Innovating The Mortgage Process

As the story goes, when Matt Hansen developed the mobile mortgage app that would become the catalyst for SimpleNexus, he wasn’t thinking about starting a company. He was trying to help solve a problem for his brother-in-law, a mortgage loan originator, who was tired of constantly having to recalculate customer loan payments by hand.

As Matt added features, customers followed, fueled exclusively by user referrals. It soon became obvious that what he created was much more than a passion project for evenings and weekends. It was something that filled a real market void. So, in 2014, joined by a handful of colleagues in the software industry, Matt turned SimpleNexus into his full-time business—and has never looked back.

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Today, SimpleNexus is a 75-person organization, signed with 15 of the top 25 lenders, over 180 mortgage company customers, and more than 18,000 users nationwide. More importantly, it’s a company that’s making a difference. Our Editor talked with Ben Miller, President/COO at SimpleNexus, to get his take on the mortgage industry.

Q: Why has the role of the loan officer been a primary focus at SimpleNexus from the beginning?

BEN MILLER: Our CEO, Matt Hansen, built the first version of the app at the request of his brother-in-law who was a mortgage loan originator tired of constantly recalculating customer loan payments by hand. Matt developed a simple solution over the weekend for him that garnered significant interest from additional originators in the ensuing weeks. The early focus at SimpleNexus was on creating a tool for the loan originator to support the vital role they play in the loan process. We still believe in loan officer’s role today and recognize the value their human touch plays in the loan transaction. SimpleNexus enables loan officers to close loans more quickly, increase Realtor referrals, and gain a competitive advantage. The platform turns loan originators into mobile originators, allowing them to stay productive and take action on a loan anytime, anywhere. We have built our platform around enhancing, rather than replacing, the loan officer’ role and have witnessed an industry wide embrace. We have 18,000 plus loan officers and over 180 enterprise mortgage companies now using our platform!

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Q: How has listening to customers guided the evolution of your platform?

BEN MILLER: In August we were named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies. We have grown 1,405% in the last three years alone. That’s an achievement that we attribute directly to our lenders’ success using our platform. We value their ongoing feedback of what they want out of our platform and have repeatedly made those requests a priority as we further develop our digital mortgage technology. Listening to our customers has made our product better and our company successful. One specific example is when one of our customers came to us regarding handling appraisals. They explained they had and AMC but their loan officers were having issue with the appraisal since the needed info was being filtered through three different people and took a week to get to them. We took that feedback and went to work developing a direct integration with the AMC. We were able to remove steps in communication process and increase efficiency of the appraisal process to enable the loan officer to take action immediately.

Q: How should lenders vet technology partners to better support their digital mortgage strategy?

BEN MILLER: We at SimpleNexus think that lenders should ask the following questions:

What LOS, applications and software can the digital mortgage platform integrate with? Look for a platform that integrates as much of your existing technology and third-party provider applications as possible. If it can’t integrate with your LOS, pricing and credit systems, and critical third-party applications, then move on.

Can the user access all of these systems with a single sign-on? The idea is to streamline access to everything your users need to do their jobs.

Is there both a web-based and mobile element to the digital mortgage platform? Mobility is critical for giving loan officers access to the information they need to quickly respond to borrower and Realtor requests from anywhere, without circling back to the office.

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Can the digital mortgage platform be used with referral partners and borrowers? Many platforms and applications are borrower-centric. Although the customer experience is paramount, the opportunity to create stickiness with Realtors, builders, and other referral partners will add to the value of the platform.

Does the digital mortgage platform give loan officers borrower insight? While it is essential to give borrowers and Realtor’s transparency into loan status, to maximize value, the platform should also provide a way for loan officers to monitor borrowers’ engagement levels.

Is it easy to use? If you add a platform or introduce an application that’s just “one more thing to learn,” you won’t get the return on your investment. Loan officer adoption is everything, which means the platform has to be intuitive and easy for your originators to use, without a lot of training.

Finally, talk to other lenders that use the product, particularly those that use the same LOS and third-party providers. Ask about their experience with the implementation, their loan officers’ reaction and their return on investment, as well as the level of service they’ve received post-sale. Most importantly, don’t stop with one phone call. Speak to as many different companies as possible to get the user perspective of the platform.

Q: How is your approach to integrations unique and what kind of value does it deliver to your users?

BEN MILLER: Our goal in each integration we develop is how we can provide more value to our customers. We look for partners who share the desire to co-develop technologies that create value for the end user. It’s typical in the industry to adopt a revenue-sharing model to cover the costs of building the integration. The issue with this model is it actually increases the cost to originate. At SimpleNexus we choose to take a different approach to integration partnerships. We want to create value for our customers by creating integrations that reduce costs to lenders and in turn borrowers. The partners we choose to work with on integrations have the same desire of creating this type of value.

Q: Your platform also touts the deep connection it makes between loan officer, Realtors and borrowers. Can you explain why this is an important differentiator?

BEN MILLER: It’s common for new technology within the mortgage industry to focus solely on the customer. The borrower experience is vital but a true digital mortgage strategy also needs the technology to address the loan officer experience in addition to bringing the Realtor into the platform for maximum efficiency and ROI. SimpleNexus unites all three parties into a single platform so they stay connected as they exchange data, documents, and communicate throughout the loan lifecycle. Our lenders are reporting faster closing times, more online loan application submissions, increased referral business, and world-class NPS and customer satisfaction.

Q: Can you explain how connecting loan officers, Realtors and borrowers improves communication?

BEN MILLER: The SimpleNexus platform gives unprecedented visibility to the loan officer, Realtor and borrower during the entire loan process. Delivering transparency and data when and at the time the desired party needs the information. This solves the pain point that each party feels when they are uncertain about loan status and have to email or call to find out.  This saves everyone time while delivering a dynamic customer experience.

SimpleNexus’ enhanced communication features work together to improve the borrower experience, which means better reviews and more referrals for loan officers and their Realtor partners.

Q: Why does SimpleNexus emphasize bringing Realtors into a lender’s digital mortgage strategy?

