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CRM Mainstay Acquires Point-Of-Sale Vendor

LoyaltyExpress, a provider of marketing automation and cloud-based CRM solutions for mortgage companies and banks, has acquired Lending Manager, a point-of-sale and website creator for lenders of all sizes.  The acquisition and integration of both companies’ technologies will help automate lead flow and associated marketing for all aspects of the loan process.  The combined company services 115 lenders with over 15,000 loan officers across all platforms. No sale price was disclosed.

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“The ever-increasing expectation of consumers during the lending process led us to this merger,” said Wayne Steagall, Founder of Lending Manager.  “We are thrilled to partner with LoyaltyExpress. We look forward extending our solutions backed with the power of the LoyaltyExpress creative and fulfillment teams.”

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“After extensive due diligence and market research, it became immediately apparent that Lending Manager delivers incredibly efficient and automated lead capture systems and attractive corporate and loan officer websites,” said Jeff Doyle, Chief Executive Officer of LoyaltyExpress.  “Wayne and his team have developed integrations with over 75 CRM, loan origination, lead management, and point-of-sale systems which is a growing requirement of any solution in the mortgage industry. We look forward to integrating CustomerManager with Lending Manager.”

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LoyaltyExpress simplifies CRM and marketing automation for banks and mortgage companies, including one of the top three retail lenders in the nation. Its flagship solution, CustomerManager, is an enterprise-wide, Software-as-a-Service platform that combines lead management, email and direct mail campaigns with a 360-degree view of each loan officer’s customers, partners and prospects. The MarketingCentral service delivers a web-based, sales collateral store powered by custom content creation and integrated print fulfillment. LoyaltyExpress eliminates the need to share sensitive customer data with multiple vendors and has a team of world-class marketing and branding experts with extensive experience in the mortgage industry. LoyaltyExpress is backed by New Capital Partners.

Lending Manager builds custom corporate and loan officer websites for lenders of all sizes. The Company delivers point-of-sale solutions with over 75 integrations with the leading mortgage technology providers. Lending Manager is based in Newark, Delaware.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Building Loan Officer And Realtor Relationships

Real estate agents may have the opportunity of obtaining a cash buyer from time to time, but in most cases homebuyers will require a mortgage. As a loan officer, it is important to build a trusted, long-term relationships with agents to keep the volume up. This means it is necessary for loan officers to build relationships with realtors to the best of their abilities. Forming these relationships in business takes time and effort, but the outcome can make a significant difference in the success rate.  Here are some useful tips to not only build a foundation but to improve interactions among real estate agents by helping loan officers and real estate agents stand out from the competition.

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Communication plays a significant role in forming a strong relationship among the loan officer and the real estate agent. It is important to be able to provide reliable facts to both the clients and Realtor. If a real estate agent is not accurate about a loan, the potential amount of time lost during the pre-approval process could be drastic. This not only keeps the deal from closing but can potentially have a damaging effect on the relationship between the loan officer, Realtor and client. One of the most useful opportunities for a loan officer to work closer with a real estate agent is to remember that you are both on the same team. The goal of a real estate agent is to please their clients. In doing so, they’ll promote business to you if they see you are eager to help them achieve this goal.

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Today, there are advanced forms of technology available that enhance the communication experience among loan officers and real estate agent. These features include the sharing of realtor pages that interact with loan officer pages. This enables leveraging to the realtor sites that fully interact and have the capability to share data together. Social media platforms are also becoming the ‘norm’ and almost required to build business relationships. Today, one of the best things both real estate agents and loan officers can do to communicate more effectively and expand their brands is to have a presence on social media. By using these platforms, businesses can not only stay connected but also use each other for support. One key feature of social media is the ability to be able to share content. This tool is useful in not only branding your business but in building relationships among clients. Today, thousands of people are using social media to stay in contact in their industry. Social media is a great place to enhance and nurture relationships among others in your field.

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There is no question that forming a strong relationship among both the loan officer and the Realtor ensures a higher success and performance rate among existing and future clients. Building a relationship amongst a loan officer and a real estate agent is fundamental in the mortgage industry. What we can agree on, is that everyone has the same goal to close the loan and the best way to do this is to improve communication between loan officers and real estate agents. Loan officers and Realtors need to come together as a team to guarantee success.

