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How Digital Mortgage Technology Enables Humans in Loan Origination

Podcast Dec 05, 2022

Stavvy Team

Graphic for Finside Chats episode

Consumers want their mortgage requests to be processed faster. And rightfully so; everything else in their life moves at the speed of a click. 

Homeowners want the same digital experience they get while ordering a ride on Uber or shopping on Amazon during the mortgage loan origination process. 

Similarly, lenders do, too, even if they don’t know it yet. 

Today’s top lenders are looking to digital mortgage technology to help them close more loans in less time with secure, paperless, and real-time collaboration. 

Justin Perry, Senior Loan Officer at Loan Depot, says the future is about finding the perfect blend of digital mortgage technology and human expertise to keep mortgage-based organizations and the loan origination process at the cutting edge. 

“When buyers come to get a mortgage, they want a digital experience. There will always be a touch of human interaction and expertise that’s needed, but they want to be able to do things on their time. We have to be able to deliver that efficiency through digital loan origination tools because there will come a day when someone figures out how to push a button to get a mortgage, and it won’t be as far-fetched or risky as we may think.”
- Justin Perry, Senior Loan Officer, Loan Depot

Justin joined Jeremy Potter on Stavvy’s Finside Chats® podcast to discuss his experience in loan origination, what buyers are asking for in the changing real estate market, and why technology will be the answer to meet demand.

On this episode of Finside Chats®, you’ll learn about: 

  • How consumer demand for ‘digital’ is shaping the loan origination process
  • How digital loan origination is changing the relationship with referral sources and real estate agent partners
  • The obstacles that remain for a fully digital loan origination process 
  • How to reimagine the real estate closing experience using digital tools

Listen now: How Digital Mortgage Technology Enables Humans in Loan Origination


Digital loan origination systems require a human touch

COVID-19 restrictions expedited a digital shift for lenders. 

However, with rising adoption, speculation around technology replacing human jobs swirled in the industry. Contrary to popular belief, moving to digital loan origination doesn’t replace the need for human interaction or expertise. Instead, it shines a light on how irreplaceable humans are to the process. 

Technology solutions can cut down on ​​paper-based, manual loan origination processes. However, it can’t validate your decision-making, make knowledge-based recommendations, or hold your hand through the process in the way a Mortgage Loan Originator can.

“Technology is merely a tool. While the technology works for us and is convenient for most buyers, some haven't fully adopted it yet,” Justin said. 

“I tell my buyers to call, text, email, or stop by anytime to see their status in the loan origination system. Otherwise, they’ll get milestone notifications that things are moving along seamlessly. The data is there for them to check in on, which they appreciate, but I’m there for them every step of the way to break it all down.”

How loan origination platforms have changed real estate relationships

Digital loan origination platforms have loan originators and real estate partners efficiently servicing more clients. Realtors now work in bigger teams, so the technology makes it easy to loop in everyone involved in a transaction, including the buyer’s agent, the seller’s agent, and agent assistants on either side. 

Justin gives the example of ‘Sally the Realtor,’ a fictional real estate agent created for storytelling. 

“Sally Realty used to call her loan officer twice a week and check in on the status of her deals. But with technology, as soon as there's a relevant update, it will be pushed to her instantaneously. Sally can go out and get more business instead of following up with the mundane stuff she normally would have to do,” said Justin. 

With digital loan origination platforms, everyone involved in the mortgage application gets the answers they need when they need them. This removes the manual burden of tracking information and status updates, letting busy mortgage professionals get back to building their businesses, processing loan applications, and servicing more clients.

Digital loan origination process obstacles

The mortgage industry works in silos instead of as one cohesive ecosystem. Every stakeholder has their process, preference, platform, or product to complete a specific portion of the loan origination process. 

Real estate agents work separately from those managing the title policy, appraisal, and mortgage origination workflows. (Remember our friend Sally?) 

With no visibility into the various digital mortgage software being used today, technology and the mortgage industry still have work to do to eliminate communication silos and foster true collaboration under one digital roof. 

Justin and Jeremy agree there is a better way of bringing together not just the consumers’ credit files from different sources but all mortgage service providers so they can ‘talk’ to each other in real-time on one platform. That’s where the real opportunity for sustainable change lies.

Fewer mortgages means more time for digital mortgage technology adoption

With mortgage market volume down, Jeremy and Justin believe it’s the ideal time for innovative mortgage technology adoption across the industry. 

“It’s a huge opportunity to introduce new technology to executives and operational folks, who now have more time to unlock new insights and put together the workflows and digital-first strategies they actually want,” said Jeremy Potter, VP of Product Strategy.  

“A lot of those point of sale opportunities and the digital application platforms that are out there gave new insights that obtaining rent, payment, and cash flow information could be done in new ways. While we still have a ways to go on the innovation side of capturing that to its fullest extent, the process has begun.”

Reimagining the digital loan origination and real estate closing experience

Necessity is the mother of invention, and COVID-19 certainly jumpstarted the need to digitize the real estate and mortgage closing process. 

Mortgage eClosings benefit title agents, real estate attorneys, lenders, and homeowners. And mortgage professionals that choose to leverage an eClosing solution or digital platform are at a significant advantage—they can deliver a desirable service offering and provide a better customer experience at scale. 

Whether it’s eClosings with electronic signatures, remote online notarization, eNote, or all three, digitizing the real estate closing process is an invaluable way to wow homeowners, decrease operational costs, and rid yourself of the headaches of manual, paper-based closings. It also aids in dismantling the communication, and collaboration silos felt throughout the mortgage industry. 

“Whether I'm in person or on Zoom with a homeowner, it doesn't make me a better title agent or make me a better lawyer,” said Jeremy. “Regardless of the communication medium, my job is to deliver value and human expertise to my customer. Now is the time to rethink your closing experience and eClosing strategy to ensure your services are memorable and scalable.”

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