Ever since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its findings that almost half of homebuyers don’t shop around for the best rate on their mortgage, I’ve been trying to make sense of this revelation. It’s not that it’s shocking — the fact that homebuyers need a lot of help with the process is what is inspiring so many entrepreneurs to work on new companies in this space.
But, I think there’s a bigger opportunity here that is about people — not technology. It’s about agents. It’s about you.
The short of it is that many consumers aren’t getting the best rate they can, and it isn’t because they don’t want to. They are simply daunted by the process and fear of the unknown. A great lending professional is worth his weight in gold but is inherently conflicted when giving advice to homeowners because he has so much to gain financially.
Agents have an opportunity to be a trusted and knowledgeable adviser for homebuyers and to help them understand the basics. “What are points? What’s a good rate? What’s with those rates online that seem too good to be true? Am I getting screwed?”
This is your big marketing opportunity, and no client will forget the agent who went to bat for them to help them find the best rate, regardless of which lender they ultimately select.
And it’s the gift that keeps on giving. It turns out that not only do half of consumers not shop around, but millions of them who already have loans are also overpaying for them and don’t even know it. And this is a big marketing opportunity, too.
I’m not the first person to say that great agents don’t stop delivering value at the closing table. An excellent real estate agent is a fixture in the community and serves as a connector between professionals, homeowners, contractors and other services that make homeownership more rewarding.
Well, what could be more satisfying to your previous clients than getting a call from their trusted real estate agent asking them if they’ve thought about saving a few thousand dollars since rates have dropped? And, even better, offering to help navigate that cold, dark world out there to get a better rate?
Sometimes re-engagement of closed buyers and sellers can feel stilted. Birthday gifts and market trend reports are thoughtful, but somewhat non sequitur. But there is actual money being left on the table, and you possess the knowledge and experience to help your clients reclaim it. This is your chance to inject yourself meaningfully into the homeowner’s life again and make certain he’ll remember you when it’s time to sell. This helps you close the loop.
The opportunities presented here aren’t about giving specific financial advice. They’re about being a sounding board, a guide, and someone they can trust who’s seen it from the inside. This is simply an extension of the same great service you deliver already, during all phases of homeownership. It’s great news for consumers that they could be saving money. And it’s great news that you get to deliver.
Jonathan Aizen is the founder and CEO of Amitree Inc.