TitleNews, the magazine written for members of the American Land Title Association (ALTA), published an expert article from Snapdocs CEO Aaron King in its August edition. The piece, “Tech Playbook for the Modern Closer,” outlines how mortgage industry pros can utilize technology to streamline the mortgage process while enhancing the consumer experience. From the article:
By and large, mortgage technology is replacing tasks, not humans. Modern platforms augment and upgrade existing mortgage processes and systems to create efficiencies – saving time, money and manpower. And with newfound latitude comes the opportunity for closers to make personal service an area of focus. In fact, settlement services companies must concentrate on the consumer experience to stay competitive. Improving efficiency and experience are twin goals for the modern closer.
How can title companies take advantage of multiple advancements to manage mortgage closings, particularly mobile closings, which are on the rise? According to King:
- Utilizing an online dashboard makes it possible to track progress and coordinate efforts among mortgage professionals along the chain. This centralized information hub keeps loan closings moving forward and ensures pieces don’t fall through the cracks.
- Notary booking tools for remote mortgage closings save countless hours traditionally spent scanning spreadsheets and dialing vendors. Rather than relying on a flimsy search on the web, the modern closer can quickly locate and enlist the help of local, vetted notaries through databases that rank these third-party vendors according to user ratings and qualifications. Streamlining this piece of the process allows closers to allocate their time to higher and better use.
- Using a collaboration platform helps title industry pros stay in close communication with their partners and with home buyers. Technology that promotes interactions among stakeholders catches mistakes and speeds the progress of loans.
- New payment technology can contribute to the efficiency of title companies in a big way. For decades, mortgage companies’ Accounts Payable (AP) departments have manually processed hundreds – even thousands – of notary invoices every month. Adding insult to injury, notaries traditionally have had to wait 30 to 90 days to get paid for handling mortgage closings. Technology harnessing Automated Clearing House (ACH), an electronic network for financial transactions in the U.S., can chop down the wait time for payment to two weeks. With the new technology, payments to hundreds or thousands of different notary vendors can automatically be issued on a rolling basis.
Consider this: In the mortgage industry, the cost of processing invoices for payment to notaries is significant. Labor typically consumes 62% of total Accounts Payable (AP) expense, and the AP processing cost can reach as high as $12.44 per invoice, according to APQC research. For a title company that works with notaries for 100 mortgage loan closings per month, modern software could save over $9,000 per year.
An added bonus, technology for electronic invoice presentment, processing and payment (EIPP) improves the mortgage industry’s relationship with the notary community and, as a result, the home buying process as a whole. Eliminating lost checks and speeding up payment encourages more people to join the ranks of licensed notaries, increasing competition for notary work and improving performance among these vendors.
- Security and compliance automation is also a major value add with modern technology. Today, compliance is built into new platforms. Rather than risking slipups in a process that is closely monitored by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), satisfying regulatory requirements can be turn-key with the right technology in place.
In addition to improving the efficiency of the mortgage process, today’s digital tools can take consumer experience to the next level. What do consumers crave from the mortgage experience? King says:
- Transparency is highly valued by consumers and builds trust with home buyers, who are making a major life decision. With information on-demand in nearly every aspect of modern life, the same is expected from the mortgage process. The latest technology makes sharing loan information secure and easy.Clear, frequent communication is key to transparency and has never been more important with mortgage closings. A collaboration platform keeps lines of communication open and consumers in the loop on loan progress.
- Positive human interactions greatly influence consumer experience – and, as luck would have it, technology helps to ensure that human interactions during mortgage closings are positive. In a mobile world, and with the rise of online lending, facetime with borrowers may be limited to the closing table. To source a notary who will represent the title company well during loan signings, closers can forget the goose chase – phone calls, spreadsheets and web searches. Instead, they can tap a networked database to find a local, highly-rated notary who will leave a good impression with the home buyer.
- Convenience is a major consideration for consumers. Remote mortgage closings are becoming ever more common, and their popularity speaks to consumers’ desires for personalized service and flexibility. Offering out-of-office mortgage closings even provides title pros a leg-up when competing for business. Modern technology makes it easier for closers to cater to borrowers and meet their expectations for a nearby mortgage closing.
To read King’s full article, flip to page 16 of the August 2016 edition of TitleNews or click here to see the piece in the digital version of the magazine. To learn more about how Snapdocs is modernizing the mortgage process and improving the borrower experience, reach out to the Snapdocs team at 1 (866) 930-0601.