Home » Blogs » Experience.com Helps New American Funding Grow Revenues by Winning in Local Markets
New American Funding (NAF) is a top 10 independent mortgage lender headquartered in California with more than 190 locations across the country. The company’s primary route-to-market employee is the loan officer. Successful loan officers often focus on originating new business and generating positive customer reviews. Facebook, Google and other social media and review platforms are critical to these efforts and winning in their local markets.
Before NAF started working with Experience.com (previously SocialSurvey), it was using a home-grown tool to obtain and leverage customer reviews. Since customer feedback and brand reputation are so important in the mortgage industry, Rick and Patty Arvielo, the founders of New American Funding, knew there had to be a better way to manage the company’s online reputation and increase the volume of new business for its local loan officers
“We already recognized the power of reviews and their effectiveness for attracting new business so we were open to running a pilot to learn what more SocialSurvey could do for us,” notes Co-Founder Rick Arvielo. “We had our own statistics and we were curious to see how the results of SocialSurvey’s pilot would compare to what we were getting from our in-house system. Immediately, we saw the potential to help our loan officers deliver a better customer experience and gain more new business locally.”
In early 2017, SocialSurvey’s Experience Management platform went live and was made available to all nearly 1,300 loan officers at NAF nationwide.
“SocialSurvey empowers our loan officers to capture the voice of their customers through reviews and then automatically shares it an average of eight times online,” says Rick Arvielo. “The requests are sent out after the closing as if they are coming directly from the loan officer to the customer. This humanizes and personalizes the experience so both the NAF employee and the customer are more engaged.”
When a NAF loan officer logs in, they see a dashboard that includes a leaderboard showing them where they rank in comparison to other loan officers and branches. For example, Amber E., a top performing senior loan consultant at NAF’s branch in Bettendorf, Iowa, can check the leaderboard to see how she ranks compared to everyone in the company for customer satisfaction. She can also read and reply to reviews across Google, Facebook and SocialSurvey using a single platform. Amber can also see her completion rate and which customers have not yet completed her survey and send them a reminder.
Today, almost 1,300 loan officers across more than 190 NAF locations in the United States use Experience.com to engage their mortgage customers and automatically gather review data to drive an excellent customer experience – and build trust within each loan officer’s local market.“Anything a mortgage company can do to help the loan officers build trust in the communities they serve is vitally important,” says Rick Arvielo. “To achieve this trust as our business evolves, it is important to not only create great experiences for our customers and referral partners, but also to collect and share that feedback so potential customers will find our great loan officers online. Experience.com helps us collect and share customer feedback across all of our branches.”
Before NAF deployed with Experience.com, its 1,000+loan officers had fewer than 4,000 reviews across websites like Google, Zillow, LendingTree and Better Business Bureau. With fewer than 500 Google reviews for nearly 180 locations, it was missing out on many opportunities to broadcast the voice of its customers.
As of January 2021, NAF has more than 158,000 reviews, including over 8,100 on Zillow, plus over 7,000 on Google My Business and Credit Karma. Their average review score across all these sites is 4.90 stars.
Recently, through SocialSurvey, New American Funding partnered with LendingTree to display many of their loan officer’s reviews on the LendingTree website. Since June 2019, NAF’s review count on LendingTree has grown exponentially from fewer than 1,500 to over 41,000. Currently, New American Funding has more reviews on LendingTree than any lender in the country including Quicken, Guaranteed Rate and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
New American Funding has accomplished many of these outcomes because the Experience.com software is so easy for consumers to use, resulting in an unprecedented completion rate, at its highest a 54% survey completion rate.
Today, approximately 66% of the business that comes into NAF is from referrals, usually from past clients or real estate agents. However, more than 30% of these customers will search online for the referred loan officer prior to calling the office. Specifically, prospective customers are validating the referral with “social proof” – by reading multiple reviews about other customers’ experiences with that particular loan officer. The bottom line: NAF’s mortgage professionals are winning in their local markets with Experience.com.
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