What better place to reach potential homebuyers than where they spend a significant amount of their time each week?
Human resources (HR) departments have great potential as referral sources for loan officers looking to connect with large groups of people who may have the income and desire to buy a home. With a growing focus on financial wellness and strong communities, many employers are looking for ways to help their employees thrive. And loan officers have the opportunity to partner with HR departments and create referrals by offering free educational sessions on the path to homeownership.
To understand how loan officers can successfully approach HR departments, I asked Annette Adams, MGIC’s own Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), to provide her insights.
Where does financial wellness fit into an overall wellness platform for HR departments?
The topic of financial wellness is not necessarily new; however, it has not received the same traction or attention as physical wellness (and more recently, mental wellness). But a growing number of employers recognize that their employees’ financial security has a huge impact on their quality of life and their level of stress. As you know, at MGIC, financial wellness is a formal component of our overall wellness program. We offer regular financial wellness sessions for employees.
What resources can loan officers leverage to determine the best points of contact?
Your local chamber of commerce is perhaps the best place to start. Most cities or communities have these. When looking at a specific organization, I wouldn’t necessarily limit the outreach to the head of human resources. Seek out the person in charge of the employee benefits; most organizations have someone that just focuses in this area given the importance that a well-rounded employee benefit program has in the employment relationship.
How should a loan officer frame the conversation when approaching an HR professional about the possibility of a partnership?
As the loan officer, I would first start by asking open questions to find out how the organization views wellness or wellbeing overall. Have they included financial wellness in that overall definition along with physical and mental wellness? What financial wellness resources do they offer employees?
"Start by asking open questions to find out how the organization views wellness or wellbeing overall."
Another angle is the connection to the community. Similar to financial wellbeing, most organizations are placing a strong emphasis on community, as evidenced by the increasing level of ESG (environmental, social and governance) reporting. This can be a way for the loan officer to suggest a partnership: discussing the local community, the importance of homeownership and the value of helping people fully understand their opportunity to own a home – and how this all strengthens the community while also more firmly growing the workforce.
As an HR professional, what would be most important for you to consider if approached by a loan officer to set up an employee session on homeownership?
Easy and turnkey is important: minimize the amount of work it will take for the HR professional. Flexibility is a must-have, especially in this hybrid environment where remote options are essential. It would be helpful for the loan officer to have a prepared summary that outlines:
- Why they are offering this service (for FREE)
- What’s in it for the employee and the company
- What they will cover during the information session – this is important so that the HR professional understands clearly that no selling is happening
You may want to suggest a regular cadence for sessions – whether annually or more often – but be flexible to the organization’s calendar.
Offering employee sessions focused on the homebuying process can truly be a valued service for employers. And for the loan officer, they create opportunities to make connections with possible future buyers who will remember the loan officer as a mortgage expert. If you’re interested in hosting your own homebuyer seminar but aren’t sure where to start, check out MGIC’s ready-made homebuyer seminar materials.
The opinions and insights expressed in this blog are solely those of its author, Dean Dardzinski, and do not necessarily represent the views of either Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation or any of its parent, affiliates, or subsidiaries (collectively, “MGIC”). Neither MGIC nor any of its officers, directors, employees or agents makes any representations or warranties of any kind regarding the soundness, reliability, accuracy or completeness of any opinion, insight, recommendation, data, or other information contained in this blog, or its suitability for any intended purpose."