About The Author

Kelcey T. Brown
Kelcey T. Brown is Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President at WebMax, LLC. Brown is responsible for developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining strategic initiatives. He acts as a key advisor to the company’s president on critical changes in the competitive landscape, internal employee development and the external business environment. Brown has worked for nine years in the Real Estate and Mortgage Technology Industry.

Vendor Launches Next-Generation POS

Promontory MortgagePath, a new entrant in the mortgage technology and fulfillment solutions spaces, announced that PromonTech, the company’s technology arm, has released the next-generation of point of sale solutions (POS)—the Borrower Wallet. It is designed to help mortgage bankers level the playing field with the customer experience/digital mortgage solutions being offered by mega lenders.

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The Borrower Wallet is a white-label, omni-platform, POS that engages with customers using any computer or mobile device, on either a self-serve or assisted basis with a loan officer. The secure, borrower-friendly environment is designed to build confidence and make it easy for the borrower to enter information, approve automated data collection, upload/e-send documents and stay informed throughout the loan origination journey through loan closing.

One of the unique features of the Borrower Wallet is a dashboard that shows the borrower their key metrics—credit score, debt-to-income and loan-to-value ratios—that loan decision makers will use to approve their loans. The dashboard is continually updated as new data and documents are collected.

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From a lender’s perspective, the Borrower Wallet captures leads and fosters borrower/lender collaboration to drive enterprise efficiency and improve loan pull-through. In addition, its built-in collaboration tools deliver high-quality data and documents needed to feed and accelerate the downstream underwriting process.

The Borrower Wallet promotes both applicant self-service and values the role the loan officer plays as a trusted advisor. Lenders can accommodate their applicants anytime/anywhere in a secure workspace. Loan officers can be a true co-pilot, within the Borrower Wallet, enhancing the application process and loan quality ahead of underwriting.

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“Today, lenders are threatened by the disruptive force of technology, haunted by the lessons of the financial crisis and hamstrung by the plethora of regulations that grew out of the crisis,” said Bruce Witherell, chief executive officer of Promontory MortgagePath. “We’ve developed a collaborative, innovative approach to identifying and validating the applicant and their qualifying data. Borrowers can explore their mortgage options on either a self-serve or loan officer-assisted basis, using any personal device. For the first time, they can see their financial profiles, just as a loan decision-maker would. Lenders, regardless of size, can use our platform to level the playing field in an increasingly digital mortgage marketplace. As a company co-founded   by Gene Ludwig, compliance is an essential part of our DNA and is integrated into all aspects of our technology. So lenders can be assured that they are engaging with their applicants in a compliant manner.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

A Look Into The Future

Let’s consider the future of the mortgage industry. What once was an industry that thrived off paper, is today transforming into a paperless, digital process. The borrower demand for this change is rapidly increasing each day. Technology exists and is as convenient as being in the form of your mobile device. The ease and success of a mortgage company’s adaptation to this forthcoming truth means the transformation of moving forward as an adaptor. It is important for mortgage companies to listen to their borrowers and take the necessary steps to not only producing self-servicing platforms for everyone, but also keeping in mind millennials. The industry needs a determined effort to keep the overall process as accommodating as it can be. This exceeds generations and is an obvious obligation in many features of the mortgage process. Although some generations may not have similar outlooks as Millennials, the incorporation of contributions such as cutting-edge Web designs and skilled call center employees that promote mobile and paperless choices are encouraged by all.

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Some originators have already begun this progression. This innovative technology is key because it provides the consumer a faster and easier approach to the buying and selling experience. The mortgage industry needs a cohesive strategy to back a full-service, online experience. Today, mortgage companies need to appeal to millennials, while still appealing to key borrower markets. This is exciting for an industry that has struggled to go paperless for some time. The Real Estate industry has been close minded and considered it a risk to make such transitions during the credit crisis. Nevertheless, technology has proven that a larger quantity of deals closes at a much faster rate, and there is steady compliance after all.

Putting the need for innovative technology forth is crucial to provide clients a less stressful, more effective home buying and borrowing experience. Today, a self-serving platform for every contract and part of the borrower process has the potential to make a significant impact on the future. This is going to be an obligatory feature to remain relevant in the industry. Often, firms become absorbed in the cost of investing in the technology, but the key is to take a closer look at the consequences of not adapting. Taking a chance on timing the market and pushing significant changes to the side is a hazardous intention for buying and selling a home. The same applies to investing in important technology to remain competitive and up to date.

