By Todd Smithee

Okay, so the economy is not what we would like it to be. We have all heard about how sales are slow, costs need to be cut, and lack of consumer confidence. Well, based on the service levels I received when refinancing my home, you would think we are in boom-town USA. I checked in with a number of lenders in person, via the Internet, and by telephone. My experiences left much to be desired.

My bank, which I use for personal and business banking and was first on the list, is a well-known regional institution. Nobody in my local branch could help me, the rates were not competitive, and the application process was unpleasant. After I completed my application, I received no response from the loan officer. Good riddance to them. Note: I continue to see direct mail from it talking about their great new options.

My walk-in and online experiences were just as bad. When I inquired at a local bank I was simply handed a card and told to contact that individual. The individual who contacted me from my online search was unresponsive and late in following up. I was receiving email from this person weeks after I had closed on my new mortgage.

Finally, I found a local credit union with great rates and what seemed to be good service. The only problem was that they took so long completing the post signing paperwork that my previous lender debited my account even though they were no longer my lender. This was enough for me to call an acquaintance and rescind my recommendation.

Based on client research, this seems to be the rule versus the exception. The good news is it is so easy to fix, it’s almost laughable. All you have to do to look better than your competitors is:

1. Return your calls and emails
2. Do what you say you will

That is all there is to it!

Todd Smithee