Tips On How To Avoid Customer Complaints

As a manager of licensed mortgage loan officers, I take customer complaints extremely seriously. Mortgage clients are different than any other consumer. Mortgage clients trusts loan officers with their inner most personal information. Not just financials, but also personal information as well. Mortgage lenders need to know extenuating circumstances such as why mortgage applicants had periods of bad credit, had to file bankruptcy, had to go through foreclosure, why they had to do short sale, why they had gaps in employment, why they were late on their credit payments, why they had a judgment, why they had tax liens, and other financial and personal information. A Mortgage Loan Originator needs to service each mortgage loan client with golden gloves and be sincere, respectful, honest, and most importantly, be available at all times and return phone calls and emails promptly. Knock on wood, I feel extremely grateful that to this day, none of my licensed mortgage loan originators had a customer complaint and one of my main mission is ongoing training on how to give a five star customer service to all of our mortgage loan borrowers. Being a loan officer carries a lot of responsibilities and one mistake from a mortgage loan originator can affect lives, from the lives of home buyers as well as home sellers.

How To Avoid Customer Complaints: Number One Customer Complaint

Many mortgage loan officers feel that customer complaints is inevitable if you do volume. I disagree with that. Being a mortgage loan originator is not like being a chef where some people love the food while others do not like it and cannot stand it. Public customers have emotions and there is no other task that is as stressful as going through the mortgage loan application and mortgage approval process. Every mortgage loan officer has their own way of doing business. I have my own system and the team of licensed loan originators that I manage needs to agree with my system in order for us to work together. Some mortgage loan officers have 9 to 5 hours and do not give out their home or cellular phone numbers. That is perfectly fine. However, I used to be a real estate investor and mortgage loan borrower for over 20 years and one of my biggest complaints with loan officers was that they did not return phone calls promptly and were not available after hours and/or weekends or holidays. Once I began my loan origination career, one of the most important business models that I implemented is that I will be available 7 days a week which includes evenings, holidays, and weekends. Every question or concern from a mortgage loan borrower is important. The mortgage loan client is relying on the loan officer and trusting them with all of their financials and in return, the loan officer should be available for them when they have any concerns. For example, if a mortgage client has concerns on certain issues that is important to them on a Friday afternoon and they do not have the loan officer’s cell and/or home number, they will worry all weekend until Monday.  This is no way of treating a mortgage loan borrower.  There is no rules or regulations for a loan officer to be available evenings, holidays, and weekends, but in my opinion, I think it is good business practice and gives a level of comfort and trust for the mortgage loan client.

Pre-Approval Stage Is Most Important

The pre-approval is the most important stage in the mortgage application and mortgage approval process. An experienced mortgage loan originator should carefully review the 1003 mortgage loan application, credit scores, credit report, income, assets, liabilities, and should carefully examine the past two years tax returns, two years W-2s, and most recent paycheck stubs. If overtime income, part-time income, or bonus income needs to be used to qualify for the mortgage loan borrower, make sure that the mortgage loan originator gets a verification of employment to make sure that the other income is likely to continue for the next three years. One of the biggest reason for mortgage loan denials is because the mortgage loan applicant was not qualified correctly. If a home buyer is purchasing a condo, make sure that the condominium is a warrantable condo or if it is a FHA borrower, make sure that the condo complex is FHA approved.  Credit reports needs to be carefully reviewed to see if there are any credit disputes. Credit disputes needs to be retracted and when credit disputes are retracted, then credit scores are likely to drop.  Mortgage loan borrowers who barely meet the minimum credit score requirements may not qualify once they retract the credit scores due to the drop of credit scores.

How To Avoid Customer Complaints: Educate The Borrower

Advice on how to avoid customer complaints to mortgage loan officers is to educate and communicate to the mortgage loan borrower throughout the mortgage loan application and mortgage loan approval process. Do not tell the borrower what they want to hear. Tell them the facts and be honest. There is no way for any loan officer to know everything and consumers understand that. If you are not sure of a borrower’s question, tell them that you will find out the correct answer and get back to them. I love talking to every mortgage loan borrower and most of my borrower’s become my lifelong friend. By communicating with them and letting them know the process and the status periodically, your borrower will be at ease and understand and trust you more and be able to go to sleep at night. Mortgage loan originators do not have control of a clear to close and the mortgage process involves mortgage processors, mortgage underwriters, mortgage account managers, appraisers, title companies, insurance companies, and other professionals. By explaining the mortgage application process and mortgage approval process to mortgage loan borrowers, the borrowers will be on your side and if an issue develops, the mortgage loan borrower can also help the loan officer with solving the issue. There is no reason why any mortgage loan originator should get a customer complaint. Treat each client like a family member and treat them like you want to be treated. Keep them posted and updated several times a week and always return their phone calls and/or emails. Be available to your customers 24/7, 7 days a week. If you will not be available due to illness and/or other plans, please customize your voicemail and/or email on the reason why you will not be available and leave a number to a fellow loan officer who can take over your place. I was recently sick and was rushed to the emergency room where they admitted me for over a week. I did not have a chance to change my voicemail so my wife answered all of my calls and told my clients about me being in the hospital, took their name and number, and let one of my loan officers take charge of all of my clients. Bottom line to this story is that your clients are a priority and important no matter how sick you are like I was where I was in the emergency room and hospital for a week. Your mortgage loan borrowers are counting on you as their mortgage loan originator and as their loan officer, you cannot let them down, no matter how sick you are.

The information contained on Gustan Cho Associates website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by The Gustan Cho Team @ Gustan Cho Associates or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or guest writers of Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage & Real Estate Information Resource Center website and do not reflect the policy of Gustan Cho Associates Lenders Network, its officers, subsidiaries, parent, or affiliates.

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