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Bringing High-Touch To High-Tech

I’m the CEO of a software company, and I’m not afraid to admit that high-tech needs high-touch in order to deliver optimal results for lenders.

Lenders invest significant amounts of capital to transition to digital, and spend time training their employees to harness their newly acquired digital mortgage platform.

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Then software and web development teams configure technology solutions that deliver on the digital mortgage promise: simplified applying for borrowers, and streamlined processes and reduced costs for lenders. Better yet, the technology continues to improve every day. It seems like every time I walk by our development team, I see one of their computer screens displaying a new feature or customization.

Take this for example: You’re the COO of a lender. You meet with a couple mortgage software providers, pick your favorite, it develops a stellar digital mortgage platform, and you train your loan officers, processors, and underwriters on it. Job well done – well, not exactly.

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Business constantly changes—especially in today’s world, and especially in the mortgage and technology industries. Lenders need to adapt to continuously changing regulatory landscapes and borrower demands. High touch gauges arising issues and emerging trends. High tech, when coupled with high touch, allows lenders to adapt faster and more deftly than ever before.

For instance, perhaps the CFPB comes out with a new requirement for loan underwriters. Mortgage software providers can first implement functionalities for that new requirement into their products. Then, they can meet with their clients to train them on the new requirements and demonstrate how to satisfy the accompanying obligations through their digital platform.

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Another way software providers bring high-touch to high-tech is through analytics. Speaking for WebMax, we don’t just develop mortgage software and say, “Hey, good luck.” We become a part of our clients’ business. For START, our point-of-sale application, we analyze borrower behavior to see where users run into trouble or even worse, abandon the application. We leverage these insights to optimize our product, so that our clients close more loans.

Equipped with powerful digital tools, loan officers still bring high-touch to the loan officer-borrower relationship. I remember when I used to meet prospective borrowers at their homes and fill out forms at their kitchen table. While today’s loan officers might avoid those trips, they do miss out on some homemade treats.

That said, point-of-sale applications like START allow for loan officers to be more hands-on than before. Equipped with a two-way portal, loan officer and borrowers can simultaneously look at the same application and communicate. The loan officer can walk the borrower through the application, answering any questions along the way. Borrowers can get into their homes faster because when discrepancies need to be settled or additional documents need to be received, there’s no sending documents or communicating through phone, email, and in-person. It all takes place in one central location.

High-touch, combined with high-tech, provider lenders the most optimal digital mortgage platform. Moreover, it gets borrowers in their homes faster, with bigger smiles.

About The Author

Curt Tegeler

Curt Tegeler is responsible for providing direction for action to all employees and business initiatives. Tegeler’s main responsibilities include communicating and implementing the company’s vision and mission; leading, guiding, directing, and evaluating the work of executive leaders; formulating and implementing the strategic plan; forming, staffing, guiding, leading and managing WebMax; evaluating organizational success; and represents WebMax in civic and professional activities.

Discussing Digital Innovation

At WebMax the name of the game is innovation. The company is 100% dedicated to helping lenders embrace a better mortgage process that is both digital and customer centric all at the same time. But how do you do that? Well, Curt Tegeler sat down with our editor to share his vision. Curt is President and CEO of WebMax LLC. He is responsible for providing direction for action to all employees and business initiatives. Tegeler’s main responsibilities include communicating and implementing the company’s vision and mission; leading, guiding, directing, and evaluating the work of executive leaders; formulating and implementing the strategic plan; forming, staffing, guiding, leading and managing WebMax; evaluating organizational success; and represents WebMax in civic and professional activities. Here’s how he sees the mortgage market:

Q: You say that innovation is vital to successful or game-changing technology. What innovation do you project for mortgage technology moving forward?

CURT TEGELER: First, I’d like to touch on innovation from the technology side because innovation isn’t just vital to good technology, it’s inherent. Innovation lives in game-changing technology’s DNA. We can’t forget that behind every technological innovation, every line of code, is a person, or group of people. These innovators constantly seek out new ways to do things and make processes better. People don’t make technology because it’s cool. People create new technology to solve problems, streamline inefficient processes, and improve people’s lives. Dee Hock, the founder of Visa, didn’t create Visa to have its name plastered at cash registers and on e-commerce platforms everywhere. He created Visa to provide a solution to a then disorganized and fraud-rampant credit card industry. Hock decentralized Visa’s payment processing system to give the power to its franchises, or member banks. In doing so, Hock revolutionized, and practically created, the fintech/payments industry. Visa was the hottest new thing on the payments block since the check. The point is, as long as inefficiencies, in any industry, exist, people will innovate and create game-changing technology.