It is important to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Companies such as Optimal Blue and Nylex provide convenient pricing engines. Others such as Velocify and Velma enable an effective customer relationship management system that is beneficial to the lender and the borrower. The mortgage feature of these systems is just one part of the online real estate experience, and normally comes after all other elements, such as searching for a home. Some are convenient options being presented and others are more necessary, such as enabling access to documents and accepting electronic signatures. Mobile devices are at the core of most technology initiatives. As effective communication and connections improve the need for customer service and compliance, the mobile device is developing as the tool for enabling all contributors in the goal of communicating in a timely manner. The capability to be able to transmit forms at each phase guides the process to become more transparent and submissive.

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Some brokers are hesitant to these methods and look at them as more of a risk than an advantage. There is no question that mortgage brokers have certain rules and guidelines they are required to act on since TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure) came into place. TRID requires the need to accelerate timelines for acting on documents. Therefore, the initiation process needs to be moving at all hours. Online and mobile access to documentation is turning into a crucial and truthfully, the only option to meet these deadlines. There is opportunity to store, access and organize data in a much more accommodating process that could not be done using paper.

There have been firms that have built technology teams separate from creating loans. Every group should integrate a tech professional on their staff. Building the business takes technology skilled individuals, which is not in every case found in a loan officer’s skill set. Lending firms are building technology friendly teams and providing a more tech minded mission. They are not trusting their rank to make technology and vendor partner decisions. The tech team is beneficial and devoted to driving business through using objectives of a loan officer.

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If putting together a tech team is too difficult – the next best option is to establish a focus group of employees and customers. This provides an opportunity to determine the technology that is available for each group. Teams can research topics such as, the information they’d like to obtain from each other.

It seemed that in the past, technology and the mortgage industry lacked any sort of relationship. It became natural that each mortgage entailed hundreds of pieces of paper and that relying on stamps and office visits was the only possibility to complete a transaction. It is clear that over the years, obstacles have been faced and boundaries have been removed. The mortgage industry has become driven to let technology handle more of the responsibility. Because of this, things have improved significantly. The quicker a firm closes on a loan, they quicker they are ready to start the next loan. The client is ready to help, it is up to you to provide them to tools to do so.

About The Author

Zachary Rosenberg
Zachary Rosenberg is Chief Technology Officer at WebMax, LLC. Rosenberg has more than fifteen years’ experience with software development and coding. He is responsible for overseeing all technical aspects of the company and its clients. He works with executive management to grow the company through the use of technological resources and works to attain the company’s strategic goals. Rosenberg also manages client relations from a technical standpoint, conducts research for the enhancement of our products, and development tasks.

Getting More Business

There is a lot of talk about how to get more business. Specifically, more and more lenders are using technology to reinvent the point-of-sale, but that’s not enough. To go further, the industry has to come together to stretch beyond just the point-of-sale. Here’s one way to start that dialogue:

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Join the California MBA on October 3rd at 11 am (PST) for a FREE webinar: “Learn to Win More Opportunity and Close More Loans,” presented by the California MBA’s Mortgage Technology & Marketing Committee (MTAM).

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This FREE webinar will cover the following topics: How to convert attention into interest, present with power, and elevate your skills.  Presenters include Greg Pettersen, Marketing Manager, Residential Wholesale Mortgage, Inc.; and Bill Bodnar, SVP, Sales, Vantage Production, and John Seroka, Committee Chairman, Seroka Brand Development.

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The URL link to register for the webinar is: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8659706686770656001

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.

Financial Resources Federal Credit Union Creates A Better Borrower Experience

Financial Resources Federal Credit Union (FRFCU) has implemented Roostify’s mortgage technology platform in order to create a better online experience for its members applying for or refinancing a home loan. Here’s why:

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“We were looking for something more user friendly for mortgage applicants. The standard online form didn’t help our members through the process and provided no guidance into what they need to do through each step in the process,” said Jason Reed, First Vice President, Real Estate Lending at Financial Resources. “The Roostify platform has given us a way to walk members through a simple process to input their information, upload documents and get us the information we need in order to close their loan in the most efficient way possible.”

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Financial Resources members are now able to complete their entire mortgage application online, including using a mobile device or tablet. They can upload their financial information directly into the platform and communicate with a loan officer during every step of the process. When they are on the go, they can easily upload and sign documents without a trip to the bank, saving precious time in the closing process.

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“Not only do our members get a much more user-friendly experience, our loan officers spend much less time chasing information, and they can focus on providing a better experience and closing loans in much shorter timeframes, which benefits all parties involved,” added Reed.

