August 16, 2022

Joe Willow, CEO and Founder Total experts.

After two years of a turbulent housing market and more than halfway through 2022, the housing and finance sector continues to suffer from volatility. In 2021, home sales in the United States grew to a level Highest value seen since 2006. 2022 sales are also starting strong, but there are still many unknowns. Active buyers and their financial and real estate teams navigate interest rate volatility, increasing home value and price, and limited home inventory.

Regardless, consumers will continue to buy new homes for a variety of reasons, with many buyers and sellers seeking advice from financial partners and real estate agents throughout the process.

what’s in it for me?

For decades, real estate agents and mortgage lenders or loan officers have been in close contact – each playing an important role in attracting buyers to new homes. However, the relationship was mostly centered on referrals and networking. traditional approach –Referred At a HousingWire panel event – an agent’s lunch was bought and the mortgage rate sheet was left to them.

As the mortgage market becomes increasingly competitive, lenders need to rethink this strategy and offer more value to their real estate agent partners. After all, agents often work with a number of lenders, but they will prioritize lenders that can provide unique data and insights into consumer behavior, near-term opportunities and the market. Referrals, networking – and of course free meals – won’t go away, but they simply aren’t enough to keep the best agents on your side.

open consumer intent

In the current housing market, speed is a key factor. A team that has a pre-approved buyer with insight into homes coming to market and can deliver a strong, fast bid is more likely to close more deals. Lenders who work with active buyers in the pre-approval stage will often refer them to a real estate agent, but by then the buyer may already have one. Likewise, by the time someone looks at homes, they likely already have a lender on board.

The key is to discover buyers in the early stages of a home search or search for home financing and then work collectively with a real estate partner to guide them through the process together. How do you know when an individual is considering a new home search, lender, or real estate agent?

It turns out that there is a typical home purchase, distinctive signs along the way, and modern technology available to lenders that can light up the signs. It is these tags that can help agents and lenders anticipate consumer behavior, create proactive sales and marketing campaigns, and build strong, collaborative teams that more home buyers want to work with.

Looking forward to the digital update

To better support buyers and landlords, now is the time for lenders to consider digital modernization. However, even for those who have been considering digital transformation options, the reality is that many companies do not have the resources and time to undertake a complete digital transformation. Alternatively, a digital update could be a more realistic option.

Many lenders have already relied on technology to automate many manual processes. Digital modernization is about upgrading and replacing existing digital tools with ones designed for cloud-powered synergy and tightly integrated. Think of a digital upgrade as the difference between demolishing and rebuilding an entire home versus simply upgrading major components.

Lenders can start moving forward with their digital modernization strategy by following the following approach.

• Start with a different POV. Before undergoing any technology changes or upgrades, stop and review your existing systems and technologies. Have you ever approached your thinking from a customer-centric angle? Start by defining the customer journey, then communicate relevant technologies for each step of that journey. This new approach should reveal challenges, gaps, and even redundancies.

• Focus your efforts on the central customer data platform. Consider relying on a centralized platform for customer data – a single, central source of truth for all things customer experience, from which to leverage analytics and automation. To create a modern digital customer experience, your platform must be able to collect and integrate all customer data – across all channels, systems, and touch points – to provide a comprehensive customer profile.

• Prioritize purpose-built customer experience solutions on independent technologies. Financial services organizations, especially mortgage lenders, have distinct needs. While your customer experience platforms should be tailored to the mortgage lending industry, they should also be ready to integrate seamlessly with the rest of your technology suite. Digital updating shouldn’t require a painful and costly ‘rip and replace’ process for all technologies.

• Create digital workflows that meet the unique needs of your team and business. Before deploying new technology, make time to talk with employees and get their support. When you think about it, deploy and build your customer experience platform, make sure the technology fits the way your people work. New technology-enabled workflows should make it easier and faster for your employees to work and empower them with information and insights to be better at their jobs.

In the competitive and ever-changing housing market, the need for lenders to demonstrate deep value to real estate agents is essential. It is a necessary extension of partnerships that have been in place for years. The new digital strategy can help both parties leverage data and create new business opportunities.

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