MReport October 2021

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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32 | M R EP O RT FEATURE T oday's new mortgage borrowers have grown up in the digital age. Almost everything they consume comes to them electronically. From their video games to social media to their online shopping experiences, today's consumer expects instant fulfillment. That's making for a somewhat rude awakening when it comes to buying their first home. The mortgage origination process is the antithesis of instant grati- fication, at least the way it has traditionally been conducted. That's changing, and just in time. According to CoreLogic, about 79% of the first-time home purchase applications filed in 2020 were signed by millennials. In all, they made up 54% of all purchase applications. Exposing this segment of the market to the traditional lending process that's changed little over the last 30 years will certainly result in lower borrower satisfaction rates. This is something that lenders do not want to see happen, especial- ly as fintechs continue to disrupt the marketplace. Our industry can take advan- tage of the same techniques and digital processes that other in- dustries have and offer the same high levels of satisfaction. When lenders do so, they will also enjoy other significant benefits. In this article, we'll take a closer look at how better connections between technologies will allow lenders to originate more quickly at a lower cost while they also achieve higher levels of borrower satisfaction. The first step involves tighter integrations between the vari- ous systems we use to originate mortgage loans. Fortunately, we have the perfect tool for this— the Application Programming Interface (API). What the Right Integrations Can Do for a Lender T he API is the gateway to a better loan origination process. It makes it possible for the LOS to reach out electroni- cally to order and receive the data from third parties and then can be smart enough to process that data to keep the lending process moving forward. This is exciting, but it only works if the lender and its technology partner adopt an API-first strategy. What I mean by this is developing technology with the goal of getting everything the lender needs from third parties through the effective use of APIs. It requires the technology partner to not only make the connec- tions between systems, but also to make the most of available automation once the results come back to the LOS. For instance, a good document preparation partner can provide compliant disclosures that can be sent to the borrower at the touch of a button and then send back to the lender all of the electronically signed documents, along with a cache of other valuable informa- tion. With a data-driven API solu- tion, this information can then be used to populate pipelines, trigger workflows, and meet compliance requirements. At the same time, a lender's point of sale (POS) partner may also integrate with the same doc prep provider to expand the consumer experience, perhaps allowing the borrower to order their own disclosures. If not integrated properly, when the report comes back to the lender, it may not be delivered as usable data, but rather as an inert PDF that cannot be used to move the process forward. By using an API-first approach, the lender will get all information electronically and in an automated fashion. The benefits of this are faster origination, fewer errors, higher quality loans, and a better experience for both the lending staff and the borrower. APIs: Opening Doors to a Better Way of Integrating Technologies I n the past, when lenders wanted to share information with third party service providers in an ef- ficient manner, it required building hard-coded integrations between systems. They were difficult and expensive to build and would break whenever either platform evolved or was updated. Today, most modern systems have APIs built into them that can be used like hooks to con- nect disparate systems and allow technology providers to share information seamlessly. Many older integrations were little more than links that would send the loan processor or underwriter out of the loan origination system (LOS) and into another SaaS (Software as a Leveraging Strategic Integrations Our industry can take advantage of the same techniques and digital processes that other industries have and offer the same high levels of satisfaction. By Susan Hartsock

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