One of the main ways mortgage brokers make themselves more competitive is by providing their clients with an exceptional customer experience. Regardless of the size of your mortgage business, you need to have complete and accurate customer and prospect contact information. Many companies find that customer relationship management (CRM) software helps them with attraction and retention of good customers. (Source)
What is a CRM?
A CRM tool lets you store customer and prospect contact information, identify sales opportunities, record service issues, and manage marketing campaigns, all in one central location — and make information about every customer interaction available to anyone at your company who might need it.
Why do Mortgage Brokers need a CRM?
Good quality data will enable you to see which clients are the right fit for your brokerage (which can be done by matching your marketing lists with client demographics). A good quality CRM may help you to identify clients who are likely to move positions (this will help you to avoid sending out letters, for example, to clients you think are unlikely to leave their current loan provider). On the other side, a CRM will help you to see which clients are in need of support — for example, the clients who haven’t made payments for a few months, or new leads.
Once you know how to get your computer to sort through all your leads, you can ALWAYS know which leads are the ones that need your attention. You’ll get a list of leads sorted by likelihood of closing, so you can knock off the easy ones first.
CRM software allows you to send personalized mass mailings to your entire database. You can set up a mailing list for leads that are, for example, 90 days out from booking, or leads who screen in at a certain number. This mail can automatically go out once a month or once a quarter, and can be sent whenever you have new scenarios, tools or specials you want to send to a certain group. Best of all, these mailings are flexible! If you need to change your message for the next mailing, you can do it very easily and quickly!
One of the smartest ways to use CRM marketing is to give occasional and useful content to your clients in between mailings. A monthly newsletter is a great way to send valuable, useful information to your clients — and it’s a great way to answer questions, give them useful tips, or even provide information they can’t get anywhere else.
Mortgage brokers can also use their CRMs to identify which clients are ready to be contacted about refinancing or a new, higher-value mortgage. By pulling together information about the age of the client, the original purchase price of their home, market values, and interest rates, the software will automatically identify which clients are likely to be interested in refinancing. You can then set up a program to follow up with these leads at specific stages in the process.
Advantages of using a CRM for Mortgage Brokers
- CRMs offer a computerized link between every one of your clients and prospects. You can search for all clients who moved recently, or who are thinking of moving in the next few years. You can also use the same software to conduct web-based research on all your clients’ neighbors, so you can see whether they’re in the market for a mortgage.
- You can view all your emails and notes on each client, so you can make smarter decisions and avoid missing important details.
- You’ll be able to compile marketing lists and screening criteria based on clients and prospects and work with each list separately.
- You may be able to perform these tasks by using your email address book. However, the older and more cumbersome your list of emails and contacts are, the more time it will take you manually to employ the same methods.
- You can use your CRM to keep track of the data you send to clients and prospects, and even mark those that have been opened. This lets you see which of your clients are actually reading your emails, and it lets you send special offers to clients who are getting to know you and your business.
- Most CRMs track a wide variety of other details about your business, such as whether a client has responded to your previous campaign, preferred contact methods, and personal details (spouse name, phone number, etc.).
- Whether you’re a veteran mortgage broker or a company who wants to expand into the mortgage field, you can use CRM software to identify and pursue acquisitions of agents in your area.
- By storing highly important customer contact information in a central database which is accessible by all company staff, you make it easy for all your various employees to work together and to deliver a helpful, responsive, knowledgeable and therefore valuable customer experience.
- Using a CRM saves you both time and money! Keeping accurate contact information about clients and prospects is not only essential to running a mortgage brokerage, but it also translates into more time to spend with your clients, more time to conduct research, more time to put together mailings, and more time to conduct meetings and appointments.
You are also probably already used to spending time and money on software licenses, but using a CRM software makes this process a lot easier. The majority of CRM tools work online and require no additional software or hardware. This means there is no need to purchase and install expensive software onto company machines (or even on home machines) or to purchase mobile software to use on phones or PDAs.
- Working in a CRM tool can help you to shape business relationships to reflect the strengths of your brokerage and personality. If you are happy and willing to take work and process it quickly, you can tailor a CRM tool so that you can set up and send out a mailing to a list quickly, easily, and within budget. You can even use your CRM to sort for clients that are in a hurry and assign your best agents to help them. In another instance, if you are a brokerage that can help educate and inform clients about more complex issues, you can use your CRM to automatically create a strategy for a campaign to educate and inform particularly savvy clients.
A mortgage broker who uses a CRM tool is more likely to have clients who stay put with him for another mortgage than a broker who is not using a CRM.
The problem with CRM software is that it can be overwhelming. This can cause you to not use it at all. The best way to avoid that is to pick a CRM tool when you are just getting off the ground, and spend some time learning how it works and how to use it. This will allow you to get some practice using the CRM before you have to deal with a load of clients, and you’ll be able to get used to it well in advance of your first big push.
