Loan Officers Tips on How to Atrract Clients

By: Robert Lawrence

How many times have you answered the phone and heard 'What's your interest rate?' from a customer? I guarantee it comes-up on every phone call, usually within the first 30 seconds of the conversation. Customers ask it because they don't know any better. To them you are just like every other loan monkey out there. They don't care about you, they just care about their interest rate they're going to get and that's all that want to know. Anything else you say is in one ear and out the other.

But you the loan officer, don't care about the rate. Your concern is trying to figure out the customer and seeing what loan program you can get them into. You care about their property type, loan amount, FICO score, etc. Then after all this is said and done, the rate then becomes of INTEREST to you. ;-) But the customer doesn't care about all that!!! They just want the rate! Now won't you just give it to them, so they can hang-up and call someone else? You know what will happen... Pooffff! They are gone.

One of the best ways I've found to steer a customer off of rate...rate...rate is to ask open-ended questions. No longer am I just asking about the property type and loan amount, but rather asking if they would like to take cash-out of the property, how long they intend to stay there, what their future plans are and so on.

I ask questions other loan officers don't and it helps me to get in touch with my customers true internal motivation. No longer am I an order taker, the customer now sees me as a helpful friend and trusted advisor. In today's competitive marketplace, this is truly the best hassle-free way to sell. It really works...works...works!

Here are some open-ended questions you can use to get the customer to open-up to you, creating trust and minimizing the 'rate' question:

  • What timeframes are we looking at for this loan?
  • Do you know what type of program you might be interested in?
  • Have you been shopping for a while?
  • What kind of property are you buying, tell me a bit more about it? (People love to talk about their new home!)
  • How long do you intend to stay in the property?
  • Have you done any remodeling on the house which may increase it's value? (Again, this has little to do with the actual loan pricing, but is a great conversation starter and trust builder as Mr. Handyman can tell you about all the wonderful projects he's done, etc.)
  • What are your long term goals and plans?
  • Do you know what your credit score is, and what's on your credit report?
  • Haven't you heard horror stories of people being burned at the closing table?
  • Have you considered rolling any other debt into the mortgage in order to lower payments and save money on interest?
  • Has anyone ever told you what a true 'no closing cost' loan is?
  • Has anyone ever explained the loan process to you step-by-step?
  • Have you had any problems in getting a loan in the past?
  • Is there anyone else involved in the mortgage or is it just yourself?
  • How soon would you like to close by?
  • And my favorite question,
    Have you seen any other rates you liked?'
    (this tells me if they are a hard-core shopper or not and lets me know what I am up against).

These are just some of the questions to get the customer to tell you their 'story' and open-up. It is important to ask questions that don't have a firm yes or no answer. The sooner you get people off rate, the more likely you are to capture their business and close their loan. The next time someone calls, try using one or more of my open-ended questions above and you'll see the difference! The results will amaze you!

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