By KIMBERLEY HAAS
As the end of the year nears, mortgage professionals are hustling, and although it may seem like it takes a lot more to get consumers to say “yes” in 2023, a leading real estate trainer and coach says it’s all about preparing for positive interactions with borrowers.
Ron Vaimberg started in the real estate business in 1983 and founded The New York Mortgage Institute in 1997. Today, he is the president of Ron Vaimberg International in Jefferson Valley, NY, working with professionals in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Vaimberg said market frustrations – whether they be over a lack of inventory or the fact that borrowers are qualifying for less due to high interest rates – have crept too far into the mindsets of people working on the front lines and it shows.
“Because the mindset in the industry is so negative right now, both in mortgage and real estate, anybody who is out there has to be a voice of optimism. And I find that a lot of the folks are struggling even with that,” Vaimberg said.
Vaimberg said it’s time for people to shift their mindset, changing their inner dialogue from what they can’t control to what they can.
Vaimberg said a common mistake loan officers are making is that they are trying to use logic when talking with customers and that comes across as a lecture.
“They’re talking about home price appreciation, and they’re talking about all of the numbers of what it could cost you if you wait. And that’s a completely logical approach. And if you look at the numbers, the likelihood of it making sense is very high financially. The big gap that’s missing where my clients are having the greatest success is when they add in this part that I tell them to add in. And they have to add in the emotion,” Vaimberg said.
Vaimberg said adding emotion can be as simple as asking the right questions: Where do you want to be when rates start coming down and prices are pushed upwards due to pent-up demand? If the bidding wars start again and you don’t own a home, how would you feel if you missed out?
“When you start asking the emotional questions, you’re getting past the numbers, and the reason why this is such a powerful strategy is because the majority of human beings make decisions emotionally and they justify their decisions with logic,” Vaimberg said.
Vaimberg said the secret to overcoming objections is to acknowledge them, get in alignment with the customer, and then ask another question.
“Very few people will ever prepare enough for the objections and challenges that they are going to get. The majority of loan officers are focused on what they are going to say. They don’t focus on what they are going to ask,” Vaimberg said.
That doesn’t mean data isn’t important. As a matter of fact, Vaimberg said mortgage professionals should always have enough information available for whoever they are speaking with. It’s more about the approach, he said.
Vaimberg said even though society has changed in the post-Covid world, mortgage professionals still have the most ability to influence a customer when meeting face-to-face.
“Post-Covid, it’s harder to get face-to-face but there’s still a lot of people that will meet face-to-face for the simple reason that buying a home is an emotional process. The more emotional a buying decision is, the more human engagement is required,” he said.
The second best option, Vaimberg said, is an online video meeting because people feel as if they are in the same room together, even when they are not.
On the phone, it’s much harder to read the person on the other end of the line, and that can make it harder to establish a connection, Vaimberg said.
Vaimberg has coached loan officers and brokers who have ranked in the top 1% in loan production and earned over $1 million annually.
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