Double or Nothing: Strategies for success when the stakes couldn’t be higher

Author: Dale Vermillion, award-winning speaker, trainer, and Founder and CEO of Mortgage Champions


There’s only one path to true success in an increasingly digitized mortgage market: marrying the convenience, efficiency, and scalability of technology with the capacity of a well-trained, relationship-first, customer-centric salesforce. It’s a path that, frankly, many lenders lost sight of in 2020, despite posting record production numbers.

The hard truth our industry needs to reconcile is that, while enjoying the best mortgage market in history, many loan officers will struggle in this changing, rising-rate market to match the results of a relatively few top-performing loan officers. With the overwhelming advantage of unprecedented market conditions, emerging digital mortgage technology, marketing automation, social media, etc., today’s originators can, and should, be closing 20, 30, 40+ loans per month by delivering a high-tech, high-touch experience that keeps the customer at the center of the transaction.

In the past few years, I’ve witnessed a technology-first approach to mortgage lending drive originators to compete for the goal of “the ultimate customer experience,” and the stakes couldn’t be higher. After a year of mandated lockdowns, social distancing, and working from home, consumer expectations for a personalized, online lending experience are higher than ever, as evidenced by the 2020 ICE Borrower and Lender Insights Survey:

  •  64% of consumers surveyed reported using online solutions more for their household/residential needs
  •  More than 35% said they use online solutions "much more" than before
  •  63% of consumers surveyed believe that an online mortgage process would make buying a home or refinancing easier than an in-person process

Moving forward, balancing the quest for customer experience nirvana with maximized productivity through automation will become the defining separator of the most successful originators. Which is why I’m committed to helping you understand how to achieve this balance through an exclusive three-part crash course in market survival skills I’m excited to present in partnership with ICE Mortgage Technology.

Maximizing your organization’s success in 2021 and beyond starts with taking this course, where I’ll teach you the key elements of my award-winning approach to sales, customer service, and leadership. For over 25 years, my team and I have taught a systematic approach to origination that’s built around the central importance of putting our borrowers, colleagues, and partners before ourselves. It’s called the OthersFirst™ mindset. It’s a system that’s rooted in best-practices and has helped over 600 lenders nationwide not just improve their results, but strengthen their corporate culture, and build a legacy of purpose-driven impact.

And it all starts by putting processes in place to consistently create and communicate value to both your customers and partners.

Part One: Delivering Value in a Rising-Rate Market

In part one of this course, I will teach you not only how to create unparalleled value for your customers, but how to communicate that value in a clear and compelling way through benefits-based selling. I’ll lay the foundation for the centerpiece of our award-winning approach to building relationships with each and every borrower, and include tips for:

  • Understanding what’s important to today’s borrowers
  • Developing and executing a proven value proposition
  • Leveraging cutting edge technology to optimize your customers’ experience

What 2020 proved more than any other year in my 37-year career is that as mortgage professionals, we have the opportunity—every single day—to add immense value to others’ lives.

Last year, amid widespread uncertainty, instability, and loss, our industry offered millions of Americans the security, stability, and savings they not only desired, but in many cases, needed. What we must recognize, though, is that with last year’s historically low rates, even rudimentary loan solutions delivered exceptional value to the average borrower. Delivering that same level of value in the future will require going above and beyond to meet our customers’ unique needs and desires.

Part Two: Building Relationships in a Virtual World

In part two of this crash course, I am going to show how lenders should leverage technology to empower originators to free up more time to do what they do best—which is sell!

During this critically important session, we’ll discuss:

  • Using automation to increase efficiency and reclaim valuable time
  • Structuring originators’ calendars to prioritize selling
  • Leveraging proven tactics to reveal borrowers’ underlying motivations
  • Communicating clearly and consistently throughout the lending process
  • Adopting a lender-for-life mentality through competitive differentiation

When I first started originating loans, I had no choice but to spend 40+ minutes completing an application with a borrower—nothing existed at that time to empower borrowers to self-serve, automate document collection, or instantly verify creditworthiness. And yet, I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world because it cemented my respect for this timeless truth: relationships take time.

Top-tier originators and bottom-tier originators have one thing in common, they both only have 24 hours in a day. What separates the two is how they use those 24 hours. Top producers in high-volume markets, rising-rate markets, and everything in-between, spend most of their 24 hours building relationships with their borrowers and partners by investing their most precious, limited commodity: their time.

Part Three: Differentiation in an era of commoditization

Borrower advocacy—advising and protecting your clients—is the only way to consistently set yourself and your organization apart from others who are content to let their borrowers wash out of a self-serving approach that prioritizes convenience over customer confidence.

In part three of this crash course, I’m going to unpack how to:

  • Build a lender-for life-mindset
  • Drive repeat and referral business
  • See yourself primarily as an advocate
  • Act in your borrower’s best interests

By and large, there’s a staggering lack of empathy in our industry for the typical borrower’s actual experience securing a mortgage. Despite having access to a dizzying wealth of information, today’s borrowers are no more knowledgeable about how to secure a great loan than they were before the internet age. It should be no wonder that as many as 80% of online applications are abandoned when borrowers are left to self-serve the single largest, most personal financial decision they will likely make in their lifetime!

The key to standing out in our increasingly homogenous environment is not just more technology! It’s technology paired with a definitively customer-centric experience, built on a commitment to borrower advocacy.

Double down on your organization’s success

Don’t miss out on this three-part crash course aimed at staying competitive regardless of market conditions, using automation technology to reclaim time, and breaking bad habits to become a true advocate for your borrowers.

See Dale in action in this short video.

Register now

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