Although digital mortgages are taking the housing industry by storm, Ellie Mae’s 2019 Borrower Insights Survey suggests borrowers still crave human interaction throughout a digitally-driven loan origination process.
“Borrowers continue to show a strong desire for more options for interaction and communication with their lender, as frequent communication across multiple channels between lenders and borrowers has increased by approximately 20% for those who took out loans within the last year, when compared to borrowers who obtained their loan in the last three to five years,” Ellie Mae writes.
Interestingly, the survey discovered communication is important for younger homebuyers, who often tend to be entering the housing market for the first time.
“Direct communication with a lender can be especially important to younger borrowers and those who are applying for a mortgage for the first time, as they can have their questions answered and feel reassured that the loan process is on track in real-time,” Ellie Mae continued.
That being said, technology is still an essential part of the origination process for many borrowers as the survey revealed 50% chose lenders based on whether or not they offered an online application or portal. Furthermore, 47% of respondents said having the ability to upload documents was an important factor in their decision.
Likewise, Ellie Mae also discovered the majority of borrowers who were denied electronic options from their lenders said they preferred having those options. In fact, 54% would have preferred an eClosing portal, while 44% wanted to use an online application, according to the survey.
“As more Millennials enter the housing market, it will be imperative for lenders to prioritize the use of all available technologies, digital tools and communication channels to foster strong borrower relationships throughout each step of the loan lifecycle – from the moment they are interested, all the way through to closing,” Ellie Mae Executive Vice President of Technology and Corporate Strategy Joe Tyrrell said. “With borrowers using an average of more than five different methods of communication throughout the origination process, it is up to the lenders to offer a customized approach for each individual borrower to best suit their unique needs.”