Over the last two years, Optimal Blue has strategically acquired several companies, built an extensive API network, and invested heavily in automation and technology with one goal in mind: to create an entirely automated secondary marketing ecosystem for mortgage originators and investors, as well as the technology providers they rely upon every day.
Those efforts have established Optimal Blue’s product and pricing as the mortgage industry’s system of record — from leads at the beginning of the process to hedging and selling into the secondary market — approximately one of every three mortgages is facilitated by the company’s Digital Mortgage Marketplace.
Optimal Blue’s recent acquisition of LoanLogics’ PPE business unit, LoanDecisions, is just the latest in a series of strategic buys, including its purchase of Comergence in 2017 and Resitrader earlier this year.
Comergence enables Optimal Blue to offer a wide array of comprehensive due diligence and oversight capabilities, while the acquisition of Resitrader assets created the industry’s largest digital loan trading platform, allowing Optimal Blue to support more than $750 billion in transactions across its marketplace.
With the LoanDecisions acquisition marking the beginning of what seems to be a consolidation trend in the PPE space, Optimal Blue has expanded the reach of its PPE network to a client count exceeding 2,000+.
These customers are already in the process of migrating to the Optimal Blue PPE and the company will continue to expand its partnership with LoanLogics to automate correspondent loan transactions.
Essential to all of this innovation is Optimal Blue’s expanding universe of APIs, created over the last 18 months by a dedicated team of developers. The company has more than 50 customers using their APIs directly, with more than 40 vendors providing solutions that allow originators and investors to build a custom set of solutions that maximize opportunity at every critical inflection point throughout the mortgage process.
Originators are using Optimal Blue APIs for best execution product and pricing, loan and pipeline management, configuration, search results, and lock management, while investors are leveraging them for counter party oversight, NMLS verification, historical production, prospect marketing, compliance questionnaires, and FHA performance scores.
In September, Optimal Blue launched the latest in its series, a set of post-lock management APIs that enable users to easily incorporate worse case evaluations, change request submissions, and historical pricing for any loan or scenario.
Erin Wester, senior product manager at Optimal Blue, explained how the new post-lock APIs fit into the company’s initiative to fully automate everything within the Optimal Blue user interface via an API.
“We took a look at the API products we have today and some common use cases — how our clients are using them,” explained Wester. “With the post-lock APIs, users can now execute searches, create and manage loans, and submit lock requests. You can lock and register the loan through our APIs.”
The new offerings include APIs for change requests and APIs related to historical pricing results. The latter allows searching for a loan ID with a desired date and time, or even searching for a specific scenario based on a certain date and time.
Optimal Blue also recently introduced a direct data access option for its business intelligence suite, which provides users with a robust data that contains an extremely granular history of every change that has taken place within the Optimal Blue platform — including who requested a change and when, who accepted it, who denied it, etc.
The direct data access option lets users connect internal data warehouses, support custom analytics, and uniquely integrate to any in-house visualization solution. This includes data visualizations on locking analytics and change request analytics. For example, users will be able to see how many times a lock desk is having to touch a loan, as well as average cost and days per lock extension.
“The direct data access product is an automated way for the user to gain access to their organization’s unique raw data and run their own in-house, custom analytics,” Wester said. “This competitive and actionable insight is then reported to internal data warehouse solutions within the institution, opening the door for any mortgage professional to quantify and transform operational data into an advantageous asset.”
In reflecting on the previous year and the extensive progress that the company has achieved, CEO Scott Happ explained, “2018 has been a prolific year for Optimal Blue, both from an acquisition and product development perspective. Not only have we strengthened our offering with substantial new capabilities, we’ve expanded our network with scores of new client and vendor relationships.”
It has, in fact, been a noteworthy year for Optimal Blue, as the company continues to thrive in its quest to fully automate the secondary marketing function.