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Now, let’s address the mortgage industry. We’ve witnessed this massive secular move to digital mortgages because, well, lenders suffered from a load of inefficiencies. Yes, of course, the move to digital also coincides with changing consumer preferences and our society’s transition from pens and paper to keyboards and touchscreens. In any industry, a business is nothing without its customers. Businesses must adapt to what their customers want, or in some cases demand. So if borrowers in general, and Millennials especially, demand a digital mortgage experience, lenders must meet them on the internet and satisfy that demand. That said, technology wouldn’t revolutionize the mortgage application and origination processes if it was less efficient than doing it with pen and paper. Take cars, for example. Consumers demand fuel efficiency. So, car makers dropped 6-cylinders and 4 and added a turbo booster instead, which proved to be more energy efficient and cost-effective while increasing horsepower and torque. The case is comparable to mortgages. Inefficiencies, coupled with consumer trends in behavior and preferences, has led to the digital mortgage revolution.

Q: What inefficiencies do you see in the mortgage industry? What innovation do you predict for lenders going forward?

CURT TEGELER: Lenders face many inefficiencies, but three key issues include the loan origination process timeline, rising origination costs, and borrower abandonment rates on digital applications. That’s why I think innovators will target digital point-of-sale (POS) applications in the near and intermediate future. A good POS application employs integration and automation, which reduces loan origination times and ensures valid information to produce compliant loans. This digital mortgage innovation drives lenders to close more loans faster. The integrations and automation that power the backend of digital POSs create a seamless application process for the borrower, which reduces completion time and origination costs. Automation does the work for the borrower, leading to decreased abandonment rates. Rather than sending borrower information to a credit or asset verifier, digital POS’s integrate with verifiers’ APIs. When borrowers input information, the POS simultaneously communicates with the APIs in real time. In effect, the POS verifies borrowers’ information while they complete the application. Borrowers need not fetch a bank statement; just plug in your account number and the POS will retrieve everything it needs. Lenders’ demand for these results will drive technology providers to brew another pot of coffee and get to innovating.

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In the long term, I think Blockchain has the potential to impact the mortgage space. Before I go on, I want to clarify that I’m not pandering to the pandemonium surrounding bitcoin and cryptocurrency. While I do see the risks and inefficiencies of the cryptocurrency market, I do recognize the power of its underlying technology, blockchain, and what it can mean for fintech. For instance, we’re seeing properties listed for bitcoin and nothing else. These could be marketing gimmicks or someone trying to flip their listing by jumping on the latest trend. However, with examples of this showing up regularly, it could be a sign of things to come in our industry.

All of the big banks are looking into blockchain technologies, and some have even filed for patents. Blockchain is all about transactions. Key examples include the transfer of shipments in logistics operations and the exchange of securities through trading on Wall Street. Blockchain might enter the mortgage industry a variety of ways in the coming years, whether through verifying the data collected through integrations, regulators and GSEs ledgering closed loans, or even processing the monthly payments made by the borrower. Blockchain is in its infancy stage, so the best hasn’t even yet been thought.

Q: You said that the length of the origination process and rising origination costs plague lenders nationwide. Can you expand on how the digital POS solves these problems?

CURT TEGELER: According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the costs to originate a mortgage skyrocketed 80% in the last 7 years. At the beginning of 2017, the national average to close a loan stood at 51 days, up from an average of 30 days just 7 years ago as the burden of paperwork and broader requirements to vet borrowers weigh on lenders. The loan origination process always stood as a long, arduous, drawn-out series of sending documents for verification, waiting to receive them back, and then reeling in borrowers to sign and approve each step of the process.

