Phil Forbes: VP of Mortgage Lending, GuaranteedRate
Phil, who has been in the mortgage industry for 20 years, first discovered CardTapp when another member shared her app with him. “A colleague of mine bought the product at Mastermind. She showed it to me and I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s awesome,’ and I ended up getting it a year ago.”
“I was initially attracted to the idea that it becomes a permanent business card.” Phil shared how he thought CardTapp was a great way to stay top-of-mind and expand his reach.
“I liked the idea that I could give out this business card that replicates itself. It’s like giving one of my realtors a thousand business cards. She’ll always be carrying it with her, no matter where she is or what she’s doing. It’s just a lot easier and nicer.” But, he added, “It’s more complete than what a regular business card would ever do.”
It’s like giving my realtor a thousand business cards that she’ll always be carrying, no matter where she is or what she’s doing.
“So I looked at it as a clever business card replacement. That’s why I bought it and that’s how I used it… until recently.”
What happened recently? A week ago, Phil got in touch with CardTapp’s support team. He had just renewed his annual subscription and was starting to play with TappTracker.
“I never got TappTracker. I mean, I installed it, but I never really understood it. I had started playing with it a little bit, but I was always embarrassed by the fact that you could see everything that everybody did. That wasn’t a feature that I wanted to highlight with my agents or my customers until recently. I didn’t want my agents to feel like I was looking over their shoulder.”
After Phil got in touch with Customer Success and got a training session with TappTracker, he changed his tune. “Now, that’s my favorite selling point about it!”
TappTracker is my favorite selling point about it!
Phil shared a story of how essential Tapptracker has become for his business.
“I have an agent who got the app, started using it in the spring, and then trailed off. Her usage has been zero for the last nine months. I called the agent and tried to explain to her what it can do, telling her about how you can see your buyer’s behavior on this app, but she didn’t react to it at that point.”
Not long after that conversation, Phil got a referral from this same realtor partner.
“I’m talking to this customer and she’s asking me about payments and what she qualifies for. I’m telling her, you qualify for $450k, but that’s going to land you at a payment of about $3100/mo.” The buyer told him that she was uncomfortable with a payment that high. All she really want to know is how much house she can afford.
TappTracker gives you really, really valuable business information.
“I tell her, you need to be able to figure out what the monthly payment is going to be on an individual house to figure out if you can afford it. I tell her, you need my app. It’s got a great calculator that will help you figure that out.”
So Phil shared his app with her and the next day she was lighting up his phone with notification after notification. “First, I saw she shared it with her husband. Then she’s using it and she’s tapping like crazy on the payment calculator.”
Clever Phil snapped a screenshot of his TappTracker timeline and sent it to his real estate agent. “I said, ‘Hey, she loves the app. Check this out!'”
They were talking on the phone a few minutes later. “She says, ‘I love this!’ Now, I knew she had deleted the app, and she says, ‘Can you send me your app again?’ That’s just a brief example of what I was able to do with it in just the last 72 hours.”
The company Phil works for makes an app, and it includes a profile page with contact information for Phil, but he is making plans to get his personal app in front of more of his agents and prospects at every stage of their cycle. Why does he prefer his personal web app over the native app that his company built?
“It matters to people that this thing is tied to a human being. When they hit the ‘Call Phil’ button, they get the guy whose picture is on their phone on the other end. That matters to people.”
This thing is tied to a human being. They look at it and they see my face. That matters to people. And you know what? It sells!
Phil has never been more connected to his customers or his referral partners. “They look at it and they see my face. Maybe it’s a little cheesy, but you know what? It sells!”
Plus, he can’t get notifications about his app users’ activity from his company’s native app. That information is valuable to Phil, but it’s also valuable to his referral partners.”I’m telling my agents about it proudly, saying, ‘Look, we can help you understand what your buyer is doing.'”
Now Phil is using his personal app to create loyalty with his agents. “When you can share that information with your agent, you just became way more valuable to your agent. The agent just figured out, ‘Oh wow, I can see what my customer is doing for the first time ever. I need to work with Phil more.’ And then does!”
