To Effectively Target Millennials, Mortgage Lenders Must Go Mobile

In order to tap into the huge potential of the millennial market, mortgage lenders must make significant investment in new technologies – in particular, mobile technologies.

Written by Patrick Barnard

The millennial generation represents a huge opportunity for mortgage lenders. Although most millennials seem content to be renters, for now, recent surveys indicate that most millennials eventually want to own a home. Many mortgage experts are predicting that as millennials grow older and their incomes start to rise, this large group could push home sales to new heights.

However, if there is one thing the mortgage industry has learned during the past several years, it is that millennials don’t like to be forced into conducting business the old fashioned way: They want to be able to complete the entire home shopping and mortgage process online. And by online, what we really mean is mobile – the vast majority of millennials shop and conduct their transactions via their mobile devices. As such, mortgage lenders have been making significant investment in new technologies that bring the mortgage process online and, in particular, into the mobile realm.

This effort to bring the mortgage process online, however, is not just to make it easier for borrowers to do business with lenders. Rather, the industry has been working toward the adoption of a completely paperless “e-mortgage” for over a decade now, mainly for the purpose of automating the mortgage process and gaining new operational efficiencies. Through the adoption of a suite of technologies that enable the e-mortgage, lenders can reap new efficiencies and significantly reduce the operational costs associated with the mortgage process, which, up until recent years, has been a long and laborious “manual” process. At the same time, they can drive borrower satisfaction by both simplifying and speeding the process, using a mix of communications technology and process automation.

To that end, D+H, a leading provider of software solutions and services to the mortgage industry, recently developed a mobile version of its Mortgagebot loan origination system (LOS). This means lenders using MortgagebotMobile can now enable their customers to manage the entire mortgage process, from application through closing, from the mobile devices of their choice. The firm claims it is the first technology provider to launch a completely mobile loan application solution for regulated lenders.

To learn more about this new offering and how it gives lenders a solid path to go after the millennial market, MortgageOrb recently interviewed David Bolin, lead product marketing manager at D+H. What follows are excerpts from our interview.

Q: What led to the development of MortgagebotMobile? Was it requests from your clients? Did you consider their input in terms of features and functionality?

Bolin: In our conversations with banks and credit unions, we kept hearing about a need for seamless digital platforms for mortgages and a way to integrate a mobile-only channel with their existing mortgage systems. Our clients are a good representation of financial institutions in the U.S.; the Mortgagebot platform has nearly 1,400 point-of-sale (POS) customers and 650 LOS users, most of which have our POS, as well. We expect MortgagebotLOS to process about 1 million loan applications this year alone, so we have a good handle on what the market is looking for. Those requests were what drove the development of MortgagebotMobile.

In terms of features, we have a robust POS solution in MortgagebotPOS, and that integrates with our mortgage LOS, MortgagebotLOS. Our clients wanted a digital-only channel into the POS that would allow consumers to take applications from borrowers the same way that they would through their desktops or in the branch, with no limitations and no human intervention required. The input was really, “We want to be able to do everything that we can do right now with MortgagebotPOS, but we want to do it from our iPad or phone.” We executed against that brief successfully with the launch of MortgagebotMobile.

Q: Can MortgagebotMobile be used on any mobile device? In others words, are these true mobile versions of the platform, or is it just one version that is “sized” for different screens?

Bolin: MortgagebotMobile can be used on any mobile device, but it’s a lot more than just a resized version of an existing platform. Together with MortgagebotPOS and MortgagebotLOS, it offers a comprehensive, cloud-based system, which allows the applicant to start and complete a loan on any “smart” mobile device.

Q: What advantages does MortgagebotMobile bring for lenders? Does it help them better target millennials?

Bolin: There are certainly customers who demand seamless online borrowing experiences, which can be initiated and completed without human intervention on the bank side. Millennials are a cohort that place a big emphasis on these experiences, and MortgagebotMobile will help financial institutions attract and retain these customers. It’s worth noting, however, that there are other, older groups that also place a premium on this seamless mobile process.

MortgagebotMobile changes the game for banks and credit unions, helping them service millennial borrowers and others who want to shop for mortgage loans on their phones or tablets. More significant is the fact that MortgagebotMobile helps clients – that is, financial institutions – go toe-to-toe with alternative lenders and solutions online.

Q: What advantages does MortgagebotMobile bring for consumers?

Bolin: Some lenders – very large banks with names that you know – have built up an online presence that works to entice borrowers with a mortgage lending “short-form” but ultimately connects them with a person, a loan officer. The culture of these lenders is geared toward human-linked interactions. Certainly, there are some customers who want to borrow that way, but there are many other consumers who don’t.

MortgagebotMobile helps traditional financial institutions offer fully mobile mortgage lending, seamlessly and online. The fact that this online experience is offered by a traditional financial institution rather than an alternative lender provides a major advantage to consumers who want to point and click when they’re obtaining a mortgage loan but want a relationship with a financial institution that they’re already familiar with and that can also provide brick-and-mortar locations to help them with other financial needs.

Q: For years now, the mortgage industry has been making great strides toward the “e-mortgage,” a fully electronic, paperless mortgage, from application through closing. How does the introduction of MortgagebotMobile fit in with those efforts?

Bolin: Regulators still require that certain documents be collected as part of the mortgage process. MortgagebotMobile is a fully paperless solution in taking loan applications and approving them online. Because regulatory and paperwork requirements are often subject to change, we expect MortgagebotMobile to adapt quickly, the same way we were the first to implement TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule requirements for clients using Mortgagebot.

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