A recent survey found that about one-third of consumers are willing to pay more for a mortgage that comes with superior customer service and less stress.

Making sense of the story

  • The survey, conducted by Carlisle & Gallagher consulting Group, was weighted toward the higher end of the income scale – almost half of those interviewed earn more than $100,000 annually. Slightly more than half had either bought or refinanced a home since 2010.
  • Asked to name the most-important factor in the mortgage-selection process, more than 80 percent of those surveyed cited costs.
  • A “high-touch” segment expressed a willingness to pay more for a less stressful application process. In particular, the 18-to-35 age group seemed most inclined to pay more for convenience and direct access.
  • After costs, consumers cited trust in the financial institution and customer service as major factors, particularly with big banks.
  • Topping the list of pet peeves were: High cost, slow execution, difficult communication, and an inability to track the status of an application. Chief among the respondents’ expectations was having direct access to a mortgage representative. When asked if they would be satisfied with an online chat, most said “no.”
  • The study also found that big banks are sitting on considerable unrealized potential among customers: 70 percent of respondents would prefer to have a mortgage with their primary bank. Only 40 percent do.