BEN MILLER: Realtors have a more extensive network of valuable connections needing loan services and it’s no secret that a borrowers first point of contact for purchasing a home often starts with a real estate agent. Our digital mortgage platform includes the Realtor component for several reasons. First, real estate partners are the most productive source of referrals for a loan officer. By giving Realtor partners an easy-to-use app they can share with their borrowers, you increase your referral opportunities significantly. Second, our platform is whitelabled and can easily be co-branded for each individual Realtor partner. They can add their own custom links such as customer reviews and a home search and becomes a value add to the partnership. Finally, the app provides a smooth borrower experience, which the Realtor will appreciate. Borrowers can easily upload documents, use the convenient communication features and know next steps – all while the Realtor stays informed with transparent loan status updates of where their borrowers are in the process.

Q: How does a platform like SimpleNexus help as a recruiting tool for lenders when looking to attract top loan officers?

BEN MILLER: It is important to find a technology solution that empowers your loan officers. The tool should help originators close loans faster, so they can sell more and make more money, without putting in additional hours of work.

After finding the right solution lenders need to demo the tools for their prospective employees (i.e. loan officers), show them how it will make their lives easier. SimpleNexus clients have found success in recruiting meetings by showing their prospective employees how the platform works, how the app can be custom branded to each individual LO and co-branded for Realtor partners.

Technology demos during recruitment can go a long way in showing how the company is invested in helping loan originators work more efficiently, earn more, and have a better quality of life. With SimpleNexus, LOs don’t need to spend their nights and weekends catching up at the office; they can close more and spend their off time with family and friends.

Top producing loan officers are in high demand, so providing them with tools to make their job easier and more productive is critical to attracting and retaining them. The ability to use the SimpleNexus platform on mobile devices gives loan officers the freedom to work with borrowers from anywhere with a few keystrokes. The platform sends a file back to the LOS automatically, so compliance is also assured. Being able to take quick action keeps borrowers satisfied, which builds trust with referring partners.

Q: How does SimpleNexus increase efficiency for the borrower?

BEN MILLER: One of the most frustrating aspects of applying for a mortgage is the collecting of documents by the borrower, trying to email or mail the documents to the lender and keeping track of all of the documents that were provided. The SimpleNexus platform lets borrowers use their mobile device to upload documents or photos of documents in a one-step process that ends the paper chase. This significantly improves the borrower experience while reducing friction points in the application process.

Q: You have mentioned a single branded platform numerous times.  Why is that so important for lenders?

BEN MILLER: Traditionally, processing a mortgage loan isn’t a one-system, one-click sort of job. It’s a complicated process, requiring access to your LOS, to your CRM, and also to credit bureaus, pricing engines, and other third-party providers to make things happen.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a mobile app that brought all of these resources together in one, convenient hub—along with fast access to your Realtors and borrowers?

SimpleNexus makes this vision a reality.

Our easy-to-use mobile app connects lenders with everything and everyone that is needed during the mortgage process, right from the loan officer’s mobile device.  That means loan officers work more efficiently, spend less time in transit, and more time actually getting things done.

Keeping the lender and their loan officers name front and center is easy with SimpleNexus. The app is white labeled, so instead of promoting our company, it promotes yours. You can brand the app with your information and offer your Realtors their own co-branded versions, for that one-two marketing punch. Every interaction keeps your name at the forefront, building your brand as you build your client base.

No matter the device you use, a seamless, omni-channel experience awaits.  Providing a great borrower experience means making that experience consistent, across all channels, and points of contact. With SimpleNexus, information flows seamlessly between web, phone, and tablet. So, if your borrower starts a mortgage application on the website, they can pick up where they left off on any mobile device. The origination process is identical across all channels, and only requires a single user login and password.

If your prospects or Realtors are in a rush, they don’t have to waste valuable time searching the app store to download SimpleNexus. Instead, you can text the app to them—either from your phone or originator dashboard. And, if you want to scan documents with the app, but not assign these to a specific borrower file, no problem. When you’re ready, the documents will be waiting on your originator dashboard.

INDUSTRY PREDICTIONS

Ben Miller Thinks:

1.) Personal touch and experiences for borrowers will continue to set companies apart from their competition.

2.) Companies with better technology supporting their loan officers will recruit and retain the best talent.

3.) The industry will continue turning to technology to drive backend process efficiency for managing cost in a raising rate environment.

INSIDER PROFILE

Ben Miller is President/COO at SimpleNexus. Ben joined SimpleNexus in 2014 as one of its original employees. Today, as COO, Ben runs the operations side of the house, which ranges from setting up strategic partnerships to managing implementations, to developing employee benefits programs. His mission is keeping the company efficient as it scales, expanding partnerships and bringing the right mix of people onboard.  Just seeing the impact that SimpleNexus is making on the industry is his motivator to constantly do more.

Expansion Through Acquisition

Today’s vendors and service providers have to offer more. So, how are they doing? Some are going the acquisition route.

For example, Richey May, an accounting and advisory firm serving the financial services and real estate industries, has acquired two IT consulting firms that will enable the company to offer a more robust spectrum of IT consulting services for its financial services clients.

Arrow Partnership, a nationwide provider of management and IT consulting services, and Corporate Blue, a cybersecurity and managed IT services firm, will join the recently launched Richey May Technology Solutions division of Richey May. Both acquisitions will enable Richey May to address the growing IT demands of its mortgage banking clients, which include the needs for cloud-based managed services, strategic technology management consulting and cybersecurity risk assessments.

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“Arrow Partnership and Corporate Blue have excellent reputations for providing a wide range of IT consulting services that span multiple industries,” said Ken Richey, founding partner of Richey May. “As the demand for strategic IT planning and compliance intensifies, these acquisitions will ensure we are able to meet the needs of mortgage lenders for years to come.”

Founded in 2003 and based in Denver, Colorado, Arrow Partnership specializes in technology management, governance, risk, compliance and security consulting services, and digital marketing. Arrow Partnership’s managing partner and co-founder Chan Pollock will join Richey May as executive director of the firm’s technology consulting practice, while senior practice leader Garry Woods will head up the company’s governance, risk and controls practice.

Corporate Blue, based in Southern California, provides IT security, virtual chief information security officer services, cloud security and managed IT services. Mike Wylie, co-founder and CEO of Corporate Blue, will join Richey May as a director in the firm’s cybersecurity practice.

