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Integration Tries To Further Digital Mortgage Adoption

LOS PCLender has launched an enhanced integration with POS Blend. As a result of the partnership, lenders who work with PCLender will be able to easily deploy Blend’s platform creating an end-to-end digital mortgage experience that is geared to excite customers and streamline lender workflows while reducing risk and ensuring compliance. Blend’s technology integrates seamlessly with PCLender’s LOS to ensure rapid deployment and quick time to value while reducing the number of systems a lender must work in.

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“We’re dedicated to providing our customers with the industry’s top technology solutions, so teaming up with Blend was a natural next step,” said Lionel Urban, CEO of PCLender. “Blend’s platform is modernizing the mortgage lending experience and through this integration, we’re proud to enable our lenders to offer their customers a more compelling and efficient borrower experience.”

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The integration with Blend continues this legacy, linking PCLender’s total mortgage solution to Blend’s borrower and lender experiences powered by rules, direct-from-source validated data and audit logs. This integration is designed to provide consumers with a more end-to-end digital mortgage experience that is borrower-, lender-, and compliance-friendly.

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“At Blend, we’re building technology that reinvents home lending from the ground up,” said Nima Ghamsari, CEO & co-founder of Blend. “Built on a platform that integrates with existing systems, we’re thrilled to work with pioneering mortgage solutions providers like PCLender to create a digital mortgage ecosystem and enable fast, simple and satisfying lending experiences to millions of lenders and borrowers alike.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Mortgage Vet Forms Innovative New Firm

PROGRESS in Lending has learned that Jorge Sauri, the mortgage technology veteran behind the MortgageDashboard loan origination system and former founder at Arc Systems, one of the very first subprime automated underwriting systems, has launched LendSmart. The new company will provide cloud-based process automation, initially for mortgage lenders to revolutionize the Point of Sale by facilitating AI-driven mortgages.

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“FinTech is no longer the domain of traditional technology developers,” Sauri said. “Our industry is currently being disrupted, both in terms of technology development and in the delivery of banking services, by new entrants who are changing the way customers interact with financial services companies. Consumers are embracing these consumer-centric solutions. To compete, lenders will have to play and win this new game. LendSmart offers borrower-focused POS technology that uses Artificial Intelligence to ensure transactions are driven to completion in a manner that maximizes consumer satisfaction while it reduces overall origination costs.

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The LendSmart POS is the firm’s first offering and provides all of the information today’s borrowers are seeking. It includes integrated document management and process automation to get quality loan files started quickly. The company is currently signing integration agreements that will allow the technology to put more control of the application process into the hands of consumers, who have shown they are eager to accept it. In fact, consumers are demanding it.

“The industry has finally embraced the concept of the digital mortgage,” Sauri said. “Fortunately for us, American consumers have been ready for it for some time. It’s time to deliver it. We will be the company that provides the financial technology to make that happen.”

About The Author

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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.

Investment Will Help This POS Vendor Innovate

Roostify a provider of automated mortgage transaction technology, has closed a Series A round of financing led by a subsidiary of USAA, a financial services provider to the U.S. military and their families. The round also included investments from two Tier 1 banks and Colchis Capital. Here’s the scoop on how this will lead to industry innovation:

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Roostify simplifies what can be an exhausting process – purchasing a home – and benefits all parties by creating a seamless transaction. Because all parties have access to a secure dashboard, there is 100% transparency, which results in accountability and cost savings throughout the process. Lenders can approve and process more loans in less time and handle more loans simultaneously. Roostify eliminates anxiety for the buyer as it gives them more control over the process and takes out the guesswork. Since its launch in early 2014, Roostify has partnered with Fannie Mae, Yodlee, and others and has processed thousands of mortgage applications through its platform.

“The mortgage application process, which is long and arduous, needs revamping from both the consumer perspective as well as lenders,” said Rajesh Bhat, CEO of Roostify. “Our solution brings a user friendliness to the process that benefits lenders and applicants by streamlining the process and cutting the time to close loans and lessens errors in the applications. This round of funding allows us to expand our technology and add more lenders and other stakeholders to the platform.”

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“USAA looks to invest in companies that offer innovations that could help us better serve our members,” said Michael Smith, Executive Director of Corporate Development for USAA. “Roostify is innovating the home buying process for consumers and lenders through a platform that brings simplicity and efficiency to something that sorely needs it.”

About The Author

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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 Evolution Of The Mortgage Banker

*The Evolution Of The Mortgage Banker*
**By Ted Hicks**

***Who is the mortgage banker of the future?  It’s the mortgage broker of today.  The mortgage banking industry is seeing a return to basics. The future is becoming the past on a rocky path to recovery.  It’s cyclical as we’ve seen in the past.  We’re seeing more borrowers having to come to the table with 20% down which makes the number of qualified buyers with adequate funding less than optimal.  Competition for this smaller business pool is fierce, allowing borrowers a choice on a more personal level who they would prefer to do business with.  It’s the basics—customer service—that can make the difference.