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Then came 2008. The Housing Crisis dropped a bomb packed with regulations and compliance standards. Regulators posed new laws as recent as October 2015, with the passing of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure laws, which required lenders to send borrowers documents 3 days prior to closing. If any changes are made, they must wait another 3 days. In effect, timelines got extended as loans had to maneuver through an approval process inundated with checkpoints. Moreover, costs to originate increased as regulators pressured lenders to maintain compliance. The mortgage industry needed technology then more than ever, not to just adjust to consumer preferences, but to survive in the new lending world.

We discussed how integrations and automations streamline the lending process. As a result of receiving borrower information faster, lenders can start their compliance processes earlier in the loan lifecycle. Plus, borrowers can get pre-approved in minutes, equipping them with a budget and allowing them to start their home-searching process earlier than ever before. This resulted in faster loan closures.

As of November 2017, mortgage closures averaged 43 days, down from 51 days earlier in the year, a near 16% decrease. Although this is a great improvement we can attribute to technology, it still doesn’t satisfy those of us who embrace the digital mortgage revolution. All we can do is continue to innovate and drive that closure time down. By leveraging the seamless data integrations and automations engineered into digital POS applications, we can turn days-long processes into minute-long processes.

This affords more time to generate new business, so lenders cut costs and increase top line numbers simultaneously. When digital POS’s help maintain compliance, lenders can allocate more time to improving their respective companies’ loan process and borrower relationships. A good POS also reduces overhead costs. The newest POS’s allow the entire loan process to live in a single location. Borrowers and loan officers can upload documents at any time to share, communicate with each other important messages, and check for updates. Loan officers need not pay for shipping documents, nor spend money on lavish offices to entice potential borrowers.

Q: What about abandonment rates? How do digital POS’s factor into application completion rates and ROI?

CURT TEGELER: Lenders’ POS applications provide the majority of a borrower’s digital mortgage experience. Without an easy-to-use, user-friendly POS, lenders fail to convert applicants into borrowers. For instance, WebMax’s POS application, START, provides smart data entry and smart data elimination. What this does, essentially, is make it so the borrower can only input the correct information in the appropriate sections. Software developers need to create these products with the least tech-savvy user in mind. That said, we aim to erase any exit points for the applicant. Lenders can lose a potential borrowers at any hiccup, any roadblock in their digital application. In addition to navigating the application or not know what information to enter into which fields, START closes another key exit point for borrowers: time. START verifies data in real time by connecting to LOS’s, pricing engines, credit verifiers, asset verifiers, banks, and location services. These integrations ensure speedy results for the borrower while providing accurate, compliant information for the lender. As a result, START can pre-approve borrowers in less than 10 minutes.

START provides lenders a dramatic drop in abandonment rates. User experience is vital in reducing abandonment rates and increasing closed loans. The Fintech industry’s average abandonment rate of users who fail to complete an application fluctuates between 50-75%. The average abandonment rate of users using START stands at roughly 12%, providing a proven ROI on your integration by increasing completed applications by up to 84%.

Assuming the low end of the average at 50%, a conservative estimate, lenders can increase closed loans by 76%. Let’s assume that a lender attracts 100 borrowers per month, the average loan is $200,000, and the profit margin is 600 BPS.

>>With a 50% abandonment rate, the lender will close 50 loans. This equates to $10 million in monthly loan volumes and $600,000 in revenue.

>>With a 12% abandonment rate, the lender will close 88 loans. This equates to $17.6 million in monthly loan volumes and $1.056 million in revenue.

In this example, the difference between START and an average digital POS application equates to $7.6 million in monthly loan volume and more than $450,000 in monthly revenue. Annualized, this renders $91.2 million increase in loan volumes and a $5.4 million increase in revenue. This example does not account for other ROI factors such as decreased origination costs, reduced overhead, loan officer productivity, and streamlined workflow. Moreover, if we assumed the high end of the average, the difference between START and an average digital POS application equates to $12.6 million in monthly loan volume and more than $750,000 in monthly revenue. Annualized, this renders a $151.2 million increase in loan volumes and a $9 million increase in revenue.

Q: What role does a digital point-of-sale application play in attracting Millennial homebuyers?

CURT TEGELER: You might be surprised, but a digital POS plays a vital role in attracting all borrowers. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, 44% of all homebuyers began their search online and 95% used online websites to gather information at some point throughout the process, including 99% of Millennials and 77% of Silent Generationers. That said, the data also demonstrates that capturing the Millennial buyer provides the most robust and lucrative opportunity for lenders, and that digital is the key to capturing that opportunity.

