ABN Amro Ranks High with Its Customers
ABN Amro Mortgage Group Inc. here is crediting its employees for its top ranking among 13 national lenders by JD Power and Associates.
The 2005 Primary Mortgage Origination Study measured satisfaction among nearly 4,500 mortgage customers. SunTrust Mortgage and Wachovia took the No. 2 and No. 3 spots among mortgage companies given high satisfaction rates by customers who closed loans in the past nine months. SunTrust, as reported by MSN earlier, ranked tops in customer satisfaction for loan servicing by J.D. Power.
The mortgage lenders were graded on a 1,000-point scale. ABN Amro ranked 756 on the scale while SunTrust had 726 points and Wachovia 723 points.
JD Power's study measured customer satisfaction including the application and approval process, loan officer or mortgage broker, and the closing process.
Thomas Goldstein, CEO and Chairman of ABN Amro Mortgage, said the ranking for the mortgage lender is so high because of the company's focus on quality.
"Our employees are critical to our operation," Mr. Goldstein said. "Every employee is important to the whole team. We want to come up with solutions that work best for our customers and our partners and we will not compromise. Our profitability has increased because of suggestions that come from our employees."
ABN Amro has invested in its employees by implementing programs that boost morale and encourage better service among the customer service and other departments in the company.
In an effort to increase its commercial mortgage business, ABN Amro has teamed up with Backshop Inc., a provider of loan origination software for commercial real estate lending including online document processing.
Despite a volatile economy in Detroit and a high foreclosure rate, ABN Amro Mortgage has managed to remain the top lender in the Detroit area with more than 10% of the mortgage origination market share, a decline from market share portions in previous years.
As competition increases, the mortgage lender has invented more programs among its business groups to attract borrowers. The programs it is launching throughout the company could help boost ABN Amro's market share in Detroit and other markets.
ABN Amro's wholesale group, InterFirst Wholesale Mortgage Lending, launched a new product in July that could help its brokers gain more business from low- to moderate-income customers and those in underserved markets.
InterFirst is marketing its DreamFirst mortgage product suite as another way to combat predatory lending by making affordable mortgages available at competitive mortgage prices.
In spite of the program's flexibility, there are certain criteria all applicants must meet. Every applicant must have a valid Social Security number and they must attend a mandatory pre-credit counseling session. The counseling sessions cover the basics of homeownership, credit, mortgage lending, budgeting and home improvement.
ABN Amro serviced a $205 billion mortgage portfolio as of Sept. 30, 2005.
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