After the housing boom in 2021, many people are wondering if there is a meltdown ahead, especially with inflation soaring. However, experts agree that the housing market is unlikely to fundamentally change in terms of demand.
However, what is changing is how people buy homes, including the types of mortgages they choose, who they work with, and how they close. It is important for real estate agents to be aware of trends in the mortgage industry and how they may affect homebuyers’ experiences and expectations.
Homebuyers are like non-bank mortgages
Non-bank mortgage lenders like Guaranteed Rate continue to gain new customers. Unlike traditional large banks, these non-bank lenders can be easier to deal with because they offer a faster mortgage path, are open to more customers, and are often more digitally savvy in how they work with customers.
They usually offer more services online, and since they focus entirely on mortgage lending, their websites and apps are more accessible to homebuyers – unlike those of major banks that have layers of other offerings.
Non-banking organizations demonstrate their expertise in meeting consumer expectations of speed, flexibility and digital customer experience; This is something that real estate agents can facilitate by adopting processes that offer the same level of service.
Electronic shutdowns are booming
The pandemic has accelerated the use of all-digital lockdowns (eClosings) when social distancing has made it difficult to close in person. The bright side is that eClosings have a lot of long-term benefits that go beyond social distancing. Lenders and home buyers alike are increasingly turning to eClosings for their convenience and efficiency. For real estate agents, in particular, eClosings can allow for a faster turnaround of closings, equating to a faster commission-receiving turnaround.
Fully digital closings can be facilitated with an eClosing software such as NotarizeSM The platform, which allows all aspects of mortgage closing, including documentation, to take place entirely online. This means that signers can participate from anywhere with an internet connection. This saves real estate agents (and their clients) significant time they can spend on in-person closing, provides a convenient signing experience, and improves the quality of transactions.
Customer service is king (especially online)
With more homebuyers moving their purchase online, it is important for all real estate professionals to provide excellent customer service, even if you don’t interact face to face with a customer.
For lenders and title agents, this means investing in tools that will give buyers a seamless digital experience – from loan pre-approval to closing. JD Power Rocket Mortgage rates it as having the highest level of customer satisfaction and notes that digital tools backed by live personal services are a particularly important combination for younger clients. Making sure the digital experience feels personal and intuitive is now part of the customer service strategy for many lenders that focus on the Internet.
Real estate agents deal with a mix of homebuyers, which means that the quality of customer service will look different depending on the situation. Some clients may live nearby and can view all properties in person. However, agents must be able to support clients who cannot (or would prefer not) to travel to actually view properties. With video conferencing and virtual tours, agents can still provide great customer service even if they are not with an actual customer. It’s also helpful to have a lender and property agent that you can partner with that gives your customers the option of eClosings.
Agents who are digitally savvy and focus on providing great service and flexibility (both online and in person) will be well positioned to meet home buyer expectations throughout the buying process. Learn more about Notarize.
Notar is the leader in online documentation, which is simpler, smarter and more secure than documenting documents on paper. From buying or selling a home, to adopting a child, Notarize brings 24/7 online confidence to life’s most important moments. For more information, please visit notarize.com