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“In this day and age, strategic IT decisions are a cornerstone of any company’s financial health and potential for growth,” said Wylie. “I am delighted to join Richey May, a company firmly committed to helping companies leverage technology wisely to achieve their goals.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining Richey May and have been extremely impressed with their capabilities and dedication to helping lenders run more efficient, profitable and secure businesses,” said Pollock. “I look forward to leading the firm’s technology management consulting practice and working directly with clients to ensure they receive the highest level of expertise in the mortgage industry.”

Richey May Technology Solutions is a results-driven division of Richey May offering the full spectrum of technology solutions, including cloud services, cyber security, marketing technology, governance, risk, controls, privacy and technology management consulting. Led by technology experts with decades of cumulative experience in executive IT roles, the team is focused on providing pragmatic, real-world solutions that deliver value to their clients’ business.

Also, Sandler, LLC (d/b/a Sandler Law Group), has acquired the business operations of McGlinchey Stafford & Youngblood and Associates PLLC (MSYA), a premier closing and fulfillment services provider for the mortgage lending industry.

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This acquisition further enhances the mortgage compliance and origination ecosystem built by regtech investor and regulatory expert Andy Sandler. Asurity Technologies, a leading provider of compliance management and mortgage loan document technology, expands its operations into mortgage closing and fulfillment. All legal services previously undertaken by MSYA will now be performed at Sandler Law Group.

“With this acquisition, Asurity Technologies and Sandler, LLC have further implemented our strategy to set a new mortgage industry standard for economically efficient and fully compliant software and transaction support services,” says Andy Sandler, CEO of Asurity Technologies and Managing Partner of Sandler, LLC.

“We are excited to join the family of companies Andy Sandler has built to offer our clients expanded mortgage closing services. We are now able to provide mortgage lenders access to a powerful ecosystem with known experts in legal, compliance, services, and technology. This is a great opportunity to provide the marketplace with deeper resources and increased efficiencies,” says Vicki Murphy-Gee, Vice President of Sales, Asurity Services and Executive Director, Sandler Law Group.

Asurity Technologies now provides a full range of compliant mortgage documents and mortgage closing and fulfillment services including outsourced closing functions and CD preparation and legal review, wire orders, funding, and shipping, through a team of over 150 mortgage lending specialists and technologists and affiliated legal experts at Sandler Law Group.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

The Power Of Artificial Intelligence In The Mortgage Industry

These days, it’s hard to miss the buzz about artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on industries such as health care, automotive, education, financial services and retail, to name just a few. From the ability to diagnose diseases – to the development of driverless cars – the potential applications of AI are extraordinary. In our daily lives, we already are experiencing the use of AI when we communicate with customer-service chat bots, ask Apple’s Siri for information, perform Google searches, or use navigation apps to help avoid traffic, as a few examples.

Despite all the recent discourse about AI, this technology is certainly not new. There are countless examples of AI use over the past several decades, including the reliance of commercial jet flights on AI to power autopilot, and internet bots that index web pages. But the more recent interest, innovation and investment in AI are due to a combination of factors – including greatly increased computational power, big data, greater infrastructure speed and scale, open source technologies and advancements in machine learning techniques.

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And today, the mortgage industry is able to reap the benefits of this incredible technology. For example, HeavyWater, which was recently acquired by Black Knight, is a provider of AI and machine learning-based capabilities specific to the financial services industry. The company has already built a platform that completes business tasks using synthetic read-and-comprehend analysis and conclusion skills, and applied these capabilities to the loan origination process.

What is Machine Learning?

The terms “machine learning” and “artificial intelligence” are often used interchangeably, however, there is a distinction between the two. Using a very broad definition, artificial intelligence replicates human reasoning through learning, problem-solving and pattern recognition. Machine learning is a subset of AI and is a process by which AI deepens its knowledge through continually performing tasks and processing information.

Let’s consider a simple, industry-specific example. AI-powered machine learning enables technology to “remember” standardized forms. For example, it can review thousands of paystubs and determine exactly where the pertinent income data is located. When the system comes across a paystub that presents an anomaly, it will apply its previously gained understanding to infer the location of the income data needed. Once the technology receives feedback that its inference was correct, it incorporates that information into its knowledge base. The next time it comes across that type of paystub, the system will automatically know where to find the pertinent data.

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Machine learning also leverages big data to gain insights. The more data that is collected and reviewed, the better machine learning solutions become at making predictions.

Applying AI and Machine Learning to Reduce Costs and Turn Times

AI and machine learning already can make a difference in two of the biggest challenges faced today by mortgage originators: costs and cycle times. With the ability to read, comprehend, and draw conclusions based on context, AI and machine learning can perform operational functions more efficiently and at scale.

In fact, machine learning can work on many of the labor-intensive, “stare and compare” tasks performed by humans – such as verifying income, assets and insurance coverage. Machine learning is used to perform these manual activities much faster and more accurately than humans – a task that takes employees hours to complete can be reduced to just seconds with machine learning.

By automating manual routines, machine learning not only expedites the origination process, but also increases volume. While humans can only work a certain number of hours before mistakes begin occurring, machine learning has no limits to the time or energy it can spend performing these tasks. By increasing loan processing volume and reducing mistakes, imagine how machine learning can drive down origination costs – and risk.

AI-powered systems enable processors and underwriters to dedicate more time to addressing exceptions and solving problems, which will improve transaction turn times. Also, AI can help avoid last-minute delays by prompting a lender’s staff to take early action when there is an issue, keeping the origination process moving forward. Additionally, by delegating work to AI-powered technology, a lender’s staff can focus on delivering a more positive and personalized consumer experience.

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As AI and machine learning are used to perform manual, repetitive tasks, allowing mortgage professionals to work on more value-added responsibilities, lenders can increase their focus on their company’s growth strategies. As they scale and reduce the cost per loan by keeping staffing levels flat, lenders can invest more in product development, marketing, infrastructure, and other growth-oriented initiatives.

Additional Applications of AI

AI can also leverage visual recognition to image and index a wide variety of documents that are typically reviewed by processors and underwriters, such as tax returns, W-2s, property titles and appraisals. A lender could even use AI and machine learning to better manage vendors. Based on past performance and cost, AI could provide recommendations on which vendors would be optimal for each loan going through the origination process.

