Tech Roundup: a la mode Pushes Listings to Agents’ Sites

A la mode announced last week its release of a new Internet Data Exchange (IDX) product for real estate agents, which will provide a way for brokers and their agents to display all local MLS listings on their own websites.  The listings will show the hosting broker’s contact information instead of the listing broker’s information. Some of the key features in the new IDX product, according to an a la mode press release, include interactive mapping with driving directions, photo slide shows, support for virtual tours and video, interactive real-time “slider bar” search controls, appointment scheduling, and lead capture features.  The system is developed on a national scale, but it includes automatic local adaption; for instance, a search in Miami would include options for oceanfront property. Since a la mode’s IDX system “snaps into” any agent’s site, it helps solve the nationwide problem of increasingly large inventories of unsold homes, said a la mode.  “There’s a dramatic surplus of listing inventory sitting in the MLS, which most consumers don’t know how to effectively access,” said Alonso Portillo, a la mode’s IDX product manager. And with more than 80 percent of all home searches starting online, Portillo believes the IDX system is a crucial component in marketing this inventory. Cogent Road Paves a Paperless Trail with Automated Communications Platform San Diego-based Cogent Road, a provider of internet-based applications, announced last week the launch of Business Spaces, a new collaborative document management system.  The end-to-end e-mortgage platform automates work processes by delivering documents, tracking their status and notifying key workgroups of issues that may delay closing, according to a Cogent Road press release. “[W]e designed Business Spaces to foster collaboration between the loan officer and all external business partners connected to the loan,” said William DePaolo, managing partner of Cogent Road. “In this way, the potential issues can be proactively addressed and the loan applicant receives the highest level of service.” Once a loan officer orders a credit report, a Business Space is created and the applicant is notified via email — allowing them to enter a private, secured environment through which he or she can view, e-sign or upload documents directly through a computer, fax or virtual printer.  “If the loan progresses, the Business Space evolves into a true collaborative workspace enabling communication among both external and internal partners,” said the press release.  The loan officer, however, remains in total control of what external partners can actually view. This paperless process uses software as a service model, so the only requirement is an internet connection, which Cogent Road said allows new customers to be up and running immediately. Aspen Enhances REO Management St. Charles, Mo.-based Aspen Grove, Inc. released Wednesday Version 3.0 of its current software, with enhancements designed especially to increase REO management efficiency. “The user interface has been completely redesigned to make navigation a breeze for agents managing REO properties,” said Aspen CEO Sean Ryan. The updated interface will allow agents quicker and easier access to key information including properties, work lists, and organization address books, according to a press release.  Aspen incorporated color and organizational structure to help agents more easily manage REO documents and assignments. Ryan also said the company is on the verge of releasing iREO, an upgrade to its current Asset Information Management System. ConformX Integrates with DataTrac Del Mar DataTrac announced Tuesday that Idaho Falls, Idaho-based DocuTech Corp., a provider of compliance services and documentation technology, integrated ConformX, which generates compliant closing documents, into the DataTrac loan management system. By embedding DocuTech’s interface, lenders using San Diego-based Del Mar’s DataTrac software, can now generate and print compliant mortgage disclosures and closing document packages in seconds, according to a press release. “In today’s tough market, lenders simply don’t have the time to work with patchwork loan management systems that require multiple screens and desktop applications for file reporting,” said Rob Katz, president of Del Mar DataTrac. “This new integration eliminates ‘middle-tier’ software…” A Needle in the Haystack: GCC Servicing Systems Expands Southfield, Mich.-based GCC Servicing Systems announced Friday that it’s positioned to expand its customer base of community banks — as the most challenging period for the financial industry brings about ample opportunity for growth in a company like GCC. “We’re on the front lines of the crisis and see many community banks struggling,” said GCC president Glenn Liebowitz. “The problems are made worse if their servicing departments are limited by their technology and software. Even though their systems do a good job at managing deposit accounts, and consumer and commercial loans, they often have trouble handling many tasks involved in secondary market loans.” GCC offers community banks a systems solution for servicing secondary loans including Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae, according to a press release.  GCC can install an Intranet through the bank which allows the other bank departments to access a customer’s mortgage information and handle simple payments. GCC also said it’s enhancing loss mitigation and loan modification modules to aid servicers. LendingTree Chooses IBM for Loan Services IBM (IBM) announced Friday it will provide mortgage loan fulfillment services to Tree.com, Inc.’s Lending Tree Loans. IBM Lender Business Process Services (IBM LBPS) will supply LendingTree’s conventional, conforming, jumbo and FHA loans with technology and business process outsourcing — including customer service, document preparation, loan closing coordination and post closing reviews. LendingTree Loans is an online direct-to-consumer mortgage lender.  IBM’s significant investment in its LBPS technology platform will allow LendingTree Loans, its first online mortgage customer, to have greater flexibility during market upswings and contractions, said a press release friday.  In addition, the technology will offer customers more visibility and control over their loan process by enabling them to track the status of their loan in real time via the internet. “By leveraging IBM’s industry expertise and leading applications, technology and operational capabilities, LendingTree Loans will be able to more quickly streamline operations allowing the business to scale during market cycles,” said David Norris, president of LendingTree Loans. ServiceLink Simplifies Loan Modifications Pittsburgh-based ServiceLink, a provider of origination and default services and the national mortgage services platform of Fidelity National Financial (FNF), is offering loan modification solutions “to meet the immediate needs of lenders and servicers,” according to a press release issued Thursday. ServiceLink provides a “comprehensive suite of settlement services for all modification types,” from rate resets and payment recasts to loan term adjustments.  Lenders and servicers can streamline their processes with the help of ServiceLink’s modification solutions. “ServiceLink understands that the needs of the mortgage industry are rapidly changing, which is why we are offering loan modification solutions to help our clients…” said Kevin Gugenheim, executive vice president of ServiceLink.  The modification solutions include title and closing services, valuation and mortgage modification guarantees. Write to Kelly Curran at kelly.curran@housingwire.com

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