Understanding the use of technology to improve loan efficiency

by Kasi Johnston10 Mar 2020

Traditionally, mortgage brokers have been known to be slow to adopt technology that will inevitably help manage business. While most successful originators have always been good at connecting with new clients and closing new loans, retention and referrals have always been a bit trickier.

The solution is simple, according to Justin Glass, senior vice president and chief digital officer at United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM): embrace technology and allow the tools that are available today to help take away the tedious work.

“A broker has the important role of coaching a borrower through the biggest purchase of their life. This doesn’t mean they have to send every email, text or social media post on their own,” said Glass.

The importance of technology in today’s mortgage landscape is not a new concept and it’s the advice that many brokers wish they had come around to earlier. Still, 1 in 4 lenders don’t offer the basic technology to allow borrowers to pay fees online, according to Stratmor.

An important thing to consider when partnering with a lender, according to Glass, is that technology is allowing loan officers to streamline their business and back office efficiencies, freeing up a lot of their time and creating more opportunities for new and return business. With cost being one of the biggest barriers to tech adoption, lenders that offer technology and tools at no cost can be a huge added value. Glass suggests creating a list of every technology and tool currently being used in the company along with the processes, then add to that list what is working well and what needs to be improved. From there, deciding how to prioritize technology investments are a bit easier and brokers can work toward improving inefficiencies.

“The number of tech providers is also something to keep an eye on because if you have too many, it’s difficult to become an expert in all and really benefit fully,” he said, adding that 3 or 4 providers is a good place to be.

Justin Glass is responsible for implementing new technology at UWM to help create an unparalleled client experience. As a chief digital officer, he bridges the gap between technology and business to help create new opportunities for not just UWM’s growth, but for broker partners as well. He is slated to speak at the 2020 Power Originator Summit later this month on using technology to gain loan efficiency. UWM offers a library of diverse, industry-leading tech tools that are free to those within their network.

One of these tools is Brand360, an all-encompassing marketing tool that gives brokers access to content developed specifically for social media campaigns, along with in-depth guided tutorials throughout the process. It allows for “set it and forget it” marketing, where brokers can schedule up to 30 days of content to be distributed across all the channels, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“You don’t have to be a social media expert to excel at social media marketing. Technology exists now to take care of it,” said Glass. Building a brand and recognizability is a key step in attracting new clients and building trust and loyalty within a local community. Using technology like Blink 360 can help develop reputation and online status in a local marketplace in an efficient way.

Brand 360 is also integrated with Blink, which is UWM’s point-of-sale (POS) system and Ease, which is the network’s main transactional system. These tools work seamlessly together to improve the entire loan process for both the broker and the borrower. It also maximizes what the borrower can do within the same system.

Once the loan closes, the borrower is automatically sent back into Brand 360 for what Glass calls the most under-utilized tool by brokers. “Post-close marketing is extremely important. Nurturing the people that you’ve just worked with will help gain referrals and return customers,” he said.

The system also keeps the loan officer up to date on past clients, including whether credit was pulled by another lender, loan anniversaries, birthdays or interest rate reductions.

Brokers that embrace technology and understand the potential return on their investment are going to pull ahead of their competition, said Glass.

“The brokers with the positive and forward-thinking mind-set are the ones that stand out. The ones who continue to do business manually at this stage are going to become the outliers over the next year or two and risk being pushed out of business.”

For more on how to retain business and stay competitive in today’s mortgage environment, register for the 2020 Power Originator Summit in Anaheim on March 26 for the session: Technology Hacks to Gain Loan Efficiency, hosted by title sponsor UWM.