Companies like Amazon and Uber are dictating the new normal for consumers: Given the amount of time it takes for these companies to receive information, complete tasks and execute a deliverable, the consumer world has been completely transformed. Everyone wants things fast and simple, all in a digital format – and if Amazon can do it, other companies should be able to do it, as well.
Consumers are only concerned with their experiences, not with what occurs behind the scenes to make each interaction seamless. From grocery shopping to mortgage lending, consumers expect ease and efficiency and will not settle for less.
For mortgage lenders, it is crucial to give borrowers what they have come to expect – and to achieve that, they must be on the cutting edge of technology.
For lenders, technology is not an option but a necessity. Manual processes in m mortgage lending are inefficient, outdated and risky, and ultimately end up reducing the bottom line. Today’s lenders must stay on the cutting edge in order to combat the challenges they face. By implementing the right technology, lenders can deliver the experience that borrowers want, reduce manual processes and exponentially increase the bottom line.
However, new technology comes with an upfront investment – and that may hold some lenders back. What must be understood is that when the right solution is implemented, the return on investment typically far outweighs the upfront costs.
The first step lenders must take to start saving through technology is identify the areas in their operations that are inefficient. Every institution will be unique – but there are a few common areas in mortgage lending that cost lenders a good deal of time and money. One good example is vendor management.
Vendor management can eat up an incredible amount of time and money. Identification, due diligence and managing vendors in and of itself could be a full-time job, but for many institutions, it is not, mainly due to cost constraints.
In its current state, vendor management takes extra time and effort from existing staff members, pulling them away from other important tasks. Having a technology that is able to consolidate vendor management takes a load off team members and can save countless man hours and money.
Saving staff time in areas beyond vendor management should be a priority, as well. Reducing manual labor is one of the primary justifications for automation. A technology platform that consolidates multiple solutions and cuts down on the number of touch points is a win-win for any mortgage lender. Reducing the administrative hours an employee must spend on manual tasks frees them up to grow relationships and, as such, grow the business. Building trust and relationships can create borrowers for life and strengthens a lender’s reputation – a benefit for which a dollar value cannot be assigned.
In an instant-information world, it is critical that lenders are able to work quickly to serve borrowers. Working with antiquated, manual processes does not benefit the borrower or the lender. When considering a new technology solution, it is easy to for lenders to look at the initial costs and decide it is not worth the investment.
But for lenders, what truly constitutes “worth?” Is “worth” simply saving a few dollars and keeping current processes, regardless of their performance? Or is “worth” staying on top of the latest technologies, saving time and providing quick turnaround for clients and team members?
Ultimately, borrowers will select lenders based on how they operate and how they think. The most efficient lender will always win more business. Lenders that use technology to differentiate and improve the customer experience will be the ones that ultimately come out ahead.
Patrick McClain is chief operating officer and chief financial officer for FirstClose, a provider of property and borrower data intelligence and settlement services nationwide.