Two Essential Keys to Quicken’s Success

Patricia Sherlock

Last Tuesday, the Quicken IPO was finally filed after countless rumors that it would happen. Based on my recent conversations with sales leaders, there is no question that Quicken’s S-1 was read closely by mortgage executives across the board. Much of the material from ISMs was well known in the industry, but some statements were eye-openers. Here are a few highlights:

  • Quicken’s market share is a whopping 9.2% of a $2 trillion+ annual market.
  • 75% of consumers who applied using the company’s online platform were first-time homeowners and millennials.
  • The firm spent $1 billion in advertising in 2019.
  • Quicken’s retention numbers are incredible with an overall retention rate of 63% — 3.5 times higher than the industry average of 22%.
  • For the past 10 years, Quicken has ranked at the top of J.D. Power’s Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.

Of Quicken’s astronomical success, I think two of the most important contributing factors are often overlooked — namely that the company has a defined sales process; and that it invests in employees and trains them. Any lender can adopt these strategies but many don’t make them a priority. The most common excuses I hear are “We don’t have enough money for sales training,” and “There isn’t enough time in the day to implement training.”

 

Investing in Sales Improvements

Let’s take a deeper look at Quicken’s success according to its IPO.

  • Defined sales process. As a sales consultant, the norm that I see in sales organizations is that each loan officer establishes his or her own way of doing business. Therefore, lenders are adapting to originators instead of the other way around. In 2020, this is surprising and concerning at the same time because it is hard to scale a business when there is no uniform process. Establishing a standard process from initial customer interaction to loan closing requires senior leaders to draw a line in the sand and specialize which should include a single point of contact and distribution of the selling activities. Quicken does this.

Case in point: For years, consumers have been asking for a single point of contact in mortgage banking but lenders have been slow to deliver. Quicken’s ability to provide this translates into an average of 8.3 loans closed per month compared to the industry average of 2.3 loans per month, according to the MBA.

  • Training and development. A specialized sales force requires lenders to commit to training their staff, not when it’s convenient but every day to ensure exceptional customer satisfaction. Not only does training matter to Quicken but who it recruits and develops must align with the company’s philosophy of delivering an amazing customer experience. This standard is rarely seen at lenders that place a higher value on an originator’s book of business.

Quicken understands that investment in training and development is mandatory for not only delivering the best customer experience in the industry but for generating repeat and referral business. No surprise that Quicken made Training magazine’s list of Top 125 Training Organizations for its training and development initiatives. Only a dozen or so financial companies made the cut, the majority of which were banks and credit unions.

While sales leaders often give lip service to having a uniform sales process and training originators, many fall short on implementing these strategies consistently and effectively. All too often, I see lenders opt for quick and easy training solutions such as big budget sales rallies with motivational speakers. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t enough to achieve long-term sales success.

It is time for mortgage executives to get serious about what it takes to deliver an amazing customer experience. Those who follow Quicken’s lead in training and development will reap the rewards.

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