” you mutter under your breath as you walk away from a person you will never, ever see again.
Who is real the ass in this equation?
Not once has a client turned down the verbal application process and instead requested that they be allowed to apply online or via pencil & paper. Not once.
Do I intake lots of applications that go nowhere? To answer in a shortsighted fashion, yes. But the real answer, eight years later, is no, not at all. I get a few different benefits from every application I take:
- The practice of entering another application
- A friendly interaction and addition to my database
- An opportunity to try out new scripts
- The client’s trust, established while we chat
- Referrals from clients whose own mortgages I cannot process
This conversational style truly allows the client and Broker to get to know each other. There are various points through the application process during which a connection can be made and you can get a sense of which lender and which product may make the most sense for the client, among other things.There are dozens of nuances that will not come through to you via a screen or sheet of paper. At some point, you need to spend some time getting to know the clients. Why not do so on phone call number one?
“Ah, you were born in 1971; me, too. All of our pop culture references will resonate with one another, ‘no soup for you!”
“Ah, you were born in 1989; that was the year I graduated high school. You have me feeling old now, older and wiser, mind you.”
“Ah, you were born in 1996; so was my daughter. The fact that you are looking at buying a property already is brilliant. I bought my first property at 21 as well, so I love what you are doing here.”
“Year, make and model of motor vehicle, please. Ah, cool, a Subaru Impreza. wrx? Cool. sti? Nice! Have you got a tuned exhaust on that flat four? No doubt it sounds magical… ”
In all of the above examples, I am telling the clients something about myself. Don’t be a mortgage cyborg; humanize yourself. Trust me, if I can do it, you can, too.
Find your own unique ways to make connections during the verbal application process.
chapter tip: Think about how you would want to have your own mortgage application processed and act accordingly.
chapter tip: Be happy you were given an opportunity to take an application. Do not get attached to the outcome; get attached to the experience of practice. Everything is always practice.
chapter tip: If you can do it, then absolutely meet 100% of your clients in person. But do as much pre-screening as possible in advance. Basic questions should not be an issue such as the nature of current employment, origins and amount of down payment. Be vigilant with your time. You have 86,400 seconds to spend today; spend them wisely.