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It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

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“It’s the end of the world as we know it.” — R.E.M., 1987

How many times has that thought run across the minds of those of us in the mortgage industry since 2008? That line seems to capture how a lot of people feel about the recent presidential election. Whether you’re keeping an open mind or you fear we’re headed for disaster, one thing is for sure: change is upon us. We don’t know what the coming changes will look like, but whether or not they’ll be regarded as positive depends largely on how we handle them. It would be foolish to speculate broadly or too specifically about what the new President will do once in office – just ask the pollsters and pundits who woke up with their heads spinning on November 9th. But both candidates spoke loudly of policies that need to be updated, redesigned or completely dismantled.

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The widespread election of Republicans at the national and state levels signals that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will be a target; it’s been on the (now) ruling party’s radar practically since the drafting phase. The mortgage industry may be in for changes TO the changes we’re still mastering and adjusting for. Lawmakers aren’t the only ones the mortgage industry must obey, for the consuming public is our ultimate boss. The industry must brace itself not only for what regulators may do, but what the public is demanding. Change is inevitable in business, but profitability and survival really depend on how those changes evolve.

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It took years to enact aspects of Dodd-Frank, like the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID), and whatever changes may come are likely far in the distance, meaning that widespread lender relaxation of compliance policy and procedure is not advised for obvious reasons. Companies and originators have been experimenting with all sorts of technology for marketing and compliance with varying degrees of success. The fear of Consumer Finance Protection Bureau wrath has mellowed of late and doesn’t dominate the industry dialogue as it once did. But canvass the nation and you’ll find a veritable mélange of systems and tools in use at different companies and branches to manage compliance and marketing. Companies must take a realistic approach to compliance and the diverse needs, attitudes and willingness of MLOs to adopt mandated technologies. Communication and leadership is as important as the technology choice itself, and implementation won’t be successful without buy-in from those affected.

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The need for new technology to manage business is well understood, however the entrepreneurial nature of the humans who originate loans must be understood as well. Management can’t assume that change – even if necessary – will be embraced. One size doesn’t fit all for top, mid and lower-range producers, and neither does one announcement or approach to getting the rank and file in line with what needs to be done. Dodd-Frank is still on the books for now and regulators have been nipping at our heels for years, but another key to our success and survival is also hard for lawmakers to keep up with: the digital age.

“The digital mortgage” has displaced “compliance” as the top of mind concern in virtually every area of the mortgage industry – and the public is clearly ready for it:

>> 89% used some form of online technology to help them with the homebuying process

>> 76% feel technology made them a smarter homebuyer

>> 69% said technology made them feel more confident

These figures were compiled by Versta Research in a survey of homebuyers commissioned by Discover Home Loans, and the Federal Reserve Bank recently released its 2016 Consumer and Mobile Financial Services report showing that 87% of adults are using mobile technology and 43% are using their devices for banking services.  The public is comfortable managing day-to-day household finances on mobile devices, and those transactions and records tie directly to the larger, more occasional act of getting a home loan. Since big and small lenders alike can execute digital mortgages, the fears that jobs will disappear and that the need for loan officer expertise will diminish are real. But there’s consolation in the Discover survey for the humans working in mortgage:

>> 67% of homebuyers said after using apps and the internet to explore real estate and financing, they still preferred to work with a professional

>> 33% of respondents found the financing process difficult

>> 31% of respondents found the financing process confusing

Feelings of panic over the rise of the digital mortgage are really the result of thinking that it’s “all about us” in the industry versus the borrowers we serve. As bosses go, consumers are tough:

>> Have you ever applied for a job where you were abundantly qualified, aced all the interviews, jumped through every hoop and still didn’t get it – like when you incubate a prospect through credit repair, mortgage planning and pre-approval, but they close with another lender?

>> Have you ever worked for someone who’s tough to please – like a borrower who took personal offense at what’s required to get a mortgage and was convinced their experience would have been different with another lender?

