An increasingly digitized world has given way to new solutions that are making business easier for everyone, mortgage lenders included. HousingWire recently spoke with Sue Woodard, senior advisor to Total Expert, about the ways lenders can measure the effectiveness of their fintech solutions and what they can do to keep pace with the digital mortgage revolution.
HousingWire: What metrics can lenders use to measure the effectiveness of their fintech solutions?
Sue Woodard: A great question – and one that is on the mind of many lenders lately, particularly as the market has shifted, bringing less volume but more time to think about efficiencies and productivity. And let me shoot very straight – although everyone is wisely sharpening their budgets, now is not the time to throw out solutions that you don’t feel have had “MLO adoption” over the past few years, when said MLOs barely had time to floss their teeth. These are likely exactly the solutions your team needs right now.
Smart lenders are leaning into the technologies that will solve on multiple fronts, helping drive more leads and real estate agent relationships, higher pull through to closed transactions, increased efficiency and time saved. But with the market moving, it has always been extremely hard in the mortgage industry to tie exact cause and effect to production. With all else equal, it would appear to an outsider that any technology you purchased at the beginning of 2020 must have been miraculous, because your volume and productivity clearly skyrocketed.
So how are these smart lenders measuring effectiveness of their tech stack? They are measuring real life business outcomes and impacts, and aren’t caught up in the fallacy of counting log-ins. Here are the right questions to ask about each technology you are evaluating to measure effectiveness:
- Do my revenue producers in sales and marketing expect to have this type of technology?
- Will it help me attract solid producers to my business – and retain them?
- Is there automation that helps support the revenue producers do more in less time?
- Is there intelligence that helps raise up opportunities that would have been missed?
- Is this helping my leadership measure productivity so that they can coach more effectively and make better decisions?
- Will it help me automate work that has been done manually, saving us money?
- Is this protecting me from a real business risk?
- Will it drive a better customer experience and help create repeat and referral business?
- Does it add value to the real estate agent partnership?
- Are there multiple outcomes this technology impacts and improves?
- Do I believe my desired outcomes would be worse off without this technology?
- Does the tech partner provide the support that helps save my own staff time from answering MLO questions?
If you have a lot of yes’s to the above – there are your metrics for success.
HW: In what ways can fintech solutions impact engagement and overall customer success?
SW: Today’s customer expects a lot from financial service providers, including easy tech and human touch. And from before the beginning and after the end – great technology solutions are improving the customer experience and helping to create a customer for life.
Today’s technology solutions create a 360-degree view of the customer, including all the various data points collected, so that a lender has a complete, cohesive view of their customer. Next, it can detect signals indicating a life event that may lead to a financial or advisory need – and raise up those signals to the lender for action.
Great technology also supports our human staff in relationship building, allowing the customer to have the ideal combination of on-demand technology solutions as well as a real live caring human to guide and advise during a very personal life event – purchasing a home. Technology can provide a personal experience at scale with video interaction and education, accomplishing connection through digital eye contact.
Today’s tech can enable easy mobile interactions – making the process of applying and being approved for a home loan a simple, painless experience. With communication being the number one friction point for consumers dealing with a financial services transaction, technology can help automate meaningful and timely communications before, during and after a loan transaction – the right message, at the right time, through the right channel, to the right person.
The list is endless, but the use case is clear – today’s consumer (and loan officer) demands a balance of easy-to-use technology powering and supporting the human touch that remains critical in mortgage lending.
HW: Adopting the right tech stack can be tricky with so many options out there. What should lenders be looking for in their fintech solutions?
SW: There are four key components that are critical, and the questions any lender should be asking of their technology providers:
- Innovation. Tell me about the innovations you’ve delivered for your customers, how have you helped them drive success, and what’s coming up next? When you choose a tech provider, you aren’t just partnering for the features they have right now, but you are deciding what horse you want to hitch your wagon to for the future.
- Experience. Tell me about your background and experience – who are your customers, and why do they trust you? It’s critical that your technology provider deeply understands the world you are operating in, your pain points, your plans, your success metrics – and that they are experienced in solving for your issues and driving success.
- Integrations. Describe your integration strategy, and how I can ensure that data will be successfully connected and flowing now, as well as scalable for the future? In today’s complex world with many solutions that may or may not be easily interconnected – it’s critical to understand your technology partners strategy and successes on this front.
- Commitment to Customer Success. What does Customer Success mean to you? This is the most important question you can ask, and listen carefully for the answer. While technology will never be perfect, you want a technology partner that has a perfect commitment to you and your business. Are there customer success managers for your leadership and admin team members? Is support provided to loan officers and real estate agents, to ensure understanding and success? Drill down on this one, it’s important.
HW: How does Total Expert approach quantifying the impact of fintech?
SW: Much like the described above Total Expert has conducted studies with multiple partnerships. The results showed that Total Expert customers have grown 2.2x the speed of the industry between 2018-2020. In 2020, customers had seen a 25.5% loan growth as a result, compared to 11.4% on non-TE customers.
Learn more about building customer engagement and creating measurable growth with a truly integrated platform at totalexpert.com.