In the highly competitive mortgage industry, lenders are constantly on the lookout for effective ways of standing out from their competitors, attracting new customers, growing revenue, and controlling costs. Since there isn’t much room for variation in lending rates, superior customer service becomes a lender’s most compelling means of differentiation. This article explains how digital mortgage tools have become a great way to improve your borrower experience by keeping them informed and engaged, while simultaneously enhancing operational efficiency.
Making an impact on millennials
As the years progress, successful businesses adjust their offerings to suit the tastes and temperaments of each emerging generation. The growing economic clout of millennials has led banks and other mortgage lenders to aggressively leverage digital channels for promoting their services, communicating with borrowers, and even expediting the mortgage closing cycle itself. The same kinds of digital tools that allowed online retailers and content providers to gain ascendancy are now poised to change the face of consumer lending.
Digital channels represent more than just an alternative means of disseminating product information; they are vehicles for unprecedented levels of direct consumer immersion and brand engagement. Each consumer touchpoint becomes a potential success story or an opportunity for instant word-of-mouth marketing. Embracing the digital realm is a powerful way for lenders to generate high-quality leads through organic borrower referral.
However, it is worth noting that millennials aren’t the only ones using these digital tools. More and more potential homebuyers from all demographics are turning to the Internet as their primary source of research on mortgage lenders, and the vast majority of these potential borrowers prefer a lending process that is driven by digital technologies, including real-time application status updates, convenient document scan-and-submit functionality, and integrated communication management tools that span multiple digital channels. The onus is now on lenders to fulfill these expectations, improve brand perception, and increase their market share.
Pre-qualification portals improve loan quality
Businesses across multiple industries have improved employee productivity while improving customer satisfaction at the same time by offering self-service options using personalized web portals. Customers can use their computers or mobile devices to check their order status, update shipping and billing information, open new service requests, and so on. This takes less time, costs less, and is much more engaging than dedicating a small customer service team to processing these types of customer requests.
The mortgage industry is also taking advantage of self-serve portals to manage customer service workloads and costs. However, lenders can also benefit by implementing consumer-facing portals at the beginning of origination cycle: pre-qualification. By allowing potential borrowers to submit their documents and verifying their quality and completeness, lenders can save hundreds of paperwork-hours every week and quickly identify problematic loan applications with minimal effort. Pre-qualification portals improve document accuracy and reduce business risk without involving high long-term operating costs.
Mobile apps shorten your closing cycle
While there’s no doubt that smartphone apps appeal to younger consumers, a digital mortgage app isn’t just a gimmick to attract the millennial crowd. A well-designed mortgage app improves multiple aspects of your borrower experience, promotes faster document turn times, and results in more efficient borrower communication.
Lenders have begun using mortgage apps as a channel for loan document submission. A borrower uses their smartphone camera to scan the document, and the app sends the scanned document to the lender. Apps can also keep track of any pending documents in a convenient checklist.
Similarly, digital mortgage apps are quickly becoming the dominant means of informing borrowers about the status of their application, upcoming meetings, or any other type of alert or notification. Sending these requests straight to the device in your borrower’s pocket can shave hours or even days from the mortgage closing cycle, and also provides a sense of security and immediacy that is less pronounced in other digital channels.
The mortgage industry is ramping up its adoption of digital tools and mobile solutions, and lenders that choose to ignore this trend will soon find themselves losing market share to more forward-looking organizations. Lenders should take great care in selecting a technology partner that can deliver well-designed, well-executed digital mortgage solutions that keep borrowers engaged. To learn more about your organization can maximize the impact of your existing technology investments as the digital mortgage landscape continues to evolve, please contact Visionet Systems and schedule a complimentary consultation session.
Alok Bansal is Managing Director of Visionet Systems Inc. and has 21 years of experience in managing strategy and global BPO operations. He excels in optimizing and leading the growth of financial services companies who are looking to take their mortgage operations to the next level.