Millennials make up about one-fourth of the US population, signifying a 77-million-person opportunity for the mortgage industry. As the leading edge of this massive demographic reaches its early thirties, they enter their prime earning years, start families, and buy homes. The vast majority of this 77-million-person demographic will search for homes and mortgages on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, just as they shop online. E-commerce volume increased nearly 12% y/o/y from 2016 to 2017. Expect for that same trend to follow people shopping for mortgages.

Millennials in the U.S. wield about $1.3 trillion in annual buying power, making them a significant force in the home-buying market and mortgage industry. 85% of them use smartphones as their daily technology device, and 49% seek to buy their first home. The October 2017 composite forecast of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association for 2017 mortgage origination volume is approximately $1.8 trillion. If Millennials compose 50% of this mortgage volume, and two-thirds of them apply online via digital applications, that represents $600 billion in digital mortgage origination. This number is massive. Better yet, it’s conservative.

When it comes to attracting younger borrowers, lenders’ digital platform poses so important that it can outweigh the impact of interest rates. Lender A might offer a mortgage at 4%, while Lender B offers it at 4.25%. But if Lender A fails to show up in search results or deliver a subpar digital experience and Lender B does, Lender B will win the borrower. Millennials feel most comfortable transacting via digital. They don’t go to the mall, they go onto their laptops and shop e-commerce platforms. That’s where an industry-tailored mortgage website factors in. Once online shoppers fill their cart, they enter the POS application. Yes, a mortgage POS is much more complex and information intensive than an e-commerce POS. But that doesn’t mean lenders can’t provide an easy-to-use mortgage shopping experience. Lenders leverage their website to gain digital traffic and attract more borrowers. An effective POS ensures that they convert their shoppers — or applicants — into borrowers.

Q: You consider yourself a “first responder” to real estate and mortgage. How are you a first responder to POS?

CURT TEGELER: In 1999, I provided realtors, especially the smaller ones, the ability to compete in the dot-com boom and seize the power of the internet. In 2008, the Housing Crisis left the mortgage industry in shambles. I was there, in the rubble. I didn’t just help clean up the mess; I started building. I created MortgageWare, a digital mortgage website solution equipped with a proprietary content management system and integrations to LOS’s, pricing engines, the whole bit.

I’m a first responder to POS, because, well, we created START to satisfy our clients’ demands. They had this awesome website that attracted the digital traffic they craved. The problem was, it didn’t result in the increased loan closures they hoped for. They needed more. They needed a better applicant-borrower process. So, we made START to make our clients’ transition to digital accretive to their top and bottom line.

INDUSTRY PREDICTIONS

Curt Tegeler thinks:

1.) Digital point-of-sale applications will dominate lenders’ cap-ex and investments.

2.) Integrations and automation will drive the next leg of the digital mortgage revolution.

3.) Despite rising interest rates, the housing and mortgage markets will post a solid year of growth as buyers rush in to lock lower rates.

INSIDER PROFILE

Curt Tegeler is President and CEO of WebMax LLC. He is responsible for providing direction for action to all employees and business initiatives. Tegeler’s main responsibilities include communicating and implementing the company’s vision and mission; leading, guiding, directing, and evaluating the work of executive leaders; formulating and implementing the strategic plan; forming, staffing, guiding, leading and managing WebMax; evaluating organizational success; and represents WebMax in civic and professional activities.

Progress In Lending

The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Lending In Today’s Digital Era

In today’s mortgage market, you can’t pick up a trade publication or attend an industry event and not see or hear something about digital lending. While there is a great deal of hype about digital lending, instead of adding more fuel to the fire, let’s discuss what borrowers are actually looking for and lenders are actually implementing in their digital lending solution.

Anyone who has gone through the mortgage process knows that it is extremely document driven, including loan files that can sometimes exceed 500 pages. For applicants, successfully navigating the mortgage process takes time and patience, as they struggle to fill out dozens of forms, dig up documents and financial records and then send in the mail, fax or scan them to their lender. Naturally, all this back and forth adds days of extra time, the potential for errors, and confusion to the closing process for the borrower.