My app is driving ease of use for my referral partners which is leading to their loyalty.
“My app is driving ease of use for my referral partners which is leading to their loyalty. I can trace individual deals to it — it has paid for itself!” He couldn’t emphasize it enough. “It’s really, really effective. Really effective.”
“I think it’s valuable and cool stuff.” Phil’s excited about how things are going, and he’s just getting started to harness the power of TappTracker. “TappTracker gives you really, really valuable business information.”
What’s Phil have in store for his app in 2017?
“I’m getting ready to train my realtors to give the app to their listings. When you go to the listing appointment, that’s someone who’s going to need to get pre-approved, someone who’s going to be interested in crunching payments. So let’s start by sending them the app as a tool to do that. And as they get closer, let’s make it a tool to get pre-approved and then let’s make it a tool to contact your loan officer. Before you know it, the customer’s are using it and they’re in love with it.”
This gives me a way to give my customer independence. The buyers call me so much less!
When I asked about how valuable his app is to his customers, he caught me off guard. “The buyers call me so much less! This is really important. This is where the value comes in for the customer.”
No, he’s not just happy that he’s saving time to be with his family and friends. Phil is thrilled to have a way to deliver more service and value so he can build trust with his customers. “One of the ways a customer is going to trust you the most, is when they feel informed. If I try to keep everybody informed and run payments every time they see a house they’re interested in, I wouldn’t have a life. I’d be on the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. My kids wouldn’t like me and I’d only be doing 10 loans a month.”
“I want my customer to be informed, because a customer who feels informed trusts me. I sell a commodity. My money is not prettier than someone else’s money. It’s not more valuable than someone else’s money. Money is money is money is money. People may choose me because my rate today is lower, but frankly, it’s probably not. Maybe it’s an 1/8 higher, maybe it’s the same.”
“I think a lot of consumers, probably more than we recognize in our industry, make a decision to chose their loan officer based on trust. It’s partially a rate decision, but not entirely.”
It’s a great way to build trust and deliver information more efficiently than any other way, in a medium that is really relevant in 2017.
Speaking of his app, he said, “This gives me a way to give my customer independence. It’s a way to get the information they need. I don’t have to be involved in providing it, but I still get to stay informed.”
“At the end of the day, our goal is to give our customers world-class service, this enables me to do that without having to work at it every minute of every day.” His app is streamlining his ability to deliver incredible service.
“It’s fabulous. My customers are so connected to me, without me pouring into them like I used to have to do. It’s a great way to help my customers, to build trust, and deliver information more efficiently than I can do it any other way, in a medium that is really relevant in 2017. That’s what’s huge.”
And Phil’s finding that his app isn’t just used by younger crowds. “People might say that this is what the millennials want but people of all ages love this. It’s not just for the tech-saavy people. A lot of people have iPhones and it works.”
Phil’s not ashamed of tracking his realtors anymore, but he’s also not ashamed to show the tracking capability with his buyers.
“A lot of times when I’m presenting it, especially over coffee, I open the app up and show them how to use the Share/Refer button. And then within that same breath, I can show them how I’m getting that notification on my phone instantaneously and that’s when I explain the value to them.”
His app puts him in direct communication with his buyers without them having to reach out. “If they’re requesting a pre-approval letter or sharing my app, I can show them how that plays in with my work day and how I can more effectively meet their needs if they use the app instead of just emailing or calling me.”
Phil’s been working harder at getting his app into the hands of his customers and that’s been going well. “The rankings report has driven that. Everybody loves to be ranked well, and last I looked I’m number 6 on the charts! I had one customer who tapped almost 200 times earlier this month who bumped me up to number 2 in the rankings.”
He laughed, “I’m sitting there at number 2, slowly falling down in the rankings. I showed it to my wife and my kids and I was kind of making fun of myself. It was like playing online poker, except this is my livelihood! Tapps are like money. After 20 years, it’s just one more fun little way to stay motivated to do my job.”