Mobile-friendly mortgage websites give borrowers the option of pinning
the website to their mobile device’s home screen and accepting push notifications. Borrowers can click an icon on their phone’s or tablet’s home screen
that will go right to an originator’s chosen section of their website. This icon
will feel and look just like a native app but without all the work or maintenance of a full app.
An originator’s information technology team or a third-party vendor also
can provide the technology needed to connect borrowers via the app’s
push-messaging features to the loan origination system, asset management,
and the marketing system to send updates, offers and tasks to borrowers, or
to potential customers.
When a borrower applies for a mortgage, for example, the originator can
use a service such as Twilio to immediately send a text message that thanks
the customer for the application and informs them that they can receive
updates via push messaging as the application moves through the process
by simply clicking a short link. Services such as Twilio, combined with an
LOS, make it easy to send notifications based on conditions and then parse
responses and store them inside the relevant file fields.
To attract prospective borrowers, mortgage companies also can consider
publishing an SMS-receiving phone number on their website that allows
prospective borrowers to text a property address to the phone number to
start an application. Computer programs that leverage artificial intelligence
to form conversations with real people can even present application questions to borrowers and parse their responses into an LOS-housed file.
About 21 percent of homebuyers regret their choice of lender, according
to J.D. Power. That number rises to 27 percent for first-time homebuyers.
Improvement in customer satisfaction, the survey suggests, is certainly
needed, and technology, used smartly, has the power to improve customer
relations and increase an originator’s competitiveness.
Originators who can make the borrowing process faster and more intuitive
for consumers are those who will gain market share. Technology also is important in effectively and efficiently dealing with the reams of post-housing-crisis
regulations that require robust methods for compliance and increase the cost
of originating loans, which reached $8,887 per loan in the first quarter of 2017,
according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Because it is expensive to produce a loan, technology to reduce risk is a
priority for many originators. Technology, such as automated data and income verification and proprietary appraisal-review systems that affirm appraisal quality, also allow originators to produce higher-quality loan files in
less time, which is a win for everyone.
n n n
intech, or financial technology, certainly will continue to advance
the mortgage industry. The major advantages of technology-enabled mortgages include speed, convenience, efficiency,
customer experience and engagement, reduced risk and improved compliance.
To stay atop their game, loan originators will need to look for
ways to leverage technology to enhance the borrower experience while
making the back-end loan-production process more efficient and effective.
This means thinking about how technology can be utilized to build brand
awareness and expand reach. Originators will need to continually add to
and tweak their technology solutions and usage to push for improvements
in workflow, speed and, ultimately, customer satisfaction as the fintech industry advances.
The digital mortgage is here. Technology, including mobile apps and
online capabilities, is a must for originators to survive and thrive in today’s
housing economy. n
Brian Fritton is chief technology officer for Patch of Land, a peer-to-peer real estate crowdfunding marketplace.
He oversees Patch of Land’s technology strategy, including engineering, infrastructure, information security and
mobility. Fritton has more than 10 years of experience across a wide range of development languages, enterprise
frameworks, UX/UI, API-centric products, service-oriented infrastructure and high-availability architecture.
He previously held a leading development role with one of the nation’s leading e-Commerce solution providers,
and has led numerous startups in the software space. Reach Fritton at email@example.com.
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