Opinion: the future of digital workflows combines flexibility with personalization

Technology adoption for the sake of modernization is not the answer

For those in the mortgage space, there are a myriad of technology solutions claiming to help streamline lending operations and improve efficiency. These workflows help title and settlement companies track how data and decisions flow from initiation to outcome. Yet, somewhere along the steady stream of tasks, we’ve lost the personalized touch. When investing in a technology that someone else designed to automate workflows, it’s important to ask — how do I make this workflow work for me?

Workflows are slightly different for most title and settlement companies since each has underlying processes and specific needs. That’s why the key is in implementing a platform that’s flexible enough to handle each unique need so you can maximize your offerings — your flow. After all, technology should serve the experts and work for them, not force the experts to change their processes to fit a predetermined workflow.

Digital workflows should supplement expertise, not replace it

This obsession with workflows revolves so much around what the technology can do, that we forget the real reason why the technology was built and who it was designed to serve in the first place. Lenders and title and settlement providers are trying to reach the same outcome — a frictionless mortgage closing process. Each stage in the process is as unique as the people who run it, their skill sets and the customers they serve. Although they are working toward the same goal, there are differences between the services they provide and the resources they use.

Title and settlement companies have to manage multiple systems across two industries — lenders’ closing portals and title underwriters’ title production systems. The technology they use should complement their processes and optimize what they do, not replace the expertise they have spent decades building and developing. When title and settlement providers leverage a workflow that supplements their expertise, they strengthen their existing domain knowledge in things like assessing risk, answering customers’ questions, addressing title policy creation and complying with complex regulations.

Improving relationships, not just processes, for a better overall lending experience

Workflow optimization should translate to “making my day better” or “making my work better,” and yet, it does not always make personal relationships or business relationships stronger. For the technology to improve relationships with referral partners and consumers alike, the tech design must be superior to analog or manual processes in every way possible.

In the mortgage space, the adoption of new technologies can have a significant impact with several benefits, such as faster processing, increased accuracy, improved security and cost savings. By leveraging these benefits, title and settlement providers can offer a better experience for borrowers, which ultimately leads to more satisfied customer relationships and increased business success.

For title and settlement providers, the COVID-19 pandemic showed us how remote tools can enable business continuity. It wasn’t just about how to tackle the process remotely but how the technology can create a remote session that’s frictionless, easy and enables the end consumer to walk away with that personal touch. This is where “workflows” come into play in a meaningful way. The problem is not “the process” the way many vendors imply — the problem is prescriptive technology. If the tech is easy to use, it will be adopted.

Even if only a few in the office are adopting a new way of getting things done, that means more flexibility and additional reach to more consumers. Ensuring that the use of technology in workflows is available, intuitive and smooth for all users will lead to a better overall lending experience.

The future of digital mortgage is delegation

Title and settlement agents are in the business of people. Adopting a digital solution that’s amendable to an existing process and is easy to use makes experts more effective. In short, title and settlement companies can serve their customers in newer, better ways. Delegate to technology to unlock the freedom to do more of what title and settlement professionals do best. That flexibility allows different teams to tailor their workflows to their unique needs and preferences, improving collaboration and productivity.

It can also integrate with other systems and applications, which helps the business improve efficiency, boost collaboration, reduce delays and achieve better results overall. The technology used to enhance a workflow should be one that provides flexibility. It should allow the consumer to accentuate the opportunities in their operations and not simply be a solution that offers rigid business processes just for the sake of technology adoption. The promise of technology is that it should adapt to you and enhance your way of doing things. When mortgage professionals choose a customizable digital solution, it creates a frictionless mortgage closing process for all.

It helps title and settlement companies drive digital transformation, not just for the sake of adopting a more modern solution, but for creating better operational efficiency and deal capacity. Deliver a seamless customer experience in a workflow that works for you, so you can get back to what matters most: people.

This piece was originally published in the April/May issue of HousingWire magazine. Click here to view the full issue.

Angel Hernandez is the head of industry and regulatory affairs at Stavvy.

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