These are certainly exciting times in the mortgage industry. The industry has experienced a massive influx of mortgage technology solutions in the past several years and the pace of innovation has greatly increased. Never before have mortgage lenders been provided with as many digital alternatives to automate their mortgage process.
The fast pace of innovation and technology adoption across the industry coupled with heightened competitive pressure for originations, is driving today’s mortgage lenders to expect more from the providers they choose to partner with. Lenders have quickly ascertained that the next level of value and sustained competitive advantage requires functionally deep solutions that are continually enhanced to address their specific needs and objectives.
"In today’s landscape, lenders are searching for new ways to stay competitive and do more with less,” explained Brandon White, secondary marketing supervisor at Affiliated Bank. “To accomplish that, innovative lenders are partnering with vendors that offer functional depth and are committed to extensive innovation. Optimal Blue has been the trusted partner we’ve embedded across our business to provide that competitive edge.”
In light of the industry’s new reality, Optimal Blue has invested heavily in the expansion of the features and functionality available through its enterprise secondary marketing solution. Surrounding core capabilities with a powerful and robust feature set not only differentiates Optimal Blue from other providers, but – more importantly – enables their client base to further enhance their already sophisticated secondary marketing strategies and sustain their competitive edge.
Additionally, by leveraging ideas and direct feedback drawn from product design client workgroups as well as direct input sessions with many more, Optimal Blue can validate the impact and value of new offerings and enhancements before they are introduced to the marketplace.
“Optimal Blue is fortunate to have productive, long-term partnerships with some of the industry’s most innovative mortgage lenders, firms that are leading the industry with their focus on using workflow automation to drive efficiency,” explained Scott Happ, chief executive officer of Optimal Blue. “Automating complex secondary marketing functions is of particular interest to our clients, and we are thrilled with their reaction to a number of groundbreaking workflow automation features we’ve recently developed.”
Optimal Blue’s recent product innovations exemplify the company’s ongoing commitment to client-focused product development and market-leading functional depth across its platform. Designed and developed around core themes originating from its clients – Transparency, Granularity, and Personalization – the following are just three of the recent innovations available to Optimal Blue clients at no additional cost:
1. Transparency: Compelling margin management and revenue visualizations
As the mortgage landscape becomes more competitive, today’s lenders constantly evaluate mark-ups, margins, and overall profitability to improve results. Until recently, lenders have done so by managing just a single data point, their total margin. With this powerful enhancement to Optimal Blue’s business intelligence solution, Enterprise Analytics, lenders can easily assess metrics associated to profitability by understanding the breakdown of margin revenue and how it trends over time.
Through compelling, interactive visualizations, geographical heat maps, and more, lenders can analyze the effectiveness of origination strategies and view margin data at the loan level, or by branch, loan officer, product, business channel and investor.
2. Granularity: Configurable and automated lock management policies
Optimal Blue clients constantly search for opportunities to fine-tune the overall efficiency of their operations to reduce costs and improve overall execution. A common high-impact area, one where even the most modest of improvements can produce material results, is the lock management process.
With this enhancement, Optimal Blue greatly extends its lock management automation by enabling clients to achieve significant granularity with the post-lock policies that surround various changes occurring after the initial rate lock. For example, if the borrower profile changes after the initial rate lock and this new scenario requires a change, Optimal Blue now enables lenders to auto-accept unique post-lock changes based on embedded logic.
Furthermore, if a financing scenario change requires a modification to the loan product offer, lenders can configure specific rate lock policies for each type of modification to enforce consistency across their organization. With this enhancement, Optimal Blue clients can easily establish highly sophisticated, granular lock policies and self-administer unique customizations to those policies over time as strategies change.
3. Personalization: Additional product type filters to easily identify specialty products
Non-QM or Expanded Guideline products are a popular growth area for many Optimal Blue clients, and a substantial new system enhancement now allows lenders to better support customers with specialized needs. With this enhancement, Optimal Blue users are provided with new, powerful product filters that can be used to display the products and pricing most appropriate for specific borrower scenarios.
Examples include loans designed for borrowers with alternative income, low credit scores, and low debt-to-income ratios. This user personalization not only improves sales efficiency, but it helps Optimal Blue clients close more loans by aligning specific borrower needs with the most appropriate financing alternatives.
Ultimately, the future is bright for the mortgage industry. Opportunities for further automation are everywhere, and compelling change can indeed lead to the next level of value and true competitive differentiation for participants.
However, high-level automation for automation’s sake is not always the answer. Many times, the most impactful successes with automation are found in the details of the workflow and the specifics of a process.
Optimal Blue’s client-focused product development and commitment to functional depth serves as a model for the industry and illustrates the considerable benefits of deeper, continuous automation for lenders.