Mortgage brokers who use CRM software find they are more organized and more efficient. Their clients report a great customer experience and are more likely to recommend their service to others.
Key features of a CRM software for Mortgage Brokers
The below list is not exhaustive; there are probably 100 more such attributes that would encompass a CRM software. These are however some of the key features of such software.
- They are able to keep track of interactions and communications between the broker and the clients and prospects. For instance, the software can be able to store all email correspondence between the broker and the relevant parties or store a transcript of telephone conversations. This enables the broker to easily find out whether a client has recently moved and can look at the client and prospects in detail.
- A CRM tool should be able to schedule repeated reminders to the broker to contact clients and prospects, so that they are kept in touch with the broker, and the broker is updated on how things are progressing with regards the clients and prospects.
- It should be able to schedule automated responses to clients and prospects which can be personalized according to the various details stored in the CRM software. Already created templates that can be changed according to the requirements of the clients, or be completely customized as may be required. It is also possible to send templates to clients when asked to send an update after the initial meeting, or requesting them to contact the broker again for more information. If the CRM tool is properly configured, it is possible to keep track of who returned the template, and if they have read it.
- It should be able to suggest contacts with appropriate clients and prospects based on their profile, recent or scheduled interactions, and the details of other contacts with the same clients and prospects.
- It should have a web-based application that enables the broker to access and run data on the go. This application should be able to send automated reminders for contacts to ensure that no significant interactions are missed. It should also be able to send automated responses to certain client and prospect actions.
- It should be able to allow the user to keep track of all the actions taken and items sent, e.g. pitched ideas or follow ups. All these should be in the form of notes or emails.
- It should be able to record all queries and concerns raised by clients and prospects and track them to closure or a definite decision.
- It should be able to access and integrate with other CRMs and technologies e.g. email and telephony platforms so that the client relationship management activities can be seamless.
How to select the right CRM software for Mortgage Brokers?
Choosing the right CRM tool is critical to your success. The fact that the majority of mortgage brokers have independently analyzed the market and most have already come to the unanimous conclusion that a CRM tool is a must. The mortgage brokers, like the mortgage broker in the above example, who have chosen the CRM software, have saved time, client’s time, and money.
Over the last two decades there have been many debates about the usefulness and usefulness of CRM software. At the same time there have been many very successful organizations that have used these kinds of tools and there have been many others who have chosen not to adopt it. If you are a small mortgage broker, weighing up the pros and the cons of CRM software is well worth your while. The numbers certainly show that it can and will make a big difference to your business. The question you have to ask yourself is:
Is it going to make a big difference to your business?
The answer to that question depends on you. What you do and how you do it clearly has an impact on your business. You can save time, and effort and money and spend more time on activities that are more productive. You will also be able to provide a better customer experience and can provide a higher level of customer service, in fact you may never be the same again.
If you are not exercising the business intelligence to improve your business, or you are not using smart tactics to save time and money, or you are not using the latest approach to analyze your business data so that you can provide a higher level of customer service, then you are going to fall behind. In addition, if you do not use CRM software in your business, it cannot grow beyond a certain point.
Every business is capable of generating huge amounts of data. Having a CRM software in place allows you to tap into this potential. You can track and view all data and use it to plan your sales strategies and implement them better. The data will help you to identify and meet the needs of your clients better.
The CRM software essentially allows you to generate data through every interaction or activity that you carry out with your clients or prospects. This data can then be analyzed so that you can have a better idea of your clients and prospects and see how they relate to you and to the products and services that you offer.
Just like a real estate broker, you can get an idea of the market, track where your products and services need to be and where you need to focus your efforts for better results. This allows you to focus on the ones that work for you and continue with them so that they bear better fruits.
The main advantage of having a CRM software is that it can help you provide higher level of customer service, not only to your existing customers, but also to clients that you might attract in the future. You can monitor customer contacts and ensure that they all get the level of service that you promise them.
You can ensure that the client needs are met by the products and services that you offer and that they are completely satisfied with their purchase. Planning your interactions and communications with clients and prospects using your CRM software allows you to be more targeted and more specific in your dealings with clients.
In addition, you can use the data that is available on the CRM software to help you react to the needs of your clients and ensure that their expectations are highly exceeded.
A CRM software helps you to help your business partners grow, thus enabling you to increase your business volume and exposure. It creates opportunities to help your business grow and the exposure to the lending industry generally increases.
This allows you to approach more lenders with your business and also create leads through your clients or contacts. This way you can get more business and it will also increase the overall market for the mortgage brokers. It also helps you to develop your business ideas. It will not only make your business more robust but also help you to remain flexible to changes in market trends and in your business itself.
