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Ellie Mae: Homebuyers prioritize technology, but still want personal interaction

And it’s not just a Millennial thing

Homebuyers of all ages are calling for an increase in technology in their home buying experience, but are not willing to let go of the personal touch loan officers bring, according to Ellie Mae’s 2017 Borrower Insights Survey.

The survey of homeowners and renters were announced at the annual Ellie Mae Experience conference in Las Vegas. [HousingWire is live at the event, for more coverage, click here.]

It showed that the majority of homeowners, 57%, applied for and completed their most recent mortgage in person while 28% of homeowners applied for their most recent mortgage using both online and in-person interaction. Another 11% of homeowners completed their last mortgage completely online.

While Millennials are the most likely generation of homebuyers to begin their mortgage application online at 30%, they are not the only generation to do so. Of other generations, 28% of Gen Xers started their applications online followed by 20% of Baby Boomers.

“There’s no question that technology is playing a larger role in the home buying experience,” said Joe Tyrrell, Ellie Mae executive vice president of corporate strategy.

“As we expected, many homeowners are seeking a faster and more streamlined experience,” Tyrrell said. “And it’s not just a millennial phenomenon; it’s homebuyers of all ages and both genders.”

But when questioned further about specific improvements they would like to see, about 40% of homeowners said they would like a faster pace with fewer delays, and 20% answered they wanted a shorter, easier to understand application and 11% said they would like more communication with their lender throughout the process.

“But what’s even more telling is that homeowners still want a personal interaction with their lender,” Tyrrell said. “They want someone who can answer important questions, and make them feel confident that everything will be handled correctly and on time.”

“While 27% of millennials identified the speed of the process as the top area to improve their experience, surprisingly 23% cited more face-to-face interaction as the second-greatest opportunity for improvement,” he said. “By leveraging technology, lenders can provide a more high tech experience to simplify and speed the overall process, while still having the high-touch interactions when and where homebuyers want.”

Using data from Ellie Mae, here is a chart that demonstrates what each generation wants most out of the homebuying experience.

Click to Enlarge


(Source: Ellie Mae)

Keep reading HousingWire to see more insights from Ellie Mae and what its unveiling at its conference this week in Las Vegas, or follow our own Sarah Wheeler.

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