Interest rates and COVID-19: 5 tips to optimize refi volume and improve productivity

Interest rates and COVID-19: 5 tips to optimize refi volume and improve productivity


In the midst of the current crisis, it is more important than ever to consider how banks can support their loan officers and their customers. Enabling loan officers to be more efficient is an important step toward stability in these uncertain times.

With interest rates at all-time lows, the demand for refinancing is incredibly high. In the past several weeks, refinance applications rose 79% and were 479% higher than a year ago, causing lenders to scramble to process as many incoming requests as possible. To do this, lenders need to ensure their team and systems are able to keep up. 

A conscientious response to COVID-19 has placed many lending teams in completely remote working environments, making the customary manual or semi-automated way of processing a loan application even more challenging. This could be the new normal for many organizations. Lenders should think not only about how to support remote work in the short term, but also look for partnerships and technology solutions that will continue to support their new way of doing business for the long term. 

Sudden and dramatic shifts in demand have strained the operations of many lenders to a breaking point. These spikes place enormous stress on the entire origination process, exposing bottlenecks that slow the rate of closed loans. Implementing responsive digital solutions that exceed customer expectations and keep up with heavy demand will ease this tension.

For years, lenders have adopted strategies to leverage data, automation and digitally enhanced experiences; now these new systems are being put to the ultimate test. It is becoming apparent that the market has not fully realized the productivity changes promised, but there are a few steps lenders can take to drive process enhancements. 

Here are a few considerations lenders can take to improve their efficiency and support their customers through these uncertain times:

Tips to Optimize Productivity and Manage Volume

1. Choose digital solutions your team will actually use

Loan officers will use solutions that save them time, help them manage volume and ultimately put more money in their pockets. They are much less likely to use systems that give them one more login to remember and one more place to enter data. To drive adoption, lenders need to ensure their teams understand the value of the digital tools they have selected. Digital transaction management is a necessity in a remote working environment. As a result, we’re seeing more of our clients making the use of our system mandatory for all new loans. 

2. Empower borrowers to drive their own experience

In the current crisis, consumers have been compelled to live on entirely new schedules, and they’re dealing with unprecedented challenges. By enabling borrowers to drive their own digital experience, lenders can offer greater flexibility to their customers while also taking work off the plates of loan officers and opening up lending bandwidth. 

3. Promote business continuity with tools that work anywhere

Lenders should ensure their loan officers have optimized remote-work solutions. Banks are doing their part to keep as many of their employees safe at home; however, these measures can be a risk to productivity if the right technology is not in place. Leveraging cloud-based digital lending solutions that prioritize responsive experiences can help mitigate that risk and keep operations running smoothly.

4. Implement solutions that simplify and streamline the loan officer workflow

In many organizations, loan officers are stuck bouncing between an alphabet soup of tools (LOS, PPE, CRM, etc.) that require re-keying of information, potentially causing errors and further delays. This difficulty becomes exacerbated in a remote work situation when every tool may not be fully available outside of the office. Implementing a highly integrated solution reduces these risks, eliminates potential distractions and increases productivity.

5. Reduce stress for loan officers

Loan officers, like many of us,  are overwhelmed right now. The right digital solution can help them to feel less stressed in this current situation. A thoughtful DLP implementation shows them where each customer interaction stands, so they don't forget anything in the rush.

Lenders need technology partners that solve real-world problems through integrated solutions that effortlessly manage fluctuating volume and adapt to changing market conditions. The  Roostify digital lending platform was developed to help lenders, like you, meet these challenges. Request a free demo today.


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