The mortgage industry has faced many ups and downs in recent years. Since the start of the pandemic, home prices have surged by 43%.[i] This sudden spike in home values paved the way for a flood of refinancing requests, but this boom in business was only temporary.
As interest rates increase to tame record inflation, the current mortgage market is characterized by tough conditions, ranging from low volumes to limited inventories. As a result, many mortgage lenders are worried about their business prospects.
Embracing innovative technology is one of the most powerful steps lenders can take to boost business during these tough times. Below, we’ll outline five reasons to embrace new technology this year and highlight some worthwhile solutions.
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5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Mortgage Lending Tech Stack
Here are five reasons to consider updating your tech stack this year:
#1 New Home Buyers Have High-Tech Expectations
As of 2022, Millennials made up the largest percentage of new home buyers.[ii] Gen Z home buyers are not far behind. Since these Next Generation home buyers are growing in prominence, it’s prudent to tailor your mortgage lending services to their preferences.
As digital natives, Millennials and Gen Z borrowers expect a digitized lending process. Most of them start their home search online—after all, they do just about everything else online, from socializing to ordering food.
Thus, Next Gen borrowers are more likely to enjoy working with real estate and credit professionals who offer the following tech tools:
- Virtual home tours
- Website chat features
- Instant, online prequalification
- Online mortgage applications
- Zoom meetings
- Automated verification of income and employment
- Efficient e-closings
By providing these types of digital offerings, you can set yourself up to secure the business of this growing group of aspiring homeowners, both now and well into the future.
#2 Technology Can Improve Customer Experience
Young home buyers aren’t the only ones who appreciate quick, efficient service—most modern mortgage applicants do. Borrowers consistently claim that their top priorities are fast closing times and short application processing periods. A digital mortgage experience is more likely to meet these expectations. As a result, online mortgages have been rising in popularity. According to Fannie Mae, online mortgages increased anywhere from 7% to 12% between 2018 and 2021.
By digitizing your mortgage lending process, you can access your borrowers’ financial information faster and make better-informed decisions in record time, fulfilling their expectations. Technology can also make things easier for your borrowers, increasing their confidence in the lending process.
While the market is slow, it’s the perfect time to update your mortgage lending business with high-quality tech solutions. For instance, you may want to invest in tools that can automate prequalification, verification of income and employment (VOE), and undisclosed debt monitoring (UDM).
Here at Certified Credit, we have several tools to help you do just that:
- Cascade Prequal – Applicants in the early stages of their home search often want to find out if they qualify with various lenders online. What’s more, they expect an instant You can satisfy these expectations with the help of Cascade Prequal. This automated prequalification tool provides you with instant prequalification results so you can match applicants with the right loan options without affecting their credit. All you have to do is set your customized credit thresholds and let Cascade Prequal take care of the rest.
- Cascade VOE™ – Manual VOE can take up a lot of time. You may have to reach out to applicants’ employers, request additional documents, and juggle several vendor partner systems all at once. Cascade VOE can automate VOE, simplifying and speeding up things for everyone involved.To use Cascade VOE, you simply need to select your preferred vendor partners and arrange them in your desired order. After that, Cascade VOE uses a rules-based engine and multi-level cascade to reach out to each vendor partner until it returns a hit. Since Cascade VOE uses your customized vendor list every time, you can better control the costs of your VOE. What’s more, Cascade VOE can integrate with more affordable consumer permission applications, like Finicity.Thanks to its automation, Cascade VOE’s verifications are much faster and more cost-effective than manual VOE. You’ll be notified as soon as a borrower’s verification is complete. Best of all, Cascade VOE can integrate with your LOS and POS and use milestones to trigger VOE pulls, offering an additional layer of automation.
- Cascade UDM — Sometimes, borrowers take out undisclosed debt during the loan manufacturing process, which can push them out of your debt-to-income limits.
Manufacturing a loan, only to discover that your borrower no longer qualifies upon closing, can waste a lot of money and lead to frustrating fallouts. Cascade UDM can prevent this predicament.Like Cascade Alerts, Cascade UDM utilizes continuous credit monitoring to survey your borrowers’ credit reports for any relevant credit activity changes. If a borrower takes out an auto loan or opens a new credit card account during this time, you’ll be the first to know.
