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Increasing Efficiency in Mortgage Sales

Twenty odd years ago when I started working in the mortgage industry, space for paper files was nearly as important as disk space to store mortgage applications. The industry has of course moved on since then, but often behind the technology curve and a little grudgingly.

Initially computer sales channels were little more than an electronic version of the ponderous paper application form. Today the best and most efficient sales systems have an intuitive interface that captures the minimum amount of data to progress to the next step and takes the applicant through a conversational journey to purchase a mortgage.

Identity checks and credit reference checking used to be on linked 3rd party systems often requiring re-keying into the primary mortgage system. Today leading systems have silent calls to 3rd party value-add services occurring at the relevant points in the sales process. Services such as address targeting not only ensure the applicants home post code is correct, but can also confirm that the applicant is known to live at that address. This removes a large percentage of time-consuming referral issues that often would occur later in the application process.

In a similar fashion Automated Valuation Models can enable lenders, with the relevant risk profile, to lend without the need for a physical valuation. When a valuation is required, the instruction can be made electronically and when the valuation has been completed, via web service integration it can be pulled into the mortgage system and automatically assessed as satisfactory, unsatisfactory  or requires referral through workflow to the appropriate staff.

Today’s credit reference services often provide much more than a simple credit check. The more sophisticated systems return requirements to the mortgage system for proofs required to support the mortgage application. Leading systems provide the ability to scan or photograph and attach such proofs in the intermediary office or branch and route the document for assessment by originations staff.

The investment in integrated service based automation provides numerous benefits both for the lender and the applicant including – the applicant gets a decision and an offer more quickly, – the lender reduces acquisition costs, reduces time to offer, can remove paper out of the process and provides a superior customer service and experience.

Will MMR push lenders to be more efficient across all channels? I think so, to be winners in a tough market lenders will need to adopt the latest technology to reduce costs and improve the customer experience.



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