Point of Vieaux

Point of Vieaux with Brian Vieaux

FinLocker Helps First-Time Homebuyers Compete In Red-Hot Purchase Market

Many first-time homebuyers aren’t waiting around for the homebuyer grants. They’re jumping off the fence and landing with two feet to hit the ground running in their quest to buy a home. According to a recent report from the National Association of Home Builders, of the 16% of American adults considering a future home purchase in the first quarter of 2021, 63% have moved beyond planning and are actively trying to find a home to buy, up from the comparable 49% share a year earlier. This increase marks the fifth consecutive year-over-year gain in the share of prospective buyers who have become active buyers. 

Nationwide, homebuyers are facing stiff competition to buy a home. Higher prices are reducing their purchasing power, despite low interest rates. First-time buyers seeking a starter home priced 25% or more below the local-area median saw prices jump 15.1% during the past year, compared with the overall 11.3% gain in the national CoreLogic index. 

Millennials are the most likely generation to have moved on from just planning a home purchase to actively searching for a home to buy: 73% of this generation’s prospective buyers were already active buyers in Q1 2021, up from 54% a year earlier. Hot on their tails is Gen Z buyers, with 53% becoming active buyers in Q1 2021. 

A high proportion of first-time homebuyers have student loan debt, which reduces their ability to save for a down payment and closing costs and often affects their debt-to-income ratio. 

First-time homebuyers can improve their eligibility criteria for better mortgage terms with a higher credit score and down payment. FinLocker provides a full suite of tools to groom homebuyers for the mortgage process, save for their down payment and costs to close, pay down and manage their debt, and increase their credit score. 

Homebuyers can save their financial documents and share them directly from their FinLocker app with their originator for a pre-qualification and mortgage loan application. As 64% of homebuyers actively engaged in the purchase process have spent three months or longer looking for a home, the FinLocker app also streamlines the process for originators to reissue pre-qualification or pre-approval letters if they have a lengthy house hunt.

Contact me to show you how FinLocker can help make it easier for you to nurture and groom first-time homebuyers and provide them with the tools to get mortgage-ready. 



Point of Vieaux with Brian Vieaux

How FinLocker Is Helping the Next Generation of Consumers Become Homeowners

The proposed first-time homebuyer down payment assistance bill is a step in the right direction to help break the cycle of families renting generation after generation and put them in a better position to start creating personal wealth they can pass to the next generation. 

However, these first-time homebuyers are going to need professional tools and advisors to cross the finishing line. Not only will these first-time homebuyers need to overcome the typical first-time homebuyer hurdles of saving for their closing costs and having a good credit score and credit history to qualify for a home loan, but they will also need to be educated on the mortgage process and homeownership responsibilities. 

In surveying NextGen buyers for its 2020 NextGen Homebuyer report, Cultural Outreach found that childhood financial education is a better predictor of homeownership than parents’ household income. NextGen homebuyers that grew up learning how to make a budget are 2.5 times more likely to have an emergency fund saved, and 78% have 3 months of emergency funds saved. As the parents of this group of potential homebuyers have also not been homeowners, it’s quite likely that they were also not provided with financial education. 

The survey found that 81% of NextGen buyers turned to friends and family for advice during the buying process, so originators should prepare to be a trusted advisor from the time these consumers are identified to help them prepare for mortgage qualification all the way through the home buying process, and beyond. 

That’s quite a tall ask for many originators as homebuyers are often seen as one-off transactions. Fortunately, FinLocker is in a position to help originators help these consumers now, so they’ll be in a better financial position to take advantage of the down payment assistance bill when it gets passed.  

The FinLocker app provides tools to help consumers manage their finances, see where they’re spending their income, and get in the habit of budgeting their income so they can start saving for their costs to close. After closing, they continue using the app to save for ongoing homeownership costs, such as maintenance, home insurance, and property tax. Potential homebuyers will also receive their credit score and credit report and learn how to improve their score and credit history. Additional educational resources on the mortgage process, credit card management, insurance, and homeownership, will relieve the burden on the originator of being a full-time financial advisor.  

If you would like to get a head start on attracting a new generation of first-time homebuyers to your pipeline, contact Brian to show you how FinLocker can help make it easier for you and your homebuyers get mortgage ready. 

