All financial institutions servicers want their homeowners to have a pleasant experience working with them.
Especially in the age of COVID-19 and remote work, that means adapting to the times. The homeowners of today won’t be impressed with a mortgage experience from 20 years ago. People want access to everything at their fingertips.
In the tech age, user experience (UX) is just as important as customer service. UX standards have been shaped by easy to navigate things like Facebook and iPhones.
Why should the mortgage servicing experience be any more complicated? Here are some common inconveniences consumers face that can be improved.
Improve Account Transparency
Most mortgage servicing software is technologically outdated. From a homeowner's perspective, they expect account transparency on small things, such as their interest rate, how much principal is left and how long it will take to pay off their loan.
But with most servicing platforms, these requests can take weeks to fulfill. Usually, homeowners must wait for calls and inquiries to go through the proper channels or for the servicer to connect with the payment system or the county clerk. Often, the requests come with a small fee, too.
Yet in a digital world, getting something as simple as a payoff statement should be relatively instantaneous. Homeowners won’t be happy or impressed when it takes days, weeks, or a month before they get answers to their inquiries.
The legacy systems of the mortgage world are undoubtedly an improvement on the old way of doing things. Gone are the days of calling the county records department to find out what the fees of payoff are.
By bringing modern UX principles to the servicing platform, financial institutions can significantly improve the homeowner's mortgage experience.
Ensure All Systems Communicate
Most current servicing tech doesn’t allow integration with other platforms—or if they do offer it, it’s clunky. Lack of intuitive tech puts more work on employees than necessary.
So, not only does this lack of inter-platform communication result in weeks-long account inquiry issues—it also increases financial risk for all parties involved. For example, homeowners who have (or will have) the money to pay in full and on time shouldn’t be subject to fees. Nor should any servicer or institution be on the hook for unpaid mortgage payments.
And yet, if your servicing system, payment gateway, and Plaid are all working independently, then occasionally, your system will try to pull payment from an account without sufficient funds.
Simply tying these systems together can virtually eliminate annoyances like NSF fees. This greatly improves the homeowner experience. Without inter-system communication how do you make sure there are sufficient funds?
By connecting with other tech and payment platforms, financial institutions can reduce risk while improving the homeowner experience.
Eliminate Regulatory Risk
We’ll keep this brief. Rules and regulations surrounding different aspects of the mortgage process are complex. Plus, they differ from state to state.
And, although compliance doesn’t improve the homeowner experience, it’s key to building trust. Lenders and servicers that get hit with fines and show up in the news lose credibility. Moreover, they may spend more resources hiring lawyers and covering for mistakes—and less time developing homeowner-facing technology.
Bringing on a legal team or outsourcing your servicing will ensure assiduous compliance, guaranteeing your reputation and relationships stay strong.
The Better Way
Technology isn’t just about processing speed and efficiency anymore. Now, it’s also about an intuitive design and user experience. Buying a house is the largest financial investment most people will ever make. It should be a transparent, low effort, stress free process.
Servicing platforms shouldn’t need training manuals. They should be intuitive and user friendly. They should be easy to navigate and provide a clear picture of each mortgage account.
The Valon platform was built by was built by engineers from Facebook, Google, Instagram, and other programs with very user-friendly interfaces. They’ve made using it like picking up a touch screen cell phone. Even if it’s a model you’ve never used before, you can figure out how to navigate it with a few familiar taps or swipes.
We connect the servicer and payment system through Plaid. It’s accessible to the homeowner and easy to teach.
That means easy payments. It means no more NSF fees! No more 30-day waiting period for escrow inquiries! The homeowner doesn’t even have to call for a loan payoff. We’re integrated with data providers so we can provide payoff amounts and escrow analysis immediately.
Your homeowners don’t have to dread being put on hold. They can find their own answers. And you minimize churn by eliminating any confusion.
Contact us for a short consultation about our partnerships with mortgage lenders.
By Andrew Wang
CEO of Valon
Ex-investment and mortgage professional at Soros