What is the best way to answer a prospective client question about what their rate will be?

I have been a loan officer for two months in Nevada. Everytime I call a lead I get the same question constantly. The question is "What will my rate be?" I found myself scrammbling for the right thing to say to keep the client interested. What are some techniques I could use or say to keep my prospective client interested even though I can not quote them an exact rate? Any help with this would be great. Thanks!

2 Answers

Well, first and foremost, I try to educate my clients on the factors that influence mortgage rates, including MBS. You probably won't want a canned script that you read verbatim, but in general, I'll usually say something like "Well, Zack, a number of items will determine what your rate will be for the loan. My goal is to give you the best advice possible and help you determine which option is best to help you accomplish your goals. To do so, I need your help with some info so I can give you accurate projections, is that OK?", then go on to at least ask the questions you need to for an accurate rate quote. I would strongly advise against blanket pronouncements like "our 30 year fixed rate today is 4.25%". Once you've given that info out (which may or may not be accurate if you haven't defined all the variables on the loan), the prospect has no incentive to continue the conversation. I very much try to convey that lenders offer SERVICE, not just a product, and that service varies greatly from lender to lender (as does the LO's expertise and knowledge). If you're not already studying all you can to learn about MBS (here, or (ideally) on MBS Live (MND's sister site dedicated to tracking MBS and educating LO's on them), you should be doing so. Hope that helps, good luck in the new career.

I also find that educating the borrower is the best approach to answer a question about rates. That will allow you to immediately begin creating value for your client and gives you a chance to prove you are knowledgeable in the subject. There are a couple key points I try to make when answering this question. The first is that if they are rate shopping it is important to rate shop on the same day as rates change all the time, sometimes multiple times a day. If they are comparing your rate to a rate that was offered last week than either you or your competitor could have the advantage depending on the market. I would also take this time to to find out how far they are from closing and explain that the market is likely to change between now and the time they lock the rate but I will do my best and continue to provide updates and insight on the market so that we are able to lock their interest rate on a day that is more favorable for the borrower. It ultimately comes down to trusting your loan officer and believing that they are going to do the best they possibly can for you regarding rate while providing the best service.