9 Integrations That Support Seamless Self-service Mortgage Experiences
Authored by: Wyatt Licht, Platform Partnerships Manager @ Roostify
For some time now, the mortgage industry has been growing increasingly more digital, with robust consumer self-service options available from traditional and challenger banks. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, more consumers opt to shop online rather than visit their local lender in person, leading to competition for every consumer across the country.
Digital lending platforms (DLPs) enable consumers and loan officers to collaborate throughout the lending process within a branded environment. With the right integrations, DLPs become even more powerful, allowing consumers to move their loan applications forward on their own - whenever and wherever they want. When assessing a DLP, lenders don’t just need to look for the solution that attempts to do everything, but rather a solution that securely integrates with industry-leading services.
Look for these nine integrations when choosing a DLP provider:
1. Loan origination systems (LOS)
From application to closing, loans generate a lot of data. DLPs that integrate with the LOS can automatically export that data without forcing the loan officer to re-key data repeatedly throughout the loan process. Without an integration, consumers would provide their data upfront in the DLP, and loan officers would need to re-enter the same data into their system-of-record (LOS). A strong bi-directional integration reduces the risk of costly errors while also delivering a much more robust customer experience on the front end. Integration with the LOS also enables your processing, underwriting, and closing staff to benefit from the DLP’s added efficiency because they have immediate access to data as it flows in through the collaboration of the loan officer and consumer. By saving time for loan officers, this integration lets them focus on sales and customer service so that consumers can receive dedicated care at every step.
2. Customer relationship management (CRM)
Integration with CRMs (like Salesforce or other mortgage-specific tools) allows loan officers to effortlessly navigate the transition from nurturing leads to guiding consumers through the application process. CRMs help loan officers manage campaigns and otherwise engage their prospect. When those prospects are ready to begin their home buying journey, it is essential they feel they are doing business with someone they already know and trust. Leveraging data from the CRM to pre-fill their loan application not only makes their first step more frictionless, but it also reinforces their existing relationship with the lender. For loan officers, the ability to pre-fill an application minimizes the risk of overwhelming the consumer and keeps them engaged in the application.
3. Product pricing and eligibility (PPE)
In today’s world, one of the first things that prospective consumers do in their lending journey is to go online and start shopping for rates. A sophisticated PPE integration uses preconfigured options to create a branded rate shopping experience directly on a lender’s site, even before the application begins. Ensuring a smooth handoff between rate shopping and application intake can mean a much healthier pipeline. DLPs that integrate with PPE systems like OptimalBlue and Mortech support loan officers in accessing product and pricing comparison interfaces throughout the application process from any device, at any time of day. Loan officers who can quickly understand what products their consumers may qualify for - without manually rekeying information in the pricing engine - are better able to act as trusted consultants. And when the time is right, a rate lock can be executed directly from the DLP. Ultimately, this helps consumers get the information they need faster to select a product, get pre-approved, and make an offer on their dream home.
4. Verification (V*)
Most consumers will agree that assembling the required stack of documents needed for mortgage loan approval is one of the more arduous - and mundane - aspects of the lending process. Not only that, many of these steps feel repetitive since they have just stated much of this information in the application (not to mention that you as a lender, have been kind enough to pre-fill much of the data for them, right?). By giving consumers the option to avoid entering data themselves and connect directly to trusted sources, like banks, credit agencies, and employment/income verification services, lenders can curate a more enjoyable, efficient, and secure process. Because of rep and warrant relief programs through the GSEs, you will also have increased confidence that your loans are ready for the secondary market.
5. Credit services
Consumer credit information is an essential ingredient in understanding a consumer’s ability to pay, and a required input for most product and eligibility decisions. With credit services integrated into a DLP, consumers have the option to trigger credit pulls themselves and, ultimately, perform an automated pre-approval. This visibility into a consumer’s credit history gives loan officers another opportunity to act as expert advisors, counseling under-qualified consumers as to how they may improve their chances of closing.
6. Automated underwriting systems (AUS)
At a certain point in the lending process, consumers are left waiting to hear if their applications have been accepted. Automated underwriting technology speeds this up with computer-driven risk evaluation and rules-based decisioning. This significantly reduces time-to-certainty. Because the AUS - more or less - has the final say on whether or not a loan will fund, the earlier you can get the algorithm’s “opinion” on a loan file’s likelihood of being approved, the better. Direct integration with GSEs allows for a fast selection of the best-suited products, which shortens timelines and will enable loans to close more quickly.
7. Homeowners insurance (HOI)
Many eager home buyers forget that securing a homeowner’s insurance policy is essential to closing their loan, but the search for the right policy can take days. If this crucial step starts too late, consumers could end up with an ill-suited policy that affects their overall debt-to-income ratio. Even worse, they could face a disastrous delay that results in losing their dream home. New digital insurance brokers can cut the HOI policy shopping process down to 15 minutes or less and guarantee that the consumer is getting the best rate for their circumstances. Incorporating this task into the rest of the post-application fulfillment process creates an intuitive step, rather than another chore.
It’s no secret that buying a home comes with a lot of paperwork. At one time, this meant regular trips to the bank or lender’s office, lots of post-it flags, and possible hand cramps. Not only was this an inconvenience to the consumer, but it potentially created inefficient delays to funding whenever a signature was required. With eSignature capabilities integrated into the digital lending platform, signing a loan estimate, handling disclosures, and even closing the loan (more on this soon) become simple steps that can be completed from the comfort and safety of home. Furthermore, digital signings reduce the risk that one signature in a lengthy document may be overlooked, or that a document might be tampered with. Compliance teams will also appreciate having a secure, time-stamped audit log tracking when each document was received and each signature executed.
Even though the option for an end-to-end digital mortgage has existed for years, the complicated network of stakeholders and patchwork of local regulation kept adoption incremental at best. The advent of COVID-19 and resulting legislation allowing digital closings have opened the eClose floodgates. A meeting that once required everyone - from a settlement agent to a notary - to appear on-site can now be conducted wholly or partially remotely in many cases. It becomes significantly easier to schedule a closing appointment when these parties can be called upon from a broader geographic area. Loan officers can attend far more closings in a single day. Documents are secure and tamper-free. Most importantly, the consumer gets the keys to their new home that much faster.
Self-service options will be increasingly important, especially as lenders determine how best to do business in a post-COVID-19 world. DLPs enable loan officers to jump in at any time to assist self-service consumers who need extra help. To learn more about choosing the best DLP for your organization, reach out to schedule a demo today.