MReport October 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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28 | TH E M R EP O RT COVER STORY A recent Fannie Mae study found that 16 percent of borrowers it surveyed had participated in the gig economy, with that rate for younger borrowers approaching 25 percent. "When you think about a younger consumer coming in with that more diverse source of income, there's a recognized gap for lenders, where it's hard for lenders to document a full two years of income, or have all the information they need around it," Palim said. "For the lenders that do find ways to better record and capture this information and make buyers comfortable about revealing it; I think that could be a nice differentiator." Millennials today are leverag - ing a broad array of informa- tion and communication paths. "Most lenders have not embraced this personalization of process," McDougall said. "We are still predominately leveraging leads from traditional sources with an expectation of beginning a 40-day process along the normal path of purchase. Millennials follow a different path of homeownership. Each path is as unique as the mil - lennial and their personal prefer- ences and degree of investigation." Pricewaterhouse Coopers recently surveyed 1,600 mortgage consumers, and more than 60 percent of respondents said that online digital tools were impor- tant to their ultimate satisfaction. Yet, McDougall said that lenders were behind other industries in meeting these expectations. "The user experience is sometimes degraded because we've not spent enough time in translating content that was previously presented on paper documents," McDougall said. The result was weighty web - sites and a clunky user experience in what should be a streamlined digital view and flow. Speaking of digital solutions available for clients, Cummings explained that there were many benefits to having a digital experience available, including auto-populating application data for existing clients. "Think of financial applications like mint. com that compile information from various sources quickly and seamlessly, eliminating the physi - cal paper trail of bank statements, loan records, credit card informa- tion, and the subsequent paper chase that occurs to get these documents into the hands of the underwriter. Automation results in delivering what our Bank of America consumer lending execu - tive classifies as an exquisite client experience. In many cases, clients may be able to receive a same- day conditional approval, so they can go shopping for what they really want to shop for, a home," Cummings said. While they are very comfortable working with different technolo - gies and interacting with auto- mated gadgets, millennials still need someone to help them through the process, according to Davila. "When they are working with a mortgage company, millennials look for technology-enabled processes and digital integrated service, as well as someone that provides honest and transparent communi - cation, professional expertise, and information," Davila said. "They want that expert who will take that loan, run with it, and close it with minimal issues quickly, and without many challenges." The key then to increase the interactions between lenders and millennial homebuyers, according to both McDougall and Davila, is education. Lenders continue to lever - age traditional methods to win customers and communicate with them over the life of the mortgage, which, McDougall feels, merely invite millennials into the lender's process. But to truly con - nect, lenders must invest equally in researching and communicating with millennials where they spend their time. "This is where they're getting their information and establishing relationships. We should figure out how to be in these spaces with them not in a bothersome way, but communicating and building a relationship while they originate and service their mort - gage," McDougall said. "We must recognize and begin to anticipate a better process that can be high touch, and highly satisfying for our customers, even if it leverages digital interactions in an om - nichannel way." Davila agrees. "When you look at a client experience for that first homebuyer, lenders must make sure that they provide a holistic approach and understand the im - portance of the omnichannel," he said. "Being able to interact with the customer when they want, how they want it, and to make that transition seamless between channels is key to elevate the bor - rowing experience." At the end of the day, McDougall said, a more digital ex- perience and process would help every generation take advantage of what is out there. "Ultimately, we want to be their go-to, on de - mand homeownership pro, their advocate, a trusted source of truth that anticipates, informs, listens, educates, and resolves." RADHIK A OJHA Online Editor at the Five Star Institute, Ojha is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in commerce with a concentration in Accounting and marketing and an M.A. in mass communication. Upon completion of her master's degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the Cultural and Arts Features section. Ojha also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Dallas, Texas. You can contact her at Radhika. "They want that expert who will take that loan, run with it, and close it with minimal issues quickly, and without many challenges." —Jorge Davila, VP, Direct Lending, Flagstar Bank

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