The Mortgage Industry in the Post-COVID-19 Era
When the pandemic first hit, there were many organizations in the mortgage industry that had to scramble to adapt. The lack of preparedness to run entire operations remotely and completely digitally left many lenders, servicers, and investors in a frenzy. Once mortgage organizations realized that there was an immediate need to continue conducting business from home, they began adopting innovating solutions at an accelerating pace.
Since the initial outbreak of COVID-19, the mortgage industry has made several changes that stretch far beyond the GSEs’ flexibilities. And what’s more, it seems that these changes are here to stay, while others are on the horizon. In this blog post, we’ll explore what the mortgage industry might look like after the pandemic.
More Reliance on Robotics
Before COVID-19, the mortgage industry exhibited significant reluctance to moving away from manual processes. However, after having to close down offices and rely upon technology, many companies in the sector discovered and are starting to embrace software robots. Robots bring many long-term benefits, including increased productivity and cost reduction.
With robotic process automation (RPA), lenders are able to reassign their resources to more meaningful tasks and implement robots to complete the mundane and repetitive ones. Not only does this save you an immense amount of time, it also speeds up the entire mortgage process—even while working remotely.
In terms of cost savings, RPA solutions can perform tedious tasks, freeing up hours of work time for skilled employees. For instance, a processor typically spends anywhere from 2 to 3 hours a day preparing and ordering verifications, appraisals, flood Certs, etc. When robots are tasked with these duties instead, lenders are able to maximize the time spent of processors on high value assignments. Robots can reduce and, in many cases, completely eliminate a variety of the elementary job functions processors and other mortgage professionals are responsible for that create drag in your origination process.
These benefits have come to the forefront of many mortgage professionals’ minds during COVID-19. For this reason, as well as demonstrated success, it’s likely that organizations in the industry will continue to rely and expand upon the use of RPA technology even after the pandemic subsides.
Adoption of the Digital Mailroom
The digital mailroom will likely continue to play a major role in the post-COVID era. With remote work becoming the norm, lenders, servicers, and investors need to optimize the ways in which they share critical documents with one another. With the work-from-home model, employees are not in the office to pick up and send out critical mortgage documents. That’s where a virtual solution comes in.
A reliable third-party like MetaSource can pick up your paper mail from your office location or a PO box on your behalf. You can also have your mail delivered directly to one of our locations. Once we have your documents, we prep, scan, and digitize them. Then, we route your electronic documents to the appropriate people for processing. After your documents are uploaded to our system, MetaStor®, they are stacked and ready for quick and easy access. To make things even more streamlined, agents can identify and correct data discrepancies, or retrieve any missing documents before releasing files to your LOS or servicing platform.
With a digital mailroom solution, you can drastically reduce your amount of physical mail, saving an exorbitant amount of time and expenses associated with staffing and maintaining a physical mailroom. If you can digitize your mail process, you can potentially eliminate the need to rent out an office, resulting in even larger cost savings. If remote work is here to stay, the physical mailroom isn’t. The future is digital for the mortgage industry, so your mailroom should be too.
Another prediction for the mortgage industry post-COVID-19 is an increased focus on security requirements. This prediction stems from trust issues that arise with remote work. It’s difficult enough training employees who handle confidential documents while working in a controlled office environment. Now, it’s the responsibility of management within these organizations to manage security remotely, where employee working environments are not as visible or controlled. For these reasons, updating security policies and offering more anti-fraud training is crucial for mortgage companies in the post-COVID era.
In addition to policy updates and training advancements, it’s likely that many organizations in the industry will utilize technology to detect and prevent fraudulent activity. If implemented properly and well-maintained, a combination of workflow automation, RPA and a secure storage platform will allow for a frictionless mortgage process while ensuring protection of personal borrower information.
Take our mortgage origination automation solution, Symmetri, as an example. Symmetri functions based on defined business rules and constantly searches for discrepancies. If one is detected, the system automatically fixes or, when required, re-routes documentation and data for human review and resolution. Solutions like this one enhance security and better prepare the mortgage industry for life after the pandemic.
Many mortgage companies were ill-prepared for the national pandemic. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t prepare themselves for the future. To do so, organizations like yours must embrace the change and solutions being adopted by many in the new “remote-based” business world. Consider implementing digital transformation solutions, adopting a digital mailroom, and enhancing security. It’s predicted that these factors could shape the mortgage industry after COVID-19.