Houtan Hormozian is vice president of Crestico Inc. He is
an accomplished mortgage veteran in both wholesale and
retail operations and currently serves as the president of the
North Los Angeles Chapter of the California Association of
Mortgage Professionals. Hormozian distinguishes himself as
both coach and mentor, coaching his team in the short term
to complete tasks while mentoring in the long term in the
interest of personal and professional development. Reach
him at email@example.com.
The Mortgage IT Age Has Arrived
Information technology is having a positive impact on the industry
By Houtan Hormozian
Hardly any part of society remains unaffect- ed by information technology today. From software like social media and network- ing sites to hardware like smartphones,
tablets and now wearable tech, one would be hard
pressed to identify any aspect of modern life that is
unaffected by technology.
Although we are increasingly faced with the negative impacts that technology sometimes can have on
our lives, the positives of having a world of information
and connectivity at your fingertips are numerous. In
fact, the impact that technology has had on the mortgage industry in the past 10 years has been a boon to
consumers and industry professionals alike.
Borrowers often report that the most difficult part
of the mortgage process is choosing the right loan
originator. Technology can now help these borrowers
connect with highly skilled, professional, consistently
productive originators through websites.
What’s more, these sites allow people to post
reviews about their experiences, which provides
much-needed information for potential borrowers
and, essentially, provides free advertising for those
originators who get excellent reviews. The internet
as a whole, has become today’s version of “word of
mouth” referrals, which any industry’s top professionals will tell you are the best source of business.
Data-collection technology also enables mortgage
companies to provide originators with advanced
marketing capabilities like being able to advertise on
real estate websites in areas with high sales activity. In
addition, advancements in search engine optimization
allow individual originators to create highly-specific
and targeted marketing materials. Website analytic
and usage data can enable an industry professional to
determine exactly whom (in a region) to target and at
what time to post and republish a specific advertisement to maximize viewing.
If an originator wants to target first-time home-buyers in a specific neighborhood, for example, the
capability exists to target online advertisements
to these prospects based on their recent internet
searches and other online viewing habits. Such capabilities were unheard of 20 years ago. Technology has
increased the quality and efficiency of marketing for
numerous industries, with the mortgage industry
being no exception.
In addition to marketing advancements, technology
has improved and enhanced communication. Not
only does technology bring borrowers and originators
together, it also connects originators with their respective lenders and government agencies.
By creating portals, software and websites that
streamline the loan application and approval process,
technology helps professionals access and understand
requirements and guidelines more easily and im-
proves communication during the process through
e-mail, video conference and other modern means of
Improved communication between lenders and
originators benefits borrowers as well, who necessarily become better informed and have better access
to products that are well-suited for their situations.
Improvements in information and communication
technology create better-educated and informed
financial consumers who can ask intelligent questions
and help mortgage professionals guide them to what
they are looking to achieve.
In addition, when borrowers understand their
options, they are less likely to accuse originators of
not presenting all the available options. This helps
reduce frivolous lawsuits and also prevents unscrupulous characters from taking advantage of unknowing victims.
When a simple online search can provide borrowers with at least a basic understanding of the types
of loans and products that exist — along with the differences between those options — they can make
better decisions. Plus, more knowledgeable borrowers will push professionals to provide better service,
resulting in better experiences and better results for
Enhanced communication and readily available information also are useful to regulatory agencies in their
efforts to monitor lending activity and enforce safeguards intended to protect consumers from unlawful
practices. Highly complicated backend data collection
and reporting processes help ensure compliance by all
Government agencies are taking advantage of
modern technology to augment communications,
both interagency and with consumers. The Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency created
after the financial crisis to protect consumers from
predatory practices, even has a page on its website
where consumers can submit complaints.
Additionally, the establishment of a system such
as the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS),
which created a central hub for originators to register
and maintain compliance with industry standards and
regulations, helps build a transparent lending environment where everyone benefits. Consumers benefit from being able to log on and identify legitimate
professionals, while professionals benefit from having
a central location to report and maintain their compliance with mandatory requirements.
Finally, technology has created a convenient and
cost-efficient process for consumers to get what they
need without being overly burdened and inconvenienced. Historically, when borrowers provided incomplete documents, they would need to mail or
physically deliver the missing items. The originator
would then have to provide the missing information to
the lenders using a similar, slow method.
Advancements like e-mail and electronic signatures
save time and money — not to mention paper and the
environment — by providing faster turnaround times
and using fewer resources. This results in increasingly
pleased clients, which translates into positive experiences and return business.
n n n
Although technology is not foolproof and caution
must be used to prevent fraud and other abuses, the
overall impact that technology has had on the mortgage industry has been overwhelmingly positive.
Companies often use technology — and the smooth
transactions it delivers — as a key selling point when
recruiting, and for good reason. The easier it is for
originators to produce, the more likely they will be to
stay with the company. Using technology to improve
marketing capabilities and transaction time is the best
recipe for success in the mortgage industry. n
agencies are taking