Clarifire’s Jane Mason: Imagination and Automation–Do You Have it?

Jane Mason is CEO and Founder of Clarifire, Clearwater, Fla., and the original architect behind CLARIFIRE®, a workflow automation solution that brings all parties within mortgage servicing operations together onto one secure application. With over 15 years of experience in financial services technology, Mason started her career in business operations, quickly becoming an executive of an international law firm. As an entrepreneur and innovator, she has received numerous awards and accolades for her service in local business and the national mortgage stage.

As mortgage servicers gathered in Orlando in February for the annual MBA Servicing Solutions Conference & Expo, one session, “Executives Discuss Their Challenges and Goals,” revealed a consistent need and desire to reimagine mortgage servicing.

Whether it’s the growing pressures of customer call volume, new Basel III and capital requirements, streamlining mortgage servicing rights, reducing warehouse line risk, or pondering the costs of current and emerging technology, the directive from panelists was the same: Take a pause from the disruption and look at your processes from a fresh perspective.

For many, this will mean redirecting your efforts toward analytical tools, workflow automation as a no-code solution for automating process complexities, and eliminating organizational silos. In other words, let technology do the heavy lifting, so your teams focus on critical customer interactions.

Are You Listening to Pain Points?

At the center of this call to reimagine servicing lies the delivery of meaningful customer communication and digital self-serve options that more thoroughly and rapidly address customer needs. Accessibility and response are key.

One conference panelist said it best: When customers dial into your call center, it’s critical to listen to their needs and tone, and pay attention to what your staff tells you about the feedback and pain points they’re hearing. This will reveal where friction exists within your organization.

In many cases, these pain points stem from customers who were hoping to get their questions answered through self-serve options, but couldn’t. It’s important for servicers to keep tweaking these digital and human interactions. When you have robust self-serve capabilities, including 24/7, real-time self-service tools, your technology can greatly enhance customer interactions, because your staff will have all relevant data and automation they need at their fingertips to address customer pain points quickly and effectively.

The Cost/Benefit of Analytical Tools

It’s also time to start leveraging analytical tools to examine where your problems and major costs reside within your organization. Such tools will help you push beyond making assumptions about where your organizational issues exist to knowing what to do about it.

Analytical tools enable you to dig deep into your processes and corresponding guidelines to avoid writing requirements that are not aligned with your current business needs. In many cases, this is attainable through easy-to-use, flexible software that powers automated self-service and brings rapid results in a modern way.

Such solutions can also help you analyze your value proposition as well as measure the goals and successes of individual team members and areas of your business. The goal should be to embrace accessibility, transparency, and visibility organization-wide. When you’re able to leverage no-code collaborative workflow technologies for more intelligent decisioning, you’re better able to help everyone drive success.

The Servicing Impact of Basel III

Panelists also discussed the looming impact of Basel III requirements on mortgage servicers. In the realm of regulatory advocacy, the MBA is keeping a keen eye on the federal government’s proposal, which threatens to hinder market liquidity and healthy competition. The recommended changes would also impact capital requirements, in turn adding stress on MSR values and perpetuating warehouse line risk.

Although looming Basel III requirements are troubling, especially for bank servicers and warehouse lenders, executives on the panel emphasized the need to focus on more organic areas for improvement, such as shoring up systems for efficiency and improving the customer experience.

However, as things shake out, today’s regulatory burdens are a major reason to lean on technologies that offer relief. Whether it involves Basel III requirements or any other federal, state or investor requirements, rethinking the proven technologies you rely on can significantly reduce the risks associated with maintaining compliance. In other words, stop doing it on your own.

It Comes Down To Systems

As one servicing executive articulated during the panel, mortgage servicers have arrived at a critical junction. In recent years, the industry has made great strides in assisting distressed customers, but now is the time to reevaluate and innovate.

The executive panel overwhelmingly supported a shift from reactive to proactive strategies, focusing on redesigning processes with technology as the catalyst. From my perspective, the crux of this reimagining strategy comes down to refreshing your systems and processes and implementing new ways of working.

Mortgage servicing is undeniably complex, with a myriad of federal and state regulations adding to many subtle intricacies. The goal is to simplify operations, drive efficiency, reduce costs and enhance the overall customer experience. But how is it done?

Start by breaking down every single process. As daunting as this sounds, you can start with the predominant customer interactions and work to improve mobile, rapid response. Next, embrace analytical tools, AI and no-code solutions to identify the hurdles you need to improve. Then it’s possible to seize the opportunity to shore up your operational processes and push your servicing entity to the next level of innovation. Use the data to drive fact-based change. And no matter what, be willing to take your self-serve capabilities to the next level to drive greater customer engagement and achieve more extensive cost savings through gained efficiencies.

Today’s crossroads can be navigated easily with the right technology and strategic thinking, but it can’t be overlooked. By breaking down silos, embracing change and flexibility in automation, mortgage servicing executives will usher in a new era of customer-centricity and digital servicing excellence. You’ll want to be there at the forefront when that happens.

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policy of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor do they connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. MBA NewsLink welcomes your submissions. Inquiries can be sent to NewsLink Editor Michael Tucker at or Editorial Manager Anneliese Mahoney at