Depending on the CRM software that you choose, you can automate a lot of everyday activities and this will mean that you can save time in carrying out these activities. Having a CRM software in place also allows you to keep track of everyone who you interact with, thus allowing you to allocate tasks to people who are better suited for them. You can also follow up with clients and prospects at each stage of the process and make sure that they are being provided with the level of service that they deserve.
If you do not use a CRM software, and you manage your client relationship on spreadsheets, you may end up missing out on interactions with clients and prospects or you may not remember to follow up on activities that you have to do with the clients or prospects.
If your business is not using a CRM software system, it might not be able to take quick action in the event of delays between the time that you engage with a client and the time that you deliver the product or service. The results of the use of a CRM software can be beneficial to you as a business.
For instance, if you use a CRM software, you can use it to give you an immediate response to client queries and you can also take action immediately if there is a new trend that you want to capitalise on.
The result is that you can take action based on data and you can get faster action on the part of your staff. You can also set up a workflow to streamline the process and get faster response times.
These are just some of the many benefits of using CRM software. The merits of CRM have long been established and the numbers say that it is worthwhile using it. The truth is that you will be slowing down your business and it will not grow to its full potential without it.
Sales lead generation
You can also use the CRM for mortgage brokers to help you to improve your sales lead generation. With a CRM tool you will be able to identify and categorize your contacts so that you can put together a focused and targeted sales campaign. You can also create a report that identifies lead sources and you can also see the many opportunities that you have.
You can then use this data to generate new sales leads and follow up with your contacts so that you can capitalise on the opportunities that come your way. Having a CRM software gives you an automated way to follow up with your leads, which means that you can make better use of your time and carry out sales more effectively.
You are also likely to see an increase in the number of sales leads that you actively generate. Since the CRM tool helps you to track and organize your leads, you have a better idea of the opportunities that you have in your business. You can get a faster response through the use of a CRM software.
The kind of CRM software that you use can make a difference to your business. You will be able to use the information that is generated through this software to make informed and intelligent business decisions.
By using the CRM software you can plan and execute your sales campaigns much more effectively. This will in turn lead to better sales and better overall results for your business.
It is hard to develop contacts if you are not sure where the contacts are. Although your CRM software will help you to track and organize your contacts, you need to actively work at getting more contacts through effective lead generation.
To get the most out of your CRM software you need to identify the markets that offer you the most potential, and you need to be able to attract business from those markets. You need to concentrate on developing strong business relationships that will lead to profitable investments for your clients or customers.
If you are able to do this, then your business will have a steady stream of clients that you will be able to serve. This in turn will help you to be more flexible and to capitalise on opportunities as they come your way.
The fact is that there is more than enough business to go around, it is up to you to position yourself in the lead.
Imagine having a source of information that can help you to realize a consistent stream of leads. This is what your CRM software can do for your business. Having this kind of information at your fingertips will help to sharpen your focus and improve your business performance.
The CRM software can help you to take advantage of the different communication channels that are available to you. This will allow you to take advantage of any opportunity that you have to market your business and to generate sales leads.
By having this kind of information at your fingertips, you can respond more quickly and accurately to your clients’ requests. As you serve your clients more effectively, you will be able to build up a better reputation and this will enable you to attract more clients. Through the use of CRM software you will be able to identify and focus on high priority leads.
Questions to ask before getting a CRM for Mortgage Brokers
1: Who is the system designed for? Are we the perfect target?
2: How can I test the CRM tool before going live?
3: How is the system supported?
4: Can I start small?
5: Can we easily add custom fields? fields and possibly custom logic?
6: Can the system be extended by third-party modules. If modules are limited and do not meet your requirements then moving forward you might get stuck with the system.
7: How can I measure how well my business is doing? One-click reports that you can access from inside the system.
8: What about shared features, such as: time logging, email templates, etc.
9: Is there an SLA or Service Level Agreement for how long the system will be up and running?
10: How is support provided? Can you buy more?
11: Can support requests be accessed through a ticketing system?
12: How does the customer support system work? Can there be an escalation procedure?
13: How much training will be provided?
14: Does the software come standard with mobile access? If not, do I have to pay extra?
15: How is customising the user interface?
16: How flexible is the software?
17: Is it possible to easily upgrade to a new version? Going live with something that you will still have to modify is never pleasing.
18:It is also important to check if there is programming code behind the system. Does the developer have a company or company owner with the last name as Smith.
19: How difficult is it to add new users to the system?
20: Are technical questions that the developer and team are available to answer?
21: Does the system allow for easy integration of another system? For example Mail Chimp or Prestashop.
22: Can you share contacts with other users on the same system with a click?
23: What is the update frequency for the system? Quarterly, monthly?
24: What is the update frequency of the system.
25: What do users like and not about the system.
26: How much does the software cost? Licences include support?