Voice-integrated AI brings further opportunities to create efficiencies. This technology could look at information under review, evaluate results and automatically employ interactive communication bots to advise employees of any issue that may need attention. Additionally, via a conversational interface, processors and underwriters could ask for information they need – just as we use virtual assistants like Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa or Microsoft Cortana to get answers. These capabilities certainly could help move a loan through the origination process faster.

Leveraging AI to Enhance Customer Service

Of course, most of us have experienced first-hand how AI is applied in retail to deliver a more personalized consumer experience. For example, when we shop online, we receive targeted product recommendations the next time we visit that site; or receive faster service though chat bots.

To help personalize and enhance the borrower’s experience, lenders can leverage voice capabilities. A mortgage virtual assistant that engages customers by answering questions, walking them through the application process and even offering advice could be employed using voice-integrated AI.

Impact on Jobs

When the subject of AI in the workplace is discussed, it inevitably raises questions about its impact on jobs. Will jobs be lost as a result of these technological advancements?

There is no perfect answer to this question since the utilization of AI is different from company to company. But, it seems certain that future skill sets will be required to support this shifting technological paradigm. As it applies to the mortgage industry today, however, AI can enable professionals to spend less time on remedial work, becoming knowledge workers instead of task executors, and provide additional value to a company.

The Future Is Limitless

AI and machine learning offer tremendous potential to advance the mortgage industry, and we are just beginning to experience the technology’s capabilities. As AI-powered systems ingest more data and perform an increasing number of tasks though machine learning and other techniques, the possibilities are unlimited.

Imagine the power of AI as it learns to handle the entire point-of-sale process and speaks to an applicant directly through a mobile phone; or as it systematically searches a lender’s portfolio for qualified prospects and offers a customized home equity loan or line of credit, and so on. As we all know, the average cost to originate a mortgage loan is exceptionally high – today it is nearly $8,500 according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report, and the typical time to close a loan is 41 days. Any opportunities to reduce costs and increase process efficiencies will add value to lenders and consumes.

What’s more, the transformative power of AI doesn’t stop in the originations space. Servicers will also be able to reap the benefits of this advanced technology. For example, the technology could learn how to detect risk and any compliance issues before they occur, enhance loss mitigation decisioning, provide voice integration capabilities to help staff work faster and smarter, and so on. What’s amazing is that these examples only scratch the surface.

Of course, human interaction will always be needed to originate and service loans, as people will still decide how they want to leverage technology and determine the problems that must be solved. Humans must also still play an active role in loan decisioning, identifying which kind of data to consider and determining risk appetite. Furthermore, research indicates that despite all the advances in point-of-sale technology, consumers still want the comfort of human interaction at some point in the process of purchasing what is most likely their largest and most important investment.

AI and machine learning offer great promise and will likely usher in a new era of production excellence. Lenders that take advantage of this advanced technology will be choosing a bold new way to address origination costs, improve turn times and transform their origination processes to support a brighter, more successful future.

About The Author

Soofi Safavi

Previously CEO of HeavyWater Inc., the mortgage-focused Artificial Intelligence (AI) provider recently acquired by Black Knight, Inc, Soofi Safavi now serves as Managing Director of Black Knight’s Applied AI group, bringing leading-edge AI and computing capabilities to the Black Knight product portfolio. With over 20 years of experience in mortgage and banking technology, and deep expertise in IT strategy, architecture and machine learning, Soofi is uniquely suited to discuss AI’s role in the mortgage industry.

Reach Your Target Market

Jeff Grover rightly asserts that “starting a business can seem daunting, albeit exciting, but it doesn’t happen all at once – nor should it” in his recent article published in Forbes entitled “Three Things You Can Do To Identify Your Target Market Today.” He goes on to note that as productivity expert and author David Allen has been quoted as saying, “You don’t actually do a project; you can only do action steps related to it.”

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I have found that determining a target market is an important “project” that requires time, resources, a supportive network and extensive market research. However, this process is much more manageable when viewed as a series of actionable items.

Whether your product or service is new or you’re improving a current issue in your field, here are three actionable steps you can take today to identify your target market.

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1.) Use basic keyword research tools to pinpoint top queries.

Data mined from highly specified queries will inform you of what drives your competitors’ organic traffic. Keyword research data will help you regardless, but especially if you plan to use online marketing strategies. This information can also be useful for established businesses, as they create and share content online.

First, begin your research with a generic phrase or keyword for your target market. This will establish who your primary audience is, what questions they are asking and what solutions they expect.

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Once you’ve entered your keyword or phrase into Google Search, take note of all the top auto-suggestions as well as which companies rank in the search engine results page (SERP). Determine who your main competition is and what kind of products and services they provide. Not only will this information give you valuable insight into your competition in the field, but it will also allow you to find where there are gaps in services or product efficiency.

Utilize Google’s free AdWords Keyword Planner to guide your preliminary research. According to the 2017 Google Economic Impact report, companies make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. Investing in such tools can increase profit and expand your company outreach.

Factoring in keyword research prior to starting your business will put you ahead of the game. Beyond the technical aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) benefits, these tools can help you determine the intent and problems of potential customers searching for answers.

2.) Gather anecdotal data from your personal network.

A newly formed business relies heavily on engaging with actual customers. It is one thing to enter in queries and get a general picture of your target audience, but it doesn’t help if you can’t attract their attention in the real world.

Send out a survey on social media or through email asking some fundamental questions about your business idea and the problem it solves. Using your Google Search query as your guide, and ask questions like these:

>>What solutions or resources are currently available to you?

>>How satisfied are you with available products or services?

>>How would you go about finding the information you need?

>>Describe your ideal product or service in this market.

>>Under what circumstances would you use such a product/service, and how much would you pay for it?

Take the responses from your survey and weigh each suggestion carefully. Will any of the ideas take more time or money to accommodate? Will you have to compromise goals or morals? How will these suggestions fit into your business plan or model?

Family, friends, acquaintances and strangers will all have ideas regarding what would work best, and the more diverse insights you can obtain, the better. Keep in mind that the most valuable input is from those who are both highly interested and able to buy the product or service you propose.

3.) Identify commonalities and research pain points.

Though not comprehensive, the information gathered from the above steps can pinpoint demographic or value-based similarities among those most interested in the problem you’re tackling.

