The first step in the homebuying process is to do research and get preapproved for a mortgage. Many people may assume that internet research is most important to homebuyers, but according to a recent Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research study, homebuyers rely more upon talking with mortgage lenders and real estate agents for information about a home loan.
Revealed in Fannie Mae’s research, a majority of consumers use the phone, email, and in-person contact with their mortgage lender. As a matter of fact, 90% of consumers say they want “person-to-person (phone or in-person channels) communications with mortgage lenders in the future.”
Why People Prefer Person-to-Person Contact for Mortgage Information
For many people, their most significant financial investment is a home. They are cautious, therefore, about spending their money, and want to buy the home of their dreams with the best possible mortgage.
For something so important, most people want the personal touch. They want to hear a real voice, and often want to see the face of the mortgage lender who is so important to buying their dream home.
Onmi-Channel Approach Works Best
When consumers are making a large purchase, or deal with a potentially life-altering decision, they often do research online, and progress to person-to-person interaction.
Mortgage lenders, therefore, “say their customers most often use the telephone or email to communicate with them,” according to the Fannie Mae report. “Digital is used to support the personal interactions, not as replacement. Relationships are what matter.”
Correspondingly, homebuyers overwhelmingly believe the most influential sources of mortgage information are:
- Mortgage lenders.
- Real estate agents.
In a review of the Fannie Mae report, Steve Deggendorf and Li-Ning Huang of Market Insights Research, Economic and Strategic Research Group, said, “The MLSS results show that lenders use a mix of person-to-person (phone and local branch/office) and digital (company website, mobile app, email, and social media) channels for customer service, rather than just one type. Most believe that their omni-channel customer service strategy is strong and rate their firms quite successful at delivering customer care.”
Will Online Eventually Overcome In-Person Relationships?
Though there is speculation as to whether millennials and later generations will move away from personal interaction for their mortgage needs, consumers are still relying more on “people” than technology.
Millennials are cautious when burdening their lifestyle with monthly debt; therefore, many of them are cautious about buying a home. However, Generation Z is more inclined to purchase a home.
Based on information from Fannie Mae’s survey, “to be competitive, lenders and real estate agents must evolve their digital offerings to provide an omni-channel experience that allows consumers to move conveniently between online and personal interactions.”
Marimark Mortgage is based in Tampa, Florida, and serves the mortgage needs of homebuyers and homeowners in all of Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
We believe person-to-person interaction is important. Therefore, our office is easily assessible and open for personal visits. So, we often have homebuyers walk-in without an appointment, which we love. We also respond quickly to phone calls, emails, and all forms of communication.
We also believe that the digital experience is important to obtaining information, doing research, and communicating, So, we provide a world class website that is rich with information, and allows homebuyers to submit an entire online mortgage application with only 4 required items.