Texting is the second-most preferred method of communication for most types of messages, especially among mortgage borrowers according to a new ebook, titled “Great TEXTpectations: The Text Messaging Playbook for Lenders,” by mortgage technology platform provider, Ellie Mae. While 58 percent borrowers surveyed by Ellie Mae said that they responded to text messages within 10 minutes, 76 percent believed that text speeds up the loan process.
This study expands on earlier research by Ellie Mae on borrowers’ shifting communication preferences by taking a closer look at how today’s borrowers want lenders to use text messaging to help them complete the mortgage process.
To understand the gap between borrowers’ expectations around text messaging and lenders’ adaptability of this medium of communication, Ellie Mae conducted online surveys of more than 500 borrowers who obtained a mortgage within the past 10 years. Similarly, Ellie Mae conducted online surveys of more than 350 lenders, from both large and small firms, with 57 percent of lenders from firms with 1-50 loan officers.
If lenders are worried about the appropriateness of sending a text message to a borrower, here are some statistics from the study that can put those worries to rest. Borrowers are very willing to receive text messages from a lender with around 88 percent of respondents to the survey saying that they felt it was appropriate for a lender to text them. This number grew among respondents who took out a loan in the last 12 months, with 97 percent of this group saying it was appropriate for a lender to text them.
These trends point to a significant opportunity for lenders to build stronger borrower relationships and accelerate the loan process by making texting a more central part of a multichannel lender communications strategy. But despite the willingness of borrowers and the opportunities text messaging provides to lenders, the study found that only 28 percent of the lenders surveyed always or almost always texted borrowers.
This doesn’t mean that lenders don’t recognize the value of a text message. The study found that almost all lenders believed that text sped up or at least had the potential to speed up the loan process.
Ellie Mae found that an increasing number of high-growth lenders have recognized text’s potential to help reinvent the entire mortgage experience for today’s digital consumers. But the opportunity remains untapped for many others, even though 87 percent lenders said that they planned to increase their use of text over the next five years.