No one can argue that today’s homebuyer market is shifting. Limited housing inventory, record low interest rates, and the pandemic impact on forbearance, foreclosure and bankruptcy, have all contributed to a change in servicer portfolio composition. Spurred on by super low interest rates, many borrowers have refinanced to a different servicer, or have a new servicer due to a home purchase. First-time buyers currently represent nearly a third of the homeownership market and will be interacting with a mortgage servicer for the very first time. Additionally, the overall face of homebuyers is changing as a rising percentage of millennial buyers have entered the homebuying market and now comprise a greater segment of homeownership, closing in on Gen Xers.
As the market is evolving, so are borrower expectations, necessitating a fresh look at consumer engagement and the resources that are available to help meet current needs. In this environment, do not overlook how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) can contribute to the endeavor. This is an opportune moment to gain a better understanding of what the CFPB communicates to homebuyers, as well as identify how using this educational guidance can help improve lender credibility within respective borrower communities.
Mortgage servicers, striving to embrace new and changing borrower profiles, can access extensive content, corresponding industry weblinks, and basic mortgage tools that are available on the CFPB website. This information can be incorporated directly or indirectly into borrower communications, added to borrower and servicer educational materials, integrated into servicing scripts, or made a part of borrower self-serve mechanisms. Concerned about directing your borrowers to the same site that houses the infamous CFPB complaint portal? Consider that it is better to have homeowners understand the role of the CFPB through a collaborative and educational lens, as opposed to having them reach out under duress.
The Mortgages section of the CFPB website offers answers to a myriad of questions, from what is an escrow account, to what if I can’t pay my mortgage. At a high level, the core areas designed to assist homeowners include:
- Basics of a mortgage
- Key mortgage terms
- Common issues for borrowers
- Understanding borrower interests
- How-to guides
A variety of resources are available under these categories, many of which are extremely helpful for difficult to explain scenarios, such as forced-placed insurance, handling property damage, reverse mortgages, monthly payment calculations, removing private mortgage insurance, and not to be overlooked… pandemic relief options. These topics correlate to inquiries that would normally come into a servicing call center, so servicers can actually save time and money when they leverage CFPB web content and resources.
Considering a more open and direct link to the CFPB may necessitate a bit of a paradigm shift in your organizational approach to borrower engagement. However, as the mortgage industry grapples with the next phase of the pandemic, amidst a wave of technological innovation and an evolving homeowner profile, ensuring borrower retention is becoming even more difficult.
At HomeBinder, we believe retaining client relationships under these circumstances is best realized by putting the homeowner in the driver’s seat. This is not the customer-centric proposition of the past decade, but a genuine, proven “Client for Life” methodology that we have incorporated into our centralized management platform. HomeBinder creates valued relationships with the professionals that interact with homebuyers, from realtors to lenders to home inspectors to insurance providers. We leverage this collaboration and education to deliver homeowners a valuable support system that extends throughout the homeownership lifecycle, not solely the life of the loan.
Sound different? It is…. Connect with us today to find out more about this revolutionary approach to homeowner engagement and retention. Visit us at www.homebinder.com, or contact us directly at 800.377.6915. HomeBinder ● Expected by Homeowners ● Driven by Lenders