How will digital mortgage transform customer engagement with brokers?

by Gerv Tacadena08 Dec 2017
There’s no denying that technology is changing the way how mortgage brokers deal with their clients. There are fears that brokers could lose their jobs to automation. But some firms see this as an opportunity to improve customer engagement, especially when they integrate the human touch with the speed of machines. That’s the case for mortgage software firm Ellie Mae, which recently acquires sales acceleration platform Velocify.

The tag-team brings together two innovative mortgage technologies to bolster the efforts of offering digital mortgage. In this exclusive interview, Velocify senior vice president for sales and account & business development head Josh Evans discusses how both firms’ integration bolsters their digital mortgage capabilities. He also shares his thoughts on the divide amongst borrowers when it comes to digital mortgage.

MPA: Following your team-up with Ellie Mae, what new developments are underway at Velocify?
Josh Evans:
I would say all of the focus is around digital mortgage and figuring out how to help our clients with what it means today. When we think of digital mortgage, we’re focused on acquisition. We see that technology is becoming more and more of a vital component of the purchase process. Every day lenders are realizing how critical the role of technology (is) in the purchase side.

MPA: Can you tell us about the findings your recent survey talking about the divide amongst borrowers over digital mortgage?
Evans:
Our study, I think, validates that everybody – regardless of age – in the mortgage buying process is using online tools and online researches in the process; it’s not just millennials. However, millennials are somewhat more demanding and they are the biggest segment coming into the market. Our survey was done to highlight the need to focus on the digital mortgage components that I was talking about earlier.

MPA: What’s your sales automation strategy moving forward?
Evans:
We see an opportunity to help lenders better engage consumers as we’ve moved into this purchase-centric market where absolutely every date has to be hit, every customer experience has to be great.  We know that there are some key gaps for a lot of lenders specifically around how they’re managing and distributing the leads that are coming in.

Ellie Mae does 1.3 million online applications a year.  So our definition of a digital mortgage is not an online application, rather, it is the entire consumer experience and how you leverage the data throughout that whole process to make it easier and more transparent for the consumer, faster and a lower origination cost for the lender, and ultimately better transparency throughout the whole process for other people that are very interested in this transaction.   

MPA: What other mortgage trends involving fintech and technology do you foresee in the next year?
Evans:
Our mission is focused on how we can help lenders actually get to the point of thought and not have to compete at the point of sale. We believe that the way for you to get to the point of thought is for you to have to do a much better job in understanding, analyzing, and leveraging the data you have as a lender.

A perfect example is the ability to look at all these data and say how many different campaigns this potential consumer could qualify for. Perhaps they qualify for a refinance even if the interest rate is slightly higher than what they have, but we could lower their payment because we could remove their mortgage insurance payment because now they are below the 80% loan-to-value threshold. But that might be just one campaign. 

From our perspective, we’re going to use machine learning and automation to create customized work flows for individual consumers. For instance, you’ve gone through the mortgage process several times, you don’t want to get a call every four days, what you want is a text message telling you the appraisal came in at the value that was in the purchase agreement, and then you want another text telling you this is your ­­closing date. 

In the end, it’s about leveraging automation to absolutely reduce the cost and time it takes lenders to originate loans, but do it in a way where it actually improves the high-touch experience for the consumer.


Related stories:
How tech solutions are changing the face of the industry
Ellie Mae completes acquisition of Velocify
 

COMMENTS

  • by NoSpinJustFacts | 12/20/2017 3:19:49 PM

    Mr. Evans has the right idea of consumer's desire for a convenient and useful technology participation in obtaining a home mortgage. As a customer of his product services, his team is not truly connecting with the consumer, more in the bureaucratic side of the business. Quick examples, Ellie Mae does not allow the consumer to see the documents they have uploaded- creating confusing for consumer if they have uploaded the required document or if another document they uploaded overrode a previously uploaded document. Nor do they have a consumer focused website that intuitively questions that walks the consumer through properly filling out the application.

    I wish them the best in building a team culture that is focused on serving the consumer versus a bureaucratic focused business.

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