Ready to Plug the Hole in Your Retention Bucket?

Sophisticated, ever-demanding, always informed, fickle. Thanks to an endless abundance of content and choices, these are the adjectives that describe a consumer in the 21st century.

They desire authentic, personalized experiences from their favorite brands and have high expectations for the service they are provided. They want a product the moment they need it—which typically means now—and are more knowledgeable than ever due to the never-ending flow of online information. And they are infatuated with the idea of newness, committing themselves to continually discovering the latest trends, products, and services.

So, what does this mean for all of us in the mortgage industry? It’s simple, really: Retaining the borrowers in our existing client bases is more important than ever.

Now, you may be thinking that when it comes to developing long-term relationships with customers, our industry does particularly well, especially when compared with industries that have notoriously poor customer retention rates, such as travel and hospitality. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For example, according to Black Knight’s Mortgage Monitor report, only 18% of refinancing borrowers are retained. Today’s borrowers are more than willing to work with a new lender if they are offering lower interest rates, reduced closing costs, or a more streamlined application process.

Marketing experts have created dozens of analogies to explain the importance of customer retention—comparing it to everything from a marriage to a game of tug-of-war—but the one we feel is most accurate is this: Building a successful mortgage business with a poor retention program is like trying to fill a bucket with a hole. You can keep the water running, but the bucket will never be full.

With this mind, we compiled a list of the retention strategies that will plug the hole in your bucket and ensure it overflows with repeat customers.

A positive lending experience

Whether a client is purchasing a home or refinancing an existing loan for the first time or is a seasoned veteran of either process, securing a mortgage can be a complex and stressful one. A client wants to feel confident that the loan officer is offering the best service and support possible.  

A successful customer retention program starts during the lending process. The client needs to know that the LO will always respond to their questions in a timely fashion and address their concerns in a polite, friendly manner. This builds trust, increases credibility, and, most important of all, gives the client a positive lending experience. And a satisfied client will be more likely to return to the loan officer for their next loan as well as recommend them to family, friends, and colleagues. 

Impactful content

Within a successful retention program, email campaigns and direct mail pieces are never considered marketing opportunities—they are considered chances to connect in a direct and intimate way with a client.


Content that is written in clear, everyday language will help forge stronger connections. This means shortening sentences, skipping complex words and technical terms, and injecting a bit of personality. 


Finally, the most impactful content should be written so that the customer feels like they are being spoken to directly. Such an approach makes it more likely that they believe the LO understands their needs, has a unique solution for their problems, and will deliver on their promise to assist them.   

Connecting at the right moment

Delivering impactful content is only half the equation; the other half is connecting at the right time through the right channel. For example, giving customers who are ready to navigate the mortgage process access to landing page information that details each step in the financing process. Or sending a first-time buyer a direct mail piece detailing the FHA and USDA loan programs.

Whatever the case may be, delivering the right message at the right moment greatly enhances relationships with borrowers, making it more likely that they work with the loan officer again.

Predictive analytics

And connecting at the right moment is predicated on employing predictive analytics that offer insight into customers’ behaviors. Simply put, smart data drives smart customer retention decisions.

This is especially true when it comes to addressing the problem of portfolio runoff. The right data will help the LO better understand who they are losing business to and which solutions they could have offered to keep their client and boost overall satisfaction.

A valued marketing partner

Are you struggling with transforming customers into customers-for-life? Volly can help! Contact us today for a free demo and learn how we can be your valued marketing partner.

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