*Here’s Why Technology Matters*
**By Tony Garritano**
***Too often technology is dismissed. While others may think a provocative headline constitutes sexy and breaking news, I think a sexy headline is all about showing the real value of technology so lenders reading this column can share in that success. Nonetheless, some lenders say things like: “That’s too futuristic for me”. “That technology is too new and untested”. “I can’t invest in any technology unless it has a clear return on investment”. While some lenders reflect this view, others are investing in technology and reaping the benefits. One huge benefit that technology can bring a lender, beyond the obvious ironclad compliance, hard savings and efficiency, is intangible. What am I talking about? I’m talking about using technology to create a genuinely better experience for the borrower. Customer service matters. For example, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that Supreme Lending, a Dallas-based nationwide mortgage banker with branches throughout the U.S., reports that it has achieved a 98% satisfaction rating among its borrower customers during the second half of 2011, according to a customer survey completed by 86% of its customers. Here’s how Supreme achieved these numbers:
****The company, which also reduced closing times during the same period, attributes its high satisfaction ratings to the customer service initiative that the company put into place last year to support its plans for growth in 2012. The survey required customers to rate their overall experience with Supreme Lending by selecting one of five options: (1) very satisfied, (2) satisfied, (3) neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, (4) dissatisfied or (5) very dissatisfied.
****“Our customer-focused infrastructure is a key component of our vision, which is to become the best retail mortgage banking company in America—it’s also the foundation that supports the aggressive growth we have planned for 2012,” said Scott Everett, president of Supreme Lending. “One of the reasons we’re able to recruit and maintain such high level loan originators is because we have an active commitment to customer satisfaction. Both our processes and technologies are designed specifically to help build and sustain long-term customer relationships.”
****Supreme Lending previously implemented customer-focused initiatives that include underwriting, closing and funding loans in-house, and creating several state-of-the-art proprietary technologies. Both of these initiatives help provide borrowers with a smoother, more streamlined experience throughout the entire cycle of the mortgage, as well as significant cost savings. And based on the results of their survey, that investment in technology has paid dividends in terms of increasing overall customer satisfaction.
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 email@example.com.