Understanding the mortgage business takes time and training. But what if you could distill the knowledge of your best employees and make that available to everyone all the time? We sat down with David Schroeder, senior vice president at Quicken Loans Mortgage Services, to find out how Quicken did just that with their new tool, The Answer.
Q: What prompted Quicken Loans to develop The Answer interactive tool?
There’s a quote by one of the founders of IBM Watson, Dr. John E. Kelly III: “In the 21st century, knowing all the answers won’t distinguish someone’s intelligence – rather, the ability to ask the right questions will be the mark of true genius.”
Computers are perfectly designed to “remember” billions of facts, guidelines, rules, etc. Humans aren’t nearly as good at that. So, what if we could design software that helps humans ask the right questions – which then leads them to the right answers?
That is the goal of The Answer.
Every shop has that one person who seems to know everything. When people like this are asked a question, they start asking questions in return. “How long has the bankruptcy been discharged? Which investor is it? What’s the FICO Score?”
The problem with that is that those people are rare and, unfortunately, they don’t work 24/7/365.
So we took our most experienced, savviest experts – loan officers, underwriters, compliance folks – and we had them get all of the knowledge they’ve accumulated over the years out of their brains and into elegant algorithms we call “trails.”
Now, anyone using The Answer is essentially accessing the collective brainpower of these experts and can do so at any time – day or night. And there’s never a need to wait for a return call or sit on hold.
The sheer power of that information and the ability to get answers is profound. It reduces the need to train endlessly. It shortens the amount of time it takes to get someone up and running. And, most powerfully, it reduces fallout. How many loans get missed every month because someone didn’t know there was a way to do the loan?
Q: How does The Answer make your loan officers more effective?
Loan officers and processors will have greater confidence and speed to get answers. That’s critical in today’s marketplace where Realtors and clients expect real-time interactions. In collaborating with our loan officers, we know that the biggest cost for them in any given year is found in the loans that didn’t close. Our objective with The Answer is to help our partners deeply understand options available to convert (save) more of the No’s to YES!
Q: How did you develop the questions and potential scenarios for The Answer?
Quicken Loans assigned over 40 of our top underwriters and bankers to this project, along with a specialized IT team to develop the decisioning trails within each inquiry. There are millions of different possible outcomes based on the input of a user. It’s another powerful example of how the resources of Quicken Loans can help our partners to be stronger together.
Q: What’s the benefit to potential homebuyers?
Homebuyers and Realtors value certainly and abhor surprises. The Answer is all about addressing both of those concerns in a way that positions the loan officer favorably. No more waiting to get an UW on the line to ask about a scenario when it can be accessed immediately and with certainly. That in turn builds confidence in the loan officer with all stakeholders and helps to develop referral networks for future business!
And it’s mobile friendly to help while in the field or at an open house!
Q: How does The Answer fit in to the overall mission of Quicken Loans?
Our mission at Quicken Loans is to radically transform the experience in mortgage lending. Partners have called The Answer a “game-changer” for their business. Perfect alignment in growing our partner’s business while serving mortgage clients with the best solutions. Quicken Loans will never stop innovating and providing a better experience for partners and clients alike. This is just the second inning of The Answer – we’re just getting started!