****Rates will go back up, the economy will grow, and the cycle will begin again.  The trend is cautionary with a hope for stability.  As the industry cycles upward for mortgage bankers, opportunities for brokers begin to decline.  So what we are seeing now, and what we will continue to see in the next few years, is an increase in the number of brokers moving toward mortgage banking.  We’ll see them joining existing operations or branching out on their own.  We’ll see them shift focus from primary to correspondent and beyond to direct lending.

****With the shift to direct lending, we’ll see more sophisticated products and a move from best efforts to mandatory.  Because of this, they’ll learn how to hedge and how to pool the loan to create mortgage backed securities.  And for each step of the evolution, there will be a new wave of mortgage bankers taking it—one at a time.  Learning the process is the first step.  But what can these new breed of mortgage bankers do to be successful as they keep the evolution going?

****Technology is undoubtedly on the forefront of giving them a competitive edge.  Technology is a necessary tool for business effectiveness.  Being able to market online through websites and social media is a large part of today’s growth strategies.  Having an LOS that helps enforce compliance and allows control and oversight for growing businesses is a must.  Being able to access data and files on-the-go is also very important for evolving lenders.

****But as important as technology is during the process, getting back to the basics of personal business interaction is even more so.  All the technology in the world would be insignificant if there is no new business coming in.  Tech-savvy professionals cannot focus solely on the benefits of sophisticated technology.  What will become evident is that honing their technique, not their technology, will give them the edge they need.

****Getting back to the basics means building relationships in person rather than just online.  Form business alliances with industry vendors and help each other grow.  Refine your database and find new ways to grow your business.  Building relationships with your borrowers, your builders, realtors, and other vendors or potential clients gives you the edge that depending on technology simply cannot—service that gets you noticed.

****So while technology is indeed relevant to the evolution process of tomorrow’s mortgage banker, it’s customer service that will bubble to the top in the most successful business.  It’s not going to be enough to have the most efficient business technology.  Technology takes care of business but it takes customer service to grow it.  Lenders at any stage of the cycle need to be competitive in both the front end and the back end to maximize revenue and take the next step.

Ted Hicks is the Director of Product Management at Calyx Software. He started working for Calyx over 4 years ago and is responsible for the research and design of all Calyx products including all issues related to compliance and forms. Ted has spent the last 14 years working as a product management professional in small and large firms providing enterprise software solutions across a variety of industries including Siebel Systems (now Oracle), Aspect Telecommunications, and Epiphany.

Winning The Battle For The Borrower: Let’s Get Concrete About Technology

*Let’s Get Concrete About Technology*
**By Judy Margrett**

***We all know that the market is tough. You need technology to remain competitive and to stay compliant. But what technology do you really need? Do you need a new LOS or a new POS? Or can you do with something else? I’m sure these questions and others are circling in your head as you decide how to proceed.

****Also, during these difficult times, vendors are fighting just as hard for business as lenders. So, they’re breaking out their best slant to convince you to buy they’re technology. Remember though, good technology has to solve real business problems. So, if you’re looking for new business, you need automation that will help you better deal with the borrower. Still confused? Let’s look at two “real world” examples that illustrate enterprise marketing automation’s vast capabilities. You’ll see what I mean soon.

****Fast Start – Big Finish

****The moment rates dropped below 5% veteran originator Bill Smith* was in a hurry to reach his diverse database of customers. So, he selected an oversize postcard from his enterprise marketing automation’s extensive marketing library, then adapted the copy to meet the specific interests of several niche audiences.

****After making his copy modifications, Bill’s file was automatically forwarded to his company’s marketing and compliance departments to ensure it met all appropriate brand guidelines and regulatory requirements. Bill’s changes were approved within minutes and the cards printed – including a Spanish translation for some, plus Bill’s new photo and signature added that day – and mailed to over 1,500 clients.

****It took less than 24 hours for Bill to complete his mission, from the time he accessed his enterprise marketing automation site until the highly personalized cards were in the mail. Within weeks, as a result, he closed $10 million in new business.

****Expanding a Referral Network

****Sarah Jones, a top producing originator, developed a proactive marketing program that includes a regular series of birthday, holiday and other greeting cards, along with a special campaign to encourage Realtors, builders, customers and others to share referrals. She adapted postcards, letters, e-mails and other materials to include “I welcome your referrals…” messages for different audiences and scheduled them for automatic distribution at various dates.

****Sarah has found her enterprise marketing automation performance-tracking feature to be especially appealing. It enables her to measure how her business has increased over time and the number of referrals she is receiving from her professional partners.

****Of course I used fictional names, but the results are real. See what I mean about choosing the right technology to get you the results that you’re looking for now?

Judy Margrett is President of The Turning Point, Inc. The company’s flagship product is MACH3, a mortgage-specific CRM and automated marketing engine. With more than 20 years’ experience in mortgage banking, Judy was an early advocate of technology-based marketing solutions, especially for nurturing key business relationships. Recognizing the demand to maximize resources within business enterprises, she works closely with industry leaders to guide The Turning Point’s development of advanced mortgage-specific solutions. She can be reached via e-mail at judy.margrett@turningpoint.com.