2023 to be Acra Lending's technologically transformative year

Time for tech talk is over, 2023 is Acra's year of action

2023 to be Acra Lending's technologically transformative year

Acra Lending’s technological time has come.

“2023 is going to be a transformative year for Acra Lending,” said Gregory Meola (pictured), managing director, Acra Lending. “We have been working very hard to get a lot of great enhancements to our technologies and our process efficiencies, which we are going to be rolling out throughout the year.  By the end of this year, we are expecting a major separation from the competition.”

In particular, this will change the way Acra processes loans and will help expand guidelines and product offerings.

“We are in an environment that is highly dependent on adoption of technology, and Acra does not want to be a company that does not adapt to technology,” said Meola. “As we go through the year, we want to define ourselves as not only an adopter but an innovator at the same time.”

“If a client could step into a time machine, and transport to December 2023,” he said, “they would see the enhanced ease of use and customer experience.”

As a whole, “the mortgage industry is a little bit behind,” noted Meola. By bringing in “some solid technology, it will really enhance the customer experience. Acra Lending customers are going to have an experience like no other non-QM organization, and we are hoping our experience is best-in-class”

Technology that listens

The new technological experience will be more adaptive to customers and their needs.

Once on the website, “you are able to interact with us,” and, in the loan process, “you are going to be able to have a lot more technological features to help you say, ‘Do I really have a loan that should be submitted?’ And that will help set expectations on top of that, right?’”

The technology will provide transparency to the borrower letting them know if a loan is likely to be considered a more difficult loan that may take a little bit longer due to certain types of conditions. Another loan application, with different scenarios, will get a different response: “I think we are going to be able to shoot this thing right down the conveyor belt to success.”

In the “current environment,” there is a lot of “back and forth” he said, “with everyone doing their due diligence – and that comes with a significant time investment. This technology can certainly move the ball forward, and faster.”

Rolling out

He expects for this transformation to become very evident in the latter part of the second quarter of this year.

“We will have some things incrementally releasing before that time,” he said. He also anticipates “sprint releases on a bi-weekly basis.”

Once the process is over, he said he wants the competition to stop and stare – and wonder how they can catch up. Admittedly, “I’m competitive by nature.”

The decision to make this change has been in the making for some time.

“Last year we really focused on designing this,” he said. “As far as off-the-shelf technology, there is no such thing as a silver bullet, right? So, we needed to figure out how we were going to get together and match off-the-shelf technology and then couple it with technology that does not exist and then partner with major mortgage technology firms to develop that solution for us that will eventually become proprietary to Acra.”

Acra also spent time on focus groups with employees and customers in the process, asking questions like “What’s your pain point in getting (an application) submitted to us? What’s your pain point in getting the conditions?” These groups helped generate “a really good understanding of where our customers and partners work so we could help figure out whether it will be off-the-shelf technology or something we are going to develop.”

The process has not been without its tediousness, “because we do not want to cut corners,” he said, but “we want this to be great. We want to end up with a great, best-in-class experience.”

Smiling, Meola said he was “excited about what our customers and partners are going to see as far as customer service and best in class service with everybody. By the end of the year, I want people to hang on to that and feel that excitement with us. But we also want to be a leader in the private lending space. We have great support for this huge initiative through our vendor relationships, our CEO, Keith Lind, and the board members. This is not something that is being taken lightly. Something pretty cool is happening here.”