Technology is only as good as the individuals using it. This was a common theme throughout the second day of this year’s Digital Mortgage Conference. Panelists and speakers agreed that the best digital solutions make mortgage platforms attractive to both loan officers and consumers and allow users to meet in the middle.
And to make technology accessible to all involved, it's important to assess everyone in the mortgage process.
According to Ellie Mae, the latest stats show the average loan officer is 52 years old, whereas the average mortgage applicant is 33 years old. That’s a nearly 20-year difference, which could explain why younger consumers’ expectations are often unmet and why there's confusion throughout the home-buying process.
The Loan Officer
Garth Graham at mortgage consultancy Stratmor Group moderated a morning session during which he joked the dual-monitor was, at one time, the biggest innovation for mortgage originators. But really, it does show how basic elements of technology shouldn’t be disregarded.
Bells and whistles are exciting and allow developers to steer user experience in the right direction; however, these enhancements often leave older loan officers and real estate professionals in the lurch.
And although consumers can start and finish their mortgage applications through various digital channels, loan officers must directly follow-up on or close out on the back end a large percentage of these applications. This gets trickier as compliance grows.
Despite the misconception of a millennial taking out a mortgage dressed in pajamas, according to Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Ellie Mae, the overwhelming majority of mortgage applications are submitted between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m.
There's opportunity in the refinance market, too — this despite projections of a 40% or more decline in 2017. Panelists shared stories of borrowers ranging from bemused to frustrated when their financial institution made a value-proposition, then asked the borrower to supply simple information like their name and address. Why ask someone who owns their home what their address is?
The answer is not simple. Financial institutions are often forced to act fast in a competitive environment and make changes only when enough borrowers complain. Sometimes it pays to wait, and here’s where credit unions can play to their strengths. Credit unions can deliver the right product at the right time because they know their member-owners. When they opportunity is right, create or purchase those digital solutions that continue to satisfy member needs and underscore the value the credit union places in its members.
Catch up on Day 1 of the Digital Mortgage Conference. Read, "The Race Is On For Online Originations."