My husband and I just bought our first house and I’m not going to lie, while being a first-time homebuyer is exciting, it’s pretty stressful! This was such an important milestone and we had a lot to consider when looking for a financial institution (FI) for our mortgage.
We looked at a few different lenders along the way before deciding on one for our mortgage. So, what went into our decision for the FI to ultimately earn our business? Here are the three key factors that influenced our decision—and what they can mean to your marketing:
- Rates. Starting with the obvious, rates played a huge role when researching lenders. I definitely rate shopped and only considered banks that had a competitive rate. I loved when websites had a rates section where I could look at all current rates and calculate what my actual payments would be. In addition, it was a must to go through the options of different types of loans and programs. Make sure all your marketing—and your website—put rates front and center. Have a great rate? Buy space on one of those mortgage shopping sites or pages.
- Flexibility. Like it or not, everyone is connected, all the time. I looked for flexible hours and availability in a financial institution, with someone to answer my questions after work and on weekends. I actually eliminated one FI pretty quickly as a result of feeling they were difficult to get a hold of (even though they had great rates!). Marketers: Make sure your lenders are accessible—either on the phone, in person or online.
- Transparency. With such a complicated process, I made sure I was getting all the details (aka, fees). It was really important to me to work with someone who was transparent and up-front about fees and what they meant. Not receiving a breakdown raised a red flag for me that I wasn’t getting the full picture (whether or not that was actually the case). And I wasn’t about to get hit with any hidden fees! Enough said here.
Our mortgage lender became part of a solid team of experts—along with our real estate agent, and lawyer—who supported us throughout the entire process, especially to help us through any hiccups. That positive experience will lead us to recommend that lender to our friends or use them again (gulp!) for future home purchases—and isn’t that what your FI really wants?
After everything, we are now happy in our new home (thanks in part to finding the right lender)!