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Providing dynamic and easy to use digital lending solutions enhances the borrower experience and provides originators with the chance to clearly explain product options and loan terms to eliminate confusion for the borrower. Lenders are eager improve the borrower’s experience while streamlining the lending process and reducing manual steps and costs. Let’s dive into some of the key components that lenders are seeking in their digital lending solution and how that improves the borrowers lending experience.

One group that is driving this move to digital is the millennial buyer. Lenders understand that the millennial generation represents a significant opportunity for the mortgage industry in the form of first time homebuyers. Studies have proven that millennials are more likely to start their search for homes and the finance of homes online.

By providing a unique digital lending experience, mortgage companies can easily accommodate the digital demands of the millennial buyer. This enables the loan officer to take more applications and spend more time creating and cultivating relationships. One of the main accommodations that millennials are hoping to find throughout their experience is being able to conduct business electronically using a single access point. They are also looking to be able to sign documents electronically and access them on their mobile devices, ensuring the process is as fast and transparent as possible. As part of a tech savvy generation, the last thing millennials are looking for is the inconvenience of sorting through hundreds of documents at the lenders office at a time of day that doesn’t work for them.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, technology has helped individuals understand loans better. Because of this, they felt more confident about the digital process. This insight is important because it tells us that digital lending isn’t a service only suitable for millennials but almost any consumer. Increased efficiencies can reduce costs and these savings can be passed on to the borrower further improving their experience. Lenders can see a monetized value in this technology as well as new opportunities for lenders to expand their business and find ways to effectively communicate to the consumer. The right digital lending solution gives the lender control over that borrower experience so that they can continue to exceed expectations.

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Today’s advanced digital lending solutions enable lenders to provide borrowers with an enhanced level of service, one that is more timely, convenient and provides the borrower with the ability to interact with the lender when and how it is most convenient for them. The digital lending experience must bring together numerous data points from multiple sources into one location to deliver a seamless lending experience to the borrower while delivering key business intelligence to the lender. To be able to deliver on this promise, the right digital lending solution delivers the ability to easily integrate multiple systems. More and more companies are publishing application program interfaces (APIs) to accommodate this need for seamless connectivity.

APIs enable third-party developers to create helpful services and tools that customers can utilize. The introduction of API’s provides lenders and borrowers access to all data from all programs in real-time, ultimately providing them more accurate and up-to-date information. Through using this solution, customers are not only able to compare and save but also have access to more personalized resources for making the right decisions regarding their mortgage.

Constant communication is also key in creating a successful digital lending experience. Adding video technology and instant messaging provides informative information to the borrower through a distribution method that they are accustomed to using. Constant access to check loan statuses, upload the necessary documentation, sign documents electronically and maintain a digital system of records are key aspects that can give borrowers the digital experience they are seeking.

When done right, digital lending is a simple and easy to follow process that educates the borrower through each step of the lending journey. This allows the overall process to become more self-guided and enables borrowers to seek out information on their terms. This empowers the borrower and improves their lending experience. While the borrower is doing some of work themselves, the role of the loan officer is not diminished but instead allows them to be more accessible when critical questions arise.

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Loan officers can assist at any point in time and can confirm the accuracy of the borrower’s data. Digital friendly applications streamline the process even more and confirm that information remains secure throughout providing improved levels of accountability. Borrowers can read and sign off through any device to move through it seamlessly. Manual tasks are then reduced and costs are significantly reduced for lending companies because of error reduction while delivering a better lending experience.

The user experience is an important factor as potential borrowers are applying for a loan through different channels. Reducing the time it takes to complete loan processes and enhancing the overall loan experience for the borrower differentiates one lender over another.

Technology is providing borrowers a faster, more transparent, mobile-friendly experience. By leveraging design and directing to source connectivity, applicants can navigate a self-guided experience and be offered real-time assistance from their loan officers.  The right digital lending solution significantly enhances today’s borrowers lending experience.

About The Author

Curt Tegeler

Curt Tegeler is responsible for providing direction for action to all employees and business initiatives. Tegeler’s main responsibilities include communicating and implementing the company’s vision and mission; leading, guiding, directing, and evaluating the work of executive leaders; formulating and implementing the strategic plan; forming, staffing, guiding, leading and managing WebMax; evaluating organizational success; and represents WebMax in civic and professional activities.

