Being in the mortgage industry for the past 8 years I have come to realize that showing appreciation to your clients is a must. If I were running my own company I would even make it mandatory for VA loan officers. If you think about the process of buying a home it would seem like the Broker holds all the cards, but in reality it’s the Solider or Veteran.
The Loan Officer works for them, not the other way around. At any time during the process of completing the application and closing of escrow, the client – if they want – can find someone else to work with. I don’t want to sound like VA loan officers have no value or bring nothing to the table, its just good to understand what my responsibility is – WHICH IS HELPING THE SOLDIER/VETERAN! Without them I cannot put food on the table, but they can still get a VA loan without me.
I hope that did not sound like a rant, I just want to get the point across of how important the Veteran is.
There are many ways that I can show appreciation for Veterans and Soldiers buying homes. Let me list some of what I have done:
1. Give them the service they deserve. When talking with them on the phone or in person be sure to thank them for their military service. Sometimes address them using their Rank – this shows respect. Be prompt in your timelines and expectations.
2. Offer competitive rates. Be competitive in the marketplace. Veterans and Soldiers will know if you are giving them higher VA interest rates and higher fees. I’m not suggesting doing the loan for free, but don’t “stick it” to them either. Trying to back pedal after you’ve been “caught” offering a bad deal is not a fun situation to be in.
3. Communicate. This is key. The best clients I have are the ones where I talk with them about the process of buying a home. I always try to educate Veterans or Active Military. Before closing explain to them how the final settlement statement looks and if there are any changes regarding rates, fees etc. NEVER DO A BAIT AND SWITCH!
4. Give them something of value. This is not too much to ask. Something simple like a Home Depot gift card or a house warming gift. The most recent purchase I did was here locally in UT. There were some speed bumps along the way to say the least. At the closing table I brought in a gift basket full of over the counter medicine as a joke. I also had some dish towels for the wife. They did not expect this, but they were very grateful because it was going above and beyond the call of duty.
5. Follow up. After the dust settles and your clients have moved in or completed their refinance, call them and ask how they like their new home or lower monthly payments. Send them birthday cards or Holiday cards.
In order to be successful in this business, you must always show your Veteran/ Active military clients that you care and appreciate them. Before you know it they will be sending referrals to you and that’s when you know you have created a business partner for life.