In today’s marketplace, mortgage lenders and originators are challenged to stay ahead of the competition. With more companies such as Amazon — which partnered last year with the nation’s largest real estate services provider — entering the market, mortgage originators will see changes in the competitive landscape as lenders work to gain profitability and grow their sales volumes.
Increased access to financial data can help tighten the growing gap in the market. As technology surrounding the residential mortgage industry continues to advance, lenders “seek ways to automate, simplify and speed up each step of the mortgage origination process,” according to a 2018 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. To this end, lenders and originators must prioritize the need to acquire technology that supplies the necessary financial data, reporting tools and automation capabilities that allows them to do their jobs more effectively.
Having real-time results and access to loan-level details can mean all the difference to originators in serving their clients and being more efficient throughout the mortgage process.
The importance of access to financial data at the executive or management levels may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes that’s where the accessibility stops. Historically, financial data was limited to a mortgage company’s accounting department. This data was collected and prepared for senior staff and analysts to review, then compiled into reports for upper management and executives. This model kept the data restricted to accounting staff and executive teams, and ultimately controlled its flow.
Today’s modern accounting technology and financial-management tools, however, have shifted from this older, outdated model to provide all levels of management with increased access to a company’s financial data. These tools should not only provide access to filtered data, but the dashboards and reports also should be engaging and easy to use — enticing users to interact with the technology and utilize its drill-down and drill-through features. This allows mortgage company executives, managers and originators to be more data-driven employees who are keenly aware of how to help their clients.
Having real-time results and access to loan-level details can mean all the difference to originators in serving their clients and being more efficient throughout the mortgage process. Originators should look for technology platforms that offer their lending partners more reliability, increased accessibility and enhanced data management.
Leverage financial reports
All mortgage company employees should have access to certain aspects of financial data. In fact, accounting is often called “the language of business” because it is used by owners, managers, employees, investors and others to make important business-related decisions. Management may have more in-depth access, such as data on individual loans or the performance of their originators, while executives are likely to have more details on how branches stack up to each other.
Modern financial-technology (or fintech) systems also allow originators access to real-time data, which provides details for each of the loans they touch, as well as loan-level information throughout the mortgage process. This allows originators to learn from loans as they are entered so they can make faster decisions, better adjustments and meet their individual goals.
Originators should look for systems that are intuitive because they and their employees may lack the training or experience to interpret numbers from a financial statement, hindering their ability to understand the numbers or their importance. Fintech that is easy to use and comprehend is vitally important. Originators should incorporate systems that provide an easily digestible way to view their loan details — with modern screen design, better dashboard controls and little to no training required to understand the data.
Mortgage originators need in-depth reporting to make better decisions throughout the mortgage process — both internally and externally. Financial reporting tools leverage in-depth data to generate more efficient reports and can increase productivity by helping users make more informed decisions. These reporting tools should allow mortgage originators to see loan level detail, easily viewed in different formats to compare loans, ultimately increasing productivity for future loans.
Streamline the process
Mortgage originators should look not only for the ability to review data on a granular level, but also to automate their systems. Moody’s Analytics explains that financial institutions are looking for technology to automate and streamline the lending process, thereby reducing frustration, improving loan quality and increasing customer-satisfaction rates.
Automated, intuitive technology controls the way the system gathers the data. As the data is compiled, a smart system checks for errors and alerts the proper channels. Once the data is properly entered, previously established rules should govern how much of it a given user is allowed to see.
Today’s mortgage technology must be in sync and communicate between all systems within a financial institution. The data that flows within a mortgage company — from both point-of-sale and loan origination systems — must be consistent to ensure the success of all departments. This includes the sales, servicing and accounting teams.
Mortgage originators want technological innovations that spur improvements in their business processes. A main goal should be to ensure that originators enter data accurately and consistently. The accuracy of this data is critical for building systems that can rely on that data, and loan-level details are essential to downstream systems.
This is why originators cannot rely on older, generic accounting systems: They don’t offer the necessary level of detail for lenders to do their jobs effectively. Lenders also need technology that is focused on providing loan-level details and offers the ability to drill into the data.
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Mortgage fintech is ever-changing and originators are looking for solutions to ease their day-to-day tasks. Technology that makes financial data both available and easily digestible for originators can allow them to truly look at relevant information — whether they are looking at one client’s activity or a specific step in the loan process. Better software means originators can do a better job and, ultimately, better serve their borrowers.