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Listen Up: Why Listening May Be the Most Important Skill for Loan Officers

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As sales professionals who often also help to educate their clients, loan officers know that sharing what we know is a key part of our work. We need to be clear, articulate speakers, we need to be able to break down industry concepts and terms, and we need to instill confidence in our clients that we’re the best person to help them get their mortgage. But there’s also a very important balance to all of that. The mortgage professionals who truly excel know that even more important than what they say is how they listen. Here’s why it’s such an essential skill.

Build Relationships

The work of a loan officer is incredibly interpersonal. Especially when it comes to working with clients, we need to build relationships and establish trust. While it can sometimes feel like sharing all we know is the best strategy for doing that, it can sometimes backfire. When a mortgage professional is so focused on giving out information, it can make their clients feel unheard. When you ask questions, and sit back and truly listen to your clients’ responses, you’re sending a message loud and clear. You see your clients as individuals, you’re committed to understanding their situation to getting them the mortgage that’s right for them. You’re also showing that they’re a priority, giving them your full attention and engaging with what they have to say.

Connect with Coworkers

It’s not just clients that we engage with on a daily basis, it’s also coworkers. Listening is what allows a team to run like a well-oiled machine. It helps to avoid miscommunications and it strengthens the sense of comradery. It prevents problems from festering, and it also prevents hiccups in the process that could negatively impact the experience we deliver to our clients.

Improve Your Skills

Listening is essential for growth. If you want to improve as a professional, curiosity is a powerful force. When you ask questions, you create the potential to expand. That might mean listening to what those in your network have to share or making the time to take a class and increase your knowledge. In order to take in new information, we need to be strong listeners. And the more often we practice attentive listening, the easier it becomes.

Hone Your Marketing

Finally, when you’re a good listener, you’re able to take all the information you get from prospects, clients, and past clients and funnel that directly into your marketing efforts. You’ll be able to see the similar concerns that your clients share, for example, and you can then address those in your marketing. Or maybe you notice that clients regularly comment on how fast your service was and decide to highlight that more. Tuning into what prospects and clients have to say and learning more about them will help you better tailor your marketing to best reach your target audience.

Do you count listening as an important skill in your work? Is it a skill you think about strengthening and improving, or is it something you allow to naturally progress? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Don Riggs

VP – Retail Market Leader

NMLS 132702