The home loan process can be summed up in a few words; stressful, long, slow, complicated and confusing for most home buyers and owners.
According to a Homes.com study that surveyed 2,000 homeowners, 40% of Americans say that buying a home is the most stressful event in their lifetimes. Also, American families aren’t moving as much as they used to. Where they used to trade up into a bigger home, or invest in a second house for retirement, now home buyers are buying once and sticking with that purchase as a forever home. This is a reality of the housing market today, and makes a home purchase even more important than ever, since it might be the only one they ever make.
The stress of the home loan process comes from not fully understanding the process, or a company not actually helping them through the steps of buying a home. Even though a family might score a really good interest rate, there might be other things in the process of the loan application or in buying a home that makes the whole situation unmanageable and stressful. What people need isn’t just a simplified loan application, they need a bank and an ally that helps them understand the entire situation and where a home fits into their lives. They’re not getting that today.
What can we do to change that?
Today, most customers know when a company is being disingenuous, or trying to fool them. They know when they’re getting the right price because if they want to comparison shop, all it takes is a few mouse clicks. If you can’t beat your opponents on price, you can’t hide it anymore.
The two things consumers want above all else: speed and efficiency. The mortgage industry isn’t there yet, but it’s on its way. The same rules of online shopping apply. The customer is getting used to the fastest and smoothest modes of working with a company. The mortgage and banking industries are not inept, but they’ve taken a slower path to digital adoption.
No matter how the customer shops (whether online or in a physical store), the table has been set to expect this sort of agility in their customer experiences. I’ve seen customers walk away from a home purchase they clearly wanted to make simply because the process was overcomplicated. I’ve been that customer myself.
Within the industry, this agility needs to be applied not only to the actual loan application process, but every interaction between the customer and the company. At Paramount Bank, we’re proud of the fact that we’re truly a customer-focused company. We’re considered to be an industry leader in NPS, and are always working on our processes from the top down to improve on that.
Technology advancements have opened the possibility of using artificial intelligence and machine learning in the banking and mortgage industry but, just like any new technology, there are more ways this can benefit all parties, rather than just the customer through their experience. So what benefit will banks, and especially loan officers, have when they focus on making the entire process of applying for a home loan faster and easier?
It’s pretty straightforward: speed and efficiency will always result in a direct positive impact to the bottom line. The savings a company makes in time, effort, personnel and risk can be passed back to the customer in lower costs and rates. The customer is happy because not only is the process secure, transparent and easy, but it costs less, meaning they won’t have to do another.
In the end, no matter what technology we’re using, people will always need access to capital. That’s what we sell at Paramount Bank: solutions for cash-flow and for getting ahead. If you’re buying a house, paying for education, remodeling, vacation, or anything else, your B2C experience will be better. That is our goal at Paramount Bank, to get solutions, often monetary, into the hands of our customers as quickly as possible. In order to do that we invest in the technology that makes it more efficient, easier, and simpler.
We secure home loans for those who want them with speed and efficiency. When your purchase narrative has a tight contingency deadline, like college tuition or an emergency medical bill, you can’t waste time with trying to navigate ambiguity and negotiate with a bank. Our sales cycle moves customers to solution and resolution faster; this is essential to the continued growth and stability of Paramount Bank.
Focusing on the customer by improving their experience is a win-win situation.
Eventually, however, when every company has matched the other in their speed and efficiency, it will be hard to stand out among the crowd. Price matters. (Can you imagine a company that made the process simpler, easier, and more efficient but kept their prices the same? That efficiency is going right into the company’s pockets, not the customer’s. This is a sure sign of where their priorities are.)
The new changes coming to the home loan industry, which we are spearheading, will only serve to increase that speed and efficiency. Customers want to get to the point where they pay less over the life of their home loan, or can turn it into equity faster. And when we at Paramount Bank can do that, they’re that much happier, and everyone wins.