8 Ways to Accelerate the Digital Mortgage Process
The digital mortgage process can be an exhausting experience for buyers, especially first-timers. In fact, 75% of new home buyers reported feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of paperwork required in the lending process. And they weren’t alone—63% of general (not first-time) buyers expressed similar sentiments.
As a lender, you want to make sure your clients feel comfortable and supported throughout every step of the process. One of the best ways to do this is by cutting down the time taken to close on a loan. Doing so puts buyers at ease and prevents them from being swayed by competing lending firms.
Let’s take a look at eight ways to accelerate the digital mortgage process.
1. Automated Document Management
Bottlenecks are a reality in the digital mortgage process. Most bottlenecks form because of delays in document processing due to painstaking manual operations, human errors, or unforeseen occurrences.
Automating your documentation verification processes can help reduce or prevent such errors before they occur, or address them immediately when they do. In doing so, you can minimize time spent on the approval process overall.
Document automation is constantly evolving—allowing for verification and comparisons of increasingly complex documents without human intervention. Solutions like Roostify Beyond make it easy to save time and other resources by reducing human error and optimizing monotonous manual tasks. They also ensure that the proper documentation is submitted, and that all data fields satisfy the necessary requirements.
Document intelligence streamlines the digital mortgage process and reduces the overall closing time—music to any borrower’s ears.
2. Automated Verification Process
For many organizations, verifying mortgage documents is manual, slow, costly, and fragile, even to this day.
The sheer volume of documentation lenders must sort through is bad enough, but legacy technology (including extensive copy-pasting and re-keying) can leave room for an abundance of errors and compliance issues. This can hold up the process unduly, and even risk driving your anxious customers to competitors promising a shorter, quicker close.
To combat this, consider implementing integrated automated verification processes. These can remove the need for mindless manual work and can improve both speed and accuracy.
Roostify partners with a few VOA/VOI/VOE providers to enable borrowers to securely connect their financial accounts and employment records to prefill their mortgage and home equity loan applications. This allows them to select the assets and records they want to include in their loan application, which are then aggregated into reports for lenders to assess.
This makes the digital mortgage process simpler, quicker, and easier for both borrowers and lenders alike.
3. Breaking Down the Process
We all know that there are a lot of steps in the digital mortgage process. Depending on where you look and who you talk to, these parts are broken down a bit differently, which can be exasperating for potential homebuyers.
So, how can you make this easier on your clients? For starters, consider dividing up the digital mortgage process into smaller, more manageable steps and clarify all relevant documentation buyers need to produce as soon as possible. That way, borrowers will be able to more clearly see their path forward and you can help guide them along their way.
For example, you can advise borrowers early on to look into homeowner’s insurance, since getting ahead of this crucial step can save them time. If you want to take it a step further, you can integrate homeowners insurance shopping into the digital mortgage process. That’s why we partnered with Covered Insurance—so borrowers would have the ability to explore leading insurance companies and connect with homeowners insurance agents without ever leaving their loan application.
By prepping your clients, you build their trust in you while reducing their anxiety. It also streamlines the process and minimizes the chance for miscommunications to spring up and complicate things. Everyone enjoys a smoother, faster loan approval process.
4. Embrace Digitization
Baseline digitalization (e.g., implementing a POS or digital lending platform) is no longer enough.
It’s analogous to filling out a job application online. In 2003, this was a time-saver over paper applications that you had to deliver in person. However, there were also additional steps over an in-person application (e.g., you needed to create a username and password). True digitization is your software automatically filling out the job application for the applicant by pulling their information off of LinkedIn and uploaded documents.
The same is true with the digital mortgage process. To set yourself apart, you need real innovation, like document intelligence that can eliminate manual processes (like the “stare and compare”). Expectations have grown, and lenders need to innovate their entire digital mortgage process to stand out in such a competitive market. Automate what you can, creating more opportunity for data-validated decisions.
We’re moving towards a frictionless lending experience, one that is highly personalized and automated. Speed and simplicity should be your guiding principles for digitization in 2022.
5. Incorporate Self-Sufficiency
Digital platforms allow lenders to provide a more personalized, modern experience for their users while streamlining the digital mortgage process. Done correctly, a well-built digital interface can help borrowers handle all aspects of their mortgage application process. That includes everything from accessing information about their loans to making accurate payments, communicating seamlessly with their lenders to managing documentation with ease.
By allowing customers to handle parts of their mortgage application process themselves, they are free to go at their own pace without the constant need for their loan officers. This saves time for both parties. Loan officers can rest assured that their clients are taken care of. Borrowers can manage their application without twisting their schedules around to meet one-on-one with a loan officer.
6. Letting Loan Officers Help Out
It’s not enough to simply have an accessible digital lending platform. It needs to be flexible enough that both borrowers and loan officers can go in and interact with or edit an application at any time.
The reality is, every borrower is facing different circumstances. While some borrowers want to complete the entire application on their own, others won’t. Some may want to meet with their loan officer and fill it out together. Some will want to handle it piecemeal, doing parts themselves and leaning on their loan officer to handle the rest.
Whatever the case, lenders need to be able to provide a platform versatile enough to accommodate all types of borrowers. The more accommodating lenders are, the more successful you will be.
It’s not just about appealing to all types of borrowers—it’s also a matter of pragmatism. Sometimes, borrowers get stuck somewhere along the digital mortgage process. Suppose a borrower is referred to your office by a realtor, and you send them a link to your digital lending platform. The borrower completes most of the application, but doesn’t know what to do next.
A flexible platform allows the loan officer to go in and complete tasks on behalf of the borrower, saving time, energy, and frustration.
7. Communication Is Key
No one likes being left out of the loop. The digital mortgage process involves long, drawn-out situations with minimal communication, which can make customers feel ignored or unimportant. That said, there is such a thing as too much communication, which can leave your customers feeling stifled or pressured.
So, what can you do? The key is understanding how much communication to have with your borrowers, and when. Find that sweet spot, depending on what your clients prefer and are comfortable with. That way, you avoid overwhelming them while also adequately addressing concerns and keeping them informed as the process goes on.
Much of this communication can now be both automated and personalized. By configuring your lending process to understand specific lender personas and needs, you can create highly personalized funnels for every group, getting as nuanced as you see fit. Then, you can set them into motion with smart automation.
This can help solve and avoid problems going forward, and lead to a swifter and more pleasant closing experience.
8. Integrate Pre-Qualified/Pre-Approval Checks Into Your Process
Ensuring your borrowers are pre-qualified or pre-approved early on can significantly expedite the home-buying process. But, why?
Pre-qualification can help determine how much borrowers can spend on a home, while pre–approval verifies documentation to approve a specific loan, making them more competitive buyers in an already aggressive market. Borrowers don’t want to jump through hoops to do either of these things. Instead, it should be readily available and automated for them.
By providing a platform that grants your borrower a faster, smoother path forward into getting a loan, you improve your borrowers’ chances of closing a home. Borrowers will remember how seamless you made the process, which will increase your odds of retaining your clients and having them become brand advocates.
Looking To Accelerate Your Digital Mortgage Process?
Smarter technology and better processes are helping all kinds of lenders improve their operations. Roostify leads the pack of third-party providers—offering dynamic, powerful lending solutions that are fast to get up and running and simple to customize.
If you want to know more, schedule a call with one of our representatives. We look forward to hearing from you!