Not every meeting can take place in person, as this global pandemic has taught us. Thanks to today’s technologies, it’s easier than ever to move to a virtual mortgage business format. The key to ensuring a successful transition is to make communication, transparency and privacy your top priorities. This builds trust for the clients, and positions you as a progressive loan officer who is not afraid to adapt to the digital world.
Moving to a virtual mortgage business isn’t actually all that different from your traditional set up. You’ll still communicate with clients on a regular basis, except you’ll be doing so through virtual formats, such as email, phone, text, video chats, social media or a variety of messaging apps.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with all formats, including apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime and Fuze. You’ll also want to be sure you know how to send and retrieve messages from popular social media sites like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Yelp and SnapChat.
Though you want to be mindful of sharing sensitive information over these third-party apps, you also want to ensure you can interact with clients over any channel they choose. It’s also helpful to note which clients prefer which forms of communication. This will come in handy when you’re moving to a virtual mortgage business.
Make a note of this in your CRM. Older clients generally prefer phone calls, while younger clients may do better with text or email. Of course, these are just sweeping generalizations, which is why it’s important to establish each client’s preferred method of communication – and preferred time of day, if possible – when you’re transitioning to a virtual mortgage business.
Share Your Resources
Buying a home and applying for a loan are stressful processes. Technology can make them easier, but the lack of physical meetings can make the process seem a bit more challenging…but it doesn’t have to. Part of moving to a virtual mortgage business means arming your clients with the tools they need for success.
At APM, this starts by introducing them to APM Mobile. Spend some time personalizing the app with customized links for borrowers before you send it their way. Then jump on a phone or video chat where you can walk them through the app’s many benefits, including the custom loan scenarios, live status updates, calculator tool, and scanning and uploading features. Take them through the process of applying for a loan with the app, and answer any questions.
Remember, some borrowers will be savvier than others when it comes to the virtual mortgage business, so be ready – and available – to field any additional questions or problems they may have once your initial call ends.
You know what they say, out of sight, out of mind. Do not let this be you. Just because you’re moving to a virtual mortgage business doesn’t mean you’re falling off the face of the earth. Far from it. So make sure your clients know that.
The best place to remain seen and heard is on social media. Keep your accounts up to date (including contact information) and create a posting schedule. The virtual mortgage business can often require more “screen time” since face time has fallen by the way side, so get in the habit of sending personalized messages, including videos, commenting on others’ social media posts, and tagging or shouting out individuals where appropriate.
You also want to make yourself a valuable source of information, which means disseminating relevant news on your community and the mortgage and homebuying industries. Finally, be sure your followers get a sense of you. What makes you tick? What are you passionate about? What are some of your favorite hometown spots and local establishments? You may be in the virtual mortgage business now, but you still live in the real world. Make sure your clients know that.
Social media isn’t the only place your followers will want to see your face. Stay in touch via email campaigns, newsletters and cross promotions with your referral partners. Like social media, it helps to have a schedule to make sure you don’t get bogged down in the day-to-day details of the virtual mortgage business.
For example, you could send a weekly summary, monthly wrap-up or quarterly newsletter to stay in touch with your clients on a regular basis. Creating a cold calling schedule will also keep your prospecting efforts alive when you’re transitioning to a virtual mortgage business. Carve out a bit of time each day or a larger chunk of time during the week to drum up new business now that you’re working remotely.
It also helps to create a calendar that notes any relevant life events for your clients. Weddings, graduations, anniversaries, vacations, birthdays, retirements, you name it. If you have the information from your clients, you should be doing something with it – and that something is acknowledging it. Pick up the phone or send a short but thoughtful email acknowledging the milestone, asking how they are and making sure they know you’re always available whenever they need you. Stop short of outright asking if they can use your services. Instead, make this effort about fostering a connection and massaging a relationship.
Keep Up Appearances
You have a virtual mortgage business now, so that means you never have to be spotted out and about again, right? Not so much. While the coronavirus may have sidelined in-person get-togethers for the immediate future, that doesn’t mean this will last forever.
Stay connected, relevant and up to date by regularly attending conferences, networking opportunities, community events and open houses. You can still maintain a virtual mortgage business by getting your face out there. Webinars, online seminars and live virtual Q&As are also great ways to stay in touch from cyberspace.
Use Your Tools
Your clients know where they can find you and the most up to date information on the mortgage and homebuying industries (also you)…but do you know where to find the latest and greatest? This is where we come in.
APM utilizes a sophisticated mortgage technology stack that will come in handy when you move to a virtual mortgage business. AP Intelligence gives you real-time business information through dashboards and analytic reporting so you can act quickly and intelligently. AP Connect turns online leads into active buyers thanks to virtual assistants that can provide sales-ready opportunities and schedule appointments.
The move to a virtual mortgage business format can be an exciting one – and a useful one as technology becomes ever more pervasive and life circumstances prevent face-to-face interactions. This can be a very successful format for loan officers who can tout the convenience, speed and trustworthiness of the virtual mortgage business. Make sure you’re one of them.