Great mortgage professionals are hard to find in a good labor market. However, in today’s tight labor market, everyone from managers and front-line loan officers to loan underwriters and processors are in high demand. Even if you can find talent, you will pay a lot more for it.
Combine these challenges with our booming housing market, and you have the makings of a crisis. Mortgage companies are struggling harder than ever to manage costs and earn revenue quickly while matching borrowers with the right mortgage products.
As a result, today you must balance several difficult tasks at the same time:
- First, you must optimize the talent you do have. Paying people maximum dollars to answer routine questions, key data, or search for data in documents stored in multiple repositories just won’t cut it.
- Second, you must keep your loan officers and support staff happy. Loan officers need to feel that they are doing only the most valuable, revenue-generating work you hired them to do.
- Third, you must prepare for all markets. Today’s hot market is great, but in the event of a slowdown, mortgage companies may face the pain and expense of downsizing—only to have to hire again when the market heats back up. Lather, rinse, repeat.
New technologies, including mortgage support automation platforms like Capacity, can help meet all these challenges and more. And while no technology can solve every problem, these new tools can help you prove ROI quickly, so you can prepare for the future while making everyone’s life easier.
Optimizing Talent with Mortgage Support Automation Platforms
When you are paying top dollar for talent, the last thing you want loan officers to do is spend hours fielding simple questions, performing data-entry work, or digging for information. A mortgage support automation platform that includes a chatbot, can free up a loan officer’s time so they can close more loans and satisfy borrowers.
From the loan officer’s perspective, a good mortgage support automation platform allows them to get the information they need by literally asking for it—in their own words. If a borrower calls their loan officer directly with a question, the loan officer can simply type “show me the Jones account” into Capacity to instantaneously pull up accurate data on the Jones account.
Meanwhile, from the borrower’s perspective, they can avoid calling the loan officer in the first place simply by using the Capacity chatbot on the customer-facing website. Just as it does for loan officers, natural language processing allows borrowers to ask questions directly. The chatbot then crawls the company’s website, including any PDFs in the knowledge base, to retrieve the information—again, sparing loan officers the pain of finding it. At Capacity, more than 90% of routine questions can be answered this way.
But here’s the best part: The more these tools are used, the smarter they get. Chatbots can learn from their “mistakes.” The result is an ever-improving platform that helps you get the most from your loan officers and support staff as you build trust among borrowers.
Keeping Loan Officers Happy with RPA and Task-Based Workflows
If you think mortgage automation platforms and chatbots can only answer questions, think again. Their “value add” is their power to kick off automated, task-based workflows that cut out the frustration of managing complex processes, such as originating loans.
Many tasks in the loan origination process are ideal for automation. These tasks are routine, repeatable, and rules-based—if thing A happens, then thing B must follow, every time. RPA takes automation a step further by allowing an automated process to bring a human in where needed. That way, individual processes can be strung together.
For example, let’s say a borrower submits a loan application. An automated process can review the document and make sure all the fields are completed correctly. With RPA, a loan officer can then be triggered to perform a key step at the end of that process, such as making a judgment of whether the prospective borrower’s income will support the loan they are requesting. Once they’ve determined that, they simply click “Yes” to kick off the next automated process to continue to loan approval, or “No” to kick off the process of letting the borrower know their application has been rejected.
Task-based workflows powered by RPA have benefits for everyone. Loan Officers enjoy the benefits of more streamlined tasks, less administrative work, and fewer training sessions. Mortgage companies benefit from fewer errors, lower production costs, and more insight into how loan officers are performing their work. And of course, borrowers enjoy an enhanced customer experience.
Preparing for All Markets with Technology Integrations
Another benefit of mortgage support automation platforms are integrations. For example, you can integrate Capacity with multiple technologies, including everything from marketing automation tools to human resources information systems (HRIS) and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. Such integrations deliver optimized, satisfied loan officers and make it easier to manage headcount no matter what happens in the market—all while increasing borrower satisfaction.
In addition to these specific applications, integrations often provide other labor-saving features, such as alerts and single sign-on (SSO) technology that eliminates multiple logins and passwords. A loan officer in the field could be alerted when a new property comes on the market, for instance. Then, with a single sign-in, they could retrieve all the information about that property and notify a potential buyer by phone within minutes, all from their mobile device.
In short, integrations expand your workforce without growing headcount. Loan officers and support staff can do more faster by accessing multiple tools from anywhere.
Proving ROI to Stay on Top of Talent and Technology
A common paradox of the mortgage industry is that no one wants to invest in technology when markets are cold, and no one has time when markets are hot. Mortgage companies must overcome this paradox by leaning into the fact that these technologies are here to stay—and they are key to business agility in fluctuating labor and mortgage markets.
With the right tools, you can handle volume in hot markets and leverage loan officers and support staff more effectively when things cool down—without having to “right size.”
However, investing in those tools will not hit the bottom line. Instead, you will become more profitable because:
- Loan officers are better utilized
- Turnover is lower
- Borrowers are happier
- Loans are closed faster—which means more revenue, more quickly.
By doing what it takes to start investing in mortgage support automation platforms today, you are doing the right, responsible thing to ensure profitability—if not survival—tomorrow.