Why Market Adoption is Critical to the Success of Mortgage Process Digitization
Katherine Campbell, Chief Digital Officer at Assurance Financial, shares her tips for achieving mortgage process digitization and handling market adoption
Katherine Campbell, Chief Digital Officer at Assurance Financial who won the 2020 Housing Wire Tech Trendsetter award, shares her greatest success story in mortgage process digitization to date ahead of her session at PEX Live: Digital Mortgage Process 2022. Campbell also offers her advice for achieving mortgage process digitization and shares her predictions for the future of the field.
PEX Network: Could you tell us more about your experience with transforming the mortgage process? Would you like to share any success stories you have experienced?
Katherine Campbell: Transforming the mortgage process is the most critical conversation we could be having today in the revolution of the mortgage industry. The pandemic prompted us to move beyond a slow evolution and leaped into a revolution.
The number one point to make with our industry is that due to the incredible new capabilities of mortgage fintech, we need to rethink technology. Instead of thinking about the process and how to plug technology into the different steps, we need to think about the capabilities of the technology and how we change the process to adapt to it. The greatest success story I have is winning over the ‘never-adopters’ of the industry, comprised of mostly the loan officers. Throughout history, when someone’s work is evolved digitally, there is an understandable amount of angst and concern.
Our earliest technologies that we implemented were the point-of-sale system and ratings and reviews and there was initially a lot of resistance to these. After a few months, however, these capabilities made the loan officers the heroes.
During an incredibly busy time in the industry, clients did not have to wait to apply as a simple link and easy app allowed them to help themselves. Also, the ratings and reviews automatically posted to their LinkedIn and Facebook pages for easy access to references, proving their expertise and gaining more applications.
PEX Network: What is your top advice for organizations looking to achieve mortgage process digitization?
KC: My top advice is to get in the game. The greatest challenge of an industry going digital too early is not the capability of the tools, but the adoption of the market. If the market is not ready to apply online, login to their bank accounts on a digital mortgage app, or not willing to upload documents from an app on their phone, then all that ease is not increasing the pace of business.
Fortunately, digital banking is widely accepted. People are comfortable and most often prefer to handle the tactical pieces of a transaction by themselves. They want to handle the entry of their personal data. They prefer an expert to advise them on the best options as opposed to being asked their social security number over a phone line, for example.
PEX Network: What key developments do you see happening in the mortgage space over the next couple of years?
KC: The next couple of years should produce exponential progress with the digital mortgage. The first major improvement will be the wide adoption of ‘enotes’ and a remote online notary. Closing documents are the last piece of the puzzle that often still require an in-person transaction. This adoption across investors and regional offices will make a truly digital end-to-end experience.
The other key development will be the offering of additional products, either within the mortgage process or in addition to a mortgage. For instance, the ability to shop for your homeowner’s insurance or auto insurance would be natural benefits to a home owner while making a major financial decision regarding a mortgage.