Ask most people what comes to mind when they think about loan officers, and most will answer that they think of number-crunching salesmen. But the most successful loan officers consider themselves educators, not salesmen. If you’re a mortgage professional who wants to build a healthy business, especially with first-time buyers, strengthening your teaching skills is a powerful strategy to support your success. Your clients need to know that they’ve chosen the best LO for the job — you want them to be confident in your expertise and confident in their decision to work with you. To reinforce this, we need to be willing to share what we know. If you’re interested in expanding the educational element of your work, here are a few things to consider:
Understand Your Audience
Positioning yourself as an educator sets you up for success with both your clients and your prospects. When you’re able to address the specific questions and concerns of your audience, you capture their attention and begin to earn their trust. I write frequently about the importance of understanding your audience, and it’s something loan officers can’t afford to neglect. To truly succeed as an educator, you need to invest in learning about your client base. What are the frequent misconceptions? Which parts of the loan process are the most confusing? What’s most intimidating to prospects and clients? When you can provide clarity on these issues, preferably without being asked, you can develop the relationships you need to succeed.
Always Be Prepared
A large part of being an educator is about always being prepared. Loan officers need to be aware of the most common questions their clients ask and have tools and resources ready in anticipation. Are there particular concepts or language that often require explanation? Anticipating your clients’ needs is crucial. When you’re prepared to give clear, easy-to-follow guidance, you’ll deliver a higher-quality experience.
You need to ensure that your clients feel comfortable coming to you with questions. Set aside some time during your meetings where clients can ask you questions, and you can clarify any points of confusion. When you explain their options, or any of the more complicated parts of the borrowing process, make sure that you’re not moving too quickly, and your clients are following along.
Empower Your Clients
Educating your clients is about empowering them. As loan officers, we want to provide our clients with all the information they need to make the right decision. We want them to move through the process smoothly and arrive at the closing feeling completely confident. When you’re willing to share what you know and slow down enough to make sure your clients are on board, you’re playing an active role in creating that confidence.
Education is an essential part of the work for mortgage professionals. From earning your audience’s trust and connecting with prospects to delivering a highest-level client experience, a willingness to educate can help you build your reputation, and thus, your business.
If you’d like to talk more about any of these ideas, or if there’s another issue I can be of assistance with, please reach out. I’m always happy to set aside time to connect.
VP – Retail Market Leader