Preparing For The Digital Mortgage Revolution

Are you engaged in the digital mortgage revolution? If not, are you prepared to jump in? Just as Google replaced encyclopedias and credit cards replaced cash, technology is transforming all facets of the mortgage industry. From shopping rates online, to finding a lender, to getting approved, the mortgage application process is moving from loan officers’ desks to computer screens, tablets, and smartphones. As the mortgage application process is evolving online, so has the competitive marketplace. The traditional methods that led to loan origination success in the past are less effective today. Lenders are struggling to attract new borrowers, let alone satisfy today’s borrowers’ digital needs.

New competition has emerged from the digital revolution and is quickly capturing market share and revenue from traditional lenders. Some lenders haven’t gone digital yet because they don’t know how to deliver on the digital experience. Others dipped their toes in the digital water but focused only on the user experience and have failed to deliver on a truly digital lending process.

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Even more challenges accompanied the mortgage industry’s move to digital. While regulations and costs increased, loan originations decreased. According to Black Knight, overall mortgage originations dropped by 34% in Q1 2017. The addition of constantly changing rules and regulations, heightened scrutiny, and the risk of costly penalties and fines for non-compliance added overhead for lenders has ultimately increased the cost to originate loans.

Despite these challenges, no one can dispute the value and necessity for lenders to embrace digital mortgages. Lenders that can deliver on the digital lending experience by automating the entire lending process will be able to streamline the application process, decrease origination costs, increase loan officer productivity, and improve the borrower experience. As borrowers interact with the front end of the application process the digital mortgage platform has the ability to verify that information through integrations with mission critical third-party vendors. This key function, one of many digital mortgage perks, allows loan officers to spend less time verifying information, less overhead for mortgage originators, and a simpler and quicker process for the borrower.

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The traditional transaction timeline in the mortgage industry is highly inefficient compared to other industries. The average time for loan approval is 18 days and 50 days to complete the full process. The cost for mortgage companies to pay employees to complete repetitive tasks is about $8,000 and these inefficiencies have been passed onto borrowers. With no desire to transcend their services, the mortgage application process is an unattractive chore and no longer fits in the lifestyle of the technologically adept consumer. Lenders need the most dynamic lending tools to truly deliver on the digital mortgage experience.

What options do lenders have in enhancing their lending platform to deliver on the digital promise?

With online lending, the industry is making a digital transformation by taking the borrower into a world of digitized processing at all stages of the loan lifecycle. More and more borrowers are consistently looking for the digital mortgage experience. With innovation and digitization, borrowers look to complete the 1003 application, digitally in less than 10 minutes with greater speed and accuracy.

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This type of Innovation doesn’t only improve the consumer experience, it also has major bottom-line benefits to Mortgage companies. The digital experience increases the amount of money flowing into mortgage companies.

Today’s digital experience must provide borrowers with a compliant, aesthetically appealing, and user-friendly web solution that includes key program integrations. With the right solution borrowers immediately gain access to a network of Mortgage and Real Estate professionals that can offer a swift online purchasing process. The key aspects that make this experience possible are:

>>Integrations with mortgage critical third-party programs and well documented application program interface (API), which allows for a variety of software components to interact effortlessly. This enviably simplifies and accelerates the borrower process and user experience.

>>A digital graphical prequalification application and 1003 application that streamlines mortgage processes including both the point of sale stage and loan origination.

>>A content management system that accomplishes compliance from the corporate level down. The system is controlled from one centralized location to eliminate reputational risk and any violations of compliance standards.

>>Lead generation and referral partner relationship building tools with the ability to provide affinity websites for mortgage partners such as accountants, charitable organizations, large employer, realtor sites, and more. These websites have mortgage sponsored banner ads and/or applications in place.

>>State-of-the-art technology that considerably reduces the application abandonment rate by catering to the borrowers needs and overall experience.

>>A customer portal, which allows the loan officers to keep all parties, associated with the loan process up to date with the status of the application. Parties included on this are the borrower, title company, co-borrower, and realtor.

>>A tailorable online lending platform that allows lender the ability to easily configure the platform to their specific lending process.

