Whether they’re buying a car or refinancing a house, consumers want immediate information about their transaction at their fingertips. Basically, they want it and they want it now.
Acutely aware that mortgage shopping is not exempt from this trend, lenders both forward and reverse are investing in technology to bring efficiency to the customer experience.
That’s exactly what Live Well Financial aims to do as it bankrolls a major upgrade in its lending platform in a bid to create a better experience for its customers and its originators.
“Our major focus is on technology and mortgage automation,” said Executive Vice President Bruce Barnes. “There’s a growing segment of borrowers who want to interact with a lender at their own pace without the involvement of a mortgage loan originator. Our strategy involves automating the entire process for those borrowers who need little to no assistance in the loan process.”
Barnes said that in situations where a loan officer’s assistance is desired, the enhanced platform – set to be released next quarter – will facilitate communication via text message or online chat using AI technology.
“We’re creating a portal for clients to interact with the loan officer. We want to create an experience where we can provide information and content to consumers in the early stage of the process all the way through the closing,” Barnes said, adding that the new platform will be available to both retail and wholesale partners.
Live Well offers both traditional loans and reverse mortgages. Currently, it ranks No. 7 on Reverse Market Insight’s Top 100 HECM Lenders list.
Reverse mortgage volume has taken a nosedive as of late, and Barnes said investing in tech is part of Live Well’s strategy to combat the down market.
“We are making these moves to retain market share," he said. “The new generation of folks coming of age for a reverse mortgage are more adept at using technology, so we’re really looking ahead at the future and what it holds for us as a company. We’re interested in how we can use automation to streamline the process for our clients and create efficiency.”
Barnes said that while the platform will elevate the experience for consumers looking for all types of loans, it will be especially helpful to prospective reverse clients as they navigate the loan process.
“I think it’s really important for the economics of the transaction to have the ability to compare prices across lenders,” he said. “One of the hurdles with the reverse mortgage product has always been cost, so finding ways to streamline cost information is important for the folks who are becoming more technology savvy.”