The mortgage industry has been behind the curve for a long time when it comes to technology. But that may finally be changing, according to a new study by J.D. Power. Mortgage professionals seem to be realizing that they need to catch up to the rest of the financial services sector when it comes to tech; attendees of the Mortgage Bankers Association Annual Servicing Conference overwhelmingly selected technology and innovation as the top industry priority for 2018.
“Drawing on recent J.D. Power studies from both the mortgage industry and the broader financial services sector, along with our conversations with industry leaders, we are seeing a clear trend toward heavy tech development in the mortgage space,” said Craig Martin, J.D. Power senior director and Financial Services and Mortgage Practice lead. “Though the jury’s still out on whether lenders will get the formula right, our data does show that many lenders are focusing on the key issues.”
Mortgage customers are also expecting more in the way of innovative tech from lenders than ever before. The J.D. Power US Primary Mortgage Origination Study for 2017 found, for the first time, that both refinance and purchase customers cited “online/website” as the most frequent method of submitting a mortgage application. Forty-three percent of customers reported applying digitally in 2017, a spike from just 28% the year before. Customers applying digitally also reported “substantially higher overall satisfaction with the mortgage process” then those who applied through more traditional means, according to J.D. Power.
That’s not to say mortgage customers don’t still expect human interaction. Respondents to J.D. Power’s study who reported a high level of trust in their loan representatives had overall satisfaction scores 358 points higher (on a scale of 1,000) than people who reported low levels of trust. The top three factors in borrowers’ perception of trust were always calling back when promised, continuity in working with a single person throughout the loan process, and mortgage reps proactively providing status updates.
The key, Martin wrote in a news release, is a balance between cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned service.
“The great equalizer in the mortgage business is achieving a balance between convenience, recognition, trust and, and value,” he wrote. “Building this formula into new technology will be a critical area of focus for the mortgage industry in 2018.”
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