Loan officers benefit from the use of Roostify’s platform with a better way to communicate with members, realtors, lawyers, title agents, and more throughout the process. Additionally, because the application is clearly laid out loan officers receive more complete and accurate information when they receive an application.

“Consumers are looking for two things in today’s home buying market – an easy online experience and transparency,” said Frank Gelbart, Chief Revenue Officer, Roostify. “Utilizing a mortgage solution that keeps the consumer informed of the process in real-time and that can be done entirely online is the key to providing today’s homebuyers with the best experience possible.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Integration Makes Lender And Borrower Collaboration More Effortless

As mortgage lenders increasingly invest in modernizing their technology experience, Maxwell, a provider of digital mortgage automation software for small and midsize lenders, has integrated with LendingQB to make it easier for lenders and borrowers to collaborate effortlessly through the mortgage process.

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LendingQB continues to extend its integrations through its web-based LOS system . The LOS’ open-architecture application program interface (API) enables lenders to select the tools that best help their efficiency. The LOS was cited in the STRATMOR Group’s December 2016 Technology Insights report as achieving an end user effectiveness rating of 93%, top marks amongst the major LOS providers.

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“In this age of platform interoperability, LendingQB gets it — an open origination platform that empowers its users to optimize the experience for speed, security and delight,” said John Paasonen, CEO of Maxwell. “We’re thrilled to integrate with a likeminded partner as a showcase to Maxwell’s API that gives flexibility back to the customer.”

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Maxwell automates the way that mortgage lenders work with their clients to close a mortgage, from the loan application to assembling a borrower’s file. Lending teams on Maxwell collaborate with homebuyers in a modern digital workspace, on any device, with connectivity to thousands of data sources. Designed by usability experts, Maxwell reports that loans on its platform close 22 days faster than the industry average.

The integration with LendingQB will enable Maxwell clients to seamlessly sync borrower data with the loan origination system, trigger automated notifications to borrowers and real estate agents, and securely exchange documents and information.

“The ability to provide innovative technology such as an open architecture API offers lenders an added value as their organizations continue to grow and evolve,” said Tim Nguyen, president of LendingQB. “This partnership with Maxwell affirms our commitment to streamlining our clients’ access to products and services that power their business. Innovation is accelerating in this industry and lenders benefit when they can utilize best-of-breed solutions to streamline the mortgage process.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Optimal Blue Partners With New POS To Transform The Mortgage Process

Optimal Blue has partnered with Capsilon Corporation to provide a unique digital mortgage experience with highly accurate, real-time product eligibility and pricing content. Here’s the scoop:

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The Capsilon digital mortgage platform leverages the power of the cloud and intelligent process automation to evolve the existing mortgage production process into a modern digital mortgage factory. By integrating Optimal Blue’s real-time product eligibility and pricing content directly into the upcoming Capsilon mortgage point-of-sale solutions, joint clients will be able to improve overall compliance, create numerous process efficiencies, and deliver an engaging origination experience.

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“Capsilon is transforming the mortgage industry with intelligent process automation that increases the velocity and accuracy of every step in the loan production process,” said Sanjeev Malaney, CEO of Capsilon. “Our partnership with Optimal Blue provides the data connectivity, integrated pricing workflows, and process automation lenders require to accelerate the loan production process and improve customer satisfaction.”

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Optimal Blue’s eCommerce platform consumes product and pricing content from a network of investors, provides intelligent selection and customization of that content as desired by lenders, and distributes the personalized results to technology providers via RESTful APIs – wherever, whenever it matters most.

“Our goal is to further unite the industry with our digital marketplace and break down the traditional vendor silos that have held back industry success,” said Optimal Blue CEO Scott Happ. “Strategic integrations with digital mortgage technology leaders such as Capsilon will move the industry forward.”

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.

Integration Offers Borrowers A Digital Application Process

Black Knight Financial Services, Inc. is working with Lender Price to offer a consumer-facing interface that will deliver a digital loan application process. Through Black Knight’s integration with Lender Price’s advanced digital user interface and other capabilities, Black Knight’s LoanSphere Empower loan origination system (LOS) clients can now offer their customers the ability to apply for a loan online from virtually any mobile device.

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“Black Knight is a true partner in innovation that shares our ideals to provide lenders the technologies needed to meet the evolving needs of today’s home buying market, while staying both competitive and compliant,” said Dawar Alimi, Lender Price co-founder and CEO.

