MReport October 2021

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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34 | M R EP O RT FEATURE Service) platform, destroying the experience in the process. With so much emphasis placed on the borrower's experience, which is vitally important, many have lost sight of the experience of their own mortgage staff. Lending staff should have the same positive experience every time they process a loan on a given technology. Any integrations to that technology should provide the information they require auto- matically, behind the scenes, with- out ever pulling the lending staff out of their primary operating system, the LOS. Today's modern APIs make that possible. This is due, in large part, to mortgage software providers beginning to look at integra- tions the same way Amazon and Google do—data first. Instead of thinking about getting a tax transcript, flood zone certification, or appraisal report back, today's software providers focus on the data those forms hold. We see that fact clearly in the many different technology stacks lenders use today. Many include both new and legacy technologies, making it very difficult to connect the dots when it comes to integra- tions. Even when all of the vari- ous technologies are connected, historically there hasn't been an industrywide standard for data transmission. Thanks to the efforts of many volunteers, the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) has made huge strides in establishing techno- logical data standards that cover a broad swath of mortgage technol- ogy providers and impact nearly every aspect of the loan manufac- turing process. The MISMO API Toolkit is standardizing how data is trans- ferred from one technology to an- other, making it easier for lenders to integrate disparate technologies. Best Practices for Ensuring Good API- Based Integrations W hile explaining what APIs are capable of providing to our industry is fairly straight- forward, programming them effectively is not necessarily as simple. Here are three critical best practices lenders should apply to achieve greater success. 1. Be Open to Change Technology in the past was often employed to automate what had previously been completed manually. It's not only about replacing manual processes, but rethinking the entire manufactur- ing procedure. A streamlined process with more automation will pay high dividends, but only if management is open to change. Look for the small wins. If the lender can shave five or 10 minutes off of the process over hundreds of loans, the return on investment will be significant. 2. Take a Holistic View A technology roadmap allows the lender and its technology partner to take a more holistic ap- proach to API development. This is important because starting with individual APIs can lead to work- flow or other problems that can be avoided if development begins with a complete view of the lend- ers' needs. The key here is to look at the entire lending process. 3. Find the Right Technology Partner So much of what we do today involves the thoughtful application of APIs for seamless data integra- tion. The lender should choose a partner, especially for their LOS, who truly understands how to use APIs to deliver value. Lenders are urged to ask questions of any prospective partner and make sure the answers are delivered from the lender's perspective. If the technology provider doesn't understand what constitutes value to the lender, it won't be an effec- tive partnership. Effective lending, at least in the minds of the new generation of homeowners, will involve instant gratification at every point along the home loan origination process. Lenders can deliver it if they complete their journeys to digital, use technology to connect their systems, and then use automa- tion to act on that data once it's received. The API, when properly utilized, will help the lender ac- complish this and allow them to originate more quickly at a lower cost, while they achieve higher levels of borrower satisfaction. . SUSAN HARTSOCK is the Senior Director, Strategic Alliances for Origence. Hartsock has 25 years' mortgage industry experience. Her career ranges from developing and managing industry technology relationships for key origination players and investing her time in serving on industry boards. She has spent the past five years in the mortgage technology space, managing and advancing strategic relationships, including building and managing Origence's strategic integration partner- ships over the last 18 months. Even when all of the various technologies are connected, historically there hasn't been an industrywide standard for data transmission.

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