My mother’s red chili was award winning. Every contest she entered she won a ribbon. Growing up, she taught me how to make it; to ensure the onions were cut small and evenly, what spices to use, and how to cook it for hours to ensure that the flavors melded together.
Then, in come pressure cookers. The Ninja® Foodi, specifically, is amazing! I can make the same chili — with the same outcome — in less than an hour. I just toss the ingredients into the pot, lock the lid and let it do its thing.
Technology automation is designed to save time and create efficiencies. That’s the focus of our lead article: “Digital Rising: The Mortgage World According to Garth.” Senior Partner Garth Graham draws on our recently released Technology Insight® Study and other STRATMOR data sources to provide an objective view of our industry as we travel the road to digital adoption. Most notably, while COVID devastated many other industries, it had the opposite effect on ours — lenders ramped up with more people and pushed harder on technology, buying, and installing, at a maddening pace. But as Garth shows, while lender deployment of tools has gone up, adoption by users has not kept pace. It’s a fascinating look at the technology trends shaping our future.
Even with new technology in play, long cycle times continue to frustrate originators trying to communicate with borrowers about closing timeframes. In his Borrower Experience article, MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari looks at how not closing in the expected timeframe affects Net Promoter Scores (NPS), noting that in the fourth quarter of 2020 alone — a quarter with record high volume — one in five loans had an NPS of 30 due to missing the expected closing date. Mike points to the base cause of the issue as “expectation setting” with the borrowers, and he offers three suggestions for delighting borrowers during out-of-control cycle times.
Thank you for joining us this month, and be sure to contact us for assistance with your digital strategies.
By Garth Graham February 2021
People who know me know that I travel a lot (or used to…). If it’s not going with my wife to see one of our favorite teams, it was to visit my daughter at school (until she had the audacity to graduate a few years ago!). I have a pocket full of other excuses for travel, but I rarely need to use them because business keeps me moving.
For the last year or so, travel has seemed better (ignoring the annoying mask issue). Faster, even. I book a flight, coast through security, hit my gate and board the plane. What’s changed? The number of people traveling — fewer people, lower volume.
COVID had the opposite effect on the mortgage industry. Lenders ramped up with more people and pushed harder on technology, buying and installing at a maddening pace. But while lender adoption of tools has gone up, adoption by users has not kept pace. Lenders are rushing to deploy the tools, but only about half the eligible users (internal and consumer) are adopting the tools they are provided.
I thought about this as I was recently waiting for my plane. Not adopting the tools we have is like half the people who qualified for the TSA Pre-Check not taking advantage of the offer because they want to take off their shoes, put them on the conveyer belt and get their socks dirty walking through the security check. Or, it would be like me not using the online app to get my boarding pass because I want to take the extra time to stand in line to talk to the gate agent.
So, my message to lenders and vendors is that you can roll out new tools, but you have to drive adoption of those new tools to have the digital technology success you want.
How can originators delight borrowers when cycle times are out of control? MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari offers suggestions to help set borrower expectations and mitigate long cycle times.
STRATMOR Senior Partner Jim Cameron summarize the three immutable laws of economics in the context of mortgage industry events and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Using MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program data, we’ve pinpointed some relatively easy tactics that provide substantial improvements in overall borrower satisfaction.
Garth Graham discusses four facts any mortgage lender, whether buying or selling their business, needs to know in the current mortgage environment.