MBANow: Joe Tyrell of Ellie Mae on Digital Mortgage, Millennials



The Mortgage Bankers Association released a new MBANow video featuring Joe Tyrrell, Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy with Ellie Mae, Pleasanton, Calif., who discussed the fully digital mortgage, latest market trends and the ongoing impact the Millennial generation is having on the mortgage industry at the recent MBA Annual Convention & Expo in Denver.

 The video can be viewed at

JoeTyrellTyrell said Ellie Mae completed 1.3 million digital mortgage applications last year. “For us, a digital mortgage goes well beyond the application,” Tyrell said. “It really starts before you even think about interacting or engaging that first consumer. It’s driven largely by data, being able to understand specifically what a home buyer would be interested in; leveraging all of the data you have on them or other borrowers who resemble them from a cohort perspective; being able to leverage predictive analytics, so that when you deliver that message–that first marketing communication to the consumer–you’re delivering the exact message they would receive at the time they would want to receive it and also how they would want to receive it. And then what you’re doing is turning the interest you create, ultimately into an application.”

 But Tyrell noted the application is “just the start” of the mortgage journey. He said it’s important for lenders to access and use date throughout the mortgage process to provide transparency and eliminate uncertainty in the process. He noted Millennials are looking for a speedier mortgage process, but also a process that provides more personal interaction.

 “Every consumer is going to go through a home-buying process maybe three or four times in their lives–it’s a very big decision,” Tyrell said. “So when we look at automation and leveraging technology, it’s not just to automate the steps in the process; it’s also to be used to determine what’s the most effective way to apply those high-touch elements.”

 Tyrell said now is the time to be thinking about Millennial home buyers. “What we’re seeing is they’re definitely entering the market,” he said. “Typically they’re doing it in areas where there is a good inventory of affordable housing, so we’re seeing less of a percentage of Millennials as an overall representation of home buyers on the coasts, where it is more expensive, but over the last three years as we’ve been tracking the data even in the highly populated urban areas we’re starting to see the Millennials increase the percentage of home buyers.”

 Tyrell added that demographic analysis is revealing unique aspects of Millennials. “The ‘sweet spot’ for home buying is between ages 28-32,” he said. “Why that’s important is because by 2020 there will be almost 25 million Millennials in that age band. So we’ve got to be thinking now about how do we prepare a process to meet the expectations of these Millennials, but at the same time, not leave behind the population that’s actually driving home buying today.”

 Other videos in the MBANow series can be viewed at the MBA YouTube channel, The videos are also available on the MBA Insights landing page,