When it comes to building a good reputation in the housing market as a reliable lender, feedback from your key markets is, well, key. That’s why the South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s (SDHDA) regular survey of mortgage lending customers participating in the SDHDA homeownership programs offers some valuable insight into where your customers’ heads are at.
Here are just a few of the notable findings from the most recent survey.
You’re the word of mouth
When it comes to learning about SDHDA’s homeownership programs, lenders remain the most common source of this information, accounting for more than half of recent referrals. It’s a consistent trend over the past few years that potential homebuyers in the South Dakota market are going to their trusted bankers first and foremost to get advice on what steps to take. Don’t forget to pass along this variety of options to all of your lending customers.
The motivations are varied
When asked why they opted for an SDHDA homeownership program, whether it be the First-Time Homebuyer Program or the Repeat Homebuyer Program, there were mixed responses on the reasoning. While half of lending parties said it was due to the lower interest rates, the other half said it was under the advice of a lender. The trust level with your customers it there – take advantage by offering them the truly best options to fit their specific needs. They’ll listen.
While not an across-the-board instance (as the occasion doesn’t always call for it, perhaps), the notion of pre-qualifying someone for a home purchase is becoming more and more the norm in South Dakota over the years, with nearly 100 percent of SDHDA customers citing a pre-qualification process through a lender in the most recent survey. This is up significantly from previous months – at year’s end in 2015, about 85 percent of respondents were pre-qualified. Discuss this option with your patrons – it’s a growing trend for buyers.
Fear drives avoidance
When asked what the greatest barriers to buying a home and lending were, respondents were most frequently apt to say fear or unfamiliarity with the process (71 percent) and fear of downpayment and closing costs (38 percent). And while a much smaller representation of the respondents cited this, monthly payments larger than a rental property (12 percent) and the amount of paperwork (12 percent) were additionally mentioned. Know your customers’ barriers to entry – it’ll give you the conversation starters you need to find the best option.
Take these key takeaways to the bank – your bank – to make sure you’re serving your community’s home-lending needs by speaking to the mentality they’re in once the home-purchasing discussion begins.