Capitalizing on the mortgage refinance opportunity: 5 questions to ask to ensure success

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Freddie Mac’s average 30-year fixed rate fell to 3.8% at the end of June, down over 20% since their recent peak in November 2018. This presents a huge opportunity for originators to boost their refinance-origination volumes, especially at a time when mortgage application activity has remained flat. But, capitalizing on this opportunity requires originators to quickly identify qualified borrowers and launch a borrower outreach campaign – before interest rates creep up.

The challenge for most originators lies in scaling their lead generation platform, borrower outreach capabilities and loan production capacity quickly, while containing costs and maintaining quality.  Outsourcing lead generation to a licensed provider with deep domain expertise can help organizations effectively address these challenges and capitalize on ‘Mini-Refi’ booms as rates dip. The key to getting this right though is to identify the right-fit partner.

Five questions to ask when choosing a lead generation partner

Do you offer support across the sales funnel to ensure quality and accountability?

Given the short window of time, you need a vendor that can support your end-to-end sales funnel – from lead generation to application and loan funding. Do they offer white-glove service with warm transfer introductions and lead hand-offs to loan officers? Ask if they can back up their claims with SLAs such as typical contact rate, contact-to-transfer rate, transfer-to-app rate and app-to-fund rate.

Do you have extensive mortgage domain expertise and a proven delivery model?

It’s important to understand the value proposition that a vendor brings to the table. For instance, how many years of mortgage expertise do they have under their belt? Do they offer holistic process consulting services ranging from data appends to workflow management? Can they deploy a right-shore delivery model with multi-lingual capabilities to service a diverse customer base?

How do you ensure right-fit talent to deliver high-quality support and services?

Right-fit talent is crucial to delivering premium services consistently. Check if they hire resources with adequate call center/sales background. Do they ensure their agents have the right temperament – such as patience, enthusiasm, and empathy – to deliver customer-centric support?

Are you licensed to generate leads? How do you ensure regulatory compliance?

Due to the large downside risks of conducting lead generation without a license, the mortgage industry is regulating lead generators intensely. Lead generation companies must, therefore, take precautions to ensure they are in compliance with licensing laws before undertaking lead generation activities in a state. Check if they adhere to Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and other regulatory calling guidelines and are licensed to operate in most states.

Do you have a well-defined calling strategy?

A solid calling strategy is crucial to generating high quality leads at reduced costs. Check if the vendor employs strategies such as calling window optimization underpinned by strong voicemail messaging capabilities. Would they be willing to do A-B testing to tweak calling scripts? Do they conduct joint call calibrations regularly – say on a daily/weekly basis?

While a sizeable opportunity exists for originators in the immediate term, there’s a lot of uncertainty in terms of how long the interest rates are likely to stay low. Mortgage originators that move quickly to partner with an experienced lead generation partner will be well-positioned to take advantage of the short window of opportunity.
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