>> Have you ever completed a difficult task only to have the way you approached it dissected and criticized – like getting a loan closed against all odds and getting attitude instead of gratitude from the client?

Consumers don’t always know what they want, but they easily and eagerly opine about what they don’t. And unfortunately, we usually find out what those things are after a transaction is closed. Being the best has always been a challenge, but how do companies and MLOs win in a supercharged regulatory and increasingly digital environment? The Federal Reserve Bank and Discover reports reveal an attachment to the human element in addition to a growing appetite and demand for digital services and 24/7 access. Success in the next era of lending will require an understanding of how to deliver what consumers want – and deploying technology to deliver it when and how they want it. As professionals, companies and MLOs need to self-examine:

Automate. What’s your process from contact to close?  What tasks can be handled by automation – or “digitized” – keeping in mind that quality still counts? For example, a lot of marketing can be set on autopilot, but the messages must be current, relevant and motivate prospects to action.

After taking a thorough, honest inventory, update your process – and your thinking. Next, figure out how much time and manpower you will save by deploying technology when it makes sense. There’s a bright side beyond surviving in this increasingly digital world: we can generate analytics and derive crucial insight on the things consumers need and find important that we previously never dreamed of. Around the clock access to their transaction and the metrics on usage will reveal how often borrowers feel the need to check in on their loan’s progress…they’ll log in a lot more than they would otherwise call. Digital access also means answers will be delivered without MLOs having to take calls or answer emails. Decide how you’ll use your freed-up time to elevate your service.

Elevate. Decide what’s important and be there for it “live.” Whether it’s a call or face-to-face meeting, MLOs can spend the time to do what online mortgage calculators and websites can’t. Things like offering specific, expert advice on what a borrower can afford – not just qualify for, calming nerves over credit dings, reassurance about the benefits of homeownership, and counseling on reserves, household finances and how to manage the massive, multi-year commitment of a mortgage.

Change brings opportunity. We don’t know if a new presidential administration will declaw or dismantle Dodd-Frank, but we do know that innovation and technology are juggernauts that don’t care who the President of the United States is – or what political party is in control. The mortgage industry must never lose touch with the borrowing public, even if it feels like the digital trend is depersonalizing the service we provide or diminishing our importance. Companies and MLOs who embrace this progress will evolve and thrive in the next era of lending. When we acknowledge the things we can’t control, and carefully consider and respond to the signals and needs of the consumers we serve, the concept of “making it up as we go along” manifests as real, positive evolution.

There’s a lot going on in the mortgage industry and our country. With open minds and a connection to why we got into and stay in this business, we just might reach the conclusion that R.E.M. did in the last line of their ’87 hit: “I feel fine.”

About The Author

Sue Woodard
Sue Woodard is president and CEO of Vantage Production, an advanced CRM technology provider based in Red Bank, New Jersey. An award-winning 20-year mortgage originator, Sue is a renowned speaker, trainer and writer for the mortgage origination community.

Vendor Launches New Design For Its Technology

Vantage Production, LLC a provider of automated marketing and advanced sales acceleration solutions for mortgage lenders has announced its plan to release a new design of its Mortgage Market Guide (MMG) technology for users of its market knowledge platform.

According to Sue Woodard, president and chief executive officer, “MMG provides thousands of originators with trusted, reliable information and speed-to-market features lenders rely on to increase productivity and close more loans. Our new release will be packaged in an all new, state-of-the-art online and user-friendly format that enhances sales engagement more than ever, which today’s originators need.”

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“Our clients will be given a new competitive edge. MMG’s new design will offer an enhanced Rate Alert page that is intuitively designed, providing an organized approach to data, advice, sales, marketing intelligence and guidance they must have to compete-along with practical and actionable business-building resources necessary for today’s top performing MLOs,” added Woodard.

