MReport April 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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20 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE I t seems many would agree that 2017 was a banner year for technology-related acronyms. From AI to IoT and VR to 3D, a veritable alphabet soup of new tech innovations were announced on a daily basis. Of course, that changed in December when the na - tion's focus turned to the meteoric rise of certain cryptocurrencies turning a lucky few into overnight millionaires (and billionaires). The recent Forbes cover, "Crypto's Se - cret Billionaire Club" even featured the Crypto Overlord "CZ" who went from "zero to billionaire in six months." As one technology lumi - nary said, "crypto stole the show." Those of us in the industry who did not make the Forbes list will be seeing a lot of innovative technology in 2018, much of it centered on the digital transfor - mation of the transaction process. Here are seven technology trends to track in 2018. 1. Consumer Technology I t's no secret that the consumer has more tech to choose from than ever before. From wear- able tech like the Apple Watch to "smart home" door locks and thermostats to "connected cars," the onslaught of new tech released this year will continue to set con - sumer expectations for ease of use across the real estate, mortgage, and title industry technology. 2. Artificial Intelligence O ne blogger humorously awarded the term "Artificial Intelligence" with their buzzword of the year award. While AI was most definitely overused in 2017, the technology is real, and a growing number of use cases are successfully implementing it. Industry professionals should look for advancements and op - portunities in two specific areas of AI: machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RBA). • • Machine•learning is the ability for a system to learn rules over time. These systems "learn" from each manually-reviewed mortgage document thereby reducing future exceptions. For example, if a human reviewer repeatedly rejects a form due to a borrower accidentally leaving a field blank, the machine learning algorithms will begin to reject subsequent errors thereby reduc - ing or eliminating the need for human review. • • Robotic•Process Automation is a set of tools that generally automates and coordinates tasks across multiple systems. Think of "macros" for the enterprise but with added capabilities like optical character recognition, analysis, decisioning, and report - ing. Though RPA vendors are industry-agnostic, several finan- cial institutions have reported automating tens of thousands of processes with these "robots." 3. Real Estate Technology W hile not as buzzword-rich as mainstream tech, the real estate industry is awash in cool innovations fueled by a seemingly endless supply of venture capital. It is helpful to separate real estate technology into three separate and distinct "buckets" that I call broker- tech, agent-tech, and rental-tech. • • Broker-tech•was the one to watch as Compass; the fast-growing, tech-empowered brokerage received more than $775 million in funding in 2017. Add to that the highly successful IPO and profitability of Redfin along with financing for game-chang - ing "iBuyers" like OpenDoor and OfferPad, then you start to see that the smart money is very interested in re-imagining and re-tooling the real estate model. • • Agent-tech is the vast array of tech tools used by agents to continually define their brand and refine their process. This includes everything from tradi - tional CRM, lead management, and transaction systems like Zillow's dotloop and DocuSign's Transaction Rooms to 3D or Virtual Reality home tours and drone photography. For the technology-inclined, 2018 is a great time to be a real estate agent (or team). Lightbulb•Moments 7 Bright Ideas Illuminating Mortgage Tech From cryptocurrencies to AI, technology is developing at a rapid pace—learn from one mortgage veteran the best way to harness it in day-to-day operations. By Marvin Stone

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