How Important Is It to Call the Borrower Before the Closing?

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Imagine going out to a nice restaurant and enjoying a great meal with great service, but when your check arrives, you find that you were grossly overcharged for your entrees, the ‘house wine’ your server recommended was actually $100/bottle, and to top it off, there’s been a 30 percent gratuity already added to your bill. The loan experience can have the same souring effect when borrowers head to the closing table without a clear understanding of what numbers to expect. Unexpected costs and fees, whether dining out or securing a mortgage, can quickly turn a delightful experience into an upsetting one.

The Diagnosis

Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures a borrower’s likelihood to recommend to friends and family, is a healthy 81 when a borrower is called prior to closing to go over figures. When no call is made, however, NPS drops to -19.

 

The correlation between receiving a call prior to closing and closing at expected rates and fees is, as one might expect, very strong. 38 percent of borrowers who did not receive a call reported unexpected rates and fees. In contrast, just 11 percent of those who did receive a call reported unexpected rates and fees.

Why this is important for your company:

With nearly one in thirteen borrowers nationally experiencing this problem, it is happening far more often than most lenders realize, and it is among the most damaging mistakes a lender can make. A 107-point swing in NPS can end up generating or costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in referral revenue. Lenders would be wise to invest some resources into resolving this issue.

The Prescription

Here are three things you can do to make sure you are delighting your borrowers in this area:

  1. When it comes to the closing, call the borrower. While emails, text messages and other communications methods are for providing loan status updates, we believe that a lender representative – typically the processor or closer – should call the borrower in advance of the closing to verify the time and place, go over the process, the numbers and answer any questions the borrower may have. For the typical borrower, getting a mortgage is a big event.
  2. Create organizational consistency around the process. Whose job is it to contact the borrower. The LO, the processor or the closer?  When should the call be made? What exactly should be discussed on the call? Document the process and provide scripts to those involved, as needed.
  3. Measure results and follow-up on all failures to contact a borrower prior to closing. At the end of the loan process, make sure your post-close survey is asking the following questions: “Were you contacted in advance of the closing?” “Did you receive all the information you needed?” Programs like MortgageSAT can make sure this question is asked on every closed loan so that you can ultimately identify and eradicate the problem.

Ready to Learn More about MortgageSAT and how it can impact you?

Contact MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari at mike.seminari@stratmorgroup.com.