Every June, we celebrate National Homeownership Month and look at the state of homebuying in America. But this year, I challenge the industry to look inward, and ask ourselves if we’re giving our customers the services they want and the financial education that they need.
Over the years, I have found that there are three things consumers want from the mortgage industry and from the homebuying process in general.
Consumers want to feel in control of their finances. Buying a home can be an overwhelming process. People hate the fact that their finances are under scrutiny, and many simply feel like they don’t know what they’re doing. I’ve met consumers who are financially ready to buy a house but they’ve put it off because they just don’t feel comfortable or know which steps to take. As an industry we can help people to feel empowered enough to move toward homeownership by making sure they get the financial education that they need. By showing people that they are equipped to make wise choices and can thrive as homeowners, we ensure that our industry benefits from a stream of healthy borrowers to work with.
Consumers want to work with people they trust. Homebuyers and homeowners want to feel comfortable disclosing the details of their financial lives. However, more often, they feel like their financial habits are being judged and scrutinized. When we provide consumers with financial education, we become their allies. We let them know that we’re not just interested in making the sale, but rather we’re interested in helping them to be financially fit for life.
Consumers want to have options. Homebuyers and homeowners want choices and they want to feel empowered when they’re considering one of the biggest financial transactions of their lives. They don’t want to be given only one course of action; they want to discuss an array of different choices to come up with the best solution for them. Financial education gives consumers more options. When they have a better understanding of financial principles, they make better choices every day and they enter the homebuying process from a place of power. With more options, they are likely to be happier with the entire homebuying experience.