“The new MMG will provide continued focus on our exclusive spot-on content that users deem most valuable, while offering live chat features with bond experts anytime throughout the day,” says Shalisa Mohamed, Vantage Production’s chief information officer. “The all-new MMG dashboard immediately presents the most important information, advice, guidance and news that lenders and originators need every day to present to clients, prospects and referral partners. MMG’s new look is completely designed with customers in mind. We surveyed our clients, then developed the tools for the new platform based on what they deemed valuable to conduct daily business at lightning-fast speeds. Our Live Market Information screen will allow users to demonstrate credibility of expertise to clients at a pace unheard of before.”

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Lenders and originators subscribe to the Mortgage Market Guide service for critical and timely market news in order to find accurate market answers, expert advice and to stay abreast of significant shifts in the fast-paced financial world to effectively close more loans.

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Leading LOS And CRM Partner

PCLender has completed an enhanced integration with Vantage Production. The new integration enables lenders to manage leads, sales processes and the ability to generate powerful automated marketing messages.

“We are committed to providing our customers with the industry’s premier vendor solutions and our partnership with Vantage Production strategically aligns with that goal,” says Lionel Urban, CEO of PCLender. “This new integration is just one of the many ways we allow our customers to tailor fit our solution to best meet their specific lending needs.”

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Vantage Production is a provider of mortgage-specific customer relationship management (CRM), automated marketing and marketing content, sales enablement and MBS market advisory services. Their solutions have been developed to help nearly 300 lenders and tens of thousands of individual mortgage loan originators succeed every day in our challenging, dynamic market.

PCLender has been streamlining mortgage operations since 1997 as a prominent provider of LOS, websites and portal technology that supports consumer direct, retail, wholesale and correspondent lending channels. The integration will link Vantage Production’s database of leads, contacts, borrowers, referral partners and loan information in real-time to PCLender’s web-based total mortgage solution.

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“As the battle to acquire new borrowers continues to intensify, PCLender users now have real-time lead data accessible through their LOS,” said Sue Woodard, president and CEO of Vantage Production. “This dynamic partnership allows lenders to manage the lifecycle of a loan and track loan profitability seamlessly.”

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A Bold Statement

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Sue-WoodardHere is a bold statement: customer relationship management (CRM) technology is the most impactful development for the mortgage industry since the advent of broad-market loan origination software (LOS) about two decades ago. Those systems, despite being PC-based and just receiving their first graphical user interfaces, were transformative for their day. Printers replaced typewriters, and data that repeated throughout the loan file needed to be entered only once, for the most part. They seem quaint by today’s standards, but they were marvelous labor-saving devices at the time. In the new age of extreme regulatory oversight, however, when exactitude is required at every step of the origination process, no technology can bring as much impact as a great CRM.

That statement is certain to run contrary to the feelings of many who are involved with mortgage technology. But as someone who spent 20 highly productive years originating loans, as well as managing and training mortgage loan originators to succeed, I know without a doubt that an advanced CRM can make all the difference between success and mediocrity in our business. Here’s why.

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Innovation is more critical now than ever before for lenders, particularly in view of the industry’s multi-agency oversight and the precision that the new regulatory era requires of originators. In addition, lenders’ competitive pressures have shifted due to two principle factors. First, the decreasing influence of big box banks is giving rise to rapid expansion by predominantly non-bank lenders who are unfettered (at least so far) by the additional regulations to which depository institutions are subjected. Second, the homogeneity of products available due to the dominance of the GSEs in the investor community has made differentiation among lenders less dependent on products and more on marketing and sales efficiency. If every flavor is essentially vanilla, you had better possess superior surroundings, toppings and service if you want to engage customers.

Technology ties all these changes together. It represents the only truly acceptable response to the challenges of the new environment – and advanced CRM technology stands out among all others in this regard.

