With COVID-19 it’s important NOW more than ever before to continue marketing and generating qualified leads. Mortgage companies and loan officers have the unique opportunity to help ease financial concerns for millions of Americans. People are turning to the equity in their homes now more than ever to help navigate their financial future in this time of uncertainty. Refinancing a mortgage not only locks in a low rate and helps save on the monthly payment, but even more importantly for many right now it provides the opportunity to tap into their equity and get much needed cash. This can offer homeowners tremendous financial relief amid great economic uncertainty.
Here are 8 IMPORTANT THINGS to remember as a Loan Officer during Covid-19:
Don’t Stress! Rates will begin to normalize now that the Fed has announced unlimited mortgage buybacks. They’ve eliminated one of the biggest near-term risks that was helping fuel rate volatility. This is GREAT news. And processing backlogs will clear. There was a near term surge in refinancing when rates recently bottomed in February. Those loans are closing now which means mortgage companies will be getting more hungry for loans, not less. That will also reduce upward rate pressures and allow rates to normalize and fall. Rest assured that you will be able to secure a competitive rate for your customers in the coming weeks and months.
Response AND conversion are way up right now. Need is higher than ever for consumers. AND mailboxes are lighter than ever because so many non-mortgage companies have stopped mailing which means more attention to the letters from mortgage companies who continue to mail. Additionally, more people than ever before are at home with extra time on their hands to pay even more attention to their mail. Now is the best time to send your best offer without having to compete for attention.
Protect your pipeline. Remember: how you’re feeling right now isn’t important – it’s whether you think you’ll be in business in a month. IF the answer is “YES! I do plan to be in business next month”, then it is imperative you continue to market through these uncertain times or your pipeline will evaporate. You need to not only generate new business but also protect the business you have by aggressively monitoring whether your prospects and clients are shopping elsewhere. Camber’s Portfolio Monitoring program does just this.
Do you want loans this summer? The marketing you do today will generate leads 2 to 6 weeks from now. It will take another 4 to 6 weeks to close those loans. What you do today affects your business 6 to 12 weeks from now. That’s May, June and July. So remember, marketing today creates your loan volume for the summer. If you hold off getting new leads now, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot this summer.
Rate doesn’t matter. Let’s repeat that because it’s very important. Rates don’t matter! It’s cash out, cash out, cash out. People need cash now more than ever. Customers will become more rate insensitive with each passing day. It’s all about getting them cash and lowering their overall monthly payments for all debt obligations combined. If lenders catch up on their processing backlogs and are willing to drop rates further, then great – at that point streamlines become a no brainer. But for now, stick with what’s worked so well the past year – Cash Out.
Float Now, Lock Later. Rate locks don’t need to happen immediately. Wait until a prospect has completed their application and provided documentation. Using the 6 to 12 week timeframe for these leads turn into loans, it’s not where rates are today that matters. It’s where rates will be in 4, 6, 8 weeks from now that’s important. So if there’s any hesitation, just float the rate and then lock as rates become more favorable in the coming weeks and months.
Rates are point in time. Up one day, down the next. If you’re hesitant to market a rate based on current pricing because it’s unfavorable in your perspective then try referencing a rate from a day when rates are down. Or use an offer that doesn’t focus on rate and instead focuses on cash out. But keep perspective – rates right now are still better than almost any time in the past 12 months. And ultimately for most people, rates don’t really matter. Whether a rate is 2% or 20%, if you can provide a solution that lowers the total monthly debt obligation payments then rate becomes a non-factor.
Most people can still qualify. As more and more people lose their jobs, they will not be able to qualify for a refinance or new mortgage. It’s imperative to get a solution in place now while people still qualify. Double down efforts while you can because in a few months, the unemployment rate will likely still be through the roof and the approval / underwriting process (which recently hasn’t been much of an issue) may suddenly become a big deal unless the government really steps in.
As a Loan Officer, your customers need you NOW more than ever before. This is the best time to launch a direct marketing lead generation campaign, not just for your business but for your customers’ financial futures. Don’t avoid mailing the areas hardest hit – it’s places like these that actually have the most need and desire for your services. Mortgage Professionals who are currently investing more in their marketing efforts are seeing an overall spike in refinance applications and are building life long relationship with their new and existing customers by saving them money, restructuring debt and offering cash in hand to help them navigate these uncertain times.
Camber Marketing Group can help you target your ideal customer, grow your book of business and protect your pipeline and portfolio with 24/7 monitoring. Camber can also seamlessly route calls to any numbers you provide, no matter what location you are working from. Let us help you execute a proven and successful marketing campaign so you can focus on what’s important, helping your customers with their financial futures and staying in business!