Owning a home is a central piece of the American dream. It brings in several economic benefits, such as the possibility to accumulate wealth, access credit through home equity, reduce housing costs through mortgage interest deduction, and gain long-term savings over the cost of renting.
The Mortgage Process:
However, the mortgage process continues to be complex, opaque, and anachronistic, despite living in an on-demand age, in which we expect speed, transparency, and ease of use. As a result, the average time to close is 42 days, average production expenses are at a record annual high of $8,278 per loan, and customer satisfaction is significantly lower than in most other industries.
Process wise – The challenge is that every organization operates differently, and the current mortgage process is very fragmented. The process to deliver a mortgage involves:
- The exchange of hundreds of pages of documents with borrowers
- Collaborating with dozens of external participants like escrow, title, settlement, legal notary, and real estate agents
- Signing a variety of agreements and consents
- Adhering to the county, state, and federal regulations for the transaction
- At the same time, keeping sensitive financial documents moving and all participants on task
Technology wise – Various software applications, such as loan origination systems, document generation systems, and electronic signature, have emerged over the decades to automate discrete parts of the process. But getting all these systems and their users connected in one seamless digital workflow has been prohibitively difficult. Lenders also face another set of challenges, i.e., legacy systems. Replacing intricate legacy systems is very strenuous and involves the risk of disrupting ongoing operations.
A Viable Solution:
Therefore, a viable option for lenders who want to both manage costs and maintain a positive ROI for every loan they originate is to choose a partner who combines technology and white-gloved services, that streamlines data and automates compliance. Layering mortgage technology such as Visionet’s VisiLoanReview® on top of existing loan origination software can automate and streamline many smaller tasks such as Indexing, Data Extraction & Audits. It thereby allows the lenders to focus on core-lending activities while Visionet handles end-to-end back-office operations. This model offers lenders a fully established ecosystem comprising advanced technologies and operations services that enable faster time to close (30-35% faster) at significantly lower costs (at least 35% in reduced costs).
Factors for Choosing a Partner – What Makes an Exceptional Vendor Partner?
However, the success of such a model depends on two critical factors.
1. Transition Capabilities
The most crucial factor to consider is the time required to onboard a new partner and begin production. Not only should this procedure be fast, but it should also be streamlined, efficient, and well laid down to follow.
This phase is the partner’s ability to take charge and overcome challenges associated with the transition. Transition is an essential stage through which a new client eases into operations by setting up the expectations on SLAs, escalation matrix, volume, quality, etc. The partner should have a demonstrated ability to initiate and complete the transition by focusing on minute details of the lender’s unique business processes. Visionet has a dedicated transitions-function that acts as a bridge between the lender, sales/account management, and operations teams. Visionet’s transition experts quickly grasp client processes, document them, and mirror clients’ workflows to ensure a smooth transfer of workload. The transitions experts also setup necessary IT integrations and infrastructure that smoothen the process.
Transition includes the following stages:
- Pre-transition: We conduct a detailed analysis of the lender’s mortgage operations and set up a pilot team comprising of mortgage & IT experts with the right skill sets.
- Knowledge transfer: Our experts understand the client’s mortgage process and platforms. We create a list of process-related queries and establish communication protocol. IT integrations and infrastructure are initiated.
- Shadow sessions & documentation: Our expert’s shadow client’s processes and workflows. We create SOPs and process documents that are sent for client review. The documentation is improved with feedback received from clients.
- Training & reverse shadow sessions: Visionet sets up service delivery teams supervised by a project manager. Our experts train production teams on client processes and platforms, and Visionet’s in-house technology accelerators. Reverse shadow sessions are conducted on sample loan-files. Clients evaluate our work and provide feedback, which is used to improve operations.
- Ramp-up & Continuous Feedback: Once clients are satisfied with the quality of reverse shadow sessions, we ramp-up to capacity as per the agreed plan. Factors such as accuracy, turnaround times, quality, and customer feedback are continuously evaluated, and daily production reports are sent to clients.
2. Technology & Other Expertise
The partner should have:
– Adequate production facilities
– Trained resources
– Stringent information security policy
– Compliant with laid down rules & regulations
The partner’s technology platform should be scalable, leverage economies of scale to considerably lower the cost of origination per loan. Thereby enabling lenders to easily scale up or down, with complete transparency on associated costs. The partner not only reduces compliance risks and costs but also protects lenders against compliance breaches, through adequate ‘Errors & Omissions’ (E&O) insurance. Therefore, by choosing the right partner, lenders gain access to the latest digital tools, as well as the ability to track the exact state of a file or process on demand. Further, as lenders do not invest in any infrastructure, the related costs and efforts to upgrade or maintain are eliminated.
Visionet combines best industry practices and a well-designed transition process with cutting-edge technology to helps clients transform all their mortgage operations. Operational inefficiencies are eliminated during this transition process so that clients can immediately benefit.
Mukund is a Mortgage industry professional. He has over 10 years of experience in Client engagement, relationship building and account management. He is a strategic thinker with a broad understanding of the mortgage industry especially in the originations domain enabling mortgage lenders to optimize business results through AI/ML infused technology & services