A recent survey by JD Power and Associates found that over 20% of mortgage borrowers are unhappy with their mortgage. What causes low mortgage satisfaction? The survey points to a few major causes:
- Poor communication
- Repeated or unnecessary requests
- Pressure to choose a certain product
This final bullet point is perhaps the most striking. Consider this quote from JD Power’s survey summary:
Among customers who regret their lender selection, 72% indicate they were pressured to choose a particular mortgage product. Their final lender choice is often linked to financial reasons, such as getting a lower rate because they have a relationship with the firm (e.g., checking account with direct deposit).
Clearly, a prior relationship to an institution can create an unfavorable experience. The consumer may feel that an established trust is being violated. The consumer may also feel more comfortable voicing their displeasure.
How can Agents Affect Mortgage Satisfaction?
Real estate agents know that a bad loan can sour a relationship with a client, even if it’s outside the agent’s responsibility. We’ve created three tips for helping to ensure mortgage satisfaction:
1) Monitor the loan–and the loan officer! Like many agents, a loan officer can be working on many deals at the same time. Don’t be afraid to hold the loan officer accountable, and send regular reminders to give your client the attention they deserve.
2) Familiarize yourself with the banks with which your client has prior relationships. Your client may be approached with a special offer or incentivized loan product, so prepare in advance to help them understand the pros and cons of that opportunity.
3) Keep an eye on institutional changes While big news doesn’t implicate your local branch’s loan officer, institutional changes can trickle down and be the cause of accumulating headaches—or advantages. Pay attention!
There were other meaningful findings:
- The use of technology in the mortgage application jumped from 22% to 28%.
- Satisfaction among new home buyers is higher than loan refinance.
- According to borrowers, their lenders called back more often than last year.
This survey did not consider credit unions or the services of mortgage brokers, but only large financial institutions. Among the institutions surveyed, Quicken Loans had, by far, the highest overall satisfaction rate.