Online Mortgages – Embracing Technology

Inlanta Mortgage EVP, Nicholas DelTorto, recently challenged himself to complete an online mortgage at the request of his client. He recounts the experience and discusses how he embraced the Inlanta Mortgage technology that makes online mortgages possible in his article, “Walking the Walk.” He encourages all mortgage loan officers to consider the benefits of online mortgages and servicing customers in a way that best suits their needs.

Walking the Walk
By: Nick DelTorto

I don’t do a whole lot of loans these days, but when I do have the occasional referral or new customer I find myself returning to my roots as an old originator. I like to sell directly to the customer, meet them face-to face and bond with them and sell the product. But as much I like to cling to my old ways, I also like to keep my finger in the pie of new systems and procedures of our ever changing industry and try to make use of the new technologies. Maybe I’m just fighting to not be one of the old guys.

I recently attended a seminar presented by the WMBA with Matthew Ferrara about selling to the next generation. It made me think and really opened my eyes! Am I really willing to embrace new technology when it comes to mortgages? The next generation of home buyers has different personalities, priorities and wants than the older generations. We have to understand they might want to do things differently then we (as the veterans) want to do things.

For example our CenterWise program here at Inlanta. Inlanta has won multiple technology awards and you hear everyone touting it as state of the art technology and how easy it is to use. We tell you all to embrace it, but honestly I had yet to do a loan fully electronic myself. I was talking the talk but not walking the walk.

Then, as perfect timing goes, I received a call from an old client of mine; a president of a local company referred me to one of his staff accounting employees. I thought, here’s my chance, I’m going to see how they wanted to handle the interactions without my influence. Would they want to meet in person or go for the electronic way? They were also the type of clients we all wish for, around 30 years old, both working and awesome credit. I began by speaking with the wife over the phone. I told her about the more technological option of secure form transfers and complete electronic origination, but I also equally offered her the ability to come in after hours and I would stay and speak with them in person. She asked me if she could start off by filling out an application online first and then decide where to head.

Sure enough, the next day I got her application in from my WebCenter and I called her to go over it. We went through the application over the phone and we filled in the blanks and I answered her questions. Then we talked about how she wanted the co-borrower (her husband) to be involved so we could move to the next step. Did they want to meet in person and sign everything or print sign and return on her own? She said she would discuss it with him and call back the next day.

Next day the phone rings and she explained they felt comfortable enough to do everything “online” and scan all the necessary documents to us. So at this point there was no escaping it, this old guy was going to do his first electronic mortgage. I was lucky enough to have the help of Jean Piacentine, our CenterWise guru, and she held my hand the entire way through the process. She was there for every upload and download we had to make. Then some good news, the couple was approved and we were onto the next step. My processor jumped in when I needed her. She took over the follow ups for the necessary documents we needed. Now three weeks after we first started this journey, their loan is closing before the year end!

Now for the morale of the story – there has to be one after making you read through the whole process. We have this technology but are we using it? Are you taking advantage of technology and making it easier for not only your customers but for you? I now have a leg to stand on while I’m out preaching to you about this system. There are so many benefits to doing it this way. Time stamping documents, updating logs and keeping your customer informed in a matter of seconds. This technology also allows you to complete the process much faster than normal, which can result in lower costs and higher customer satisfaction. Data doesn’t need to be entered manually in some steps, decreasing the possibility of a mistake which could slow down the process. The benefits can go on and on.

So here we are at the conclusion…are you convinced you can do it? If you don’t think you’re up for it, are you telling your customers how to work with you based on your personal bias? Sometimes if you’re not moving forward, you’ll get left behind. We are pretty good at change in our business but we need to keep up when things change in the industry and not be so reluctant to having to do things differently. I know a lot of people say this, but it’s true, if I can do it, anyone can!

Inlanta Mortgage loan officers are flexible and ready to assist you with your mortgage needs online or in person – whatever works best for you. Click here to locate a licensed mortgage loan officer near you.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is fully delegated HUD-FHA including FHA 203K, VA, and USDA approved. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, WI. NMLS#1016.