What if you can’t offer the lowest loan rate?

rate-sucksYou’ve got high loan production goals, but your deposit and loan committee can’t give you the lowest loan rate — or even a rate that competes with other local lenders? What do you do?

Find out what else matters

If you can’t win on low rate, think about what you can win on. Assess your members and the potential members you’re targeting to decide what matters to them that you do the best.

Maybe your target is millennials — who are known for wanting personal service and customized solutions. If that’s the case, you can market your loans as part of a custom package of services with a local flair.

If you’re trying to deepen relationships with members, see if you can offer a rate discount for member loyalty. That might help you get closer to the rate offers they’re seeing everywhere, with the added benefit of time and money savings by keeping all of your financial business at one place. If you can’t give that discount, focus on the ease of making payments with a simple transfer — no stamps, envelopes, or time waiting for the mail to show up and the check to clear.

Be convenient

Find ways to be where your members need you.

Partner with your local car dealerships to host a weekend sale. Have loan staff on site with tablets or laptops that allow loans to be made immediately. Or work with the dealerships’ lending team to get those loans. The goal here is to be the easiest choice for your members — and the general public.

If you’re looking to increase your book of mortgage loans, host a home buying event and offer on-site pre-qualifications. Pre-qualifications make the home buying process so much easier for your members, because they know exactly what their price range is and what payments they can expect.

And, if you need a bump in home equities, home improvement shows are the place to be. Make sure you can take loans on-site so your members can fund the projects they fall in love with at the show.

Keep your service sharp

We all have situations in which we’ll pay more for a better product or service. So, make sure your service excels everywhere to help bring in loans even when you don’t have the lowest loan rate in town.

You’ve probably got a great branch staff and contact center team, so look for other areas where you can sharpen your service. Does your online response need a jumpstart? Can you offer more educational items on your website? Does your outreach team need to offer more live events and educational opportunities? Is there any other easy way to improve service for new and current members? You can probably find some quick and low-cost ways to ramp up the way you help the community to improve your odds of being their first choice for a loan.

What steps have you taken to sell loans when your rate isn’t the lowest? Tell us in the comments below.