Your Lenders Are Spying On Your Clients

By
Mortgage and Lending with Cherry Creek Mortgage

As mortgage brokers we are always in jeopardy of losing our customers to the lenders we work with.

We deal with our clients for a short amount of time, but the lender is in constant communication with them for years. And whenever your customers are asked who their mortgage company is, they will usually answer the name of their lender.

Some lenders are better at stealing our clients then others.

As a real estate investor I have had loans with several different lenders. One of my properties had a loan from a lender called JB Nutter. This was a small bank that did a very poor job of marketing itself to its customers. I would hear from them 3 times a year. Once to send me a coupon book for the year, another to tell me how much interest I paid that year for my taxes, and another to tell me about how much money was in my escrow account.

They never once tried to offer me a refinance.

My current mortgage for my residence is with Countrywide. These guys know their stuff. They mail me a statement every month. And in every statement is an offer to refinance or get a line of credit, or insurance. They are always politely selling something. And if that weren't enough, they mail me every couple months or so more offers to refinance or tap some equity. But at least they are not as sneaky as World Savings Bank.

One of my investment properties had one of their loans. They now have hooked up with the credit bureaus so that whenever someone with one of their loans gets their credit checked by a mortgage company or lender, they get notified. I like getting my credit checked every 3 months, and with my own mortgage company all it takes is a couple keystrokes of my computer. Imagine my surprise when I got a call at home from a World Savings rep asking me if I was thinking about refinancing. He told me he knew I had my credit checked by a mortgage company and that they were ready to give me a better offer then whatever I was getting,

They have a whole division of telemarketers who do nothing but call their loan holders who are getting their credit checked by other mortgage companies. So even if you get a client a World Savings loan, and that client comes back to you later for a refi, you are now going to have to compete with World Savings for this customer.

And you can bet that now that one lender is doing this, others will follow suit,.

So what do we as mortgage brokers do about this?

Simple, we form close relationships with our clients, that basically makes them immune to any sales pitch by any other lender or mortgage company. I call it the "silent forcefield". We need to use every tool at our disposal to make sure that once a person becomes a client we never let them go.

I outline the "silent forcefield' completely in our Referrals on Demand product, but I will lay out some guidelines for you here.

1. You must stay in contact with them on a regular basis. Once a month minimum The easiest way to do this is through a monthly newsletter. Outsource this to a newsletter company and they will handle the production, printing, and mailing of the newsletter to your clients every month.

2. WOW your clients as soon as you can. Come up with a creative way to make a great impression on your clients. Here's an example. There is dentist in Australia who was tired of having customers be afraid to see him. So he completely changed his office. Now instead of a regular dentist office, it looks more like someone's living room. There is the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon buns in the air, (sugar free) that can be enjoyed with coffee or tea. There is no receptionist sitting there with the little window that they keep closing on you. This dentist now has a referral only practice, where the only way to work with him, is if you know someone who already works with him, and they give you a referral.

3. Get to know your clients and let them get to know you. Show your personality. Let them know about your family. Keep them informed about how your kids are doing in school. Remember, you do not want to seem like their bank. You want to seem like a family friend that happens to do mortgages. Have customer appreciation parties. Have house warming parties. Have a grand birthday party for yourself every year. Give yourself excuses to call your clients and get to know them socially.

4. Start a blog and write about whatever you want. Invite your clients to visit often and provide feedback.

5. Become a customer of your clients. If one of your clients owns a dry cleaners, get your clothes cleaned there. Reward them for doing business with you by doing business with them.

6. Get your clients to network amongst themselves. Create a referral club. Your dry cleaner client can go to your dentist client when his teeth hurt. And if you make the referral you look even better.

These are just a few ideas to help you keep your customers. People do business with people they like. By forming relationships with your past clients you can make sure they keep coming back to you.

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Rainmaker
95,469
Kevin Hancock
Evergreen Home Loans - Poulsbo, WA
The Hancock Mortgage Team

Those are great ideas!  I've also heard that the bureaus are selling leads to third parties when a customer has their credit pulled, with the result being that once your client leaves your office they are getting calls from other lenders offering to beat your deal.  It seems like that stuff should be illegal...

