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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   November 2006

Hear the Ticks of the Tech Clock

The time has come to leverage technology to enhance broker-lender relationships

As the commercial lending market has grown increasingly competitive, many commercial lenders have started to use Web technology to attract and foster business relationships. Ultimately, online technology allows lenders to control their budgets and resources while expanding their business to identify quality leads.

Their enhanced Web sites not only expedite the origination and underwriting processes for clients, but they also help to filter through meaningful loan requests. Further, they provide external audiences with access to multiple departments within the company.

This business approach translates to direct benefits for brokers. Brokers seeking an advantage in the market should work with lenders that provide advanced technology.

Front-end processes

Lenders that use technology to accelerate front-end processes are once place brokers should look. These processes help inform brokers about new loan scenarios and offer updates on deals’ progress.

Further, a computerized system can ensure that all requests and inquiries are appropriately sorted and responded to. That way, brokers can get their needs met quickly. Nothing is more frustrating for brokers than not knowing the answers to their clients’ questions, while knowing that the answers lie somewhere within the lender’s organization.

Not only do enhanced front-end processes serve to strengthen the broker-lender relationship, but they also can improve the borrower’s perception of the broker’s service.

In the near future, online services that generate customized product sheets with rate information, turnaround time and contact information should be the norm for commercial lenders.

In addition, many commercial brokers who have recently moved from the residential market can especially benefit from lender technology because they are already familiar with Web technology that has already been embraced in the residential market. Further, these brokers can benefit greatly from commercial lenders that offer online help by way of commercial loan glossaries, commercial loan calculators and online applications that simplify often-complex loan scenarios.

Tracking deals

Online deal-tracking is another feature that provides instant and accurate information about the transaction’s progress.

Often, this information is not readily available even to the loan officer because the deal is in the hands of underwriters, packagers and closers. With Web technology, however, other players in the transaction can update internal loan systems with information about their progress. That way, the data is easily presented online to brokers.   

Deal-tracking creates a universal process and language that can help streamline the practices that are the most time-consuming for brokers and lenders. Lenders can provide partners with pipeline reports and other metrics, again enhancing the broker’s relationship with the client as the deals flow through the back-end processes.

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For commercial brokers, these new Web-based services can offer an easier way to select a lender. The ideal lender would be one that offers the most up-to-date technology blended with operational support. This is all in an effort to maximize efficiencies and to keep up with the current market.

As Web technology has grown in the past decade, these features can no longer be viewed as a luxury. Despite the fact that this industry traditionally has conducted business through personal interaction, these technological features can become a necessity.

The degree to which lenders and brokers leverage these services online has a corresponding effect on their success. Making smart technology choices and effectively applying the right solutions is a way to allow your business and clients to thrive.



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