With technological advances happening constantly in the mortgage industry, lenders may still be passing up opportunities to reach potential borrowers due to a lack of focus on mobile channels.
Mobile activity is less common in the mortgage industry compared to other consumer finance market segments such as banking, but the opportunity to reach consumers is open for the taking, commentary from Fannie Mae's Director of Business Strategy and Economic Strategic Research Steve Deggendorf showed.
"The lower priority that lenders are placing on mobile channels, and the differences in lender and consumer views on mobile tool functionality, could place lenders at risk of not meeting consumer demand or encouraging new entrants to address this growing demand at the expense of existing firms," Deggendorf said. "Getting the right mix of traditional (person-to-person), online, and mobile channels and tools may be a key to future success."
According to Fannie Mae's Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, 40 percent of lender plan to offer a mobile application in the next year, but there are some lenders that have already got the jump on mobile technology.
Vladimir Bien-Aime, president and CEO of Global DMS told MReport that "there is clearly a growing need for mobile in today’s consumer market and lender reluctance to adopt mobile strategies may hinder them in the future due to the millennial market growth."
He added, "As this particular market segment continues to grow, it will become increasingly important to have mobile strategies wherever possible. We have incorporated mobile technology into our product mix and have learned that the industry does have a deep appetite for it. We will continue to make mobile applications a large part of our product offering in the future.”
In addition, Global DMS also launched their Appraisal Technology On Mobile (ATOM) mobile app in 2104, which allows mobile access for appraisers to access, update, and submit appraisal orders via mobile device.
Snapdocs is another company that is offers mobile options to consumers through secure document transfer on an encrypted technology platform that connects and updates all involved in a real estate transaction via email or text message throughout the mortgage closing process.
"Many industries are already capitalizing on the fact that consumers are ever-connected via their smartphones and tablets, but mobile is a mostly untapped opportunity for the mortgage industry. Today's consumers expect ease and accessibility in every facet of their daily lives, so meeting consumer demands for mobile interactions is critical, as Fannie May emphasizes, said Aaron King, founder and CEO of Snapdocs in an MReport interview. "The thirst for face-to-face contact revealed by the research, however, should also be duly noted. Referrals are the lifeblood of the mortgage industry, and a positive experience at the closing table is critical for leaving a good impression. Mobile closings–or out-of-office closings by a notary–are multiplying, and they have many moving parts.
He added, "Mortgage companies that embrace modern technology will have a significant advantage over those who take a 'wait and see' approach. In nearly every industry, the company who leads in consumer experience has the lead over competitors."
As more borrowers want to use smartphones and tablets to communicate, it is important for communication lines to function effiecintly and effectively, according to Tim Anderson, Director of eServices, DocMagic, Inc. The company's BorrowerMobile application solves this issue by accelerating the loan process by making communication faster and easier.
"Lenders and borrowers need to be able to easily interact, share information, and check things like conditions, documents, loan status, eSign documents, and much more, Anderson explained. "Using mobile apps for borrowers and lenders to communicate is becoming very important, and very quickly I might add. The Millennials are ready to purchase homes and this generation wants to do more online and via smartphones and tablets. As Millennials become potential borrowers, having a robust mobile app won’t be a nicety, it will be a necessity. If lenders don’t offer a solid mobile solution, they’ll be at a competitive disadvantage pretty quick."
Sanjeev Dahiwadkar, CEO of IndiSoft, has a different perspective and approach to mobile technology on today's market he shared with MReport.
“We understand that in the mortgage industry it is better not to rush into the latest technology in order to make sure all of the dots are connected," he explained. "For example, the white elephant in the room in regards to using mobile technology is TCPA. Companies have to be cautious because the interpretation is very vague regarding reaching consumers via the phone. This is just one reason why it is better for companies in the mortgage space to be cautious entering the mobile era. They have to proceed with caution otherwise the penalties are huge.”