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Five-Tool Players: Baseball fans are familiar with the notion of the “Five-Tool Player,” the exceptional athlete who can run, field, throw, hit for average and hit for power at an elite level. They are as rare as unicorns and immensely valuable to a winning organization. Back when Branch Rickey, the legendary major league baseball executive, coined the term in the 1960s, he could name only two players who filled the bill, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle.

In our business today, there are also probably only two five-tool players: the top-line LOS and advanced CRM technology. You need a superior LOS to get in the game and stay there; to win consistently, you need great CRM.

Historically, several of the core functions of CRM technology have been left to chance by lenders over the years, but in the new reality, that’s no longer a recipe for success. The days of leaving MLOs to their own devices in the creation of marketing collateral and non-standard presentations are over, thanks to the CFPB. Further, marketing campaigns and enterprise data must go hand in hand today, not only to achieve outreach excellence, but also to stay compliant with fair lending considerations, including Disparate Impact.

For the purposes of this discussion, I differentiate an “advanced” CRM from the garden variety tools to indicate that we are not talking about contact management software that produces basic email marketing messages, which the industry has used for decades. I am referring to the sophisticated variety of highly responsive technologies that are used by most other industries, yet have been strangely absent from the mortgage business until recent years. These are technologies that work with enterprise systems to maximize data usage, develop tailored marketing outreach campaigns, produce presentations that dazzle customers with personalized scenarios, and provide complete reporting to please data nerds and regulators alike. These technologies access content libraries representing hundreds of years of collective industry experience to produce articles, newsletters and informative materials that drive action, and create lasting bonds with borrowers and referral partners. They are an entirely new breed and rival the best CRM systems found in every other large industry.

So how does advanced CRM fit into the picture for lenders? Simply stated, that five-tool metaphor translates into functions every lender needs in order to excel today. The most advanced CRM technologies are cloud based, SOC 2 audited, secure platforms that:

>> Provide a competitive advantage with marketing sophistication to accelerate sales cycles and enhance recruiting efforts;

>> Keep MLOs and your brand protected and safely compliant with standardized messaging;

>> Regulate and keep track of outgoing borrower communications and offer detailed reporting for audit purposes;

>> Reduce costs associated with production through higher closing ratios;

>> Leverage enterprise data and exponentially increase the organization’s reach to potential customers, including to underserved markets that are affected by the Disparate Impact ruling and other fair lending mandates.

Excellence Trumps Freelancing: When discussing our CRM solutions, I am frequently asked first about how MLOs respond to having their freelance marketing efforts suddenly ended. The answer often surprises: they love it. Sure, it’s counterintuitive, because field loan people are quite often fiercely independent. But when they see the difference between the results of their amateur efforts versus the consistently polished, professional and always-impressive output of the advanced CRM system, their objections go away. The fact that the materials are produced so effortlessly wins them over because time is money for them. The fact that all are pre-designed for compliance is, in the minds of most MLOs, secondary. It has never been a good idea to let MLOs run amok with the company’s messaging in the field, but that course has been the path of least resistance for lenders over the years. Today, it’s an unthinkably dangerous practice due to compliance considerations, and thanks to great CRM, it can now be obsolete.

Another early question I am asked is, predictably, what about the cost issue? Until a few years ago, big technology improvements generally required writing a big check. These days, pay as you go and success pricing arrangements are the rule rather than the exception. You can expect some integration time and expense, of course, but those are recovered very quickly as the benefits of advanced CRM are realized. When those systems are already integrated with the leading vendors, much of the implementation time and expense evaporates, too.

Evaluating Prospects: Just as big league scouts vet prospects to find five-tool players, it’s important to do your homework before you commit to a CRM technology. And don’t just include the tech people in the organization, either. CRM is a business-side decision, as it can have enormous current and future impact on a company in terms of data productivity, retention marketing success, referral partner relationships, pull-through rates, and recruiting goal achievement. Schedule demos for senior production executives and be sure to include the operations and compliance leaders. Gauge their input and reactions and make certain nuts and bolts observations are carefully recorded, as top CRM systems are highly customizable. You don’t have to settle for “one size fits all” when it comes to features and capabilities.

