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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   April 2016

Being Tech-Savvy Is Environmentally Astute

Going digital can save trees, money and time in the mortgage industry

No one argues the fact that green business practices are worthwhile for the environment, but is all the effort of going green beneficial to the bottom line?

Now that the mortgage industry has experienced going green through the use of technology, there is no question it is worth the investment. By leveraging technology, the mortgage industry has made tremendous improvements in efficiency — from automated approvals to faster turnaround times — and, more recently, has made great strides in improving the borrower’s experience.

Companies now accept the cost effectiveness of operating in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building — which, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, delivers cost reductions in energy, water and raw materials. Similarly, mortgage companies are beginning to embrace the undeniable business benefits of green digital-lending practices.

Stop waste

Historically, technological advancements in the mortgage industry have been slow-moving and unable to keep pace. Although business was moving faster, massive amounts of natural resources were being consumed with faxed rate sheets and huge loan files. Rate sheets and loan data often change multiple times a day, further exacerbating busy originators who are simply  trying to stay up to date. The industry became so dependent on paper that even a broken printer could create a sense of panic among originators eager to quickly close loans for their clients.

Not only is the old way of lending inefficient, it is wasteful. About half a ream of paper is needed to print all of the paperwork required to process a loan, from initial application through clear to close. Multiply that by thousands of loans and it equates to a lot of sacrificed trees.

Not only is this environmentally wasteful, it’s just bad business. The good news is there are better, greener solutions that will bolster your bottom line.

Meet demand

At a Glance

One tree makes about 16.5 reams of paper. In other words, one tree is used to process 33 loan applications until closing. Therefore, a company that processes 50,000 loans a year the old paper-intensive way is sacrificing 1,515 trees every year.

Source: Conserveatree

 

Rapid change has taken place in the industry within the last decade. Mortgage companies now have the ability to leverage technology to meet consumers’ needs while also reducing paper waste. Using technology, a borrower can apply for a loan, pull credit, obtain a rate quote, be run through the automated underwriting system (AUS), receive a pre-approval letter and pay for an appraisal without using a scrap of paper.

The old way of processing loans on paper is like looking through the phone book to order a pizza. There is a better way, and consumers demand it. In this on-demand era, people can order anything from a car service to a flight with just a few clicks. Consumers want speed, convenience and control, all for an affordable price and with excellent customer service along the way. This is all easily provided, if lenders are technologically equipped. By leveraging technology, it is now possible for consumers to find and apply for a low-rate mortgage completely online anytime and anywhere — in a half hour or less.

The digital practices that consumers crave can significantly lighten a company’s carbon footprint. In fact, according to HP Inc.’s Carbon Footprint Calculator, a company that prints 10 million pages a year (or roughly 40,000 loan applications) can spend more than $1.7 million annually on energy and paper for printing. When you meet your consumers’ need for a digital solution, you benefit the company’s bottom line and the environment.

Be secure

Leading mortgage companies make security a top priority. In an industry where confidential documents abound with each loan application, assuring consumers’ confidential information remains secure should be a top concern when going digital. Existing technology has been proven to securely store information and sensitive documents, so companies that have yet to modernize their business can no longer use security as a valid excuse for continuing inefficient, wasteful business practices.

Leading lenders are now incorporating cloud-based encrypted storage into their strategies to enhance the mortgage process. Employing best-of-breed digital solutions can securely streamline the lending process. Leveraging these technologies eliminates the need for faxing documents and engaging in potentially unsecure e-mail correspondence while dramatically boosting speed, security and convenience.

• • •

The mortgage industry’s digital breakthrough is happening right now. Forward-thinking lending technology is now accessible to meet the needs of a new generation of tech-savvy consumers, putting them in control of the lending experience from the initial loan application to the automated-underwriting approval. Consumers now are empowered to securely apply for a home loan without paper — anytime, anywhere. With the help of technology, instead of sacrificing thousands of trees a year, mortgage companies can now save thousands of trees per year, drive savings to their bottom line and provide a better, more secure consumer experience all along the way.


 


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