Now more than ever, consumers are in control of the home purchase process. Lenders are responding by creating superior experiences—and the right data is helping them know when and how to most effectively engage. Here are a few ways we see lenders using data to make the shopping experience better in 2019.

1. Customer Data
The customer is, by far, the most important consideration while making any decision in your business. Understanding what you can do to make them appreciate engaging with your brand is important. Sending a Happy Birthday or Happy Mortgage Anniversary email or text is incredibly easy to do and is a reminder to your customers that someone is thinking about them.

I’ve worked with one particular loan consultant who carves out 15 minutes each day, while having his morning coffee, to send quick and personalized messages to all of his past customers on their birthdays. Some of these messages have turned into conversations that uncovered mutual friendships or other commonalities. Many of these instances led to future business and, after a couple of years, 75% of his monthly production is repeat or referral business from past customers, not realtors.

2. Data Intelligence
Gaining a wider view of the customer journey can help make or break your marketing strategies. Data intelligence is collecting relevant information about your customers and prospects that you can take action on. When you add additional data sources to your existing dataset, your view is greatly expanded and you’re able to make more informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

Whether it’s attitudinal data about their preference of communication method (text, email, call) or behavioral data that can provide alerts as to when your customers are back in-market for a mortgage, understanding more about your customers will pay dividends in the long run. It provides a personalized approach to each customer called people-based marketing and has proven to deliver greater results than the one-size fits all lead-based marketing approach.

3. Outreach Data
Studies have analyzed performance relative to speed-to-contact attempt, and the quickest mortgage lenders achieve a mind-blowing four seconds between the time they receive the consumer inquiry and when they dial the customer.

The data is clear, the first lender to have a conversation with gains the advantage over the competition and learns more about the consumers goals for financing while establishing a relationship as the trusted advisor. The second lender is having to convince the customer that it would be worthwhile to repeat their goals to another lender to receive a competing offer. The goal of the shopper should be to obtain competing quotes and save money by negotiating the best rate and fees from the lenders responding to their inquiry. Speaking to multiple lenders and receiving three or four competitive quotes should yield the best offer and maximize the savings for the consumer. However, if each conversation lasts 30-40 minutes, the consumer typically becomes fatigued and doesn’t want to talk with more than two lenders. This results in a substantial decrease in conversion rates for those lenders that are not the first or second conversations.

Mike Eshelman is Head of Consumer Finance at Jornaya. Contact him at meshelman@jornaya.com.