Security is on everyone’s mind, as well it should be. The best CRM vendors have undergone rigorous audits to demonstrate their operational and data security measures and can share that information readily. The Service Organization Controls (SOC) 2 report, for example, focuses on a business’s controls over security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy of a system. These are prepared by independent third party auditors and should be considered absolutely necessary for a CRM candidate when company data is on the line.

The upside of putting advanced CRM to work for an organization is greater than ever, thanks in no small part to Dodd-Frank and the CFPB. While many might disagree, it is a blessing in regulatory disguise; lenders would have benefited mightily from having these capabilities over the years. Now that everything lenders say to the outside world is under the microscope, they have the opportunity to do something truly transformative for their companies that is well beyond today’s regulatory demands. As the competitive landscape changes to spotlight fewer teams chasing greater shares of the market, they would do well to have some truly great five-tool players at their disposal.

About The Author

[author_bio]

Sue Woodard
Sue Woodard is president and CEO of Vantage Production, an advanced CRM technology provider based in Red Bank, New Jersey. An award-winning 20-year mortgage originator, Sue is a renowned speaker, trainer and writer for the mortgage origination community.

Mobile Technology Done Right Pays Off

Vantage Production has launched a major enhancement to its enterprise-class CRM platform, VIP. The new capability, Vantage Mobile, makes a full array of VIP’s functionality available on mobile devices, enabling comprehensive “on the go” features that greatly amplify the success of mortgage loan originators (MLOs) in the field.  Here’s the details:

Unlike many mobile strategies that basically present a website that is accessible via a mobile device, Vantage Production’s advanced design brings a complete range of true mobile VIP capabilities to mortgage origination.  A recent study by Zogby Analytics indicated that 87% of millennials state their mobile device “never leaves their side, night or day” – and millennials are the next generation of both originators and homebuyers. Mobile is a trend that is growing every year, with mobile usage up almost tenfold since 2008.

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“Lenders that are serious about staying competitive need a solid mobile strategy,” said Vantage Production president and CEO Sue Woodard, who personally originated loans for over 20 years. “A simple Internet presence is no longer enough,” she cautioned.  “Lenders need true functionality that benefits all parties, including MLOs, referral partners and borrowers.”

Vantage Mobile enables MLOs to easily conduct critical marketing, sales and service tasks—including referral partner relationship management—regardless of where they are or the time of day. VIP client MLOs can manage leads; view all client loan status data; access referral partner information, add new partners and implement co-marketing; plus perform other key tasks and quickly get information needed to accelerate sales and provide exemplary service that sets them apart.

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In keeping with VIP’s product integrity standards, Vantage Mobile is fully integrated with the Vantage CRM, the SOC 2 Type 2 security protocols are identical, and the user interface provides an easy and intuitive MLO experience.

“Having the right answer at the right time to a borrower question or referral partner concern  often makes the difference between continued commitment to the MLO’s service and losing out to a competitor,” said Woodard.

“Vantage Mobile is a giant step forward for MLO sales effectiveness,” said Woodard. “Now loan originators can accomplish many tasks they would otherwise have to perform in their offices, such as adding a referral partner on the fly or launching a marketing campaign,” she explained. “Full information on every lead is available, along with critical MBS market information and analysis to help MLOs provide the best rate guidance possible,” she said.

“There is no additional cost to our clients for Vantage Mobile,” Woodard said.  “When originators can do things like create and send compliant open house flyers from their car, they benefit immediately from increased effectiveness,” she noted.  “Lenders using VIP profit from a jump in MLO productivity without incremental expense. Plus, mobile sales and marketing capabilities are precisely what the top-tier originators look for in an employer, so VIP clients will gain a very attractive tool in their recruitment offerings,” Woodard added.  “Vantage Mobile brilliantly fulfills a growing mortgage industry market need, empowering mortgage originators and lenders as never before,” she said.

