What to expect at Blend in the new year
A look-back at 2022 and our vision for 2023.
Although every year is different, and every year is filled with its own challenges and triumphs, 2022 was filled with more change than we could have anticipated.
There’s no sugar-coating it. It was a tough year in our industry as macro factors such as supply chain issues, inflation, and rising interest rates cut into margins. But it was also a time in which we reinforced our customer partnerships as we helped them navigate market volatility amid a historic shift.
As we enter yet another new year — and new decade — in Blend’s history, we are grateful to have the continued opportunity for reflection and resolution. We’re even more grateful to have another year to demonstrate our commitment to our customers. And without dismissing the very real issues facing our industry, here’s why we’re optimistic about the future of finance.
Strong partnerships: How we helped our customers in 2022
Despite the mortgage industry volume decline, we saw our mortgage customers gain market share during a time of decreased volumes, budget constraints, and pressure on operational efficiency. This is a testament to the value we continue to deliver and the need for our customers to lean more heavily on technology during times of margin compression.
Thanks to the automation our technology drives, Blend Mortgage customers saw an average ROI of 7.95x, including a savings of nine hours of work per file and a seven-day shorter loan cycle.¹
Looking across multiple years, Blend Mortgage customers see an average annual ROI increase of 11%. In other words, the value of Blend continues to grow year after year.
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen first-hand the growing customer demand for simplified, digital-first interactions,” said Peter McCarthy, PNC executive vice president and head of mortgage. “Through our partnership with Blend, we’re now able to deliver a state-of-the-art experience that provides an ideal combination of digital self-service technology and support for our customers as they navigate one of the biggest and most important purchases in their lifetimes.”
As the industry battled headwinds, our team continued to support strong outcomes for our customers by innovating and expanding our product lines, starting this past spring with Blend Close. Enhancements to this offering included new remote online notarization tools and MERS eVault functionality.
We built out our income and identity verification capabilities and expanded them across our Consumer Banking Suite. We rolled out SMS messaging, and our customers are now seeing greater than 95% opt-in to SMS messaging. Furthermore, Blend customers using SMS saw the cycle time for funded loans reduced by an average of eight days.
¹The results of this survey are based on an independent study performed by MarketWise Advisors. All data in this report comes directly from customers who use Blend Mortgage as part of their origination process. Individual results may vary.
2023: The year of instant-first
Success in the digital age hinges on the quality and rapidity of customer experience. And we believe that instant-first development is the future of banking.
We built out our platform functionality in support of that belief, which has now come to fruition with our first discrete product that takes full advantage of said functionality and is designed to be instant-first: Instant Home Equity.
Instant Home Equity is the first of a new wave of products that pulls together all the capabilities we have at our disposal to reduce processing times from weeks to days.
Offering our customers more control and configurability to drive efficiency, speed to market, and the delivery of “instant-first” experiences will be the guiding forces orienting new product development.
We took a complex and opaque process and simplified it to just a few steps. A typical home equity flow involves 30+ phases from application to funding. Now, you can instantly verify all the data required, instantly deliver a digitally underwritten offer to the consumer, and instantly order the few manual things behind the scenes to take the heavy lifting off of your shoulders — all in as little as three steps from application to close.
At the heart of this overarching, instant-first mindset is the desire to help our customers not just meet — but exceed — the growing expectation of instant everything. Instant Home Equity has generated much excitement, and we are onboarding new customers to this solution daily.
Staying committed to mortgage
But it’s important to note that we are not losing sight of our mortgage customers. Our commitment to ensuring our customers’ success and satisfaction is paramount, especially as the need for efficiency takes center stage in this new margin environment.
In a recent survey¹, our customers reported an average increase of 37% in transaction speed and a 34% increase in closing rate when using Blend. This operational leverage was calculated at an average of $448 in savings per file.
Eight years ago we built a product that changed the mortgage application process. And today, as we enter a new decade, we’re primed to expand that change across other financial products.
The next chapter
In order for us to be strong partners through this downturn, and for decades to come, we are also taking the necessary steps to focus some of our investments and resources to more directly support the needs of our customers.
As we remain focused on optimizing, we do not want to sacrifice the innovation we’re driving toward digital transformation in the banking industry.
A critical component of that innovation is Blend Builder. Our customers can use this revolutionary, configurable platform to accelerate their digital transformation across product lines, and it will play a key role in bringing our vision for the future of finance to fruition.
“Blend Builder gives us the opportunity to embrace a platform-as-a-service model that can accelerate our growth through increased product adoption by both existing and new customers, and we are excited by the interest we are seeing in this platform,” says Head of Blend Nima Ghamsari.
As banks and lenders seek to provide a full suite of services and deliver a seamless experience for their consumers while focusing on operational efficiency, they come to us. And we are dedicated to delivering the value they need in this environment because we believe the lenders who will emerge from this downturn even stronger are the ones who are investing in and adopting new technology.
Thank you for partnering with us on this journey. We look forward to building this digital future together.