Look at the queries generated from your preliminary searches. Do the related terms seem to resonate with a particular life stage, occupation, physical condition or geographical area? Of the email or survey responses, is there a certain gender, age, hobby or income level that unites the enthusiastic survey responders?

Pursue each common thread by learning more about that particular commonality. For example, if your product or service seems to appeal to do-it-yourselfers (DIYers), consider subscribing to Make: magazine to read more about what they value. If your business plan solves a problem primarily plaguing baby boomers, arrange an informal focus group with your friends in that age group to discuss those issues in more depth.

Almost every industry has outlets for information and conversation. Join these communities to begin a mutually beneficial exchange of value between your ideas (eventually your business) and your target market.

Down the road, you may decide to pursue generational market research, which explores age as well as social, economic and psychological factors, and/or cohort marketing research, which studies groups of people who underwent similar experiences during their formative years.

Regardless of the similarities shared by your target market, keep in mind that many consumers don’t want their personal characteristics or habits rigidly categorized, preferring to feel unique and cared for in a personal way.

The remainder of David Allen’s well-known quote reassures: “When enough of the right action steps have been taken, some situation will have been created that matches your initial picture of the outcome closely enough that you can call it ‘done.’”

Certainly, a company’s market research is never done, but initial target market research initiatives can provide personal momentum and bring you close enough to your target to warrant measures that are more expansive (and expensive).

By taking simple steps today toward identifying your target market, you’ll rapidly approach the bullseye of an audience that both desperately wants and has the ability to pay for your product or service.

About The Author

Michael Hammond

Michael Hammond is chief strategy officer at PROGRESS in Lending Association and is the founder and president of NexLevel Advisors. They provide solutions in business development, strategic selling, marketing, public relations and social media. He has close to two decades of leadership, management, marketing, sales and technical product experience. Michael held prior executive positions such as CEO, CMO, VP of Business Strategy, Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Marketing for a number of leading companies. He is also only one of about 60 individuals to earn the Certified Mortgage Technologist (CMT) designation. Michael can be contacted via e-mail at mhammond@nexleveladvisors.com.

Keeping Turned Down Borrowers In Your Pipeline

The difficulty of establishing and maintaining a reliable pipeline of new business has become readily apparent across the mortgage industry. Low credit scores, subpar credit profiles, and rising cost of lead generation and acquisition have taken their toll on the price per lead and, consequently, the total cost of origination. Furthermore, the shift from a refinance to a purchase market has only made it more difficult to drum up new business, adding to the frustration experienced by many loan officers in this sector.

In years past, loan officers relied heavily upon in-house generation of leads. Those leads were typically of higher overall quality, and the prior business relationships removed many of the barriers to conversion common to novel sources of business. However, as many in the mortgage industry are now being forced to look outside of their own organizations for new sources of business, they are often stymied by the sheer number of consumers who simply do not qualify for financial products because of their credit profiles.

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According to a report published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, more than one-third of all Americans have a FICO score of 620 or below. Furthermore, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed that over 45 million adults either do not have a credit score or are un-scorable. There are 300 million people in the United States (that number includes children), and 15 percent of them do not have a credit score. All too often, banks simply tell those people who fall outside qualifying parameters that they do not have the necessary credit, and implore them to come back if and when their circumstances change. There are no mechanisms in place to assist these potential clients, and the time and resources spent acquiring and attempting to convert those leads is seemingly wasted.

The question that every lender and loan officer should be asking themselves is: “Is there any way to salvage even a fraction of those rejections by turning them into qualified applicants?” The answer is yes, and the best way to go about doing so is to form strategic partnerships with entities that specialize in credit remediation and rehabilitation. By forming those partnerships, lenders are able to tap into a previously inaccessible market, while broadening the spectrum of customer services that they offer to current and prospective clients and remaining compliant with various federal regulations.

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Some lenders have recognized the need to steer unqualified applicants toward resources that could help them improve their credit, but have reservations about forming these partnerships with third parties. One of the main reasons that loan officers are reluctant to refer a lead to a third party is because they fear relinquishing control over a lead in which they’ve already invested considerable resources. This is why it is imperative to partner only with those organizations that offer a completely transparent rehabilitation process, and which allows the referring lender to maintain its control at every stage of the remediation process.

Ideally, the loan officer should receive assurances from its referral partners that the lead will not sold or referred to any entity other than that which referred the lead. Additionally, lenders should insist upon periodic progress updates when the referral reaches certain milestones. This type of system will allow the lender to decide how interactive it should be throughout the remediation process. Smaller lenders with limited resources may wish to simply monitor progress, while those larger lenders with greater availability of human capital may wish to be very “hands-on” in order to build a stronger rapport with their referrals. Regardless of which tactic lenders decide is best for them, it is imperative that every referring lender receives notification immediately upon the referrals’ completion of the remediation program, so that those lenders can re-capture those leads when they become qualified for the loans for which they initially applied.

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Many lenders are also beginning to toy with the idea providing remediation services, themselves, in an attempt to assuage their own fears associated with referring leads to third party partners. However, many do not realize that if they were to offer these types of services, or even provide advice regarding self-help, they could be reclassified as a “Credit Repair Organization” under federal law. If this were to happen, it could impute unwanted liability. A financial institution that gets reclassified could face fines or other penalties for failing to comply with stringent regulations imposed upon organizations or individuals who provide those types of services or advice. Forming partnerships with reputable companies that routinely provide this type of assistance would ensure that lenders are able to protect and insulate themselves, while still providing a service that many applicants need.

Aside from converting those leads that would have otherwise been unqualified into viable sources of business, strategic partnerships with third party credit remediation companies offer numerous benefits to lenders that are not as obvious. Lenders should be able to outsource the entire credit remediation process without devoting any additional resources, whether pecuniary or otherwise, to those leads that were initially unqualified. Upstanding companies should never charge lenders a fee for their services. When lenders are able to recapture unqualified leads it decreases both, the cost per lead and the average cost of origination, which are two common goals that every lender strives to meet.

Some of the more seasoned lenders may have reservations about working with credit remediation companies or making overarching changes to their business practices and policies. This is understandable, considering that they have enjoyed past success operating as they always have. However, as the industry landscape changes, lenders must adapt in order to maximize the increasingly limited opportunities that present themselves. A strong pipeline to a previously underserved, untapped market will certainly benefit those who have the foresight to access it early to take advantage of the new source of business. Strategic partnerships such as those described herein are one of the best ways to do just that, and will yield a net benefit to lenders, as they do not require the expenditure of precious resources that would be better spent on in other areas of business development. As the marketplace becomes ever more crowded, and the cost of origination continuously narrows profit margins, the adage “adapt or die” has never resonated so clearly.

