Amid the mortgage industry’s efforts to comply with today’s robust regulatory environment, First American Mortgage Solutions recognized something important was getting lost — the actual consumer experience. So, the company radically re-engineered its operational workflows, policies and procedures to focus on delivering the best consumer experience possible.
“We felt the industry was missing the opportunity to improve the experience for consumers beyond the regulator’s expectations and requirements,” said President Kevin Wall.
“In this new mortgage era, the consumer experience will be the differentiator in who grows their business and retains their clients.”
Mortgage Solutions has given responsibility for consumer engagement to every employee, and empowers
them around three meaningful metrics: quality, timeliness and compliance.
“Since we serve the entire mortgage continuum, from origination to post-closing to servicing, we want to make sure that any time a consumer interacts with our organization they are getting the best experience possible. We have instituted more transparency. Most importantly, our employees know what their job is and what role they play in the bigger picture,” Wall said.
“We found that the biggest shift in momentum came from empowering everyone in the organization. In the classic leadership model, ‘the buck stops here’ usually refers to the president’s desk. We inverted that through this process and now the buck stops with our line-level employees who are dealing with our customers every day,” Wall said.
Mortgage Solutions also expanded its definition of who the customer is. “First and foremost, it’s the end consumer and borrower, but we’re also focused on serving the lenders’ employees themselves, loan officers and underwriter, as well as investors,” said Wall.
In addition to reorienting the Mortgage Solutions organization on a new definition of the consumer, they also implemented a strategy to train hundreds of employees in Lean Six Sigma methodology that greatly increased the effectiveness of the organization. The process produced remarkable results, including an increase in collaboration and enhanced productivity and quality.
“Our expectations are much clearer today,” Wall said. “Our focus is on defect-free loan production and enhancing the consumer experience in every measurable way.”
First American’s data and analytics are critical to quality production, and support the company’s employees as they execute on this vision. “Data and analytics are a core part of First American’s foundation as a company, and our data assets are the most robust in the industry,” Wall said. “We aim to leverage them in every way possible throughout our own internal production processes and those of our lender clients.”
The company has extracted information from decades of public records to form a comprehensive repository of mortgage data for loan officers, Realtors, settlement agents and servicers. These customers can utilize First American’s DataTree solution to gather everything they need per transaction, and even get direct access to title plants.
“We are bringing data to the marketplace and organizing it in a manner that becomes actionable,” Wall said. “All of our products are greatly enhanced because of our rich data assets and the investment we have made to house, collect, extract and then package and bring this data to market.
“The success of our approach has been validated by client feedback” Wall said. “Our re-emphasis on the consumer and enhanced operational quality continues First American’s legacy of industry leadership.
Kevin Wall, President
Kevin Wall is president of First American Mortgage Solutions, a primary provider of collaborative and customizable valuation, title, settlement, and quality control solutions for loan origination and servicing. The company now also provides data and analytics following its acquisition of Interthinx.
Since joining the company in 2013, Wall has been responsible for strengthening alignment with national customers, and strategically positioning the brand to offer comprehensive solutions across the mortgage-lending continuum.
His broad industry experience spans over 20 years and includes leadership in delivering end-to-end mortgage solutions, operational improvement, process reengineering, corporate development initiatives and strategy and planning.
Prior to First American, Wall served in executive positions at Solutionstar and CoreLogic. Additionally, he held marketing, business line operations, and portfolio management and retention positions of increasing responsibility at Norwest Financial, Wells Fargo Financial, Centex Home Equity, Saxon Mortgage and Morgan Stanley.