The mortgage industry’s strict compliance standards pose unique challenges that other industries lack when converting to digital. Therefore working with a provider that has deep mortgage experience can be the difference between success and failure. Mortgage origination entails handling borrowers’ sensitive information. In addition to compliance, cyber security measures are vital. This includes applying a secure sockets layer to website domains, obtaining a SOC 2 audit, and partnering with cloud providers and third-party vendors that share your same security standards.

Industry leaders realize that in order to achieve digital mortgage success, it is crucial to automate the mortgage process while delivering a dynamic online lending experience. By implementing today’s most advanced digital platform, lenders will experience increasing market share, protect their corporate brand, meet strict compliance requirements and expand their digital footprint to attract more borrowers.

Over 75,000 individuals in the mortgage industry are benefiting from this type of innovative technology solution. These solutions deliver user-friendly, compliant, security, and efficiency to enhance the digital mortgage experience for borrowers, lenders and real estate agents.

At WebMax, mortgage is in our DNA. With 30-plus years of experience, we leverage our lending know-how to calibrate lenders transition to digital. WebMax’s digital experience expedites the borrowing process, helps maintain compliance, delivers dynamic online lending tools, and provides a highly innovative borrower experience.

About The Author

Curt Tegeler

Curt Tegeler is responsible for providing direction for action to all employees and business initiatives. Tegeler’s main responsibilities include communicating and implementing the company’s vision and mission; leading, guiding, directing, and evaluating the work of executive leaders; formulating and implementing the strategic plan; forming, staffing, guiding, leading and managing WebMax; evaluating organizational success; and represents WebMax in civic and professional activities.

Delivering On The Digital Lending Experience

As I talk to lenders throughout the country and attend industry events, everyone wants to discuss digital mortgage, which is great. Unfortunately, there is a lot more people talking only about the consumer facing side of things. The shiny apps and very consumer esque experiences seem to catch our eye. While all of those things are good, let’s not forget about how we accomplish a truly digital lending experience – streamlining the entire lending process in a digital world.

For years, even decades, lenders met with clients in person, put pen to paper, and shifted documents from person to person. Now, the entire process is being streamlined across the digital landscape. As a lender, if you hesitate to deliver on the digital experience, which includes not only the streamlining of the borrower application, and loan origination process, but also all of the back-office processes, competitors will leapfrog you in obtaining highly sought after new borrowers.

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As a result, lenders must adapt accordingly or be left behind. However, regulations inundate the mortgage industry. Loan officers need to comply at every step of the loan origination process. Lenders can’t merely throw a bunch of technology at their loan officers and hope to succeed. They need technology that streamlines the loan process while complying with regulations and protecting the borrower.

That’s why mortgage expertise is so vital in providing a quality digital mortgage experience. We understand the rules and regulations because we’ve been in the industry for so long. We realize all of the in’s and out’s such as, handling fluctuating rate environments, new HMDA requirements, UCD changes and the constantly rising cost to originate. Technology should augment and improve the digital mortgage experience, not override it and threaten its integrity.

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Mortgage lenders that purchase the new online lending app from a provider that does not have deep mortgage experience to properly handle compliance are like a new shinny car that has no engine; lenders can not truly deliver on the digital mortgage without compliance. If they try, they face regulators and the potential of fines and penalties for failing to comply with industry standards.

Before the 2008 financial crisis, lenders and brokers alike-approved mortgages for just about anybody. After the fall, lenders faced strict scrutiny and were required to verify borrower information. Often this information comes from a multitude of third-party sources. While today’s technology can connect lenders to third parties with ease, mortgage experience determines which third party affiliates provide the most accurate, seamless, and secure data exchanges.

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Applying for a mortgage online leaves a lot more room for error. Digital lending solutions can pre-qualify a borrower in minutes. Thus, lenders must assure that their approval mechanisms produce quality mortgages. Assuring the production of quality mortgages takes mortgage expertise, not just tech savvy apps.

Although mortgage lenders must meet their borrower’s digital needs, the mortgage comes first. Bringing compliance, integrity, and credibility to digital lending entails better loans, happier borrowers, and more productive employees. Technology streamlines the mortgage process. Mortgage experience structures the digital lending process. It makes the digital mortgage possible.

