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More CMHC Mortgage Consumer Survey Results

26 September 2012

As promised, we’re back today with more results from the 2012 Mortgage Consumer Survey that was conducted by Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation. The next section of the survey we’ll look at deals with how actively involved consumers are when purchasing a mortgage; and what kind of service they expect to receive even after the deal is done.

The survey first showed that across Canada, people take an average of 5 weeks to shop for their mortgage. First-time homeowners who are a little more wary and inexperienced usually take about 8 weeks. When shopping for a mortgage, consumers are going to have to call either a lender or a mortgage broker. And this data shows that the majority of people (56%) still go directly to a lender, as opposed to the 34% that are seeking the advice of a mortgage broker.

So, how prepared were consumers before they met with either professional? The survey asked consumers this too, and found that a huge majority was immensely prepared. 75% of consumers in fact had either prepared a list of questions, collected their personal information, or prepared their list of assets.

In addition to just being prepared before the meeting, the survey also showed that consumers wanted to be prepared for whatever their mortgage might throw at them.This is why 58% of people initiated discussions with their mortgage professional to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of specific mortgage products.

The survey also found that when consumers take this kind of due diligence to protect themselves and make an informed decision, they were likely to be offered several different products, instead of being limited to just one or two. And in addition to just having more variety in their mortgage options, the survey also found that 80% of people were happy with their mortgage and felt that they got what was best for them.

But customers also want something in return for putting in all that work beforehand. And all they want is to know that their business is appreciated.The survey also asked consumers how important post-transaction follow-up is. Or in other words, how much priority they place on their lender or broker calling them after the deal is done. Not surprisingly, it’s very important.

The info compiled into the graph above shows some very interesting statistics indeed. We know from earlier that consumers want a great deal of customer service, yet they still for the most part visit lenders first, who are the most unlikely to put in the service effort. And even when lenders did call after the transaction was finished, it was more often than not (43% of the time) to confirm the closing rather than just say “thanks” for the business.

That transaction afterwards is extremely important, too. Nearly 70% of consumers who were contacted after the transaction said that they would use the same broker or lender again. Fewer than 40% that weren’t contacted however, said the same thing.

The results from this portion of the CMHC survey tell us a couple of things. First, they show that consumers today are more active than ever in their mortgage-buying process, and that they want to learn and know as much about it as possible. However, if they’re going to be that eager, they also expect the same from their mortgage professional. And if they get the best service – before and after the transaction, they’re likely to reward that mortgage professional with future business!

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