Millennials comprised about one-third of homebuyers in the real estate market, making them the largest demographic buying houses this past year. This population will continue to grow, becoming even more prominent in the market, which means that loan officers need to focus on building trust with these emerging homebuyers.
Loan officers aren’t alone in this feat, though. The financial services industry as a whole needs to continue working on building trust with its clientele. In 2012, only 43 percent of the general public trusted the financial services industry. The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that the general public has become more trusting this year, but not much more, peaking at just 51 percent.
This upward trend is a nice change of pace for the industry, but it still ranks as the least trusted among businesses. For the mortgage industry, specifically, gaining millennials’ trust will be essential to earning their business.
To do this, the loan origination team, marketing and compliance departments, as well as the executive branch of every mortgage company need to align to create a company culture that emphasizes transparency, clear communication, and a client-first approach.
When that's merged together with the experience and resources that millennial homebuyers expect, a foundation for trust and strong working relationships has been built.
Put Yourself In Millennials’ Shoes
Every loan officer who’s trying to build trust with millennial homebuyers should first put themselves in millennials’ shoes.
Marketing your mortgage brand isn’t going to be the same for millennials’ as it was for their parents. This generation has a poignant sense of financial success and failure, given their high school and college years were spent during the economic downturn.
And speaking of college, there is also this Mount Everest-sized amount of student loan debt, an astounding $1.2 trillion nationwide, that millennials are struggling to summit.
Understandably, it’s hard to imagine taking on a mortgage payment with a $250-and-up student loan payment, a car payment and insurance, health insurance (unless they’re still on their parents’), and looking to explore the world, which is what millennials would rather spend their money on.
What Can You Do?
So, now it’s time to confront the issue at large, how does a 21st century mortgage company appeal to a millennial homebuyer whose plate is already full?
What is working in loan officers’ favor is that millennials want to buy houses. It’s just they’re often waiting longer to do so, and part of that wait is finding the right professionals to work with.
Millennials look for professionals they can trust above all else, including traits like reputation and neighborhood insight.
But earning that trust can take a concerted effort. That effort focuses on clear communication, understanding how millennials consume information, and ultimately utilizing the power of feedback and reviews to gain and retain millennials trust.