Point of Vieaux with Brian Vieaux

FinLocker Can Improve Lead Conversion For Mortgage Originators and Brokers

Zillow is predicting 2.5 million new households will enter the housing market in 2021. In contrast, the MBA predicts that refi’s will reduce to just 24% of origination volume by the end of 2022. As mortgage rates rise and refinance volume drops, originators who are prepared to nurture their pipeline to harness the still robust purchase market will be in a better position to have a successful 2021.

The average industry lead to closed loan pull-thru rate is 5-7%. If you could close 10% or 15% more leads by keeping your potential homebuyers engaged with your brand while improving their mortgage eligibility, your 2021 would be looking great.

Let’s take a look at some general figures, acknowledging your business may vary with volume and bps.

  • Originator commission base: 25 loans per year at $300,000/loan x 105 bps ($3150) = $78,750
  • Increase annual closed loans by 10% (2.5 loans) = $86,625 commission
  • Increase annual closed loans by 15% (3.75 loans) = $90,562 commission

We all know that advising first-time homebuyers how to improve their credit score and reduce their DTI, while educating them on the mortgage process takes time. And that’s just to get them financially ready to qualify for a loan. Then there’s the ad hoc gathering of documentation and entering them into your LOS for their application, all the while hoping this application won’t be the 1 in 10 that gets denied during underwriting.

Wouldn’t it be easier to give each new lead a high-tech, high-touch app branded with your company name that would get them mortgage-ready and streamline your document gathering for underwriting?

FinLocker is a consumer financial relationship management platform that helps originators manage a larger pipeline by guiding homebuyers towards mortgage readiness using tools and resources in the FinLocker app to improve their credit score, save for their costs to close and reduce their DTI. Originators need only to check in with their homebuyers once a month to keep them motivated towards their goals and hear their progress. FinLocker has a mortgage readiness assessment that is regularly updated with their financial data, so the homebuyer can quickly provide the originator with a realistic update of their progress while on the call.

To streamline the mortgage application process, homebuyers can upload their financial documents (according to the list provided by their originator) to their FinLocker account and share them directly with their originator when they have reached their mortgage readiness goals. The data and documents are transferred to the originator’s LOS, reducing the risks often associated with document procurement and processing.

Contact Brian if you would like to see how to close at least 4 additional loans this year from your existing first-time homebuyer pipeline.

Point of Vieaux with Brian Vieaux

How FinLocker Streamlines The Mortgage Pre-Qualification Process

Just when you thought you had enough to do with generating leads, pre-qualifying borrowers, processing loans, and retaining those customers, you get to repeat one of the tasks on your list.

Low inventory continues to be a major challenge nationwide. Two-thirds of home buyers searched for more than 3 months before going under contract on a home, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Finding a home at an affordable price was the reason cited by 42% of homebuyers, and 34% couldn’t find a home in their desired neighborhood. As home prices continue to increase, finding an affordable home in a suitable neighborhood is likely to take even longer for more consumers.

I’ve been hearing more frequently that mortgage originators are receiving multiple requests to update pre-qualification letters for the same borrower before they can find a home and have their offer accepted. In high-priced competitive markets, buyers often ask for a pre-approval letter to reassure their real estate agent and home sellers they have approved financing to support their offer.

Re-evaluating a homebuyer’s loan eligibility after their pre-qualification letter has expired usually requires going through the same time-consuming process. Getting the borrower to provide their latest paystubs, bank statements, credit information, asset, and debt documents is inconvenient but necessary for both parties.

FinLocker streamlines the pre-qualification and pre-approval process for the originator because FinLocker refreshes the consumer’s assets and debt data in their FinLocker account each business day. Their credit score and credit report are updated each month. In preparation for their RESPA application, consumers can be advised to get in the habit of uploading a copy of each paystub to their Documents folder so they’ll always have the latest version ready to submit.

The convenience to the consumer to have their data and documents in one secure platform, which can be shared with their originator and transferred to their LOS, is the seamless borrower experience that millennials expect and turns all borrowers into raving fans.

Click here to schedule a demo if would like to see how FinLocker can streamline your pre-qualification and mortgage application process.

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