Today it’s hard to imagine a mortgage loan as simply a folder filled with paper. Today documents are shared, and even signed, electronically rather than face to face, by mail or fax. (Those of us in the industry who are old enough to have conducted a great deal of business via fax do not miss those machines!)
Technology plays a role in just about every stage of the loan process, and using it to full advantage can streamline your business, reduce costs, improve efficiency, and even grow your customer base.
It all starts with a potential home buyer or homeowner considering refinancing. You want them to reach out to your company rather than a competitor’s and there are countless opportunities for leveraging technology to help make that happen.
Make the most of your advertising dollars by directing your message to a highly targeted audience via platforms such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads.
Convert more website visitors into leads with helpful resources and pages tailored to capture information. Turn more leads into customers with tools that help you stay in front of them such as email drip campaigns, customer management systems that automate or streamline follow up, and remarketing advertising.
When it comes time to price a loan, issue a prequalification or preapproval, submit an application, and on through approval and closing, the right technology can make a huge difference in turn times and customer experience.
Electronic document submission makes it easy on the applicant, as most of the information needed is already in pdf format. They log into their bank’s website to download statements, receive a link to download the purchase contract from their real estate agent, and get a statement from their CPA as an email attachment. With a few clicks of the mouse these documents are securely on their way, without time consuming and expensive printing, mailing, or driving them across town.
Electronic signatures can save time for all involved, and sometimes shave days off the time between application and closing. Having all the disclosures and signed documents organized and accessible online also makes them easier for the borrower to locate should they have questions. This means fewer phone calls, emails, and potential delays.
Even the most state of the art technology will come with its own risks. The safety of your customers’ information is a top priority and it’s crucial to remain vigilant about protecting it.
Ask about the security measures present in any technology you use from a third party. Don’t delay software updates for everything from your loan origination software to your websites, as they main contain critical updates that help safeguard against new security threats.
Ensure that your team does their part to keep sensitive information safe, through the use of strong passwords, secure email, and proper handling of any paper and electronic documents. Discuss how you would handle a security breach, and be ready to implement the plan should it be necessary.
Don’t Over Automate
Finally, one more word of caution when it comes to the use of technology in home financing. It can make the process faster, and more efficient, but it’s important not to underestimate the importance of the people on your team, and in this industry.
When there’s confusion over selecting a loan product, concern about whether closing will happen on time, or excitement about buying a first home, there is no substitute for a conversation with a knowledgeable and caring mortgage professional.
Photography by [Panchenko Vladimir] © Shutterstock.com
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