Last week we wrapped up the 2018 Digital Mortgage Conference in Las Vegas. While there were ton’s of insights into the future of the mortgage industry. I wanted to break down my top five for you all. Here is a recap of my five biggest takeaways from the conference. Ones that you can start using in your mortgage business to make sure you don’t get left behind.
What Is A Digital Mortgage?
Simply put a digital mortgage is when a mortgage office can take a borrower through the entire loan process digitally. While there are a ton of separate tools that can digitize different steps of the mortgage process, there is yet to be one piece of software that can a borrower through the entire way.
Start Building Horizontally
Focus less on how you can cover more of the mortgage industry. Focus more on how you can cover more of the home buying process for your borrowers. 97% of home buyers are confused when it comes to the home buying process. They want one brand that can take them through all of it. From the home search, to the realtor, to the lender, to home insurance and title. People want the process simplified.
You can see this trend happening with the big players. Giants like Zillow are officially moving into the mortgage industry and RocketMortgage moving into the real estate industry. All of the big companies are working on a horizontal play to cover more of the home buying process in one place for their customers. They are doing this because that’s what the consumer wants. So when making growth decisions for your mortgage company don’t just think “how can I make the mortgage process easier for my borrowers”. Think “how can I make the home buying process easier for my borrowers”.
The Digital Loan Officer is Coming
The digital loan officer is coming. I see big wins for the company who can offer the first on demand yet still fully human digital loan officer experience. Where borrowers can dial in via live video or text chat to a real loan officer in their area on demand, whenever they’d like (or maybe start with during business hours). These are two technologies that are both completely available and ready to be used. But I’ve yet to see a mortgage business offer this “digital on-demand loan officer” service. Want to get started right away? BNTouch offers a super easy live chat tool that you can add to your mortgage website in minutes.
Voice, Voice, Voice
More and more searches and tasks are being done online using digital assistants like Alexa and Siri. It’s important to start thinking about how your business can start to work with this growing subset of voice operated assistants. One of the first big opportunities will be voice assisted 1003’s. Start to think about how to create a loan application that can be filled out by voice rather than typing.
The next step will be when your assistants like Alexa and Siri’s voices are indistinguishable from a real human voice. You’ll be able to ask your assistant to set-up an appointment with a realtor partner or potential borrower at a certain time.It’ll be able to automatically call them and set up the appointment for you. You can check out an amazing demo of this from one of Google’s most recent keynotes. These are technologies you need to keep an eye on. Start thinking how you can make your business as easy for these assistants to work with as possible.
Pro Tip: Google has even created a new position in the search results called position zero. Companies who rank in position zero will be the go to response from Alexa and Siri when they answer your questions. Check out this article from Moz that will breakdown what is and how to rank for position zero.
Crowd-funding is taking the business world by storm. People who previously had no means of creating a product or service can now do so with small monetary contributions from lots of individuals. Instead of vying for the highly competitive market of angel investment. Many people are also using crowd-funding platforms like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter to sell individual products. These companies profit by taking a small percentage of the money raised from every funded product. They give business owners the ability to avoid being stuck with a huge inventory of products that must be sold to make a profit. These platforms can be used to presell a certain amount of product so only enough need to be made to fill the orders.
This has huge implications for the mortgage industry as well. Rather than depending on banks and traditional lenders to fund loans, loan officers will be able to fund loans by collecting small amounts from many private investors. I see huge success for the first mortgage company that can offer or create a loan crowdfunding platform on their website. Offer not only loans but the ability for average Joe’s to invest in, fund and collect the interest on the loans of their peers.
The big data revolution is here. Companies are collecting more and more data from their users and consumers daily. They’re using this data to present highly targeted marketing pieces to their lists. The mortgage industry must take a note from this book because it is what consumers are growing accustomed to. If a single Asian mother with two children wants to apply for a mortgage loan and her follow up emails feature pictures of a two parented Caucasian family. Does that truly connect?
The company who can use data and segmentation software to switch that photo out for a stock photo of an Asian mother with her children will win over the company using generic marketing pieces for everyone on their list. Companies like Infutor are creating software that pulls data to create more in-depth consumer profiles. They do this by scouring the internet and their social media profiles of your potential and past borrowers. Software like this can be used to create better targeted marketing campaigns for your borrowers.
So What Does The Future Of The Mortgage Industry Look Like?
That’s really up to us as mortgage professionals. The wants, needs and expectations of customers are changing and the mortgage companies that can change with them will be the most successful. You can either look at these changes as scary, or you can see them as an opportunity to really make your business stand out. No one says you have to take it all one at once, pick one or two of these upcoming technologies and dive in. Learn about them and how they can be used to by your company to create a better customer experience. That is how you will truly stand out in this digital age.