Expectations missed he mortgage industry
has been in cost-cutting
mode for over a year now.
An unappetizing cocktail
of declining origination
volume and residual compliance costs have
boardrooms everywhere scrutinizing new ways
to ease pressure on profits.
To that end, the industry has seen a bit of a
boom in the adoption of software to enable
eMortgages as well as other digital systems to
assist with compliance or vendor management.
Lured by the prospect of cost savings and increased efficiencies, a number of lenders and
originators have undertaken significant technology investments recently.
And yet, not all are pleased with the early
returns. Some are finding that they bought a
great technology that doesn’t really fit their
own business models. Others are struggling
to collaborate with old partners and service
providers because of the new technology.
More than a few are wondering when the
promised return on investment begins.
It’s entirely possible that some originators jumped at a technology solution that simply didn’t fit their
operations. Or perhaps that technology isn’t adapting as the market
continues its rapid evoution. No
matter what the cause, there’s
still hope for those originators.
For those still weighing their
options, the following are a few
suggestions to avoid the early
bumps in the road.
While this wave of technological adoption is still
fairly new, it is becoming apparent that not every
business making such an investment is completely satisfied in the early days. The challenges
seem to fall into four categories:
■ ■ Difficulty adopting the new technology;
■ ■ Compatibility with third-party systems
(that of vendors and/or service providers,
■ ■ Functionality limitations; and
■ ■ Ongoing support.
Some of these concerns can simply be attributed to inertia and the traditional learning cycle.
Sometimes, it’s just not simple to change the way
one does business. But many of the challenges
start with the company’s expectations and true
understanding of how its processes really work.
The best technology developers have experienced some of these challenges over and over
again. In the case of difficulty making the transition or adapting to the new system, sometimes
more training and a little patience is all it takes.
It’s important, however, that your management team makes clear that there is no going
back to the old way of doing things. It’s critical
that the people who will be using the technology
every day understand that, like it or not, this is
part of the job.
Lack of compatibility with third-party systems
happens fairly often. Many times, it’s simply not
a consideration when making the purchase.
Most vendors are willing to implement any
workarounds that they’re able to. Where that’s
not possible, you may need to enlist the help of
your technology provider or even a third-party
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consultant. If the workflow and communication
between the originator and the service provider
isn’t seamless, you aren’t really reaping the
benefits of your new technology.
Sometimes, the challenge with functionality
limitations and lack of ongoing support from the
provider require some creativity. While these
are issues best avoided via due diligence before
the purchase of the technology, there are service providers and consultants that have likely
seen your challenge elsewhere and can offer
This may involve supplemental technology
or additional training for your staff. If you feel
your team isn’t being supported adequately
during implementation or thereafter, the first
step is, of course, taking it up with the tech
provider. If this proves fruitless, however, there
are also numerous third-party companies that
can provide training and support when the
developer is unwilling or unable.
The result is that some may find themselves
behind the proverbial eight ball. With the pressure to produce now offset by the reality that
the expensive new tech investment is not yet
delivering expected results, it can be tempting
to consider starting over and absorbing the
sunken cost. Do not yield to this temptation.
There are solutions.
For those still considering technological solutions, this is not a warning to step back. There
are a number of fantastic technologies on the
market that have made strong originators even