Take your credit union hat off and let’s walk in the consumer’s shoes for just a moment. When you think of financing a home, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Does your stomach automatically go into knots and get queasy? I look back on the first time I bought a home and recall how everyone told me it was going to be so hard and stressful. I had low expectations because quite frankly everyone painted this horrible picture of how awful it was going to be to buy a home.
I’d expect that most people, and especially first-time homebuyers, have the same low expectations of the process of taking out a mortgage. I’d say most people don’t have any idea what will be hard about it. I certainly didn’t. I just believed I would be stressed out and frustrated by the end. But I do think most people think it will be a difficult undertaking.
Let’s put our professional credit union hats back on. As lenders and mortgage professionals, we have the opportunity to kill any dread members feel with the first contact we have with them. The first person to talk to a member about a home loan sets the stage for all the interactions going forward. That first interaction should be a thorough discussion about what’s ahead, who they will hear from, timelines, responsibilities, fees, and terms, all tied together with a smile and friendly voice. That’s what credit unions are great at—personal service—which provides confidence and a feeling of security in navigating the transaction.
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