About The Author

Elizabeth Karwowski

Elizabeth Karwowski is the CEO of Get Credit Healthy, a technology company that has developed a proprietary process and solution, which seamlessly integrates with the lenders’ loan origination software (LOS) and customer relationship management software (CRM) in order to create new loan opportunity and recapture leads. Get Credit Healthy helped their partners create over $200M of new loan opportunities in 2017 alone, and plan on continued growth in 2018. As a recognized credit expert, Elizabeth has been featured on NBC and Fox News, and published in a number of financial industry publications.

Tools For Success

With real estate inventory low and a new wave of first-time homebuyers entering the market, home shoppers need every advantage when it comes to finding the right house as quickly – and seamlessly – as possible. The process can quickly become overwhelming. Lenders’ expertise can make the search more effective and, ultimately, successful. In turn, more and more borrowers are turning to lenders at the beginning of their home search to ensure a better experience.

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We live in an increasingly digital world. Homebuyers have come to expect the same digital experience when buying a home as they have when buying a cup of coffee through a mobile app. Fortunately, many of us in the mortgage industry are working to facilitate this experience, by providing borrowers with various digital tools, apps and online resources that are specifically geared toward the home-buying process.

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Some of these digital resources include:

Home Search Apps

Real estate and home search apps offer a convenient way for borrowers to begin their search for the perfect home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 51 percent of buyers found their home online last year and 44 percent began their home search from a computer, tablet or smartphone. Mobile apps such as HomeScout allow prospective borrowers to see real-time MLS listings, save their favorite properties, receive same-day pricing updates and other alerts, and access local agents and loan specialists.

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Mortgage Calculators

Online calculators allow borrowers to run all the numbers before they commit and see exactly how all the variables will affect their mortgage payment. From how much they can afford, to assessing interest rates and other points and fees, these tools offer users the opportunity to the find the right mortgage product. For lenders, these tools allow us to better understand a borrower’s budget and work within it to ensure they are not only getting a house they can afford, but also the right loan to facilitate debt-free homeownership.

Making sure borrowers understand the difference between the amount they can be approved for versus what is recommended for their budget is critical when it comes to their long-term financial success. Tools such as online mortgage payment calculators help ensure borrowers are on target.

Customized Mortgage Reports and Analytics

One of the best ways lenders can offer peace of mind for borrowers is with customized reports and analytical tools that compare different loan options and scenarios. These provide prospective homebuyers with a clear breakdown of the costs and benefits of each loan option. Having this information allows them to work in real-time with their lender to tweak the details and find the right program for their situation.

Homebuyer Educational Tools & Workshops

The home-buying process can be complex and learning face-to-face with local experts is a powerful method for borrowers to learn the ropes. And, for lenders, it can further establish that initial relationship. Whether in-person or through real-time webinars, these sessions prove invaluable for borrowers, helping them understand the processes and options. It can also, if posted online, allow them the freedom to access this information from anywhere, at their own pace.

Technology Only Goes So Far

While these tools are great resources for homebuyers, there is no substitute for the value an experienced mortgage lender can provide. Whether helping to answer questions or offering insight and advice, a knowledgeable lender can be tremendous support and the greatest tool in the process.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” product when it comes to a mortgage. Matching borrowers with the right loan can be a progressive process. As borrowers take the journey to homeownership, lenders should guide them along the way through upfront underwriting to position the borrower as a reliable buyer with more negotiating power. This helps borrowers close up to two to three weeks faster than their competition. In today’s housing market, it’s essential that lenders are able to provide this option to borrowers to help them market themselves as a trustworthy buyer during a bidding war.

Often in today’s high-speed culture, the mortgage industry can promise borrowers fast approvals and underwriting, but those same borrowers can end up feeling lost. By establishing one-on-one relationships with borrowers and educating them, lenders create trust and peace of mind in the home-buying experience.

Taking the time to understand borrowers and working to meet their needs – whether digital or otherwise – allows lenders to make sure potential homebuyers have all the tools to make the best decisions. Those choices can be the first steps towards building lasting relationships.

About The Author

Whitney Blessington

Whitney Blessington is Vice President of Marketing for Churchill Mortgage, a full-service and financially sound leader in the mortgage industry. The company provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 45 states. For more information, visit churchillmortgage.com or follow the company on Twitter, @ChurchillMtg, LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/churchill-mortgage/ . Reach Blessington at whitney.blessington@churchillmortgage.com.

3 Belief Systems That Hurt High Achievers

As an Organizational Psychologist and 28 years working with the top three levels in Fortune 100 companies, I’ve noticed some common themes with some of the most successful people in the world. See if you can identify with any of these:

>> I’m not any harder on others than I am on myself.

>> I’m harder on myself than anyone else ever is…and it’s never enough!

>> This is not rocket science. Why is it so difficult to find people to do their job?

>> I wouldn’t have these issues if I were allowed to hire my owb people!

>> You say, perfectionist like it’s a bad thing…

>> I wish everyone were like _____ (the one you are accused of favoritism for).

>> I only want what’s best for everyone.

>> I AM NOT ANGRY!!!!!!

At first glance, these belief systems seem rational and logical, and part of the success formula for the high achiever…or are they? I call them “BS” Belief Systems that hurt leaders because of their unintended consequences in their relationships at work and at home.

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BS #1 A Leader’s Job is to Whip You into Shape

If I can do it anyone else can…and it’s my job to push you to your highest potential. I’ll never forget my first year in my doctoral program…I took an internship on the East Coast with a prominent consulting firm and loved the fact that my nickname was “The Ice Queen of Attila.” I had a reputation for cracking the whip, and I thought that was a good thing. My Partner in charge pulled me into his office one day and asked why I was so tough on people? I answered that I was trying to make them into better people…that it was for their own good. He thoughtfully retorted “Did they ask you to make them better people?” That was an AHA moment! I could be hard on myself to my heart’s discontent, but I had no right to make others miserable. Leadership by dictatorship went out with assembly lines.

