Author: Brad Epker
Given the current state of the stock market, many Americans are re-focusing their investments from securities to real estate. Mortgage rates are even better than last year. I personally get re-finance offers at a minimum of every 3 or 4 months. If you purchased or refinanced a home recently, working with your mortgage company involved a few phone calls, several emails and perhaps some time filling out forms online. It’s not the worst process, but it could always be better. From what we’re seeing the market, mortgage lenders would agree.
Mortgage lenders are looking to gain efficiencies in every step of the process
When I worked at DocuSign, we knew that electronic signatures would revolutionize paper-intensive industries like real estate and consumer lending. It sped up only one part of the process, but that in itself was huge.
Despite the significant growth in the automation and digitization of consumer lending as a whole, the mortgage loan process continues to have many steps that happen offline and over the phone. Incidentally, Americans don’t actually pick up the phone any more, if they can help it.
Given the low and slow response rates to email and phone, mortgage lenders are looking to mobile and SMS to help them skim time off the process in the following areas:
- Approval notifications
- Document management
- Scheduling meetings
- Customer feedback and reviews
Given the time sensitivity of the mortgage loan process, a text message read in 90 seconds versus an email read in 90 minutes can help reduce both conditional approval times (average is 72 hours) and final approval times (average is 46 days).*
Combining people with automation, like chatbots, shaves even more time off of the process
Like the chat feature on a website, automation tools can be used to make mortgage representatives more efficient, by sending SMS messages aligned to the next step in the process of a mortgage loan. If additional documents like proof of income are needed, the rep can simply specify which documents are required and use a template to automatically kick off a text message to let the borrower know. That message can also include a link allowing the borrower to upload their documents immediately.
Says John Cabell from JD Power, “We know that customers like a digital mortgage experience, but they still want human interaction. We have to continue to educate the consumer as to what a digital mortgage is.”**
Scheduling made easier with SMS-driven communication
Meetings don’t happen at offices anymore, heck, they barely happen at a desk. Instead today’s meetings are brief, often taking place on the go. This is especially true when purchasing real estate because for most buyers, it’s taking place in the midst of all of life’s other activities. Being able to coordinate schedules from your mobile phone is a necessity. Our phones have become in effect, our personal computers.
As mentioned above, a meeting invitation or reminder sent via email on average is read 90 minutes later, but text messages are read in near real time. Invites and updates can then be added to a calendar with a quick tap.
As mortgage lenders look to improve the customer experience for borrowers, we see real opportunity to leverage SMS text messaging and mobile internet. You can learn more about how we can help by requesting a demo or trying one of our Instant Apps.
Brad Epker has over 30 years enterprise sales and sales management, with time split between Fortune 500 C+ sales experience and start-up sales and market development leadership. He received his MBA in Technology Management from the University of Washington and currently serves as Chatbox’s Chief Revenue Officer.
In addition, Brad has extensive experience within the Salesforce ecosystem helping companies maintain strong, profitable ISV partnerships. He joined Chatbox after watching traditional communication effectiveness plummet, while text messaging effectiveness continues to increase. Chatbox now brings this power and efficacy to business.