How Embracing Digital Transformation Gives Lenders a Competitive Edge

More and more borrowers are looking for a quick and efficient mortgage process that involves less paper. We recently spoke to Amanda Hill, Head of Mortgage Solutions at Reggora, about concrete steps lenders can take to overcome barriers to automation.

HousingWire: How do the sentiments of today’s average borrower reinforce the need for lenders to be more competitive?

Amanda Hill: Once average borrowers realized they could work remotely to get a different or more rewarding work experience AND that physical presence in the office was no longer required, the search for the next home (likely with more space for a home office!) or the expansion of the current nest has begun.

In April 2021, Forbes noted that “remote work is here to stay” and where people choose to live will continue to change. The need for a mortgage from a lender that offers an incredible experience to facilitate this is essential, but borrowers know what they want! The pandemic and the resulting demand for spacious homes and refinances have highlighted the difficulties of the mortgage process. Borrowers quickly made it clear that they expected a faster process with less paper. Lenders must be prepared to evolve (pardon the pun!) with these changes to stay competitive.

Millennials and Gen Z borrowers who use their mobile phones and tablets for almost everything expect an efficient and fast process to get their loans. They are quickly becoming a key segment for lenders to consider. Emphasize “speed” if you want to compete in this environment. However, young borrowers aren’t the only ones wanting a more efficient approach… Borrowers at all stages of home ownership are looking for user-friendly online experiences that offer full visibility into the process. Modern technology is essential for lenders who want to stay competitive in this regard.

HW: What concrete steps can lenders take to gain that competitive edge?

Oh: Embracing technology and automation to provide borrowers with a simple, user-friendly and efficient experience gives any lender a significant advantage in today’s competitive arena. Online portals for every step of the process – applications, document uploads and e-signature, and meaningful status updates – are crucial.

At the same time, don’t neglect your “behind-the-scenes” operational use of technology. Many lenders have a strong presence in terms of online applications and document upload capabilities, but operational solutions have not been adopted as widely as POS functionality. Using automated solutions to make the process as efficient as possible will ensure that your operations team focuses on high-impact tasks instead of being bogged down by outdated spreadsheets. Additionally, modern tools can help eliminate manual errors and spot potential problems to reduce unnecessary costs.

HW: Looking at the impact of remote work on the industry, what are the key takeaways for lenders, and how does this play into what can set them apart?

Oh: I think many of us in our industry collectively held our breath when offices had to close at the start of the pandemic and remote work was the only way to continue to “business as usual” . How would this work, not only for borrowers, but also for our employees? While not without challenges, there have been many benefits to lending employees to work remotely.

As borrowers have adapted to the pandemic and set new expectations for a modern experience, mortgage lenders and their employees have also experienced a new paradigm. Two of the obvious benefits are access to a much larger talent pool for employers (with fewer limitations on physical location) and greater flexibility for employees.

Along the same lines, mortgage employees who were previously reluctant to embrace modern technology in the office now understand and appreciate its benefits and often appreciate the remote work experience. They are now open and ready to try new software, so it’s a fantastic time for lenders to upgrade their technology stack. Lenders now have a great opportunity to gain a competitive edge through technology, which further drives business through efficient borrower experiences and reduced processing times.

HW: How is Reggora enabling lenders to embrace digital transformation?

Oh: Reggora responds specifically to expertise needs with the most modern and efficient tools available. We drive innovation in an area that has historically been one of the most manual and time-consuming aspects for most lenders to manage.

Our platform is built for speed (along with shorter turnaround times) and quality. Features like automated order assignment, comprehensive quality control, automated status notifications, and streamlined payments all work together to free up time for lenders and appraisers. With Reggora, lenders can give their borrowers the modern experience they expect, like simple valuation scheduling, easy online payments, and greater visibility.

Implementing Reggora is easier than you think. Our consultants help our lender clients put in place the best processes to meet the unique needs of the lender AND their appraisal providers. And with our open API and integrations with major LOS and POS platforms, there’s no workflow we can’t support. Our goal is always to provide a clean and transparent deployment that helps lenders get results FAST.

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