Technology is the best thing that has ever happened to the mortgage industry. Any industry, really. As mortgage companies consistently build and launch innovative tools and programs designed to gain momentum in market share, it’s clear that technology will continue to elevate the industry to new heights. From paperless mortgages to the increasing use of completely borrower-driven mortgage applications, the mortgage industry of tomorrow will be a night-and-day difference from the mortgage industry of today.
All of the tech advancements are perfect for consumers, who have shown a strong desire for the mortgage process to be made as fast, easy and streamlined as possible. Those kinds of advancements are great for the industry as a whole, but the fear is that it could one day put mortgage brokers on the outside looking in.
We’re living in an era where people are using the Amazon app to shop instead of driving to the mall. The concept of working with a travel agent to plan a trip isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be. And programs like TurboTax are preferred over visiting your local H&R Block. Along those lines, isn’t there a real concern that the appeal of brokers could similarly fall by the wayside?
No, not at all. The concepts of “working with technology” and “working with a mortgage broker” don’t need to be mutually exclusive items when it comes to buying a home. Even though technology is king across the industry, the mortgage business will always be a people business. The value of the human touch on important, high-involvement financial decisions will never wear off. The entire loan process can be automated, but there is no substitute for the sound advice a borrower can receive from a broker on the different kinds of products and pricing that different lenders can offer.
That’s why UWM brought Blink to market – an all-digital, multi-functional loan portal that combines the expertise of a broker with the convenience of a mobile app. By using Blink, borrowers have the capability to start the loan application process, pull their credit, e-sign documents, verify assets, and track the status of their loans – from anywhere.
It gives borrowers the option of completing the mortgage process on their own or to seek real-time assistance from their broker at any time. At any point of the process, if a borrower would feel more comfortable with the human-to-human interaction and guidance that brokers offer, they can still meet in person and complete the application online together.
It’s not a matter of “Brokers vs. Technology”. The two go hand-in-hand and make one another stronger. Brokers are licensed gurus who singularly focus on things like rates, products and regulations on a daily basis. They are able to partner with lenders that are focused on staying in front of industry technology and new advancements. If consumers think that technology empowers them to find the best loan options for their specific situation, just imagine the high quality of products and rates could be discovered by professionals in the industry who know exactly what they’re looking for.
While an automated mortgage process is an attractive option for consumers, nothing about technology affects the pricing of a loan. There’s no question that borrowers can find the best deals by working with a broker – not just because they have access to more lending options, but because they also have access to wholesale pricing that retail lenders just can’t provide.
Tech-savvy borrowers interested in the simplicity that mortgage apps provide can experience the best of both worlds. They can do their own research on finding the perfect home, but let the expert find the right lender. Mortgage brokers can find the most favorable pricing and are a source of comfort for people making one of the biggest decisions of their lives.
Technology is unquestionably reshaping the way that mortgages are done – making things easier, faster, hassle-free and more streamlined for borrowers to be self-sufficient. But the key to achieving the ultimate loan experience is in combining the expertise of mortgage brokers with the automation of technology.