Lessons the Mortgage Industry Finally Learned in 2020

Thought Leadership with Andria Lightfoot

One year ago, I was headed to dinner with my family when we got the news that the entire state was on lockdown and restaurants were shuttering doors temporarily.  I spent two weeks at work tirelessly attempting to keep up with capital market volatility and credit risk tightening for loans midflight in Ops – with forbearance guidelines sometimes changing within hours on the same day. This was the start of the global COVID pandemic.

When the deep dive of interest rates hit in early spring, a tsunami of Refi loan volume created its own unique opportunities for the industry to navigate record high volume. During this time, many of us worked remotely, experienced resource shortages, and demanded long hours of our employees  to keep up with supply and demand. 

Yet, mortgage lenders and banks didn’t just survive, we thrived! And today, I am encouraged to look back and see that there are lessons the mortgage industry has finally learned! 

  1. Surprise – The sales team is incredibly agile and flexible. 

Remember when you thought the Loan Officer couldn’t “learn new tech” or that adding a new automation tool would be “too disruptive to sales?” Well, I think the record volume while under lockdown and working at home proves that even old dogs can learn new tricks. We all watched in awe as LOs led the charge to adopt new mobile app vendors, CRM automation, and embrace the power of the Point of Sale (POS) application! 

  1. For a digital solution to work – it must be end-to-end (eClosing…we are looking at you).

Never again will I hear a lender say, “eClosing isn’t a priority right now.” Remember when you had Closers who daily scoured county courthouse listings to determine who was open for settlements and who could participate in Remote Online Notarization (RON)? Hybrid works. Capital Market Aggregators accept eNotes via the eVault. We no longer have to make the customer jump from system to system to get their deal done. Finally, a digital solution that captures your customer from prequal through to closing. 

  1. Post-Closing execution is as important to revenue as origination volume.

Ops has been shouting it from the rooftops for years – shipping and suspense management for loan sales/delivery is more than just an operational efficiency. How many lenders scrambled to deliver high loan volume on hair trigger responses to the market? Save yourself the sleepless nights and upgrade to a post-closing delivery system that integrates to your eClosing platform. Embrace OCR and quality control checks baked into the eSigning process for settlement. Never again will we hear that the Post-closing is standing at a copier scanning; it is a revenue delivery system that needs to come out of the dark ages.

When you know better you do better. Good job mortgage industry!

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