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Customer Loyalty in Commercial Mortgage

customer loyalty in mortgageIt may seem like an oxymoron to talk about Customer Loyalty and Commercial Mortgage in the same sentence. After all, most commercial mortgages are written with a 25-30 year amortization and may or may not have a balloon payment due in 5 or 10 or even 15 years. Who even remembers the loan officer who helped them secure a commercial loan five years ago?  Mortgage brokers move on. Commercial mortgage companies come and go. To many mortgage brokers, commercial mortgages are a single transaction event with no thought of follow up years later.

Yet, as a commercial mortgage professional, there is good reason to think about creating customer loyalty.

Here’s a great definition of customer loyalty[i]:

Customer loyalty is the result of consistently positive emotional experience, physical attribute-based satisfaction and perceived value of an experience, which includes the product or services.

Positive Emotional Experience

There are several components to this definition. First of all, customer loyalty is the result of a positive emotional experience. In a cut and dried experience like applying for a commercial real estate loan, you may not think a lot about the emotional content of the experience. Yet, at each step of the process, there must be trust engendered and a willingness to go forward on the part of the borrower, based on feeling comfortable with the process and confident of the ability to achieve a successful closing. If not carefully attended to, instead of positive feelings, a borrower can easily feel irritation, frustration, and even anger if they perceive that things are not going their way.

Satisfyting Physical Experience

Secondly, there must be a physical experience of satisfaction. While closely tied to an emotional response, if a borrower becomes nervous, tense, all tied up in knots, then they are not having a physical experience of satisfaction. On the other hand, if they are relaxed, experience a sense of well-being, and are (dare we say) happy inside, then their physical demeanor closely matches their emotional experience.

As a loan officer, we may not necessarily be trained to pay attention to this part of the transaction; however, I would venture to say that the emotional and physical qualities can outweigh the content of the experience in some instances. Strong relationships, in business and in life, work on many levels, including the nonverbal and intangible aspects of experience such as how a person makes you feel about yourself when you are with them. It is often said that customers buy from people they know, like and trust. All of these aspects of success in business relationships operate on the intangible level. By establishing rapport, revealing certain aspects of yourself, and most of all, keeping small agreements, you are demonstrating your “likability” to your customers and creating a positive experience for them.

Perceived Value

Lastly, customer loyalty is a function of the “perceived value” of the experience. In commercial mortgage, it’s all about getting the deal closed. As any loan officer or commercial borrower knows, there are lots of steps along the way. This is where the commercial loan officer really earns his or her paycheck, by being the knowledge expert and guiding the borrower through the process.

One of the biggest problems in commercial mortgage is a mismatch between the type of loan offered and the needs of the borrower.  Often, in their eagerness to sell a certain loan product, especially one with a high commission, loan officers may forget to analyze the customer’s needs or fail to understand the project in enough depth.

Unexpected Benefits

Focusing on customer loyalty can have unexpected benefits. One of the biggest is getting those great testimonials that you can place on your website. Almost everyone checks out your website and having those loyal customers say great things about you helps to create that “warm fuzzy.” Also, a borrower who has had a great customer experience with you is more likely to tell his or her friends and colleagues and refer more business to you. This is, perhaps, one of the greatest benefits of having loyal customers. And finally, when a customer is in need of some related service, they are more likely to come to you first and ask you for a referral. So don’t stop relating to your customers when the deal is done. Keep in touch!

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Sofia Capital Ventures offers a great lending experience. Clients find us friendly and smart. We help borrowers with the best match possible to their lending needs based on an in-depth analysis of their loan request and financial situation. We treasure our relationships and work closely with brokers and other referral sources. We look forward to working with you as well. CONTACT US Today to get all your commercial lending questions answered.

[i] “What is Customer Loyalty?” from Beyond Philosophy website: https://beyondphilosophy.com/customer-experience/customer-loyalty/

By |June 1st, 2016|Commercial Lending, Lending Process, Private Commercial Lending, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Customer Loyalty in Commercial Mortgage
Barbara Leuin, Commercial Lending Expert
Barbara Leuin, Ph.D., Commercial Lending Expert, Colorado Springs, CO, is a serial entrepreneur and real estate investor, with over 30 years of professional experience, including 13 years of university teaching in business and economics; 16 years of business consulting; and 5 years as a full-time real estate investor. Since 1996, she has helped start-up businesses access millions in private capital. As CEO, Barbara brings visionary leadership, team-building and leadership to Sofia Capital Ventures. She is responsible for lender relationships, broker training and identifying market opportunities.

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