Technology is Great, But . . .
Obviously trying to appeal to the Millennials, some mortgage companies are starting to advertise an online mortgage process – you “simply” upload all your financial information, complete the application, click on a few buttons to customize your interest rate and mortgage terms, use their e-signature option, and bam: you get instant notification concerning your loan approval. While that concept is very appropriate for registering your car at the Motor Vehicles Department (it’s a wonder they haven’t done that yet), there’s SLIGHTLY more to it than that.
I don’t want to lose you here, so I won’t go into all the nerdy details, but suffice it to say there’s abundant reason you WANT a loan originator talking to your client and walking her through the process from start to finish. Let me give you just two:
• If a borrower’s information is input incorrectly or placed in the “wrong box” on an application, that can stop the process dead in its tracks. A computer’s not going to give an applicant a “heads up” – it’s just going to kick out a message that the person’s application is not approved. The applicant, in this instance, is either going to give up and continue renting for another year or start over (and perhaps get the same results because she’s being forced to guess what went wrong the first time). While we, of course, are trained to put the information in the right boxes, we’re also human – if a mistake is made, or there’s something that comes back from underwriting that needs to be addressed, we human LOs pick up the phone and speak with another human; it gets corrected. The process continues without a delay and stays on time.
• Giving the applicant the option to just click a few buttons and “customize” their interest rate and terms doesn’t explain all the other options available to them that could be better suited to their current situation and, perhaps, their long-term goals. Also, giving them such an option doesn’t guide them to let them know what’s truly available to them based on their financials, their debt-to-income ratio, etc. When we talk with your clients, we walk them through the available options and give them a detailed understanding of how those options will play out in both a short- and long-term fashion.
The challenge here is addressing this “online” mindset. They went online for ease, convenience, and options. There’s really no way to “stop” people from going online and giving this option a whirl, but when they come to you frustrated from having a less-than-optimal experience, you’re going to want to refer them to a mortgage company that has the most options and the most knowledgeable LOs so your client has a fantastic experience. We might just know someone like that.