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“Black Knight looked at several options, and we believe Lender Price was the very best choice to support our clients’ needs and advance our solutions,” said Jerry Halbrook, president of Black Knight’s Origination Technologies and Enterprise Business Intelligence divisions.

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Lender Price’s digital loan application interface, which can be custom-branded and configured to each lender’s specific requirements, is integrated with Black Knight’s Empower LOS to support a dynamic, accessible loan origination process. The digital interface helps lenders:

>>Offer consumers the ability to complete a digital loan application using their mobile device, which is fully integrated with the Empower LOS platform.

>>Offer a voice-enabled loan application solution that can ask consumers questions in multiple languages.

>>Deliver real-time product eligibility, interest rates and fees.

>>Secure verification of credit, income and assets through a combination of Black Knight’s LoanSphere Exchange technology and proprietary integrations provided by Lender Price.

>>Verify property and tax details using Black Knight’s vast public records database or by leveraging Black Knight’s Data Hub, which gathers, aggregates and links Black Knight application and proprietary industry data to provide a holistic view of a client’s loans.

>>Obtain property valuations using a Black Knight automated valuation model (AVM), tested for accuracy and reliability.

>>Upload documents from any mobile device using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, and index those documents in the Empower LOS.

“The addition of a powerful, consumer-facing digital user interface is a tremendous breakthrough in advancing our digital strategies and creating more competitive advantages for our clients,” said Halbrook.  “Combining the comprehensive technology capabilities of Black Knight’s Empower system with Lender Price’s advanced digital capabilities will increase the speed to market for our clients that are aggressively expanding into the digital marketplace and transform the user experience for their consumers.”

The integration of Black Knight’s and Lender Price’s capabilities can also support lead generation with existing customers. Linking a client’s property and borrower information from Black Knight’s Data Hub with a Black Knight AVM and Lender Price’s Product, Pricing & Eligibility Engine can help clients identify high-quality refinance candidates from their loan portfolios. Details about current loan-to-value ratio, recommended products and interest rates can be provided to help the loan officer present the benefits of refinancing to the borrower at the point of sale.

Empower’s seamless integration with Black Knight’s LoanSphere MSP servicing platform will offer clients true end-to-end digital capabilities and loan support, from origination to servicing and default. The MSP system is used to service more than 30 million active loans for many of the nation’s largest financial institutions and is scalable to any size portfolio.

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.

Innovative New Player Raises $2.25M In Seed Funding

The Digital Mortgage is all the talk. The definition of Digital Mortgage varies, but what every lender really wants and needs at a minimum is a fully digital point-of-sale. One of the newer players in this space making a lot of waves is MortgageHippo, Inc. And to this end, this vendor has announced today that it has raised approximately $2.25 million in seed capital. The round was led by CMFG Ventures, LLC, the venture capital entity of CUNA Mutual Group.

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“These are very exciting times for technology companies in the mortgage sector, as lenders of all types and sizes fully embrace the digital transformation sweeping through the industry,” said Michael Salichs, co-founder and President of MortgageHippo. “Several market forces over the last couple of years have pushed the mortgage industry towards digital innovation and MortgageHippo is helping lenders with the transition.”

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Among those market forces is the arrival of Millennials into the housing market, support by the GSEs of digital technology in loan underwriting and the launch and heavy marketing of digital mortgage platforms by a handful of prominent lenders.

“The mortgage process can be cumbersome, leading to decreased customer satisfaction, inefficiency and higher origination costs,” said Brian Kaas, President and Managing Director of CMFG Ventures. “Our investment in MortgageHippo will bring new innovation to the digital mortgage experience that can help credit unions deliver a superior online mortgage experience to their members in a way they prefer to engage in the process.”

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Since launching its digital mortgage platform – known as SwiftDLP™ – as a white-label solution, MortgageHippo has signed several top national and regional lenders and brokers who use the platform to deliver a modern borrowing experience to their customers and increase their conversions. “We are very excited about CMFG Ventures’ investment in our company and the strategic value and familiarity with the credit union market they bring to the table,” said Valentin Saportas, co-founder and CEO of MortgageHippo.

The company will use the funds primarily to further expand its software development and sales team. For more information, visit the MortgageHippo or CMFG Ventures website.

MortgageHippo raised an initial seed round of $750,000 in January 2016 led by the venture arm of real estate brokerage, @properties. Today’s announcement marks the official close to their seed round with an additional $1.5 million.

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.