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Keys to Building a Tech-Savvy Mortgage Bank

By Rick Arvielo, CEO, New American Funding

Rick Arvielo, CEO, New American Funding

Every industry has been transformed by technology, and the banking world is no different. Even though mortgages started out on paper applications, the industry has evolved over the years into a digital environment where nearly everything is handled online. To keep pace in this rapidly progressing climate, mortgage banks have to constantly look for ways to keep their technology up to speed. That’s what the consumer wants. Today’s homebuyer is a digital native who is nimble with technology and accustomed to transacting business in a high-tech manner. Building a tech-savvy mortgage bank that accommodates this modern generation of buyers requires banks to make resources like mobile apps and automated technology commonplace in their business approach. When you use this level of innovation it not only becomes easier to operate but it ultimately gives the consumer what they’re looking for—a first-rate mortgage experience.

Create In-House Technology

Since each mortgage bank handles its loan process differently, it’s important to build original technology that’s suited for your specific needs. By developing exclusive technology, whether it’s CRM software or mobile apps, your bank not only positions itself as a progressive leader in a competitive market place but you provide a greater level of flexibility to your workforce.

CRM software that’s built in-house allows a bank to make ongoing modifications as needs arise in the field. This is essential because as times progress, needs change, and technology that may have addressed your needs yesterday, may not be sufficient for the demands of tomorrow. When you rely solely on off-the-shelf products, you limit your operating potential because you don’t have the ability to make necessary updates specific to the feedback from your sales force that allows you to remain relevant; whereas with in-house technology, options are limitless and you have the ability to continuously evolve.

"If you want to build positive relationships with your borrowers before, during, and after the loan transaction closes, automated technology is key"

Furthermore, when lenders customize their technology, it makes the workflow process more efficient. When using off-the-shelf software, the technology usually isn’t multifunctional; as a result, Loan Originators have to switch between multiple programs to perform each task, which can become time consuming. Developing in-house technology allows a bank to streamline this process so employees perform all of their essential job responsibilities from one centralized location. Whether they’re running a property profile or pulling a borrower’s credit, they’re using the same program. This means they can seamlessly perform their job duties because everything is cohesive, which in turn makes the process more fluid, all the way to the consumer.

Go Paperless

Going paperless and building a 21st Century mortgage bank go hand-in-hand. Since most Loan Originators are used to working with paper files, it can be difficult for them to embrace change because it alters the way they’ve done business for the past 20 years. Yet, in order for banks to continue accelerating, it’s necessary to use modern technology to your advantage and digitize your loan process. Transitioning to a paperless system not only saves on loan production costs but it also shortens the processing time. It gives remote mortgage professionals the ability to do their job just as effectively as an in-house team. Since the average loan file is handled by 8-10 people, the loan process is slowed down when someone has to come into the office to work on a paper file or when the file has to be shipped between locations. By spending less time handling paper, mortgage banks that invest in a digital process are able to close more transactions and are able to ultimately deliver superior customer service.

Use Automated Technology

That’s the benefit to using the right technology. It creates a customer-centric experience. If you want to build positive relationships with your borrowers before, during, and after the loan transaction closes, automated technology is key. It allows you to keep up with the demands of the modern-day consumer who has grown accustomed to instant responses. Today’s housing customer is looking for the sort of transparency throughout the lending process that constantly keeps them updated with the progress of their loan. From the time it goes into underwriting until the loan funds, consumers want to know their status in real-time. That means mortgage banks need the ability to not only be able to send automatic follow-up emails to prospective customers but they must have the capacity to also send automatic email updates at each important loan milestone throughout the process. Taking a proactive approach prevents consumers from having to call in for their loan status, but it also keeps everyone informed including the Real Estate Agent. When used properly, your automated technology should be developed so that you can personalize all communication, which further establishes an authentic experience for the consumer.

Develop Responsive Technology

According to StatCounter, for the first time ever mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop usage. More than 50 percent of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Since the majority of consumers get online using their tablet or phone, as opposed to using their personal computer, mortgage banks have to make sure their website has a responsive web design, which makes it viewable on any size screen. The more consumer-facing your website, the better the consumer experience. Additionally, a mobile-friendly website performs better on search engine results. Search engines give a higher priority to websites that have good mobile functionality, which means banks have to develop technology that keeps them up-to-date on every platform.

Produce Mobile Apps

Since today’s primary homebuyer is quickly emerging as the tech-savvy Millennial, mobile technology is no longer an optional luxury for banks but a must-have necessity. Lenders need on-the-go technology that enables their mortgage professionals to stay up-to-speed with their customers. When Loan Originators have real-time information on their hand-held device, it gives them the ability to do their job wherever they go. Whether it’s sending a prequalification letter, pulling credit, or managing their pipeline, mobile technology should equip originators with everything they need even when they’re not in the office. Millennial customers are looking for this type of convenient loan process and want to work with banks who are highly responsive. If Loan Originators aren’t able to quickly provide instant information, it will put them at a disadvantage in a competitive digital world.

Remain Innovative

Innovative technology will continue shaping the mortgage industry. In order to be a leader, mortgage banks have to look for ways to stay ahead of the curve. Finding future success will depend on thinking outside of the box in a way that always thinks of the customer first.

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