Bill Packer is chief information officer at American Financial
Resources (AFR), the leading sponsored originator for FHA
203(k) loans and one of the nation’s leading independent
mortgage originators. Packer is the driving force behind
numerous technology solutions that streamline and improve
the way mortgage lenders communicate with customers.
The development of these tools underscores American
Financial Resources’ commitment to ensuring an optimal
experience for all parties in the transaction. Reach Packer at
(973) 585-5907 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Brave New Mortgage World
Embracing technology can help enhance the borrower experience
By Bill Packer
We live in a world being remade at an ever-faster pace by technology. By simplifying and connecting every aspect of our lives, technology has
made it possible for us to work wherever and whenever
Perhaps nobody can benefit from that evolution
more than mortgage originators. A flood of new technology platforms, service-innovation tools, mobile
apps and even integrations with chatbots and voice-activated devices like Amazon’s Alexa, are changing
the face and personality of the mortgage process.
Technology can improve the borrower experience,
increase transparency, simplify the mortgage process,
offer digital oversight to compliance and ultimately
save everyone money. We’re already seeing it transform the process and power faster, simpler lending
A new age of tech-savvy consumers, powered by the
rapidly growing millennial homebuying market and their
tech-comfortable parents, are making new demands on
how borrowers apply for loans and go through the
Many borrowers today want self-service applications backed up by mortgage professionals they can
contact at a moment’s notice when they hit a snag.
Originators are realizing that technology can improve
the borrower experience without usurping their role.
In fact, it can actually make their lives easier.
By offering borrowers a more active role in the mortgage process, all parties in the transaction can work
in tandem, easing the minds of nervous borrowers
while taking the pressure off originators to proactively
Today’s technology can simplify and expedite applying for a mortgage, and provide borrowers with a complete overview of the process and all information they
must submit. It also provides ongoing access to loan
status and threaded discussions, and provides transparency to third parties, such as attorneys or accountants. Perhaps best of all, this information is accessible
on the borrower’s schedule from whatever device they
feel most comfortable using.
Borrowers want a straightforward decisionmaking
process. Lenders and originators want speed and an
automated process that provides a deep understanding of their borrowers’ underlying risks and collateral,
so they can price the loan appropriately. And, of course,
mortgage companies want efficiency and automated
compliance. To accomplish these goals, the industry is
turning to key technology-enabled capabilities.
Embrace the future
With all the new financial technology available for
homebuyers, it might be natural to wonder if these
advances will replace mortgage originators. The sim-
ple answer is no, because the role of the originator to
guide borrowers through the process is invaluable.
In fact, by embracing these technologies, originators begin to transform themselves and their institutions from something that often was a barrier to
homeownership into the new role of trusted adviser.
This advisory role also moves outward as the originator becomes an even more critical source to Realtors
and other related parties in the homebuying process.
Loan originators are at the epicenter of dictating
which technologies will be adopted, but first they
need to embrace the future that technology provides.
As new apps and websites move into the industry,
originators must prove their worth to borrowers. With
technology handling mundane tasks, originators can
spend more time educating borrowers about the intricacies of the mortgage process and coaching them
through the steps.
Although originators may work with the latest and
greatest technology, it won’t replace them anytime
soon. People want to be guided through this important transaction by professionals they can trust. Technology simply provides a better, faster, more modern
platform to get the processing done.
Automated solutions that order reports, verify assets
and income, and reduce manual processes empower
originators to complete loan applications in less time
with greater accuracy. But the human touch that truly
encompasses best service is something technology
can never replace.
Borrowers want an easy application process. To meet
this demand, mortgage originators are turning to key
technology-enabled capabilities, such as prequalification and pre-approval tools. These web portals
and mobile apps conveniently capture a potential
borrower’s basic data to begin the application process, while giving them an estimate of their mortgage
This technology, paired with direct data aggregation — which enables originators to obtain client data
View these articles and more at
“Blast Off With Technology,”
“Use Apps to Bridge Gaps,”
“Streamlining the Search for Overlay Conditions,”
For more articles on mortgage
“Will A Machine Replace You?”
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