Fairway named top lender in customer satisfaction survey by JD Power

consumer Satisfaction increases year by year While that’s a good sign in a purchase-intensive market that typically requires more customer contact, partnerships with mortgage originators will be difficult to maintain as cost-cutting and layoffs are likely to continue, JD Power said.

Meanwhile, Fairway Independent Mortgage overtook Rocket Mortgage as the highest-scoring company (776 to 759). Last year, Fairway ranked fourth with a score of 733, while Rocket scored 750.

The industry average score is 730 points, an increase of 14 points from last year’s 716 points.

“At Fairway, we constantly talk about the overriding need for speed and the importance of smooth, timely closings. Borrowers want things to happen quickly, without any hitches, and we build our lending experience with this in mind,” Steve “We have systems in place to prioritize our customers, and we believe this award is recognition of our efforts,” Jacobson said in a press release.

Craig Martin, executive managing director and global head of wealth and lending intelligence, explains that factors that contribute to greater satisfaction are providing assistance and communication to customers, as well as providing them with the right products.

“One of the areas where we see the industry potentially experiencing some difficulty is [consumers] Loans are being provided to meet [their] Demand,” Martin said. “This is one area where we are seeing decline, but [Fairway’s] Did a really good job in that area this year. “

This year’s results come after the industry was told in October 2022 that it would need to cut 30% of capacity from origin operations; 12 months later, Marina Walsh of the Mortgage Bankers Association said ,industry Only a 20% reduction so far and More cuts need to be made.

MBA reports third-quarter losses per origination increased from prior period Increased from $534 to $1,015, driven primarily by increased spending. The financial outlook for at least the next two quarters is bleak.

Martin is concerned about future scores, given that factors that drive positive satisfaction include lenders’ responsiveness.

Home purchase borrowers want their lenders to help solve their problems, explain what to expect and keep them informed.

The survey found that 38% of respondents started working with a lender when they first considered buying. Meanwhile, the share of respondents who believe loan officers should be more involved in the application process jumped to 40% from 29% in the 2022 survey.

Martin continued that while they use self-service digital tools, today’s consumers more often seek in-person contact.

“It’s more of a partnership,” Martin said. “We do see it becoming really important to get involved early and give them the confidence to find a home and then figure out what all the steps are.”

But that connection may be difficult to establish and maintain in the future as companies cut back on sales and back-office staff.

given Round after round of layoffs In the past and in the future, “if your frontline employees are always concerned and worried, how does that affect the way they treat customers?” he asked.

Additionally, mortgage rates have remained stubbornly high over the past year, first temporarily Breaking through the 7% mark This happened briefly last November.But interest rates have soared recently, with some lenders rumored to be offering 30-year fixed-rate loans in excess of 8%; Freddie Mac data shows interest rates have peaked It was 7.79% at the end of October.

While purchases are less sensitive to interest rates, they are not immune. But the survey found that only 31% of borrowers chose lenders because they offered the lowest interest rates. The remaining 69% made their choice based on the reasons mentioned by Martin, including personal service and help navigating the mortgage market.

Having said that, rate quotes still have to be competitive. “If your prices are extremely outlandish, I don’t think you’re going to get business, that’s just the reality,” Martin said.

But if the difference is small, borrowers will ask themselves “Who do I trust?” and consider the possible trade-offs when making a choice, he said.

Meanwhile, first-time homebuyers are less satisfied than repeat homebuyers because higher mortgage rates can make it more difficult to qualify for a loan. half of the purchasing market Made up of first-time homebuyers, Zillow said.

“Even the products they’re showing may be different than they were a few years ago, so we’re seeing that impact their experience,” Martin said.

First-time borrowers may receive the same level of help from lenders as in the past, but the environment for obtaining loans is now more challenging, which may affect their response.

Other lenders ranked highly this year include Citibank (score of 756), Prosperity Home Mortgage (score of 748) and Bank of America (score of 747).

guild mortgage, that’s just Highest satisfaction score two years ago Among initiators, it ranks fourth from the bottom with 702.

The only lenders with lower scores were Freedom Mortgage (699 points), Loandepot (692 points) and NewRez (676 points).

Lenders have minimum response thresholds to receive a score. Additionally, lenders serving a limited market may be scored but are not included in the table. This year, Veterans United scored one point higher than Fairway, with 777 points, while Navy Federal scored 753 points.

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