New American Funding CEO Rick Arvielo has a reputation in the mortgage business as a technology pioneer – and he’s also a big proponent of the industry embracing the tech revolution.
MPA: One of the things New American Funding is known for is its technology – and one of the things that’s gotten a lot of attention is your GoGo LO app. Could you talk a little about that?
Rick Arvielo: The GoGo LO initiative started about three years ago. For our outside originators, we really wanted to give them the opportunity to be relevant and current in the field. The millennial buyers are the push-button generation – so we created GoGo LO in order to provide a platform that would allow our agents in the field to be able to give borrowers that real-time experience.
GoGo LO can do tons of things. It’s a CRM; it allows originators to run credit in the field right from their phone. They can literally be with a borrower and say, “Oh, you just got approved, here’s what we need,” as opposed to “Let me get back to the office.” We actually gave them the ability to pull up the final 1003 right on their phone and sign it with their finger. That ability to manage everything with their leads, their prospects and their loans gives them a real advantage.
A lot of people approach technology in siloes. Our approach is more holistic; it does all of that.
MPA: What aspect of technology do you think is most important for originators to get a handle on?
RA: For me, it’s all about big data. Everybody has heard the term, but I don’t think everybody really knows what it means and what it can offer. We’re providing products that allows loan officers to use that data in a practical way.
For instance, they can hit GoGo AI, which is “agent intelligence.” They can pull up a map, and on that map will be every real estate agent in the area, and the number of transactions they’ve done in the last six months. They can hit another button and it’ll drill down further – they can see pictures of the houses that those agents have sold. Then they can drill down even further and see every loan officer that worked on those transactions.
Every mortgage company out there has strengths and weaknesses, so if you know what mortgage companies they work for, you know what to go in with. It really gives loan officers a way to be very strategic, right in their pockets. It really blows people’s minds how we were able to bring these resources together in a way that makes it easy for people to use right away.
RA: When we started to court outside originators, we would tout our technologies, and they’d shrug it off. They were more concerned about how quick we could close a loan, or what our rates were. But all that’s changed, really within the last couple of years.
Let’s face it, the millennial wave want a different experience – and most companies aren’t prepared to deliver it. They don’t naturally embrace technology. What we try to do at New American Funding is extend as much value as we can from one system. We really work hard to make sure we can create value by automating things behind the scenes, so they can push one button and get a whole bunch of stuff from it.
The way I look at it, is if I can hook an agent with one thing that they get and love, it won’t be long before they start going into the other areas of the application and doing more and more. Old habits die hard. Agents are like, “Give me a pen and a paper 1003 and I’m fine.” And I’m thinking, “Yeah, but your borrowers aren’t.” … We live in such a social world today. If you do things to please the customer or change their experience, they’re more likely to talk about it in their social sphere.