This week, we are launching a new feature called Executive Spotlight. As its name would suggest, the spotlight falls on a business leader that is making a profound impact on today’s lending environment. To launch this feature, we are pleased to have one of the most intriguing figures in mortgage technology. Michael Kelleher is the co-founder and executive vice president of EasyMortgageApps, a company that promises (according to its website) to offer “mortgage customers a unique way of communicating and interfacing with clients.” How does he plan to accomplish this? Well, let’s find out!
Q: What inspired you to get involved in financial technology?
Michael Kelleher: I was formerly a loan officer and I understand the number one issue plaguing the lending industry is communication. There is a tremendous void regarding the engagement of consumers and realtors after the loan application is completed.
I also realized we are in the midst of a paradigm shift. For the first time, the majority of people are accessing the internet via their mobile device than the PC. I knew there had to be a better way to connect with and share information with both borrowers and realtors via a mobile infrastructure.
Q: Mortgage banking (and, for the matter, the financial services industry as a whole) has a history of being slow to adapt new technologies. In your experience, how have you found the industry’s interest in mobile technology, especially apps?
Michael Kelleher: We find the early adopters and forward thinking companies truly understand the need and are fully embracing the move to the mobile space. These clients share the traits of a purchase centric business model and posses a commitment to improving the borrower and realtor experience.
Unfortunately, in keeping with the history of lending industry, others are slow to adapt and don’t see the need for change. We do spend time educating these potential clients on how innovation will result in more business as it does for many of the highly successful technology companies. Once enlightened, the response is overwhelmingly positive.
Q: Your latest product is called Loansquatch. Can you tell us about this? And does the “squatch” in the name suggest a Bigfoot connection?
Michael Kelleher: It is funny you say that! Some think the lending process in cloaked in a cloud of mystery, like the elusive Squatch. We feel borrowers will enjoy tracking their loan from origination to close. Our tag line is: For decades consumers, loan officers and realtors searched for a mythical software program designed to improve the loan approval process. Many claim to have seen or even utilized programs only to be let down by their findings.
Our market research found consumers to be far less intimidated and more apt to download and utilize Loansquatch when compared to other more lending specific name. Make no mistake – the functionality available in the mobile app is unparalleled and will help loan officers differentiate themselves to not only borrowers but realtors as well.
We determined there was definitive need for loan officers who were far more forward thinking than their decision makers at their lending institution. Our goal was to make the software so easy professionals of all technical levels could implement a successful mobile strategy. We made the first month just 99 cents to show you how much better a mobile experience is to offer your realtors and borrowers. A loan officer can take an application today and by tonight engage their borrower and realtor with push notifications. The best part is Realtors across the country will be downloading it for free.
Q: What do you see as the future for mobile technology in mortgage banking?
Michael Kelleher: Our analytics suggest consumers prefer to communicate, share and connect via their mobile device. Companies which continue to offer solutions to meet this consumer demand will be the ones to flourish. Technology is moving at such an amazing rate the sky is the limit for companies which understand the need to develop and implement a mobile strategy.
EasyMortgageApps is headquartered in Swampscott, Mass. The company is online at www.easymortgageapps.com.
Phil Hall has been (among other things) a United Nations-based radio journalist, the president of a public relations and marketing agency, a financial magazine editor, the author of six books and a horror movie actor. Also, as you will discover, he is not shy about stating his views.