In this exclusive interview, Rocket Mortgage® Director of Digital Product Marketing Christina Grell discusses how she and her team are working to understand the needs of their audience in order to solve the pain points associated with the homeownership journey.
Paige Tepping: Please provide a brief overview of your history in the industry and how you ended up where you are today.
Christina Grell: I joined Rocket Mortgage® in August 2020 after a 20-plus year career in marketing for financial services companies. I held a variety of roles at major players like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and TD Ameritrade.
My most recent position was at TD Ameritrade where I focused on building a strategy to work with the sales team and help them engage with clients who were looking for more guidance into their investing. This is how I happened upon digital product marketing—a fairly new field that has come to grow exponentially over the last few years. At Rocket Mortgage®, product marketing consists of taking products and features to market effectively and efficiently, then using information gathered from that process to continuously improve and build upon our offerings. My team and I do this for several key Rocket platform stakeholders: real estate professionals, mortgage brokers and our Rocket Cloud Force.
PT: As director of digital product marketing at Rocket Mortgage®, what is the ultimate goal you’re trying to achieve?
CG: Our main goal is to help our clients achieve the dream of homeownership and unlock financial freedom.
When it comes to the pain points we’re solving for, it’s important to recognize how real estate professionals manage each day, how they engage with clients who are trying to find the perfect home and what they expect of lender partners.
With Rocket ProSM Insight, we’re focused on empowering real estate agents with unprecedented visibility and control to close more homes faster.
For agents whose clients are working with us, it’s critical that they understand that they have visibility into each client’s approval letter and the ability to adjust it 24/7 to make offers fast in today’s hot housing markets. Real estate professionals can also see incredible details about each loan in process and can take action on behalf of our shared client—with their permission. They can also easily connect their clients with their preferred Rocket Mortgage® banker. Rocket ProSM Insight gives them all of this.
PT: What are some of the most important things you need to keep in mind as you work to drive the adoption of the company’s digital products?
CG: At the end of the day, it all comes down to understanding the needs of those we are serving—being empathetic and recognizing what goes on in the lives of all Rocket platform stakeholders on any given day. We believe that helping people on their quest for financial freedom starts with their home. Our team and our platform guide them through the important—but often complex—financial moments in their lives.
For homebuyers, we need to understand the end-to-end homeownership journey and what they are going through at each stage so we can learn what their expectations of us are throughout the journey and determine how we can best help. By understanding our opportunities to help, we can use our expertise and technology platform to improve the experience—whether that’s with a product or a feature within a product.
We are constantly talking to our clients and partners to get feedback about how we can best help them along the way and clear any roadblocks. When going through the homeownership journey, there is so much happening that we want to be sure everyone has access to the information and resources they need at any given point in time.
The housing market and our understanding of home is evolving rapidly, even in the midst of a pandemic, from the way Americans are changing their living situations to rethinking where the best place to live is. As a lender and partner, Rocket Mortgage® wants real estate professionals and their clients to know that we are here for them anytime—day or night—especially as this evolution is taking place.
PT: Are there one or two things you can point to that have been instrumental in the success of driving digital product adoption?
CG: What I love about this organization and the team that we have is how quickly we react in order to meet the needs of our clients.
We’re constantly asking for feedback, and our clients and partners know they can tell us something and we will pivot on a dime and adapt with a sense of urgency.
“Every Client. Every Time. No Exceptions. No Excuses” and “Obsessed With Finding a Better Way” are two out of our 20 ISMs—our ideals and principles that define our culture and lay out philosophies that guide our decision-making, actions and behaviors—that stand out in my mind. We take these very seriously, and the culture based on our ISMs is one of the things that drove our growth to become America’s largest mortgage lender.1
PT: What is the most exciting part of your job?
CG: Having worked for a lot of different companies, I realize how Rocket Mortgage® is unique in the way in which team members collaborate, as well as the responsibility the organization takes when it comes to serving the community.
While homeownership is the ultimate American Dream, it’s not always equitable and easy to achieve. What I love about my job is that I’m working for a company that understands our responsibility in this space. We want to help as many people as possible achieve the American Dream, so we’re looking at opportunities to break down the barriers to homeownership to level the playing field. We take this duty seriously and feel privileged to work with clients to get them into the perfect home for them. In the end, we know that we are bringing products, features and capabilities to consumers that are responding to their needs and expanding access in a responsible manner.
PT: Looking forward, what’s on the horizon?
CG: We’re going to continue to focus on improving the products our clients and real estate agents use and how they use them. Rocket Mortgage® is a huge organization with a lot of opportunity to help our clients along the way—not only at the beginning of the journey, but well after they purchase a home.
In the end, it all boils down to meeting our clients where they are and delivering unprecedented value.
The above article is sponsored content. For more information, please visit RocketPro.com/RealEstate.
*Based on Quicken Loans data in comparison to public data records.
Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to email@example.com.