In this month’s Mortgage Power Up, Blend Product Marketing Manager Chris Gomez spoke with Jordan Brown, CEO of Marketwise Advisors, and Ed Vint, CIO at Atlantic Coast Mortgage (ACM) about the unique challenges ACM was looking to solve, their decision to leave and come back to Blend, and their upcoming initiatives for 2023.
Atlantic Coast Mortgage and Blend: A history
Atlantic Coast Mortgage was founded in 2011 with a mission that closely aligns with one of Blend’s core tenets: reshaping the mortgage industry. Although ACM had been a Blend customer, they decided to leave Blend in 2021 to seek out other opportunities that could better meet their needs, specifically regarding the LO Mobile App and Encompass integrations.
Within a year, after testing the waters elsewhere, and realizing the opportunities Blend provides that other platforms do not, ACM decided to come back to Blend.
Security, borrower experience, technology, and a competitive edge were four of the deciding factors when ACM reaffirmed their partnership with Blend, which Gomez, Brown, and Vint discussed in more depth throughout the webinar.
Four key areas that made all the difference
Security in financial services is paramount, and Vint found Blend’s offerings more compelling than other vendors due to:
- An end-to-end mortgage solution, all in one platform
- One secure login that LOs can use instead of sending multiple emails, while also providing a secure space for borrower information and communication
- Notifications that take all parties back to the secure portal to review and execute action items as needed
- Single sign-on (SSO) authentication
When asked if he believes that lenders are taking security seriously — especially concerning internal processes and connecting with borrowers — Brown said that as a consulting firm, MarketWise is often called in when things aren’t perfect. And despite having made great strides in the mortgage industry, security is at the top of the list.
Vint stated, “Blend’s portal is important for us, just from an information security standpoint, because we have a contained portal that has all the information that doesn’t require data to be sent over email.”
Borrower experience was also top of mind for the ACM team, which they refer to as the “journey to eClose”. Blend’s Mortgage Suite facilitates hybrid closings, which in turn allow borrowers to preview documents ahead of closing day, giving them more time to review and requiring less time spent at the closing table.
Other features, like a user-friendly platform and great integrations with mobile devices, computers, and tablets, were critical to providing an unparalleled customer experience. And having the option to offer fully remote online notarization (RON) with Blend is impactful to the borrower experience.
Brown has advocated for eClose for a while now. The results of MarketWise’s 2022 study, conducted in partnership with Blend, revealed that Blend’s eClose solution eliminates significant friction and time from the overall experience.
ACM also took note of Blend’s technology, with Vint saying, “We haven’t been able to find a product that gives us that level of granularity without the IT staff having to be involved.” Blend’s improved Encompass integrations, robust API, white labeling, and customizations all help improve both the origination process and borrower experience.
The trifecta of increased security, borrower experience, and technology converged and has had a measurable impact on ACM’s competitive edge. As Vint pointed out, unlike many competitors, the fact that applications, disclosures, and closing are all on one platform with Blend, ACM now has “the ability to get more accurate, more complete files and application data so that we can close loans quicker, get decisions to borrow faster.”
Leave a lasting impression
With over 20 years of IT experience, and 20 years in the mortgage industry, both Vint and Brown have had front-row seats to the evolution of technology and how it’s changed the way businesses work.
In today’s market, having a tech stack that makes the mortgage process seamless is a necessity — especially when it comes to providing the kind of excellent customer service that creates sticky customer relationships. As the ACM team knows, while there are a number of mortgage tech options out there, Blend is dedicated to partnering with you to provide a borrower experience they won’t forget.