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Americans continue to take advantage of record low interest rates, whether they’re buying a new home or refinancing their current one. With the digital mortgage explosion accelerated by the pandemic, borrowers are demanding more from their lenders. Many borrowers are insisting on a digital mortgage experience with a seamless and stress-free application process — all the way from getting  pre-approved to closing on their home.  Compare ordering dinner on Uber-Eats or booking travel on Expedia to applying for a mortgage. That is the bar…are you ready?

These real-time on-demand requirements from borrowers may seem like an  unreasonable burden to lenders. However, in the current mortgage market this type of access and experience has become “table stakes.” The mortgage origination process can and should be just as smooth for the lender as it is for the borrower. Even if your current application process seems to be working just fine, a simple, intuitive digital mortgage origination process is one of the most effective ways to build a competitive edge.

In this guidebook, we'll share five ways you should evaluate your current origination process to ensure you have the best tools for your lending team to thrive and stay ahead of competitors.

1. Communication & multi-party collaboration

Applying for a mortgage, buying a home or refinancing your current house is extremely stressful for borrowers. It is one of the biggest investments a person  makes in their lifetime. Clear, prompt communication between borrowers and lenders is crucial. Borrowers want to feel assured that they’re doing the right thing every step of the way. Communication from the lender needs to be fast, accurate, and easy—whether you’re answering a borrower’s questions, sharing documents, or teaching them how they can save money each month on their mortgage. 

It’s not enough to simply get a message through to the other party. Lenders need to be able to securely log, monitor, and capture communication with borrowers. It is imperative to maintain a complete record of interactions on each loan application. In the event of a federal, state, or private audit, including internal compliance review, lenders must be compliant. Unsecured point to point SMS messages, which are inefficient, are no longer good enough. Unencrypted emails or PII data scattered across personal devices without the lender knowing where the data is and that it is secured, can shut a lender down. A solid digital process should allow for efficient multi-party collaboration between lenders and business partners. This allows all relevant parties including, the borrowers, lenders, real estate agents, and stakeholders to securely and compliantly get the information they need, when they need it.   

All of this empowers the lender to convert leads into loans faster, with higher profitability If you as the lender had an extra day per week based on efficiency and automation offered by a platform, what would you spend that time on? What other efficiencies and benefits could you unlock?

2. Lead Capture

In the wake of a housing inventory shortage and historically low interest rates, capturing and converting leads to drive revenue has become increasingly competitive. Savvy lenders have invested in innovative solutions to deliver an intuitive borrower experience to try and capture their share of the mortgage market. With so many lead generation methods it can be extremely hard to decide which tactics are most effective. Whether you are trying to stay top of mind as a lead referral from real estate agents or home builders; cold calling; pushing social media; engaging in email campaigns; or directly purchasing leads, you need a cohesive platform to manage all your leads, and determine which channels are converting with the best ROI.

That’s why your digital mortgage origination process should provide you with the tools to centralize your strategies and manage all of your leads in a single, easy to use, fully digital workbench. Whether you’re working from your smartphone or at your desktop computer, your digital tools should be accessible, reliable, and in sync across all your systems. This allows you to support all your inbound leads as they come in and then keep them engaged immediately as they move down the funnel.  Faster time to engage and respond wins the borrower.  

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3. A Single Sales & Origination Workbench

No one wants to have their tools and data scattered across disparate systems with multiple logins and passwords that are easy to forget. The same goes for your digital mortgage origination process. Intelligent lenders demand a single sales and origination workbench. Having to log into multiple systems to service each lead or borrower disrupts workflow and is incredibly inefficient. Moving across multiple systems puts you and your team at a greater risk of making errors, and processing more inefficiently. In contrast, by having all of your tools in one place, you can manage and oversee your entire process from lead generation to clear to close for all of your borrowers, regardless of where the lead is ingested.

4. Automation

Lenders need to be more aware of the benefits of bringing smart automation and efficiency to their origination process. Instead of fighting to hire a large number of competent, experienced loan officers with the right skillset and adding more people to the payroll, lenders are turning to automation to streamline menial tasks such as collecting financial docs or providing manual updates to borrowers. By reducing a loan officer’s workload and giving them more time to tackle the tasks that demand more focus, lenders can offer a better customer experience. Lenders shouldn’t have to meet a borrower in a physical office for them to apply for a mortgage anymore. This should now be an option for those who need a little extra hand holding. By offering your borrowers a mobile app or a web portal, they can self-service and apply without taking any extra time out of their busy schedules. This saves borrowers and lenders much needed time. As a Loan Officer, wouldn’t it be great to recapture time to ensure your borrower clients are meeting their goals and are satisfied so they provide you with positive referrals? 

5. Focusing on Both The Customer & Lender Experience

The fight for keeping and attracting mortgage customers is real. Many borrowers do not think twice about rate shopping and refinancing with a lender who offers a lower rate. That’s why it’s crucial to set yourself apart from other lenders with an experience that will not only make borrowers come back every time but also encourage them to refer you to all of their friends and family. After all, a happy customer tells three people but an unhappy one tells ten!

Enabling the lending team with the right sales and origination tools allows for mortgages to be originated more efficiently (saving the lender money), while increasing top line revenue by creating and winning happy borrowers and capturing their referrals. Keeping the lending team happy and efficient is just as important as keeping the borrowers happy.     

The StreamLoan Solution

Looking for a more effective digital mortgage origination process?

StreamLoan helps mortgage lenders attract more applicants, provide a better applicant experience, and automates collaboration among lenders, borrowers, real estate agents, and other process origination participants. StreamLoan offers mortgage lenders a private-label app delivered as a mobile-first B2B SaaS workflow platform to automate the end-to-end process. Learn how our platform can drive value to your top and bottom lines by requesting a demo today.

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