It’s not one of the sexiest things about business, but using standout Loan Origination Software can make a remarkable difference in your process and workflow.
If you’re an originator who’s starting from scratch and figuring out what LOS to use, you’re actually starting in a good place. Modern systems use more of a platform approach, where you have a common platform and different kind of portals that each have various capabilities. The challenge for most originators, especially if you’ve been in the business for a long time and have been adopting systems as they’ve become available, is that you may be using several different companies, all of which have built one piece of the puzzle — one company has a great app, one has a great CRM, another has a great lead management system, you’re using another for email/appointments, and so on. The architecture of these systems were built decades years ago and have been modified as the years have gone by. So generally speaking, you’re moving data from one system to another system.
Joe Langner is the CEO of Blue Sage, a cloud-based digital lending platform for retail, wholesale, and correspondent lenders. He says that change is hard, and originators face an uphill battle to adoption when they’re already familiar with certain systems.
“And it’s very complicated systems too, if you have, I call it a best-of-breed system, where you’re using four or five different companies, and you’ve bolted them onto each other, unbolting that can be scary. You want to make sure, if you’re going to make a change, that you’re making a change for the next 10 years. These are big important decisions, you want to make sure you’re investing in something that’s future-proof versus staying with something that’s maybe a little bit more familiar.”
When you’re thinking about which LOS to choose, Langner suggests looking at the software from three perspectives: the consumer’s perspective and the buyer’s journey; the loan officer’s perspective and the seller’s journey; and the production perspective and ways to automate and streamline the process to get the loan through the pipeline as fast as possible.
Langner says that you need to think about ways the LOS can improve your customer engagement, not just from filling out an application, but how much they can qualify for, what it will cost them, all within a few clicks. If you can help your customer start the engagement process earlier, then they’re more likely to continue that process.
With Blue Sage Solutions and other newer LOSs, a consumer can answer a few questions, find out their approximate loan amount and fees, and once they click a button all that they’ve already entered gets automatically populated in the application. There’s also process automation, where the system will then reorder their credit report, recalculate the fees, reprice the loan, run a compliance screen, send the loan for approval, produce the disclosures, and then send communication to the various parties involved, and send a communication to the consumer, welcoming them to a personal portal where they can log in, upload documents, and electronically sign those disclosures.
“Loan officers are real excited about that because it gets the consumer to make more of a commitment earlier in the process. And what’s nice about our Blue Sage system is that all that data is now in the loan officer’s view, so when they log in and look at that particular consumer’s loan, the credit report is there, the findings from Fannie is there, the compliance report is there, all the things that they would normally talk to the consumer about and gather and order, all that stuff is done for them,” Langner said. “So now they’re shifting from being a data gatherer to a consultant . . . so they’re going back to where they really want to be, which is being a great advocate for the consumer.”
Although originators aren’t generally as concerned with the back office work – that of processers and underwriters – everyone wants to get loans closed quickly, get paid faster, and deal with less anxiety. These modern systems automatically trigger ordering events, building workflow so the users know what to do and what order, and have built-in checks and balances where you can’t go to the next step two unless the previous step has been completed.
“For those companies that are thinking about the consumer journey, I think they’re just going to continue to have an edge. Really merging the combination of what the software and what the web can bring to the process, in addition to what your expertise can bring, marrying those bricks and clicks together is also a secret to success in originating more volume.”
Langner says tools with remote capabilities have been widely well-received, those that allow customers to engage with a professional – in a call center or in your office – as they’re filling out an application. Not only chat features, but screen sharing, video chats, any kind of engagement in a virtual environment. Consumer expectations are much higher today than they were when these systems first emerged, and borrowers want to be able to engage with someone the moment they have a question or an issue. And
“Time kills all sales, and if I can’t engage with my consumer immediately, they’re really one click away from my competitor.”
Digital transformation elevates the lending process
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