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CRM Vendor Gets Put To The Test

Vantage Production LLC, a provider of customer relationship management (CRM) and compliant automated marketing and sales-acceleration solutions for mortgage lenders, announced the successful completion of its Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 examination.  The report confirms that the company meets stringent standards for controls over the security and confidentiality for its Vantage Integrated Production (VIP) system and Mortgage Market Guide service.

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The company’s SOC 2 report indicates that the company’s processes, procedures and controls are in accordance with the applicable security and confidentiality Trust Services Principles and Criteria set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. A SOC 2 examination provides assurance to Vantage Production clients that the company has the proper internal controls in place to keep customer information secure and confidential. Chicago-based McGladrey LLP, a top accounting and consulting firm, conducted Vantage Production’s SOC 2 examination for the period of June 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014.

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Compliance with the SOC 2 standard requires the most stringent internal policies related to software development, storing and accessing data, and security over all systems and their related hardware. “At Vantage Production, security is a company-wide effort. Our business operates with extreme care and commitment to the security controls that protect our client data,” said Vantage Production Chief Operating Officer Ryan Stillwell. “This examination demonstrates that all of our teams are using highly structured, consistent methods and effective controls. We are very proud of our achievement,” Stillwell said.  “Our clients can rest assured that Vantage Production is doing all it can to ensure their data—especially their borrowers’ data—is secure.”

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Executive Spotlight: Paul Zoukis Of Vantage Production

Paul-ZoukisThis week, our spotlight is on CRM. And helping us to understand current CRM issues and trends is Paul Zoukis, CEO of Holmdel, N.J.-based Vantage Production.

Q: How do you define the differences between data-driven CRM versus simple lead management?

Paul Zoukis: Lead management is an important element of CRM but is just one “process improvement” piece of the puzzle. True CRM has multiple objectives, including:

>> Increased personal productivity resulting from the elimination of unnecessary or less than optimal activities;

>> Gaining control and understanding of the production process, and

>> Greater sales/conversion rates.

Examples of the first are the ability of a single service to be the unified point of sale requiring only a single sign in, assuring no data re-entry, and eliminating unnecessary phone calls and emails from the mortgage loan officer (MLO) to prospects and referral partners. The MLO is freed up to apply his or her efforts to produce new business or relationship building with Realtors, CPAs, financial planners, builders and other partners.

Lead management is part of the second objective. By automating the process from lead capture through borrower retention, the lender’s ability to manage, analyze, and control the marketing and sales process is greatly enhanced, resulting in better qualified leads, increased conversion rates, an amplified understanding of best practices and far lower compliance risk.

The ultimate differentiator is the use of data by true CRM. By making all relevant data available at every point of contact with a prospect or borrower – not only from the CRM database but also from the LOS, the pricing engine, and all key vendors – decisions throughout the marketing and sales process are vastly improved, again driving production while lowering credit and compliance risks.

Q: At a time when it appears that the housing marketing is slowing down, how can CRM be used to boost sales activity?

Paul Zoukis: By taking advantage of both internal and external data, a CRM identifies the optimum targeted prospects, creates tailored marketing messages for the targeted audience, works with the pricing engine to select the most suitable products based on the prospects’ requirements, develops the most compelling presentations and makes the entire sales process “user friendly” – accomplishing all of this uniquely for each customer. This is all performed with minimal time impact on the sales force and with compliance that automatically prepares lenders for audits and other examinations of marketing efforts by regulators.

A great CRM cannot create a great market, but a great CRM can create advantage in any market.

Q: Historically, has the mortgage industry been effective in using CRM? And if not, where is it lacking?

Paul Zoukis: Before Vantage Integrated Production (VIP) came on the scene, there historically was no true CRM in the mortgage industry, only early MLO-centric tools with contact management and minimal automated marketing.  Until a solution is corporate-centric and integrates all the required processes and data, real CRM is simply not possible.

