Originally published in MBA NewsLink // November 15, 2022
In the college football rankings, both performance and the strength of schedule are important factors, but the win-loss record has the most impact on where a team ranks each week. It doesn’t matter if they were leading for most of the game and lost due to a last-second score; the loss sticks with the team and the fans. This same concept applies to lenders and borrowers. The closing ceremony is the last chance to ensure the lender walks away with a win and doesn’t fumble the ball at the goal line.
Today’s consumers expect a digital experience in almost every situation, and obtaining a mortgage is no different. When faced with two or more similar options, consumers often choose based on which option is better suited to fit their lifestyle. For lenders wanting to ensure their spot at the top of the rankings, providing a superior closing experience is an essential part of the game plan, of which remote online notarization is a key element.
Just as it is easier to score from the opponent’s one yard line than from your own one yard line, borrowers consider the closing to be the more straightforward step in the mortgage process, meaning lenders should be able to walk right into the endzone. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. One in five borrowers experiences an issue that impacts overall borrower satisfaction during the mortgage process, and 70% of those borrowers experience an issue during the closing. For 38% of borrowers who experience an issue at closing, it resulted in a 34-point decrease in the lender’s Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Borrowers who walk out of the closing ceremony feeling the taste of victory can drive up a lender’s NPS and fuel new business efforts through positive reviews and referrals. Today’s borrowers are choosing lenders who offer digital experiences that meet their needs and possess a proven track record of delivering a positive experience. More first-time borrowers selected their lender based on its ability to provide an exceptional customer experience versus offering the best rate.
For lenders looking to offer a winning experience at every closing, RON is the reliable play that scores every time. It can be easy to implement, doesn’t require lenders to change a lot of their existing processes and, most importantly, helps get the ball over the goal line to deliver a superior closing experience. Unlike a win-loss record or the college football rankings, not every lender uses the same measuring stick to determine customer satisfaction. For those lenders using NPS, providing a better closing experience can result in a 33-point jump in NPS.
Not only does RON provide a better closing experience for borrowers and help lenders generate positive customer feedback, but it also saves lenders time and money. Lenders can save more than $500 per loan closed electronically with RON and reduce loan cycles by more than 2 days. Given the current industry-wide concerns surrounding volume and profitability, lenders can ill-afford to take a knee on an investment that can deliver these kinds of savings and drive business growth.
First impressions are important, but the final impression makes a lasting impact. Playing a great game only to lose focus in the final minute and take an “L” represents both wasted effort and opportunity. While there’s no such thing as a guaranteed win, adding RON to the closing process is like starting the game with 40 points on the scoreboard – victory is all but assured.