Person working from home on virtual meeting

How to Optimize Your Virtual Workforce

A virtual workforce has replaced the traditional office for many mortgage companies and departments in today’s work environment. Instead of viewing the virtual workforce as a negative, consider the benefits of working remotely with a mortgage support automation tool. 

With a remote workforce, businesses can experience many benefits, including an increased focus on productivity, employee happiness and retention, and a reduction in overhead costs. However, there are challenges to running a remote business. These include lack of face-to-face interactions, lack of training and support for employees, and decreased accountability. 

The rise of the virtual workforce.

Many mortgage companies are enjoying rapid growth in today’s market, but they’re struggling with office space restrictions and space. What if these lenders could scale their operations without dramatically increasing overhead expenses?

Today, mortgage companies and departments are meeting this challenge head-on and establishing a permanent virtual workforce. Under this organizational structure, employees work remotely, eliminating the need to invest in office space that may not be necessary if the market slows down. 

Long term, some companies are hesitant to move to a “permanently virtual workforce” for fear of a negative impact on work quality and productivity. These mortgage companies may experience an employee shortage in the future if they don’t embrace the future of work. Virtual environments with a mortgage support automation platform will be the wave of the future.

A virtual workforce was once tricky to manage. However, in the last few years, new technologies, such as video conferencing, automation tools, and cloud storage, now make managing a virtual workforce far more practical and cost-effective. 

A common issue in the mortgage industry is that companies don’t want to invest in technology when markets are cold, but no one has time when the market is hot. Mortgage companies must overcome the issue by understanding that technology is here to stay — and the right mortgage industry AI platform is the key to business agility and fluctuating labor in the mortgage industry. 

Why should you optimize your virtual workforce?

A recent post-pandemic workforce article from McKinsey states, “When leaders focus on outcomes and outputs, virtual workers deliver higher-quality work.” The article also shares some drawbacks to virtual workforce environments: information silos, lack of informal interactions; and a lack of space to voice concern, make requests, or talk about mistakes. 

What is the solution if the answer doesn’t lie in calling everyone back to the office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.? Automation and optimization of the virtual workforce. 

Gone are the days where a loan applicant walks into an office to fill out an application. Before 2020, potential borrowers were using electronic signature tools to complete application documents and send financial records via email. Even if your loan officers aren’t ready to go 100% remote, your future customers are already there. 

Why automate?

For borrowers, automation reduces the time and cost of securing mortgage financing. For lenders, automation speeds up the task of gathering, reviewing, and verifying mortgage documents. 

Some mortgage lenders use third-party companies to process loans, while outsourced call centers support the customer service function. Using these businesses can drive up costs if the market slows, yet internal teams aren’t prepared to handle the process on top of their current workloads. An AI-powered support automation platform like Capacity allows lenders to communicate with customers in-house while improving privacy regulation compliance and decreasing costs.

When borrowers find a property to purchase, they’re not as patient with lengthy pre-approval processes. They expect service and answers to their financial questions immediately. Support automation platforms can serve as an ‘augmented loan officer,’ providing solutions, access to knowledge bases, and a place to view their file and loan progress.

For example, automation tools with Capacity feature an AI-powered help desk with chatbot functionality that lets lenders communicate with customers about the different types of loans, interest rates, closing costs, and closing timelines during the application stage and throughout the mortgage life cycle. When face-to-face interactions between lenders and borrowers aren’t possible, an AI-powered help desk helps mortgage companies and their loan officers stand out from the competition.

Now the question is, ‘why not automate?’

How to choose the right mortgage support automation solution.

Mortgage companies mustn’t mistake advanced customer relationship management systems with mortgage support automation solutions. While a CRM can do a great job of keeping leads in the pipeline and keeping track of them, a mortgage support automation platform can deliver superior loan processing experiences from application through closing. 

The future of AI in the mortgage industry has arrived, but it’s important to choose the right solution. When researching all the options, use this checklist as a guide to select a solution that will outperform your competitors:

  • Mortgage robotic process automation (RPA): Capacity offers RPA, an automation system that automates business operations and workflows with no human intervention.
  • Advanced workflows: Capacity’s advanced workflows can use AI to complete repetitive tasks on behalf of your team, such as email notifications, follow-ups for missing or incorrect application data, etc. 
  • Regulation and compliance automation: Keeping up with all the updates and changes to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Home Loan Banks, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and FDIC, and state regulations is a full-time job for today’s loan officers. Use the AI tool to hook up to news sources for these entities so that loan officers have access to the most recent information and updates. 
  • Integrations and APIs: If your loan officers rely on a CRM, project management tool, or communication tool, check for integrations or available APIs. Capacity has over 50 app integrations and empowers your team to do their best work.

How can your company benefit from using AI for your virtual workforce? Request a demo of Capacity today to find out.