A rep from one of the credit reporting companies we work with recommended that we take out the phone numbers and e-mail address on the 1003 before requesting the credit report, so that the bureaus don't get the info.  I'm not sure if it works, but I've been doing it anyway.

Mar 21, 2008 04:06 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,404,802
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Rick

It gets a lot worst than this; unfortunately technology lets evryone on each others customers and clients.

A shame.

Happy Easter.

Tom Braatz

Mar 21, 2008 04:24 PM #2
Rainmaker
120,373
Richard Sweum
Umpqua Bank - Everett, WA
Never pull credit with a phone number (correct phone number).  Not that I lose clients, just want to save them from getting hassled.  I let the clients know what they are in for, so they are prepared for the post closing barage, then I religiously stay in contact with them every 3 months or so.  If you develop enough of a relationship with them, there is no issue calling.
Mar 21, 2008 05:02 PM #3
Rainmaker
89,047
Rick Kellow
Cherry Creek Mortgage - West Bend, WI
FHA & Reverse Mortgage Expert
What a sad state of affairs... I thought that the credit info would be save... it eems like a race to the bottom
Mar 21, 2008 08:30 PM #4
Ambassador
876,465
Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President
We just got "The e-mail" today on being forbidden from doing this in Wisconsin....We never did, but it is a big deal right  now.
Mar 21, 2008 10:39 PM #5
Rainer
32,395
Summit Realty Group
Summit Realty Group- The Future of Real Estate Today! - Highlands Ranch, CO

 

Thats why my firm keeps all of the lending in house so we dont have to worry about that anymore.

Mar 22, 2008 10:51 AM #6
Rainer
3,258
Brian Barnes
First National Bank of Layton - Antioch, CA

Trigger leads are a sad way to do business. They bring out the lowest form of origination.

Lenders have been doing this for years and it is also a sad reality.

 

Great Post 

Mar 22, 2008 10:08 PM #7
Rainer
12,121
Jacob Webster
Sagamore Home Mortgage, LLC. - Zionsville, IN
Indiananulls Senior Mortgage Consultant
Rick,  These are all great ideas.  Some excellent information that I will use and also pass along.  Take care and make it a great one!
Mar 24, 2008 11:06 AM #8
Rainmaker
44,684
D. Bass
Alpha Mortgage Training - Atlanta, GA
Blog: Ask The Underwriter

Rick,

I really enjoyed this post, I remember the trigger use to be the payoff (or demand letter).  Once you ordered it, your client was attacked everyday by phone calls from the lender trying to get them to refinance with them instead.  Technology has given them more of a head start.

Mar 24, 2008 02:10 PM #9
Rainer
2,882
Dee Dee
White Plains, NY
NY,NJ, CT Home Loan Expert

Rick,

This was a great post and some really good thoughts. I would highly recommend pulling credit report without the phone#'s and email addresses. It can be a pain going back and inputting the information in to the LOS but its worth the effort. This is what we do and most of our clients rarely get phone calls from other people because these "trigger leads"(as they are called) aren't really worth much without a current contact no.

Mar 24, 2008 03:59 PM #10
Ambassador
224,859
Eleanor Thorne
Steve Thorne NC Mortgage Experts - Cary, NC
Cary Mortgage Loans 919-649-5057
We always order credit WITHOUT putting email and telephone numbers in to make this more difficult for folks to pull and call - doesn't stop it - just makes it a bit more difficut.  Allied basically GIVES these leads to their offices...  I was in Washington when it was discussed last year with FTC.  They don't see a problem with it!?!
Mar 25, 2008 07:56 AM #11
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Rick: Yes I have a mortgage with countrywide and I was going to opt out just to cut down on my junk mail. It is a never ending solicitation and really does harm my repeat business with any customer I closed with Countrywide or their loan was transfered to Cwide.
Mar 28, 2008 04:40 PM #12
Rainer
23,485
Joe Long
Waterstone Mortgage - Madison, WI
Purchase Perfect

We have correspondents that actually brand our name on the customers mortgage statement.  It's a really nice facet of ding business with the company. 

Also, it is now illegal to solicit customer business from trigger leads in the state of Wisconsin.

Fight the good fight!

Dec 14, 2008 09:06 PM #13
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
89,047

Rick Kellow

FHA & Reverse Mortgage Expert
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