You already know that offering your customers a choice of payment options is essential to a successful business model. But you’ve probably also figured out that not all home improvement lenders are created equal. Does your top choice of lender offer your HVAC company the above-and-beyond extras that are the mark of a true service provider? Things like a dedicated person to answer your questions and develop a loan plan that’s specific to your company? Or a role-specific training program that makes sure you’re not left to figure it out as you go? Not to mention the things you can’t put a price tag on, like the peace of mind and security that comes from working with a member-FDIC financial institution.
A dedicated relationship manager is a crucial part of ensuring that your experience working with your loan provider is smooth and trouble-free — or, at least, that any troubles you may encounter can be resolved quickly and to your satisfaction. The sign of a good match is a single point of contact who understands your business and can align the right payment options to meet your goals — a best-of-both-worlds scenario. Be sure to partner with a lender that gives you that one-on-one attention and not just a general, international 800-number to call for help.
Your home improvement lender should take the time to make sure you understand the loan programs and that you’re well-versed in the best practices for offering payment options to your customers. Whether you’re new to offering a choice of payment options, or just new to a specific lender’s programs, it’s important to get the training needed to be successful. As busy as you and your team are, it’s beneficial to have a choice of on-demand training or live webinars. It’s also a good idea to work with someone who offers more than a one-size-fits-all program, providing role-specific training that’s tailored to meet the unique needs of owners, administrators, and sales professionals.
Actual Lender or Just a Middle-Man?
There are dozens of payment option partners out there, but few that actually fund and service their own loans — and even fewer that specialize exclusively in the home improvement market. Many companies just broker loan transactions, rather than back them. Be sure to gain the confidence of working with a member-FDIC institution that has been in business for a reasonable amount of time, rather than a fly-by-night outfit. A lender that services and funds all its own loans is a much more stable choice, and if you can find one that specializes in unsecured home improvement loans — rather than it just being one small part of what they do — all the better. Two huge benefits to working with a reputable lender: first, you can be sure you’ll get paid — and paid in a timely manner; second, your customers will have a great experience, which will reflect well on your business.
In addition to these three must-haves, there are a number of other differentiators you should consider when selecting your payment options partner — such as access to customized marketing tools, user-friendly mobile application methods, and fast approvals. When you work with a lender that specializes in home improvement, you’re more likely to find these value-adds because their whole focus is on developing the very best experience possible for contractors and their customers.