The digital information age began in the 1970’s and expanded to become the Internet and eventually the World Wide Web in 1989. As the digital revolution continued, it changed how we act, how we learn, how we speak and even how we interact with each other. It was just a matter of time before the mortgage loan process also entered the digital age.
In a recent survey of mortgage professionals conducted in association with National Mortgage News, we asked respondents to describe the ‘lender of the future’. Of the 100 responses to this question, only four believe the lender of the future will continue to be a role with high-touch human interaction. The majority of respondents (61%) believe that this role will be fully automated while the remaining group (35%) believe the lender of the future will be a hybrid of automation and human interaction. Interestingly, 36% indicated that customer experience is a key driver in the mortgage process. Which means that while automation is key, it is equally important to focus on the customer at the center of it all.
Provide a High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Experience
Lenders must appeal to a broad spectrum of demographics when competing for home mortgage business and should always keep the customer experience top of mind. Having that balance of a high-tech versus a high-touch customer experience will set a lender apart from the pack.
A fully automated loan process lends itself well to borrowers with flawless credit scores and seamless work history who are purchasing a cookie cutter house. In this scenario, leveraging technology that can aggregate data from various sources, provide periodic status updates and deliver a paperless process from start to finish will offer a streamlined and efficient mortgage experience. While a paperless process will certainly be quick and efficient, it also must be fully compliant with any and all state and federal regulations.
Alternatively, borrowers with more complex situations such as self-employed income or those purchasing a unique property, for example, may require extra personalization from the lender to help them find the best mortgage to fit their specific needs. Having access to advice and guidance will enrich the borrower experience and will help ensure these non-cookie cutter loans are not overlooked.
The Benefits of a Hybrid World
So what are the benefits of living in a hybrid world? To start, speed and efficiency through automation combined with elements of human contact — which some borrowers require — combine the best of both worlds. Automating those repeatable processes within the mortgage origination process while maintaining the option for a borrower to engage with a human on request will enhance the experience of obtaining a mortgage. Completely removing that human touch will likely turn away potential borrowers especially those with unique situations and potentially even first time homebuyers. Having that healthy mix is vital to keeping the lending process personal and profitable. Embracing technology, while providing a personal connection between the lender and the borrower provides a competitive edge for organizations. Are you willing to make it easier for your competitors to attract borrowers because of the lack of a personal connection?
Lenders of the future will need to embrace and utilize mortgage-related technologies, while offering traditional methods where necessary. As more and more of our world becomes automated, even those who are the most tech-savvy and tech-dependent will sometimes still want a touch of personalized experience. How ready are you for the digital mortgage age?