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MortgagePoint » Your Trusted Source for Mortgage Banking and Servicing News 34 April 2023 F E A T U R E mortgage market participants. The ecosys- tem is evolving. Ultimately, the future lies in connecting mortgage origination processes with servicing processes so both become seamless with each other. For the lenders, this will be the key to improving borrower retention numbers, as better servicing will inevitably lead customers to buy more prod- ucts and services from those that made their home financing goals possible. Improving the Borrower's Journey A I and machine learning aside, over the past 15 years, the arrival of automated workflow technology and robotic process automation (RPA) has begun transforming origination and servicing processes, such as providing borrowers with the ability to drive their own mortgage application process and access tools for paying their mortgage or requesting assistance. Indeed, no-touch processing of basic borrower self-service requests has quickly become table stakes for lenders and servicers, whereby borrowers enter a request for information or service and receive an immediate response. Over the next few years, however, AI and machine learning will cause this transfor- mation to accelerate by taking new forms of data about borrowers, and automatically launching the correct workflows and noti- fications to drive these processes the next level forward without any human assistance. Workflow automation with AI is the most powerful opportunity for growth and expan- sion of capabilities that the industry has. For both lenders and servicers, self-ser- vice technology fueled by AI, machine learn- ing, and workflow automation will deliver rapid digital efficiency that will reduce an organization's cycle times, drive profitabil- ity, and improve other success metrics. But ultimately it will benefit consumers more than anyone. In fact, we are soon approach- ing the day when anyone—someone buying a home, or someone who already owns a home—can go online, make a request, and get what they need without ever needing to talk to anyone. Of course, many consumers will still want to work with human experts. But they'll also have the option not to if they don't find it necessary. Drones Are About to Take Off W hat do drones have to do with all of this? It is still about the technology and the data that is extracted and used in many ways. It may seem hard to believe, but the first known use of unmanned aircraft was in 1849, when Austria launched balloons to drop bombs on Venice. As technology became smaller and cheaper to produce, drones evolved from remote-controlled aircraft flown by hobbyists to being outfitted by pro- fessionals with cameras for all kinds of uses, from agriculture to commercial construction to marketing for-sale properties. According to Drone Industry Insights, the global drone market is expected to grow from $26.3 billion in 2021 to $41.3 billion by 2026, while the Federal Aviation Administra- tion projected there will be over two million drones flying throughout the U.S. by 2024. Drones are now having a growing impact in the appraisal and property insurance in- dustries as well. According to a recent report from Deloitte, commercial drone use can save the insurance industry billions of dol- lars per year. As the severity of natural disas- ters has continued to grow, drones are used to assess property damage, so that mortgage servicers can fund claims faster and ensure borrowers can repair their homes as quickly as possible. The data and images collected can be transmitted, but within the limita- tions of the cell networks. If all 5G is down in a disaster area, this data transfer will remain a challenge. At Clarifire, we're starting our work with mortgage insurers and property perse- veration companies and appraisers that are using drone technology to create more robust products and services, which we are incorporating into our technology platform to provide servicers and their customers with greater visibility into the true condition of properties. Getting There From Here O ur industry has plenty of reasons to be optimistic about its digital future. In addition to the creation of new digital technologies, the pandemic gave everyone a major digital push by forcing companies and consumers to interact remotely to get home financing done. However, there are things that mortgage lenders and servicers and technology vendors must do for our industry to reach its full digital potential. Mortgage servicers, for example, need more seamless integrations that reduce or eliminate the manual tasks and spreadsheets that many still use and begin leveraging and extending automated workflows to their third-party relationships. From an industry standpoint, we could We are soon approaching the day when anyone—someone buying a home or someone who already owns a home— can go online, make a request, and get what they need without ever needing to talk to anyone.

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