Interestingly, once this corporate-centricity is established every action becomes consumer-centric, which simultaneously increases conversion, volume and borrower satisfaction.

Q: Is it possible to integrate the deep outreach of social media into today’s mortgage banking CRM technology?

Paul Zoukis: Most certainly. Social media is simply another avenue to the consumer. CRM allows the lender to identify and target those prospective borrowers most likely to use social media as a vehicle for exploring mortgage options, and then create and manage the required content as it is published and consumed via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Different channel, different audience, different content – all handled by the same supportive technology. That’s real CRM.

Vantage Production can be found online at www.vantgageproduction.com.

Phil Hall has been (among other things) a United Nations-based radio journalist, the president of a public relations and marketing agency, a financial magazine editor, the author of six books and a horror movie actor. Also, as you will discover, he is not shy about stating his views.

CRM Vendor Expands Its Offering

CRM vendor Vantage Production, LLC has launched Vantage Retail Sites, the first of a series of websites aimed at driving internet-based sales while increasing lender control over origination compliance. Named Vantage Integrated Sites, this new family of websites brings the power and control of the company’s Vantage Integrated Production (VIP) CRM solution to both direct and referral distribution channels.

“We have a singular corporate mission,” stated Paul Zoukis, Vantage Production’s CEO. “Our goal is to maximize lender revenue and productivity while ensuring compliance across all sales channels. Prior to this launch our focus had been on traditional retail and call center sales,” he said. “With Vantage Retail Sites, we now empower lenders to safely and easily expand their Internet business.”

Vantage Retail Sites allows both the lender and the mortgage loan officer (MLO) to build their brands and effectively promote themselves and their products, while providing a highly satisfying buying and support experience to the consumer. Borrowers will be able to take advantage of relevant, timely news and information, enter short or full 1003 mortgage applications, and check on the status of their application while in-process.

“While websites have been available for years, they must be integrated within the CRM framework to be truly effective,” said Zoukis. “This allows the Internet to be managed like all other distribution channels, with leads effectively captured and managed, the sales process made as consumer-friendly as possible and the MLO relieved of virtually all unnecessary tasks.”

Vantage Retail Sites is just the first of a series of releases that will be coming over the second half of 2014.  Next up will be Vantage Partner Development Sites, a solution to support lenders in the development of referral channels, followed by Vantage Mobility, a version of VIP that will optimize the CRM experience on smartphones and tablets.

“The rapid adoption of VIP by some of the largest and most progressive lenders in the industry is confirming the need for new solutions that can meet regulatory compliance mandates without sacrificing revenue growth,” said Zoukis. “With the introduction of Vantage Retail Sites, followed by Vantage Partner Development Sites and Vantage Mobility, we are demonstrating our investment in making sure our customers are empowered to safely maximize any sales channel or new technology.”

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Lender Simplifies Using Technology

Lenders are looking to simplify using technology these days. For example, SecurityNational Mortgage Company (SNMC) of Salt Lake City, Utah, has selected the Vantage Integrated Production (VIP) solution to centralize marketing, compliance and sales process management for its national network of retail origination branches. Here’s why they made this choice:

Like many mortgage lenders, SNMC was concerned about standardizing and controlling messaging for Realtors and consumers to ensure compliance with CFPB requirements, as well as making sure that loan officers were utilizing the best possible materials across the country. SNMC was founded in 1993 as a subsidiary of the Security National Financial Corp., which began in 1965 as Security National Life Insurance Company and has invested in mortgage loans for almost 50 years.

“As a company that started from humble beginnings, we have grown and succeeded over the decades by providing very personal service to our customers,” says SNMC Chief Marketing Officer Michael Shehan. “It was absolutely essential that we continued to offer the best possible borrower experiences while making certain that SNMC was fully compliant with the new regulations surrounding customer communications. With 80 branches across the country, we turned to Vantage Production to centralize this effort with VIP’s content and workflow, vastly improving control and messaging across our network,” he says.

