Five Discussions to have with your Clients

September 8, 2022

As a new Mortgage Agent there is a lot of information to take in including processes and regulations. Learning how to conduct a thorough client interview and submit an application in good order is key to hitting the ground running. Successful Mortgage Agents provide full, detailed applications and clearly demonstrate that they know their client. How do you do that effectively? You ask the right questions, listen and take notes.

Here are 5 basic conversations to have with your client to help you gather the information you need:

Question 1: “Tell me about your credit history.”

Your follow-up questions should cover:

  • How long they have had credit
  • How they pay their credit, i.e. paying minimum payment or full balances
  • Whether they have missed payments
  • If they have co-signed any loans
  • If they have had any collections, judgments, support payments, bankruptcies
  • Whether they have filed/paid their income taxes and are they up to date on property taxes

Question 2: “Tell me about your income.”

Your follow-up questions should cover:

  • All sources of income
  • If they are self employed, how the business is set up, i.e. sole proprietorship or incorporated
  • How long have they been at their current and previous jobs
  • How stable and consistent is their income?

Question 3: “Tell me about your property.”

Depending on whether it’s a new purchase or refinance, your follow-up questions should cover:

  • What type of property is it, i.e. owner occupied, rental, mixed use
  • How long have they lived there
  • Any improvements they have done or improvements needed
  • Unique features of the home
  • Known negatives, e.g. previous fire or flood damage

Question 4: “Tell me about your future plans and goals.”

Your follow-up questions should cover:

  • How long they intend to stay in their home
  • Whether they expect lump sums of income, e.g. work bonuses, inheritance etc.
  • Any anticipated job changes
  • Expected changes to family, e.g. newborn children or college costs

Question 5: “Tell me what’s important to you about your mortgage.”

Your follow-up questions should cover whether their priorities include:

  • Flexible payment options
  • Prepayment penalties
  • Portable/assumable
  • Lowest payment vs quickest payoff

An effective Mortgage Agent will take the time to have a thorough conversation with their clients, personalize the experience by asking the right questions, and then listen. Once you have a complete picture of your client’s situation, you can readily place them with the lender with whom they have the best fit.