It might seem like customers have the upper hand in the lending industry. A customer can shop around until they find a suitable mortgage provider, while mortgage providers pour endless resources into generating leads and luring in clients. This inequality is undoubtedly advantageous for the borrowing party, but it’s less ideal for lenders. How can a mortgage company shift this dynamic and develop a clientele aligned with its goals? There is no single formula for attracting your dream clients. Still, several strategies can help you improve the overall quality of your mortgage leads, which, in turn, enhances the quality of your applicants and customers. Find out how to develop a customer profile to guide your efforts.
What is a Customer Profile?
Developing a customer profile is one of the most effective ways to cultivate the kind of clientele you want to serve. As the name suggests, a customer profile is a detailed overview of your company’s ideal customer characteristics. It should include relevant information such as their demographic data, consumer behaviors, and potential pain points. This information is integral to understanding your target clients, and understanding your target clients is imperative to attracting them. The more detail you put into a customer profile, the more effective it will likely be.
Your profile should also address how your customers’ traits relate to your mortgage products. For example, if your ideal customer is 25-35, how are you uniquely poised to serve younger clients? If you want to target clients from specific geographic areas, how do you measure up against local competitors? Answering these questions — and incorporating the answers into your profiles — can help you narrow down the kind of customer you want to see. This, in turn, will help you develop mortgage products that attract your ideal clients.
Review Your Customer List
A significant part of cultivating your ideal customer is looking at your past clientele and identifying patterns. You can divide prior borrowers into two broad categories — successful and unsuccessful. Once you do this, you will likely find that several patterns within each group offer further insight into your ideal customer. Did you notice any common behaviors, for example, among borrowers whose loans ultimately failed? Are there any unique traits that all of your prosperous borrowers share?
You should note these factors and look for hidden indicators of viability. You can then integrate them into your customer profiles and look for clients that possess these traits. Reviewing your customer list is one of the most effective ways to develop an accurate idea of what kind of clients are best suited to your business. Remember that the right customers aren’t always the ones who look best on paper.
Once you’ve reviewed your list of prior customers, you should define all of the commonalities in each borrower’s group. It may be helpful to divide these traits into multiple categories. For example, you may look for communication patterns that indicate a mortgage’s success, so that communication would be one category. You may also look for trends in applicants’ employment history. Unsurprisingly, those who have maintained the same source of income for many years may be more likely to fulfill their mortgage contract — so employment would be another category.
To track these commonalities, you can start a spreadsheet or another form of data management and begin documenting the patterns that you notice in your client list. Even if there isn’t an evident trend at first glance, organizing your data will likely reveal several interesting factors that can help you further shape your customer profile. You’ll also probably learn a lot about your clientele, which is always a good thing for a mortgage lender.
Target the Seller’s Agent
At this point, you should have a reasonably detailed profile of the type of customer who’s most successful — and who you want to target. You can compile all of your data into a document and distribute it to your team. With everybody on the same page, you can enlist support from sellers’ agents and encourage them to refer any customer to you who fits your ideal profile. Asking agents to send you customers might seem bold, but it makes sense when you’re trying to work with a specific kind of client.
Agents ultimately want to connect their clients with the right borrower, and when you illustrate your dedication, you can become a choice referral. Real estate transactions always go more smoothly when communication is clear between all parties, and your customer profile can be the key to this. The best part is that this relationship is beneficial to agents, lenders, and prospective homebuyers. If you offer to simplify an agent’s workload, they’ll quickly see your value.
Join Professional Groups
Networking is an integral part of any real estate job, including mortgage lending. If you’re unsure where to find sellers’ agents to connect with and share your customer profile, you can start by joining a group for real estate professionals. These groups often offer networking events and social media connections that allow lenders to develop relationships. Real estate agents aren’t the only professionals who may be a valuable connection. You can also connect with attorneys and consultants who may be able to refer customers to you, too.
When you join these groups and start making connections, it’s essential to paint a vivid picture of the clientele you’re trying to cultivate. It would help if you framed your efforts regarding the value you provide and the services you offer. Your ideal customer profile may seem like a niche, but it’s a niche that needs to be served. When you hone in on doing a specific set of clients, you can devote all of your resources to generating successful mortgages.