How to Improve the Homeowner Experience while Navigating Regulatory Requirements

Our Chief Operating Officer Marianne Sullivan recently moderated a panel at the MBA Servicing Conference in Orlando, Florida focused on ways that servicers can provide a superior homeowner experience in the face of ever-nuanced regulatory requirements.  

Marianne was joined by executives from leading mortgage and tech companies to discuss the delicate dance that exists for servicers as they attempt to provide a frictionless consumer experience while navigating complex regulatory requirements. Marianne was joined on the panel by: 

  • Sage Nichols, CoreLogic 
  • Danna Dillard, Housing Finance Strategies 
  • Yvette Gillmore, ServiceLink 
  • LaQuanda Sain, Rocket Mortgage 

Below we’ve recapped some of the key insights from Marianne and the other panelists on best practices to maximize operational efficiency while delivering the best homeowner experience possible.  

Homeowners Are the Heart of the Operation   

As with everything in the servicing industry, understanding the homeowners’ needs lies at the heart of creating an excellent experience. Servicing teams should work to build a relationship with homeowners that is based on efficiency, trust, and success.  

“We use the phrase, ‘love your team, love your clients,’… what that means is I’m going to create an experience for you unlike any other experience because I want you to trust that the information, I’m telling you is for your own good,” said LaQuanda Sain. “I want you to continue to call, or chat, or self-serve. I want you to trust the platform and trust our team members.” 

CoreLogic’s Sage Nichols emphasized the importance of speed and efficiency in homeowner interactions. Some borrowers only go through the home-buying and servicing process once, so it’s important that we make the process seamless and easy to understand to avoid any unnecessary complications or confusion.  

“The customer not only deserves speed, they also deserve to have someone on the other side of the trade that says I care about whatever this issue is,” said Sage. 

Meeting Consumers Where They Are 

With extensive amounts of customer data available to companies, the homeowner experience can and should be tailored to fit the homeowners’ preferences, not only in how their problem is addressed but also in how they communicate with the customer service team member. 

It is all about servicing customers in real time. Real-time data in real-time,” said Marianne. “Do you know how many times people called the call center to find out if their payment was received? With technology today, you can see that information in real-time and that’s huge! 

Housing Finance Strategies’ Dana Dillard highlighted the importance of identifying pain points for homeowners and figuring out how servicers can best offer relief. Educating the consumer is key in facilitating a quality consumer experience. With tech, especially in the mortgage industry, customers learn better through the slow burn of drip information approach. 

Part of education is building a company culture centered around the customer. Corporate leaders should prioritize helping their team remove roadblocks and get in the trenches to understand how to equip their team with the right tools to consistently deliver the best possible customer experience. 

Ever-Changing Regulatory Environment 

Navigating the current regulatory environment can be complex, but there are ways to be proactive while benefiting the consumer. The panel discussed how — while a one-size-fits-all approach may be easy — it is not necessarily the safest option. Proper data-driven decision making provides security and long-term benefits to both lenders and borrowers. 

No two homeowners are the same, and the panelists discussed ways in which servicers can and should better serve minority, low-income, and low-English proficiency borrowers by analyzing servicing data for variance between populations, making fair servicing a company priority from the C-suite to call centers. 

As one panelist said, “as a customer, I’m unique and I need to be treated as such because if I wasn’t that I wouldn’t reach out to you…As a customer, I want speed and accuracy, but I don’t want to be treated like everyone else.” 

It is important to remember how, as in all aspects of servicing, strategically utilizing tech can improve your company’s ability to deliver the best possible customer experience. This is why Sagent’s approach to building the future of mortgage servicing prioritizes features to help servicing teams keep homeowners happy, stable, and engaged through the life of their loan. Learn more about what that future looks like here.  

 

 

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