Managing the complexities of the mortgage loan process puts intense pressure on mortgage companies. We sat down with Kim Hoffman, CMB, AMP, global mortgage operations and service delivery executive at Sutherland, to find out how partnering with third-party service providers eases that pressure.

HousingWire: With margins thin and interest rates up, how can mortgage companies stay ahead of increased competition for consumer business?

Kim HoffmanKim Hoffman: When mortgage companies partner with service providers, together they make the hard work look easy. With increased competition for consumer business, now is the time to rely on process transformation partners to do heavy lifting of core operations so that mortgage companies can deliver on the ever-evolving consumer expectations.

Gone are the days of going it alone and attempting to manage all processes in-house. Third parties are transforming the way mortgage companies handle all facets of the loan life-cycle regardless of channel, freeing time for employees to focus on the customer experience. Doing so will improve profitability, enhance speed of transactions, and most importantly, improve the customer experience.

There has never been a more defined need for lenders to partner with providers who can handle all facets and complexities of the mortgage process with ease. Margins are razor-thin, consumer experience expectations have never been greater and speed has never been more important. Managing any one of these variables alone is difficult, now add compliance, quality requirements or buy back risk, and rising interest rates, there is no need to go it alone.

HW: With pressure to reduce cycle time, how can mortgage operations executives improve the customer experience?

KH: Today’s mortgage executives must focus on the customer experience, in fact it should be at the forefront of every decision they make. It’s critical to remember that customers have a choice in lenders and more are entering the space every day. Customers should be defined as anyone consuming your services, the consumer, loan officers, brokers and Realtors, as they are examples of those requiring a solid delivery.

Rates aside, consumers are going to choose lenders who make the process feel elegant. We are one of the few industries that shares the details of our work and process with one another and end customers. In order to rise above the competition mortgage companies must rely on industry experts to seamlessly improve the consumer experience. To do this, lenders should consider leveraging advanced capabilities outside traditional processes such as robotic process automation (RPA) to expedite manual tasks, data analytics to personalize the experience and uncover business opportunities internally and externally, and design thinking to improve steps during origination and ongoing servicing of loans.

Let’s think about how the process feels to the consumer by asking them, versus assuming from our own bias. Let’s create more possibilities by understanding why consumers withdraw in mid process, why loan officers leave for the competition or why Realtors don’t refer to you. The sky’s the limit in terms of what mortgage operations executives can do to improve the consumer experience, and today’s consumers require lenders to take advantage of every tool available to them to do so.

HW: How is Sutherland uniquely qualified to help mortgage companies improve their customer experience?
KH: First and foremost, Sutherland is a team of mortgage bankers, serving mortgage bankers. Our leadership team has served in executive leadership roles with the leading mortgage banks in the industry. We’ve been in your shoes and deeply understand the challenges you face day in and day out.

Not only do we understand the challenges, but we are eager to solve them through strategic consultation and innovative solutions, not just staff augmentation or process engineering, but real cutting-edge opportunities to redefine how consumers experience their mortgage providers.

Above and beyond loan origination, underwriting, and component servicing, our suite of digital solutions such as RPA, data analytics, artificial intelligence and mobile apps improve the scale and efficiency of our clients’ operations.

And with Sutherland’s acquisition of data analytics industry leader Nuevora, we provide mortgage companies with actionable intelligence to empower executives to learn more about their business and make influential business decisions.

Sutherland regularly conducts customer journey mapping and design thinking sessions at our innovation labs in San Francisco and London to drive significant process transformation for some of the world’s leading mortgage lenders.

Now is the time to partner with a provider who makes the hard work look easy.