“Additionally, we offer a broad range of home loans due to our very well established relationships with mortgage investors, so not all of our loan programs are the standard products offered everywhere. We needed flexibility with differentiated program specifics for our sales force, and VIP creates outstanding presentations on every possible loan product,” he notes.

“Decentralized marketing is simply no longer a good idea,” says Vantage Production CEO Paul Zoukis. “Companies that lack tight control over content and presentation are putting themselves at risk for costly penalties from multiple state and federal agencies, and that is not necessary in this age of advanced automation and cloud delivery,” he says.

“VIP uses enterprise data for CRM in ways that the mortgage industry has never seen before, and the benefits are powerful for lenders that focus on high service levels, building referrals and improving profitability while controlling costs. Complete tracking and performance metrics provide confidence in compliance efforts and in the ROI of using advanced CRM,” Zoukis says.

“Using VIP, we can now measure every aspect of our marketing programs, customer presentations and the benefit from the additional dimensions of Vantage Production’s content and services,” says SNMC’s Shehan. “We are adopting the VIP workflow across our entire organization to leverage our data and its capabilities in helping us offer even higher service levels for our customers.”

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Lender To Boost Volume With Technology

GMH Mortgage Services, LLC selected CRM technology from Vantage Production, LLC to help boost its purchase origination volume through relationships with referral partners, including builders, real estate and affinity professionals. GMH will leverage VIP’s advanced lead management, marketing and CRM capabilities to maximize the company’s loan production velocity in its retail origination platform.

Founded in 2008, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based GMH operates in more than 25 states with an additional 15 states pending licensing approval. The company is strategically increasing its footprint and has recently added a construction financing division to help bolster its broad product mix offering in the retail platform. GMH has also recently launched a wholesale mortgage platform (GMH Wholesale) and has continued building out its consumer direct channel. GMH sought to expand its diverse customer relationship management capabilities in order to facilitate the company’s objective to expand its reach in strategic markets and continue its impressive record of success.

“We were looking for an innovative and accretive means to put our loan officers in the best position to succeed in this challenging origination marketplace,” said Joseph Macchione, President and CEO of GMH Mortgage Services. “As a platform integrated with our origination LOS, VIP allows us to maximize our marketing investment by supporting our front-end sales machine while providing access to campaigns populated with loan-level detail to help our borrowers through the loan process, all of which is the key to our success.”

With roughly 85% of its current originations being purchase loans, it is top priority for the company to keep its referral base of valued real estate, builder and affinity partners and customers happy. “With VIP, our loan officers can create very powerful marketing and customer care campaigns that are highly targeted to borrower needs and that make our referral partners proud to be aligned with GMH,” Macchione said. “We want loan officers to be spending their time doing what they do best, and that’s working on personal service and facilitating the pinnacle of exceptional customer care throughout the loan closing process. VIP gives them the ability to do this while cultivating more quality relationships with referral partners.”

Rich in content and developed specifically for the mortgage industry, VIP brings decades of field origination experience to its clients in a platform designed to work seamlessly with loan origination software (LOS) and other systems. “VIP is like having some of the most experienced people in the business develop your customer relationship management system,” said Vantage Production CEO Paul Zoukis. “It is an incredibly powerful technology that brings true CRM to forward-thinking companies like GMH Mortgage, and makes every loan officer far more productive while maintaining compliance with CFPB requirements,” he noted.

He added that superior technology like Vantage Production’s VIP solution offers a competitive advantage for GMH as the company recruits loan origination talent in new areas, impressing the best candidates with the company’s commitment to their success. “We are delighted to be working with GMH Mortgage Services and look forward to helping them increase their production and expand their business footprint in 2014 and beyond.”

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