The Technological Advantage

I write and speak a great deal about the importance of using the latest technology in the mortgage industry. If you aren’t testing out the new technologies that arise to see what works and what doesn’t work for your organization, you are more than likely going to be outmaneuvered by those who are doing so. And it isn’t just about being trendy or chasing after the bright and shiny objects. It’s about discovering tools and that are useful for your organization. Using technology can provide tangible business benefits that give you the competitive edge you need in today’s marketplace.

First, let’s start by stating the obvious. Employing the latest technologies in your organization can lead to greater efficiency. Automating tasks such as document preparation, contact management, email marketing, and various financial functions, we are able to free up our time to do the things that truly differentiate ourselves in the industry. Namely, when we automate the “busy work,” we can focus on building relationships.

Like just about any other industry, the mortgage industry is a relationship business. It’s about strengthening relationships with our employees, strengthening relationship with our customers, strengthening relationships with our vendors, and strengthening relationships with society at large. Less time doing things that can be done quicker and better with technology means more face time. And it’s that face time that is really going to make or break us in the business.

Another, more understated, aspect in which technology can improve the mortgage industry lies within the realm of compliance. We don’t have think of technology and compliance as going hand-in-hand, but they actually do quite well. Take document preparation, for example. Last month, Tony Garritano of Progress in Lending had a discussion with me about dynamic documents—electronic documents that are pre-populated with certain information. According to Tony, there are over a thousand different variations in document preparations. That’s over a thousand ways that a human being physically preparing a document can slip up. Having the documents pre-populated to a certain extent keeps you in compliance by preventing you from inconsistencies in your preparation.

Systems don’t make mistakes. If they do, it’s because their designers messed them up before they were implemented. When computers or other technological systems are designed properly, they simply carry out the functions with which they were designed. The beauty of this arrangement is that it prevents a human being from having to make the same decisions over and over again. As human beings, we may slip up when doing repetitive work. We may get tired, we may get bored, we may get distracted, we may get lazy, or we may get sloppy. If we let the machines do the repetitive work, we minimize mistakes. If we minimize mistakes, we run a lesser risk of falling out of compliance. Technology, if we use it properly, can keep us legal.

Just like in any other industry, I think leaders in the mortgage industry sometimes fear technology. There’s always a learning curve in learning new tools, and it can be difficult to change from “the way it’s always been done.” But, I assure you, the rewards you will get for being flexible and adaptive to new technologies will greatly outweigh the fear. Start using technology to your advantage now…because your competitors are already doing it!

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