A mortgage is often the biggest transaction in a consumer’s lifetime. According to research from McKinsey, it’s often the most frustrating and long-winded, too. In fact, less than half of borrowers say they are happy with the mortgage application process, and banks fare worse than non-banks, lagging by up to 30%.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are three key areas that make an online mortgage application experience great. By focusing on these, lenders can better position themselves for success:
1) A seamless, guided borrower experience
An exceptional customer experience is almost as critical to customers as getting the best rate. In fact, first-time homebuyers said learning that a lender delivered an exceptional customer experience was the most important factor in their decision to choose a lender. Financial institutions can deliver this highly-valued experience online through a user-friendly platform, guiding consumers through key processes and providing real-time assistance when required.
2) A fast and easy application process
Recent research has found that half of all online mortgage applications are started but not completed. Consumers expect to be able to intuitively navigate an application and input their information quickly. They also expect to be able to save their progress so they can pick up where they left off from another device. Simplifying the process by adding these capabilities can increase pull-through rates.
3) Next-level employee efficiency and instant decisioning
Many lenders are bogged down with manual, paper-based loan approval procedures. Automated processes can help these lenders deliver the instant decisioning and verified pre-approval that today’s consumers expect.
How using online mortgage application software can help improve conversions
Online mortgage application software like Blend’s can help financial institutions nail each of the three components of a great application experience. By replacing the fragmented, siloed solutions of old with an integrated, end-to-end digital solution, lending teams can achieve greater productivity and shorter loan cycle times, paving the way for a better experience for customers.
Online mortgage application software can help to expedite pull-through rates and drive conversions in several key ways.
Self-guided mortgage applications that boast a conversational interface and pre-filled data lead to faster, more streamlined application processes. In fact, adding autofill functionality allows users to complete forms up to 30% faster. Customers approve of this: 85% of homeowners want the application process streamlined with pre-filled information. When forms take less time to fill out, users experience less friction, more applications are completed, and conversion rates can increase.
Add instant decisioning and pre-approval functionality to the mix, and time to closing can accelerate further. After all, the faster you can get someone a decision, the less likely they are to go elsewhere. More than 75% of customers get a loan from a lender who pre-approved them.
Online mortgage application software doesn’t only optimize the borrower experience, it also streamlines the employee experience by enabling lending teams to handle a higher volume of loans more effectively — without adding resources. Intuitive tools can help loan officers streamline workflows and interact efficiently with borrowers, giving them back precious time to focus on effectively building customer relationships and retaining business.
How Blend supports the end-to-end mortgage
Blend takes a holistic approach that can help transform the entire mortgage experience. By bringing automation to every part of the process — from the loan office, through to processing, and covering all key stakeholders through to closing — Blend is delivering a truly end-to-end digital mortgage experience that allows borrowers to complete all tasks from a single portal.
As borrowers begin the application process on any digital device, Blend’s single sign-on authentication and capability to pre-fill applications with existing banking information makes the experience feel seamless. Borrowers are guided through each step of the process, and qualified applicants are then provided with pre-approvals fueled by instant decisioning.
Robust LO tools speed up the loan cycle with data-driven workflows and task automation. Blend’s integrated marketplace allows borrowers, loan teams, settlement agents, and real estate agents to connect at the right time — on one platform.
SWBC Mortgage was drawn to Blend’s consumer-centric approach. “Blend caught our attention because they were reimagining the whole process of getting a loan,” said President Susan Stewart. “It’s been about a decade since there’s been anything exciting to talk about in lending. We realized pretty quickly that this was it.”