For many loan officers, first-time buyers make up a high percentage of their client base. And there are some specific things loan officers can do to improve their efforts with this valuable demographic. First-time buyers experience unique challenges and concerns. When loan officers dial into these and tailor their approach accordingly, they can ace the lending process with this important group. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Do Your Research
As mortgage professionals, we eat, sleep, and breathe the mortgage process. For first-time buyers, it’s almost always the opposite. This is why doing some up-front research is so important. What are their common problems and concerns? What do they expect from the transaction and from us? We need to be able to better understand their perspective, so we can help them at the highest level. This research also becomes beneficial for our marketing efforts. When we’re able to speak to their specific interests in our marketing, we put ourselves in the position to capture their attention and earn their business.
Focus Your Marketing
Marketing is already a key part in every loan officer’s strategy, but this is especially important when it comes to first-time buyers. A high percentage of first-time buyers are millennials who tend to do a fair amount of research before making any decisions. Loan officers need a strong online presence to make a memorable first impression, and to function as the first step in earning their trust. Sharing content is one of the best ways to do this. It should be done consistently, align with your brand, and contain real value.
Communicate Clearly and Patiently
First-time buyers often require a bit more care when it comes to communication. For example, they may need you to break things down into language they understand or walk them through the process a bit slower. Making sure that you’re actively listening to (and addressing) their concerns can help put them at at ease. It’s also important to keep the lines of communication open. Let them know how best they can reach you for the quickest response. They need to believe you’re on their team.
The best loan officers I know share what they know. They don’t zip through the process with clients trailing behind. Especially in the case of first-time borrowers, it’s important to give them confidence in their decisions—chiefly in their decision to work with you. The more you can share your expertise, keep them abreast of what’s happening and what to expect next, and actually teach them to understand the process, the better.
Personalize Each Experience
This transcends working strictly with first-time buyers and encompasses working with every client: It’s important to treat your clients as individuals. There are commonalities that will help us succeed with the group as a whole, but each individual client wants to be treated as such. Even though you’ve been through the process hundreds (or thousands) of times, make sure that each of these clients know that they have your full attention.
Knowing what it takes to excel with first-time buyers isn’t a secret. The information is there, and with a little digging you’ll be able to attract more of them as clients and earn more referrals after a standout experience working with you.
If you’d like to talk more about any of these ideas, or you need help on another issue, please reach out. I’m always happy to block off some time to connect.
VP – Retail Market Leader