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BS #2 Perfectionism is a Noble Endeavor

The majority of leaders I’ve met are recovering perfectionists, and their ability to be effective was highly correlated with the level of recovery. As Steve Farber wrote, I too have the Dis-Ease of Perfectionism which robs me of the joy of accomplishment. On the one hand, the benefit of perfectionism is that I work very hard, I set and meet goals, and I get a lot done. But working 60-80 hours a week will take its toll on health, wealth and relationships which usually throws the perfectionist to try even harder…and it’s NEVER ENOUGH!!

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Picture a horizontal line where the left end is Zero or Start, and the far right is 100% and Finish. High achievers are almost always at 88%…they tackle all goals/jobs/projects with gusto and get to the 88% yard line. The 12% gap between where we are and Finish is where we live. It’s where the tension is…what still has to be done, what isn’t finished, what is still wrong. The good news is that it gives us the impetus to strive forward, the bad news is that it’s where stress lives, and that anxious feeling will take its toll. And then the straw that breaks the overachievers back is that if and when we do hit the 100%, we are off to the races on the next project/goal/activity and right back at the 88% mark. The lesson in this line? We need to stand at the 88% mark and instead of lamenting what still needs to be done, turn around to look at the 88% that has been done/accomplished/completed and smile with a “Wow, that’s great work” to self and others, we would reduce our stress by 88% and give ourselves and others the validation they/we crave.

BS #3 I Need Smart people to Execute, I Don’t Have Time for This Touchy-Feely Stuff

Every single one of my executive coaching clients has started with the same vent, “I don’t know why things have to be so difficult…it’s not rocket science, it’s common sense!” My response has not changed, “There is one organization where pure logic, rational thought prevails, where’s there no politics, power plays, peripherally located egos, conflict and miscommunication…the CEMETERY! Where there are no people, there are no problems! Once my clients accept the B.S., they spend less time fighting the illogical, irrational part of organizational life and can allow for the natural human dynamics at work. That takes 88% of the angst out of the situation, and then processes and plans can be made which harness the great part of having humans at work, creativity, inspiration, collaboration, synergy, and joy.

About The Author

Dr. Marissa Pei

Consulting Psychologist Dr. Marissa Pei is author of the newly-released title, “8 Ways to Happiness from Wherever You Are” that outlines eight ways to transition from sadness to being happy 88% of the time. Dr. Marissa has been speaking, coaching and facilitating to hundreds of Fortune 500 companies for nearly three decades. Her popular award-winning syndicated talk radio show “Take My Advice, I’m Not Using It: Get Balanced with Dr. Marissa” is syndicated on CNBC News Radio and iHeart Radio. Find her book online at www.8WaysToHappiness.com.

Creating The Ultimate Experience

Across every industry, organizations are racing to differentiate when it comes to the customer experience – and this is especially true in mortgage lending. Truth be told, there is no golden ticket or a single tactic to improve the experience. It takes a balanced and thoughtful approach with careful consideration for what consumers really want.

Finding this approach is vital in today’s “Amazon” world. Every organization is competing to deliver the experience consumers expect, which is being shaped by Amazon, Netflix and the likes. While these companies may do well when it comes to a superior digital experience, they may not be ideal models for financial services organizations, including mortgage lenders. They lack the localization and personalization that consumers increasingly want.

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In fact, according to a recent Fannie Mae survey of both lenders and borrowers, as lenders continue to “digitize,” borrowers still expect a human touch. As part of the survey, participants were asked about the future role of person-to-person (P2P) communication (via phone or in-person channels). Nearly half of lenders said that P2P communication will be equally important as it is today, while nearly 40 percent expect it to be less important. In contrast, nearly all (90 percent) recent mortgage borrowers indicated that they would like to use P2P channels in the future when communicating with their lenders.

But organizations cannot focus solely on a local presence and forget about great technology and superior digital experiences either. There must be a balanced approach.

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At Gateway, we have heavily invested time and resources to find that right approach, achieving what we call the “Gateway Experience,” a service-intensive partnership between the homebuyer, real estate agent and the loan officer. Our goal is to earn customers’ business every day, for their entire life. This experience balances local mortgage professionals with superior technology and digital experiences, while also offering a wide array of products. This, along with being compliant and focusing on growing in the right areas, has allowed us to succeed and become one of the largest and fastest-growing privately held mortgage companies in the nation.

Keeping it Local

Creating a great experience starts with finding the right mortgage professionals – and the right professionals are local ones. Buying a home is a huge investment, and the process can be overwhelming. This is the largest, and most important, financial transaction that most people make in their lifetime. You’re also talking about people’s finances. It gets very personal, and borrowers want to work with a person they feel connected to and comfortable with.

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For us at Gateway, we look for individuals that have a strong commitment to their community and share our values: to strengthen families and communities through homeownership. This core purpose has become a passion. Our loan officers work with the people in their community in a trusted way. They’re able to help them determine how much they can afford, explain their loan options, tell them how best to prepare for their mortgage application and then walk them through the process.

Through this unique connection, borrowers can take comfort knowing their mortgage needs are handled by a local professional who offers best-in-class services. They are there, by their side, in their community, enriching the home buying experience.

Powerful Technology

Investing in the right team with local expertise is the first part of creating a great experience, but that team needs to be equipped with powerful technology. Having the right technology helps make the process easy. In an era that is heavily driven by digital experiences from the likes of Netflix, Facebook, Amazon and others, mortgage lenders must keep pace. Consumers expect to be able to easily upload documents or even apply for a loan with the click of a button.

By generation, 75 percent of millennials have used an online application process for all or part of their last mortgage, according to Ellie Mae’s 2018 Borrower Insights Survey. About 55 percent of Gen Xers also leveraged an online application for all or part of their most recent mortgage, as did 43 percent of baby boomers. Still, these consumers also expect to have the option to call a person or meet with someone if they have questions, and more often, to start the process.

Gateway places a significant emphasis on powerful technology to facilitate superior digital experiences. In fact, we recently launched LinkStep, our new web-based digital mortgage experience that dramatically simplifies the home buying process. LinkStep is designed to enhance the Gateway Experience, and we will continue to pursue new technologies to improve the overall customer experience.

