3 ways mortgage leaders can prepare for the future of lending | Blend
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December 14, 2022 in Thought leadership

4 minutes

3 ways mortgage leaders can prepare for the future of lending

Prioritize the customer experience, support loan officers, and drive operational efficiency for the immediate and long-term growth of your financial organization.

Illustration of a couple exploring lending options for life milestones

The future of mortgage lending is rife with market pressures, higher interest rates, inflation, and unpredictability. But we believe there is room for optimism. In fact, Blend was formed shortly after the 2008 financial crisis to support mortgage leaders with tools that helped them be resilient despite the economic turmoil. The same holds true today.

To weather the current state of unpredictability and capitalize on growth opportunities in the near term, mortgage leaders can look to the following insights and strategies to support their employees, prioritize efficiency, and enhance customer interactions.

Gain insights into the future of lending

Insight: Pace of digital initiatives is linked to profitability

Research suggests that the speed at which a financial institution invests in its digital transformation matters. According to Infosys, financial institutions that increased the pace of digital initiatives fourfold were likely to see profits increase by 2.4% above the average. It’s not enough to just invest in digital; mortgage leaders who launch digital initiatives with promptness are the ones more likely to see higher returns.

Insight: Focus on customer experiences over products

A recent J.D. Power mortgage origination satisfaction study found that while consumers are seeking guidance, communication, and expertise, only 28% of lenders are meeting that criteria. Consumers are less focused on technicalities of your products, like the difference between an FHA loan versus a JUMBO loan. They’re more concerned about shorter loan processes, simple onboarding, easy-to-use digital interfaces, proactive offers, and, ultimately, how they can secure the home of their dreams while maintaining a healthy financial future.

Insight: Current cost control measures are not working

According to McKinsey research, many lenders continue to struggle with elevated costs, labor-intensive tasks, and long loan cycles. Cost control measures that avoid digital enhancements are insufficient in the current challenging climate. Rethinking technology stacks, procedural workflows, and automating parts of the mortgage process can help lenders better structure their time and resources — all while enhancing productivity.

3 ways to prepare for the future of lending

1. Support loan officers with the right tools

Your loan officers may want to put their efforts into relationship-building, consulting, and proactive financial outreach at critical moments. It’s up to business leaders to equip their teams with a full suite of lender tools that can help drive differentiated experiences for applicants while supporting loan officers throughout the entire loan process.

Using loan office software and digital tools in combination with a human touch can turn loan officers from task takers into trusted advisors that help streamline operational efficiency from loan application to close.

2. Shore up operational efficiency

Designing well-structured workflows is critical to the future of lending and the overall health of your financial institution, especially in a down market. It’s up to mortgage leaders and decision makers to identify bottlenecks in organization-wide efficiency.

Using loan automation software can cut out much of the manual tasking and longer life cycles associated with mortgage lending. Automating in-branch and online processes can help your financial institution run more smoothly and efficiently while giving business leaders a better handle on reducing costs and maximizing volume. In fact, integrating an end-to-end digital solution helps position your mortgage institution to handle any economic factors that arise now and in the future of lending.

3. Focus on customer experience to convert top-of-funnel investments into loans

How do you guide consumers through the conversion funnel? One way is by prioritizing the customer experience. Using a digital platform can give those customers frictionless user experiences that provide automatic data verification, single sign-on authentication, and pre-fill of existing bank information, along with the ability to complete the mortgage lending process anytime, from anywhere.

This not only gives consumers ease and fast access to the home of their dreams, it also impacts every stage of the sales funnel, from awareness and interest through application and close.

Use Blend to drive the future of lending

Seven years ago, South Carolina-based Movement Mortgage partnered with Blend to help move toward continuous improvement organization-wide. They quickly realized how integrating Blend products into their processes added value both for their customers and in terms of operational efficiency.

“Speed and efficiency are the two biggest things we hear about,” says Movement Mortgage Chief Innovation Officer John Third, of the Blend platform. “People didn’t realize how quickly they could get through a preapproval compared to how clunky an LOS is.”

Implementing Blend’s unified banking platform continues to support lending teams, meet customer expectations, and free up staff to focus on deepening relationships with clients. Financial institutions that invest in Blend gain a partner invested in the future of lending while minimizing risks in the process.

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