Things to consider when choosing new tech for your mortgage business

Is it the right technology for your business, or is it just cool?

Things to consider when choosing new tech for your mortgage business

Today, technology adoption is seen as a formula for success. But investing in the latest and greatest tech trends is not a guarantee that the new tools will give you the results you want.

That's why MPA asked a panel of tech experts how mortgage companies can determine if a certain tool is right for their organization. Pavan Agarwal (CEO of Sun West Mortgage), A.J. Poulin (chief revenue officer of The Mortgage Office), Cristy Conolly (EVP of valuation modernization at Class Valuation), and Josh Lehr (senior director of partnerships and industry technology at Total Expert) offered a few tips on for choosing the right technology for your business.

"What we always look at and aim for is transparency and consistency," Conolly said. "There are so many different pieces to [appraisals], where there can be different items looked at in subjectivity. So, the digital appraisal with the scan provides a digital twin. There is consistency 100% of the time. It's done the same way every time. It also creates independence between the appraiser and the consumer, whether it's a borrower or a seller.

“There's a lot of discussion about appraisal bias right now, and using this technology helps to mitigate that and eliminate it from even becoming an issue when the appraiser is completely independent of that process and of having any communication or interaction with the borrower or the seller."

Lehr pointed out that companies need to ensure it's a good fit for them, not just the next cool thing out there in the market. "I think that's the biggest thing with evaluating technology… how can this improve your process and not necessarily replace it? Don't reinvent the wheel is kind of the basic term. So, I think a lot of it is making sure how this [is] going to help your process and not necessarily be this hindrance for you to go administer a new program?"

Read more: Is tech a threat or compliment for mortgage brokers?

Poulin agreed: "It can be very, very cool, whatever you're considering rolling out. But if it's cool, what is that? What's the problem they're solving? What hole is that plugging at your company as far as your transactional process, as far as your streamlining and approaches to things? It can't just be cool, right? It's got to solve a serious problem that you're having at your company, and then you have to measure it. So don't assume that it fixed it. Maybe it did, and maybe it made it worse. So, it's the pain of what's going on with you and your company and then the reward you're going to get from that and then making sure those to line up."

Agarwal added, "What it boils down to, as it should for any mortgage company, is the loan officer. So the loan officer across all of our channels, retail and wholesale, should be the center of the focus. What you want to ensure is that, just like the Amazon model, you buy something that's $0.10 on Amazon or $10,000 on Amazon.

“You have the same level of predictability you can deliver tomorrow. Your loan officer working in the inner city needs to close alone in seven days, whether it's a 580-credit score, borrowing some life events or a loan officer working in Newport Beach to deliver in seven days. So, technology has got to enable that. Both create the customer relationship on the front end for the customer, but also retain the customer means consistent delivery of your product."

To hear more from our panel of tech experts, click here.