Smart Solutions

Finally, the third part of a great experience is having the right products. A great team of local professionals and superior technology are only as good as the products and services they offer. It is critical that mortgage lenders have a dynamic offering to compete with larger financial institutions and alternative lenders. By offering smart solutions that meet nearly any mortgage need, along with great rates and technology that powers it all, mortgage lenders can ensure they have a product that fits nearly any borrower.

To achieve a superior experience – one that combines both the digital and human element – mortgage lenders must focus on finding the right talent in their communities while also equipping those local professionals with the right technology. They cannot focus merely on one or the other. Then, by adding smart solutions with great pricing, lenders can better meet consumers’ expectations and stay ahead of the competition.

About The Author

Kevin Stitt

Kevin Stitt is the founder of Gateway Mortgage Group, LLC, a privately held, full-service mortgage company licensed in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

3 Communications Basics That Build Confidence

Communication is ingrained in every facet of life, yet many struggle with fear, insecurity and general ineffectiveness when they find themselves eye to eye with someone to present ideas, address complicated situations, express feelings, negotiate or just “sell them self”—all whether in a personal or professional context.

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According to Megan Rokosh, a global business communications expert with over 12 years of agency public relations, media and creative strategy experience, “Some people are paralyzed with fear at the very thought of taking an idea and communicating it, both in the workplace and in their everyday life. However, confidence can be significantly bolstered by heeding even a few simple strategies—some basic fundamentals and essentials—that can improve one’s poise and self-assurance…and results of the endeavor at hand.”

Here are three of Rokosh’s confidence-building communications requisites:

1.) Craft situation diffusion dialogue. Create an assortment of “go-to” statements you can have at-the-ready to handle awkward or hard situations and moments. These are assertions and declarations that you know work well and that you can whip out quickly when needed. For example, if you are late to a social outing, rehearse saying “I’m so sorry I kept you waiting, my rule is when I’m late, all the drinks are on me.” Or, when you’re at a loss for words, you can assert, “I could have sworn that I packed my tongue today” and lighten the moment. Having such short statements up your proverbial sleeve helps to avoid stumbling your way through awkward moments.

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2.) Give in to vulnerability. Vulnerability often equals likability and they are indelibly connected—so use that truth to your benefit! There’s not much more off-putting than arrogance, and seeming vulnerable can make you more relatable. If you’re nervous and kicking off a meeting, tell your audience to “be gentle with you” and have a quick laugh to loosen everyone—and yourself—up. Self-effacing humor can be a powerful tool. Or, if you’re having a difficult time understanding something, you can say, “I’m so sorry if I’m holding us up here, but would you mind explaining one more time?” Your contrition will surely endear.

3.) Address adversities head on. You will undoubtedly face times at work and at home that require you to address something difficult. Although challenging and scary, the situation usually must to be addressed to be effectively resolved. Great leaders always speak up and you should, too!  Make clear from the beginning that you intend to hear and consider the other person’s side, stating something like, “Your perspective is valid and really want to hear what you have to say, but first, please allow me to share my thoughts….” followed by a the suitable words. This will give you the floor, hopefully uninterrupted, since the other party has been given the assurance they’ll have a chance to present their side as well. As goes without saying, this discourse should be in person versus via text or email whenever that’s a possibility. There are times when a call or in-person meeting is just the right thing to do and where words, inflections and expressions if face-to-face will be far more impactful and meaningful.

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Rokosh also reminds us that the world’s best communicators are trained. “It’s very that an incredible communicator hasn’t put in extensive work toward their oration skills so they can speak eloquently, pause in powerful silence when appropriate, address very difficult media questions, etc.,” she notes. “It’s important to remember that, while some people are inherently talented communicators, for many (if not most) becoming a confident communicator requires learned skills. It’s one simple strategy like those above built upon each other, and proactively putting them to use, that will get you where you want and need to be.”

As an advice-doling expert, Rokosh doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. Having worked with many high profile global organizations and consulted with C-suite executives from nearly every industry, she’s created hugely successful platforms founded on effective communications. This includes working directly with top-tier media like Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Ad Age, Adweek and scores more. Rokosh was even invited to partake in the elite “Business of Media, Entertainment and Sports” program at Harvard.

So, if effectively communicating is an area of insecurity for you, if you find yourself being held back by the fear, or if you just want to amp up your existing communications prowess, try Rokosh’s three easy tips above to feel more resilient and controlled—or, at least, exude the image that you are.

About The Author

Merilee Kern

Branding, business and entrepreneurship success pundit, Merilee Kern, MBA, is an influential media voice and lauded Communications Strategist. She also serves as the Executive Editor of “The Luxe List” through which she spotlights noteworthy brand endeavors. Merilee may be reached online at www.TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList

A Digital Education

As we all know, everyone is talking about the digital mortgage. FinKube, a company that provides AI-powered Platform-as-a-Service solutions for a range of industries, announced that the company will offer a free webinar featuring Plaid Inc. – a financial technology platform that powers modern, digital financial services.

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The free webinar on Thursday, October 18 at 2:00PM EST will provide tips and best practices to help loan originators adopt financial technology (fintech) at the point-of-sale to attract borrowers and offer fast pre-qualifications.

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“Speed is critically important to today’s borrowers, and lenders that respond quickly and then pre-qualify quickly will win more business,” said Jorge Sauri, founder and CEO of FinKube. “Our point-of-sale technology was designed to allow lenders to use the best tools available to win more business. Plaid is an excellent example of a company that is using fintech to speed up the loan process. In this webinar, we’ll find out how every lender, regardless of size, can harness this power and deliver this speed.”

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Plaid’s suite of products streamlines account authentication and drives efficiencies throughout the lending process. When using Plaid’s digital asset verification product at the point-of-sale, loan originators can boost application completion rates and reduce time to close. Additionally, Plaid is a Day 1 Certainty asset verification report supplier for Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter, which offers peace of mind to lenders by providing rep and warrant relief on verified loan components. Fannie Mae has seen loans with assets validated through the DU validation service close 17% faster on average.

FinKube is the creator of ELSA, which stands for Electronic Loan Services Assistant. ELSA uses machine learning to enhance the loan process from origination to close. ELSA can gather borrower information, render decisions, automate time-consuming tasks, and help lenders produce fully compliant mortgage loans in as few as 20 days.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.