STRATMOR Study Notes Lender Shift Toward Improving Customer Experience

STRATMOR Group, Greenwood Village, Colo., released its annual Technology Insights Study, noting strong overall improvements by lenders in improving the customer experience but identifying continued challenges in back-end processes.

The study, which examined the range of system technologies that lenders are now using, found more than three-quarters of mortgage lenders currently give borrowers the ability to sign disclosures online, while nearly as many lenders allow borrowers to upload documents and respond to loan conditions online.

“Today’s borrowers expect a digital experience, and lenders that do not empower consumers to upload and execute loan documents online are not only in the minority, but are falling far behind their peers,” said Garth Graham, senior partner with STRATMOR Group. “Still, while lenders are deploying and utilizing digital capabilities on the front end of the origination process, there are great opportunities to gain efficiencies on the back end.”

Graham said compared to four years ago, the primary driver of lenders’ technology investments has shifted from regulatory concerns to a focus on improving customer service. “Today we have an environment that is about stealing market share and succeeding with the tougher purchase transactions,” he said. “Customer satisfaction and maintaining relationships have replaced regulatory mandates as the top concerns. That means meeting the needs of borrowers and referral sources.”

Key findings:

–76 percent of respondents provide the ability for borrowers to execute disclosures online compared to 61 percent in 2017.

–72 percent provide the ability for the borrower to upload documents and respond to conditions online.

–72 percent of respondents use agency solutions for loan delivery data (ULDD) validation, compliance and loan salability.

–Ellie Mae’s Encompass was the most used POS technology for the fourth year in a row, followed by Blend.

–Only 18 percent of respondents said they do not use a company-sponsored lead management tool. The rest use one or more of 24 third-party systems sharing the CRM market, with Top of Mind, Salesforce and Velocify holding the top three spots.

–Optimal Blue was the leading product and production engine among respondents.

The study also found among the different technologies that lenders use, lenders were most likely to stay with their current production pipeline hedging, LOS and PPE technologies rather than switching to competing products.

“While lenders are generally satisfied with their LOS, we found that many will stay with a ‘good enough’ LOS because the cost of implementing a new solution is so high in terms of licensing, development and training, not to mention the intangible costs of employee resistance to change,” Graham said.