National online mortgage ads are popping up all over the place. They pay big bucks to stay at the top of the food chain. Catchy commercials, online ads, billboards, magazine ads and mailers all boasting to be the best. More and more big-box lenders brag about being the easiest, fastest, cheapest and so on.
A lot of us like doing things at a time that’s convenient for us rather than trying to work around banker’s hours. And there’s nothing wrong with convenience…especially when you couple it with a local presence, quick turn around times and low interest rates. Whether your looking for face to face interactions or not, here are 5 reasons to seek out a local mortgage provider.
Reason #1 – Local mortgage companies have a better understanding of the local market.
Would you hire a real estate agent out of New York to find you a home in rural Wisconsin? I suppose you could. An agent could set up showings, offer advice, email an offer to the sellers agent from anywhere. But, how well would he or she understand the neighborhood? What about the school district? Would your out of state agent know about the volatility of the local market or pricing trends?
The same is true of your home loan professional. You could receive good service from a lender located across the country. But, a local mortgage advisor is going to have a much better understanding of the local market. What may be important to an individual buying a condo in Manhattan, may be very different from a family purchasing a three bedroom ranch in Manitowoc. Working with someone who understands that rural areas qualify for additional loan programs may save you a lot of money.
Reason #2 – You control the competitive edge.
When large companies in any industry spend millions of dollars on marketing, they gain the competitive edge. Extensive marketing brings in a high volume of consumers. This heavy flow of traffic allows the big lenders to be more selective about their clients. The focus is more on quantity versus quality. After all, if you decide to go elsewhere; another customer will likely take your place shortly.
Smaller, local companies don’t generally have the resources for expensive marketing campaigns. In this case, you (the customer), gains the competitive edge. Your local mortgage professional will try to win you over by giving great customer service. Your mortgage advisor will work hard to find you the very best interest rate and closing cost options. A local mortgage company will focus more on quality than quantity. Each and every potential customer is important and your loan officer will compete for your business.
Reason #3 – Local mortgage professionals live and die by referrals and reviews.
It’s hard for small mortgage businesses to get ahead in todays competitive market. One bad review out of a thousand isn’t usually a big deal. However, it’s not easy for a smaller local company to get a hundred reviews let alone a thousand. One bad review out of ten can be devastating to any small business. You can bet any loan officer at a local company understands the importance of keeping customers happy.
Word of mouth is paramount to succeeding in a local market. People often ask for advice and recommendations when seeking a mortgage professional. Often times you don’t even need to ask. Parents, real estate agents, co-workers and friends will share their advice even if you don’t ask for it. Social media has become king when it comes to recommendations and free advice. Your local mortgage professionals will work hard to impress you so that you can share your wise advice with others.
Reason #4 – You deserve good communication and availability.
Have you ever called a company only to be bounced around, placed on hold, asked for 52 forms of identifying information and then been “accidentally” disconnected? It happens to the best of us. Between automated phone systems, multiple departments, and differing time-zones; it can be tricky to get answers.
Having a local mortgage company allows you to avoid many of the aforementioned headaches. You generally get to know your small mortgage team pretty well when you choose a local provider. Some mortgage professionals offer their private cell numbers, answer calls during evening and weekend hours. Your advisor knows you and your situation so you don’t have to keep explaining it. It’s generally pretty easy to get answers and reassurance. This is not only important for you, but it also makes it easier for your real estate agent, insurance company and title company.
Reason #5 – Most smaller mortgage companies are just as tech savvy and convenient as the big guys.
Simple online applications, electronic signatures and document portals aren’t reserved for the bigger home loan companies. Many of the smaller mortgage providers understand the importance of ease. In our busy lives, we all crave a little simplicity. The main difference between larger national companies and smaller local mortgage companies is flexibility. Your local mortgage professionals will be able to offer services you won’t find with a company located in California. Perks like face to face meetings, collecting documents if you aren’t able to scan them, and accompanying you to the closing to answer questions and offer support. It’s the best of both worlds. Convenience coupled with a personal touch.