Monday, February 16, 2009

Service vs. Price: Service is the only sustainable way to differeniate yourself

As a mortgage specialist, one of most common questions I get when a prospect calls me is what are your rates? Through Mortgage Alliance we have access to very competitive rates, but I think that is one of the least important questions. First of all, most mortgage agents have access to the same lenders, rates and programs. In addition, rates change daily and sometimes by the hour. Fortunately we have access to Mortgage Alliance's Rate Advisor (click here to visit Rate Advisor now), which gives you current rates and automatically sends you weekly e-mail updates if you sign up; however, even Rate Advisor is not 100% accurate. It doesn't change everytime a lender announces a new promotion. The number of variables that will affect your rate are too numerous to capture in a chart. While I will always do my best to give people my best estimate as to what their rate will be, I usually have to get back to them after checking for the latest updates.

How do I differentiate myself?
In a word, SERVICE. Anyone in business for themselves knows that your business will not be sustainable if you try and compete on price alone (unless you are Walmart or somebody like that). There will always be someone willing to give their service away at a lower price. That's is why I put most of my energy into figuring out how I can offer better service than my competitiors. I want to be they guy you know you can count on to get things done, the guy who answers all your questions and explains everything to you until you have no more questions, they guy who ALWAYS gets back to you and your clients and who keeps you and your clients in the loop in terms of what is going on with the mortgage. That is how I compete. Knowing how to do, what you do, better than anyone else, being more helpful and more diligent than anyone else is in our industry is, in my opinion, the only way to complete. Oh yeah, and having a good marketing idea once in a while won't hurt either.