Time and time again, I’ve seen how homeownership education can change someone’s life.
Research backs up what I’ve seen first-hand. In fact, studies show that homeownership education is one of the keys to a successful homebuying experience. So I was alarmed to read the results of a Fannie Mae study that found that most consumers weren’t even aware that pre-purchase homeownership education classes exist, unless they were required to take one.
The most alarming part of the study for me was the finding that many mortgage professionals don’t educate consumers about homeownership education resources because they don’t feel like it’s their job.
Some lenders may feel that they don’t have enough time because they already have too many things to do in order to close the deal.
Others may fear that if a consumer takes a homeownership class, he or she may learn something that causes them to seek out a different lender.
Real estate agents may also be hesitant to let their clients know about such resources either because they don’t feel that it’s their responsibility or they don’t want to take the chance that they will lose the client to another agent.
Such thinking is short-sighted. It’s not enough to get people into a home. We must do a better job of making sure consumers have the knowledge that they need to stay in their homes.
Letting clients know about nonprofit homeownership counseling and classes shows them that we care about their total financial health. We’re not simply focused on a number or an opportunity to make money. We want them to succeed!
When they succeed, we all succeed. When they are ready to buy a second house, they will remember the positive experience they had and seek out that lender or that real estate agent that seemed to put their best interests at heart.
Spreading the word about homeownership education resources can also help to improve the industry’s image. If clients feel like mortgage professionals care about them, not only are they more likely to use those professionals’ services again but they will recommend their services to their family and friends.
When we do right for our clients and focus on their overall financial health, we not only help them to become more successful, but we help ourselves by cultivating a loyal customer base that feels comfortable coming to us over and over again.
When it comes to homeownership education, we all must spread the word.