Research shows that loan officers’ attendance at mortgage closings has a direct effect on borrower satisfaction. Although COVID-19 has changed the way people meet, the mortgage closing is still an important part of the borrower’s experience. Whether the meeting happens remotely or in-person, creating a positive closing experience should be a top priority for loan officers.
Loan Officer Presence Increases Borrower Satisfaction Exponentially
The loan officer can have a major impact on a borrower’s satisfaction with the loan process, and statistics show that the loan officer is more important now than ever. According the 2020 MortgageSAT report, 36 percent of current borrowers are first-time home buyers. Of those buyers, 87 percent relied on a referral to choose a lender.
For most borrowers, trustworthiness is a top priority when choosing a loan officer, especially for a first-time home purchase. The loan officer provides valuable advice and guidance throughout the process, so honest communication is critical. When the loan officer is present for the closing, they show the buyer that they’re available, responsive, and invested in the process. If the loan officer and borrower develop a bona fide relationship, the borrower is more likely to refer friends or family in the future.
The Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is a great way to explore the connection between the borrower’s level of satisfaction and their likelihood of recommending the lender. The 2018 MortgageSAT report found that the NPS drops by 11 points if the loan officer does not attend the closing. When the loan officer isn’t present at the closing and there are also other issues with the process, the NPS drops by 35 points.
This shows that the closing experience is one of the most important, if not the most important factor in borrower satisfaction and referral potential. To create the best possible closing experience, loan officers should do everything in their power to be present at the meeting.
COVID-19 and RON
The COVID-19 pandemic has made all types of in-person meetings more difficult. Before the pandemic hit, most states required mortgage closing ceremonies to happen in-person. Throughout 2020, mortgage closing regulations have become more relaxed in an effort to promote social distancing and reduce the spread of the virus.
Before COVID-19 arrived in the United States, 23 states had approved of Remote Online Notarization, or RON. Now, almost all states have at least approved temporary measures to allow RON while social distancing and stay-at-home orders are in place.
Federal legislature is also taking steps to make online closings more accessible. The SECURE Act of 2020 set minimum standards for remote notarizations. If this legislation passes, it will allow notaries in every state to offer RON services for mortgage closings.
RON Can Offer a Better Closing Experience
A remote mortgage closing may not sound like an ideal alternative to an in-person meeting, but RON does have some significant benefits. RON closings are more convenient for the lenders, borrowers, and closing agents as they eliminate travel time and offer more flexibility for scheduling.
Video communication platforms allow the participants to speak face-to-face even though they’re in different locations. The communication can be just as efficient and effective, but everyone can stay in the safety and comfort of their own home.
RON gives loan officers more freedom and flexibility to attend closings, which increases borrower satisfaction. The best way for loan officers to create an optimal closing experience is to offer their presence and expertise at the meeting; this is easier now with remote notarization. Take advantage of RON technology to offer borrowers a great closing experience and increase referrals and recommendations.
A Better Way to Close with BNN Services
Since 2008, BNN Services has been trusted by title agencies, mortgage lenders, servicers, and consumers to perform loan and document signings in multiple languages across the country.
Unlike other signing services, BNN Services “touches” each file 8 or 9 times to ensure the process moves forward free of delays. That’s why we’ve completed over 250,000 signings in all 51 jurisdictions and maintained a closing ratio of 96 percent.
Ready to experience the BNN Services difference? Get started today!