About The Author

Curt Tegeler

Curt Tegeler is responsible for providing direction for action to all employees and business initiatives. Tegeler’s main responsibilities include communicating and implementing the company’s vision and mission; leading, guiding, directing, and evaluating the work of executive leaders; formulating and implementing the strategic plan; forming, staffing, guiding, leading and managing WebMax; evaluating organizational success; and represents WebMax in civic and professional activities.

Redefining Online Mortgage Experiences

The mortgage industry continues to be faced with constantly changing rules and regulations, rate fluctuations, CFPB enforcements, election fall out and rapidly changing borrower expectations. More specifically, today’s borrowers expect a simple yet dynamic online lending experience. This put intense pressure on the over 7,000 mortgage lenders and millions of real estate agents trying to meet these new demands.

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Due to these changing demands and expectations from borrowers, there is a significant need for lenders to redefine what on online mortgage and real estate experience should be. Seventy-seven million millennials make up about one-fourth of the US population. Millennials in the US wield about $1.3 trillion in annual buying power, 85% of them are using smartphones as their daily technology device, and 49% are seeking to buy their first home. Millennials are becoming a significant force in the mortgage industry.

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Millennials demand mobile responsive lending sites and web applications that have a responsive layout from their potential lender. This digital revolution has led to about 90% of consumers beginning their search for home mortgages using digital technology and online lending tools. The online application process has proven to create a better consumer experience through automation, convenience, and efficiency.

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Borrowers are looking for simplified versions of everything: text rather than calling, or shopping online rather than going to the store. The mortgage industry is no exception to this habit.

With online lending, the industry is making a digital transformation by taking the borrower into a world of digitized processing at all stages of the loan lifecycle. At the end of the day one thing that is consistent is that more and more borrowers are looking for the digital mortgage experience. With innovation and digitization, borrowers look to complete the 1003 application digitally in less than 10 minutes with greater speed and accuracy.

This type of Innovation doesn’t only improve the consumer experience, it also has major bottom-line benefits to Mortgage companies. The digital experience increases the amount of money flowing into mortgage companies.

Today’s digital experience must provide borrowers with a compliant, aesthetically appealing, and user-friendly web solution that includes key program integrations. With the right solution borrowers immediately gain access to a network of Realtors and Mortgage professionals that can offer a swift online purchasing process. The key aspects that make this experience possible are:

>> Integrations with mortgage critical third-party programs and well documented application program interface (API), which allows for a variety of software components to interact effortlessly. This enviably simplifies and accelerates the borrower process and user experience.

>> A digital graphical prequalification application and 1003 application that streamlines mortgage processes including both the point of sale stage and loan origination.

>> A content management system that accomplishes compliance from the corporate level down. The system is controlled from one centralized location to eliminate reputational risk and any violations of compliance standards.

>> Lead generation and referral partner relationship building tools with the ability to provide affinity websites for mortgage partners such as accountants, charitable organizations, large employer, Realtor sites, and more. These websites have mortgage sponsored banner ads and/or applications in place.

>> State-of-the-art technology that considerably reduces the application abandonment rate by catering to the borrowers needs and overall experience.

>> A customer portal, which allows the loan officers to keep all parties, associated with the loan process up to date with the status of the application. Parties included on this are the borrower, title company, co-borrower, and realtor.

Over 75,000 individuals in the mortgage industry are benefiting from this innovative technology solution that delivers a user-friendly, compliant, secure, effective solution that enhances the digital mortgage experience.

WebMax’s digital experience expedites the borrowing process, helps maintain compliance, delivers dynamic online lending tools, and provides a highly innovative borrower experience. If you are attending the MBA Technology Conference in Chicago contact us to schedule a time to meet at 856-702-6400 or visit our website at www.webmaxco.com.

About The Author

Curt Tegeler

Curt Tegeler is responsible for providing direction for action to all employees and business initiatives. Tegeler’s main responsibilities include communicating and implementing the company’s vision and mission; leading, guiding, directing, and evaluating the work of executive leaders; formulating and implementing the strategic plan; forming, staffing, guiding, leading and managing WebMax; evaluating organizational success; and represents WebMax in civic and professional activities.