How do you nab a flighty rate shopper?

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Rate shoppers continue to frustrate brokers, but at the same time are forcing those professionals to find new and old ways to block 11th hour defections.

“There are some brokers who will not give rates over the phone; they tell people to go to the website,” Peter House of Mortgage Intelligence the House Team told MBN. “If you can talk to people over the phone, you can sell your service and the added value you can give the client; you can tell the client ‘you can get a better rate out there, but here is what we can do for you.’”

For House, actively selling to clients is the key.

“We have to become a little bit more aggressive with what we’re doing and provide more personal service, more education,” House said. “We are all looking for ways to improve. We don’t want to lose market share and we also want to maintain market share.”

For his part, one leading broker relies on formalizing the deal process early on.

“One of the most challenging (things) is getting clients to close without them continuously shopping and asking their branch or going to other brokers,” Paul Mangion of the Mortgage Centre told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “We try to make commitments and send out contracts for them to sign; we’d rather lose the deal in the early stages than work with somebody who isn’t committed.”

It’s one way to ensure flighty clients won’t flip-flop at the last second.

“If they won’t sign the documents you know they aren’t committed,” Mangion said. “The Internet has really screwed up this industry and the brokers have screwed up this industry.”

And because many offices are accessed virtually, the human aspect has less impact. The lack of face-to-face communication means loyalty isn’t developed between client and broker.

“To a lot of people, it’s a thankless commodity – there is no real person behind it, it’s on the Internet, they can take up our time with no real relevance,” Mangion said. “It’s like someone walking into a car dealership and test driving a car with no intention of driving it.”

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