One of the most exciting—and nerve-wracking—milestones in someone’s life is securing a mortgage loan for a new home. Once the loan closes, prospective home buyers usually breathe a sigh of relief. However, this is just the beginning of a slew of statements, invoices, and emails that can overwhelm mortgage customers. There are ways mortgage companies can streamline billing, payments, and communications to turn what can be a cumbersome experience into a positive one for customers.
Post-loan closing issues include payments and communications
In analyzing approximately 1,287,300 consumer complaints from 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s 2022 Consumer Response annual report noted that the majority—49%—experienced trouble during the mortgage payment process. While the report didn’t note exactly what contributed to this issue, we know that giving consumers more options to pay, regardless of the bill type, can reduce friction points that can lead to poor customer experiences or late or skipped payments. McKinsey research also found that at the height of COVID, offering online bill pay options for things like mortgages helped course-correct late or partial payments. There are also communication factors to consider post-loan closing, such as expanding a borrower’s understanding of their statement, when payments are due, how they can pay, how escrow is working, etc. Understanding how customers prefer to communicate, whether it’s via mail, email, over the phone, or other methods, can help mortgage companies streamline and optimize how they engage. For instance, a borrower might prefer paying their monthly loan amount online but want promotions mailed to them directly.
Borrowers want more payment and presentment options
Mortgage borrowers are like any other consumer segment, seeking multiple ways to pay and manage their accounts. Because every borrower’s situation is different in terms of the loan type, how quickly they want to pay it off, whether their mortgage is for residential or investment purposes, and more, offering multiple ways to pay is paramount. Some borrowers even want to split their payments—for instance, paying slightly over the required amount twice a month to pay off their loan faster. Giving the option to pay via different channels and methods helps you tailor the experience to individual customer needs. Increasingly, borrowers want to go paperless and receive their statements via email rather than snail mail. Since a mortgage payment tends to be the same amount each month, there’s less need to waste paper to print out the same statement. Going paperless also typically means that borrowers can see their account and payment history online back to a specific time. According to the National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO), 41% of potential borrowers say it’s vital that lenders offer paperless options for both the mortgage application and management process. Of course, continuing to offer paper statements for those who want them remains important—and for those who don’t, paperless can be an option.
Tips to boost payment, presentment, and promotional experiences
Mortgage companies can employ several tactics to improve the end-to-end loan communication management process.
- Multiple communication methods: Engage mortgage customers through SMS, email, digital ads, and mobile apps in addition to direct mail. Providing more communication methods increases the chances that a customer can reach you with questions and concerns when needed—and vice versa.
- Proactive information-sharing: Nearly three-quarters of Americans need clarification on various components after their loan closes. Providing tips and tools at every stage can improve customer satisfaction and make it more likely that homebuyers will give you a positive review or refer you to friends and family.
- Personalized communications: Diversifying your communications channels doesn’t mean you can recycle the same messages. You must tailor each message to the channel and the customer, considering their preferred communications methods, where they are in their loan management and home ownership journey, and other tips related to their specific situation.
- More than one bill presentment option: Don’t just stick to mailing a mortgage statement each month. Ask customers for their preferences in how they want to receive their statements. Promote additional options such as online bill pay through print, for example, via a postcard. You can also use SMS or email when customers’ monthly statements are ready.
- Various payment options: As mentioned above, multiple configurations exist for paying down a mortgage loan. Many borrowers want automatic withdrawals from their bank account, others want to use credit cards, and others want to pay over the phone or mail a check. The wisest approach is to make sure you have all these options enabled.
Give a better customer experience through EverView
EverView offers an end-to-end, integrated approach for the mortgage industry that streamlines, secures, and simplifies all transactional and marketing exchanges—both digital and print. We offer:
- Access to a full suite of communication solutions
- Multiple bill payment methods and channels
- Distributive print and mail locations
- Self-service capabilities, including letter template management
- Seamless billing software and vendor integration
- Easy and fast implementation
- Compliance with lending laws so you avoid large fines
Get in touch with us today to learn more.