#3 Tech Innovations Can Boost Borrower Retention
As the demand for new mortgages dwindles and inflation persists, many mortgage lenders may be looking for ways to cut costs. One way to do so is to attract more repeat business from the borrowers you’ve already acquired.
Extracting repeat business from existing borrowers is five to 25 times more cost-effective than acquiring new customers. Cascade Alerts can help you boost your borrower retention by delivering you qualified leads on a silver platter. It does so by monitoring your current and past clients’ credit reports continuously.
Anytime a past client incurs a new mortgage-related inquiry and meets your current credit thresholds, you’ll be alerted within 24 hours. In turn, you can reach out to them early on in their loan search journey and do your best to win over their repeat business.
#4 Data-Driven Technology Drives Better Decision Making
In the 21st century, data is the new gold. The reason? It enhances decision-making, whether you’re in marketing, medicine, or the mortgage industry.
Here are some tech solutions that harness the power of data to help you elevate and expedite your decision-making:
- Fraud and risk mitigation tools – Due to the constant risk of mortgage fraud, you can’t afford to take applicants at their word. Instead, you must verify borrowers’ claims with third-party data.At Certified Credit, we make this process easy with our fraud and risk mitigation tools. These tools can verify applicants’ information against government databases and public records so you can confidently minimize your underwriting risk.For example, our Wire Transfer Fraud Report can help you determine if the location and account of a wire request are correct. This protection is especially important in 2022. That’s because wire fraud has been on the rise. From Q1 to Q2 of 2022, wire fraud spiked by 40%.[iii]
- Flood zone determination tools – Flood zones are frequently redrawn by FEMA. As a result, an applicant’s property that was considered low risk in the past may now be positioned in a flood zone.Our Flood Zone Determination tool can help you find out if a borrower’s property is located within a flood zone quickly and affordably using the most up-to-date data. It also provides flood zone status monitoring for existing borrowers.
- Credit score improvement tools – Sometimes, certain applicants may need to give their credit score a boost before they can qualify with you. By using our data-driven credit score improvement tools, you can help your applicants increase their scores.For example, Rapid Rescore allows you to recalculate applicants’ credit scores so they include newly-verified information from the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) in as little as 72 hours after changes have been implemented. In turn, your applicants can quickly dispel any discrepancies between their credit reports and credit scores. By using Rapid Rescore, you can help your borrowers qualify for their loans, close faster, and ensure an exceptional customer experience.Similarly, Wayfinder can generate customized credit score improvement plans for your applicants. By sharing these plans with them, you can put them on track to qualify for their desired terms in the future. Offering this type of support can also help you garner greater customer loyalty and generate a strong referral base.
#5 Certified Credit’s Tech Solutions Are Easy to Integrate
Innovative technologies can give your business the edge it needs to succeed in a tough market, but you may be wondering if they’ll be difficult to set up and integrate with your current systems.
At Certified Credit, we design our mortgage lending tools to integrate with your existing workflows with ease. Many of our solutions can connect with your preferred LOS via API. In turn, getting your new tech tools up and running should be a breeze.
Certified Credit: Innovative Tech Solutions for Growth-Minded Mortgage Lenders
As you can see, innovative tech solutions have the power to drive efficiencies, lower costs, improve the customer experience, and amplify your competitive advantage. In turn, utilizing these types of solutions can make your mortgage lending more profitable, especially during difficult times like these.
If you want to make the most of this tough market, Certified Credit can support you every step of the way. In addition to our tech solutions, we also provide:
- Affordable credit reports
- Advanced fraud and risk support
- Underwriting compliance support
- Settlement services
[i] Forbes. Housing Market Trends: What’s Happening With Mortgage Rates And Housing Prices Right Now?
[ii] National Association of Realtors. Millennials Making Up Larger Share of Buyers.
[iii] HousingWire. Mortgage fraud risk is increasing amid slow real estate market.