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4 Tech Tips to Grow Your Origination Business by Getting More Efficient!

Efficiency and productivity are primary keys to the growth of any business, but they are especially critical in the mortgage origination business. In today’s increasingly competitive climate, modern mortgage professionals are facing new and complex challenges. From rising interest rates to the pressures of a potential housing shortage, even the most successful industry players are feeling the heat. Only those who that find a way to create more time to spend on marketing by increasing their efficiency and productivity will steadily grow their origination businesses and ultimately weather the storm. 

The good news is, it’s not only feasible, but it’s even easier than many realize. In fact, there are a number of tools that are easy to use, inexpensive and remarkably effective at streamlining day-to-day operations, maximizing efficiency and bringing productivity to a whole new level in the mortgage origination business. Once implemented, these tools can begin to make a measurable impact almost immediately. Let’s take a look.  

Email Tracking 

A great deal of time is wasted by mortgage professionals each and every day simply tracking down email communication. With an automated email tracking tool, such as Yesware, every message sent out – whether it’s from Gmail, Outlook or a branded platform – can be automatically tracked. This technology provides a real-time glimpse into when emails are opened, when attachments are viewed, etc. This is a massive indicator of interest and allows mortgage professionals to follow up immediately.

Some of the many benefits of email tracking software include:

Prospect Pinpointing – With email tracking, Originators can identify exactly where prospects are in the process. This enables them to better tailor the timing and content of messages so that they’re more impactful. Furthermore, email tracking provides valuable insight, such as whether people are viewing pre-approval letters, looking at docs or forwarding messages to others.

Time Savings – Knowing exactly when messages have been opened can be a huge time saver. No more waiting around for a reply or wondering blindly whether something urgent is being tended to, such as with a processor or an underwriter. 

Performance Optimization – Email tracking can also help to optimize the sales and prospecting effort. For example, metrics such as delivery rate, open rate and click counts can help determine areas where improvements could be made for better results. The tool also has a function that gives users the ability to create templates and plug them into Outlook or Gmail.

Better Organization – Email tracking also enables mortgage professionals to maintain a more organized business operation by categorizing and classifying messages and contacts accordingly. For instance, tags and lists can be utilized to segment and prioritize prospects, enabling more targeted messaging. 

 (Cost: ~ $15 / month)

Virtual Call Center

There’s nothing worse than knowing that for all of the time you spent marketing, a phone call came in and no one was available to answer the call. That’s wasted time, money and energy and can do some serious damage to your referral partners. As everyone knows, call-in’s are like gold. According to marketing firm BIA/Kelsey, calls to businesses are 10-15 times more likely to generate a successful follow-up activity or sale than digital communications. Simply put, a good portion of today’s consumers still prefer making calls over sending emails or submitting web forms.

The problem is, most Branch Managers or MLO’s operate on limited resources, which means having a dedicated receptionist on the payroll isn’t always an option. Thanks to cloud technology and advances in telecommunications, however, even a one-person-show can enjoy the benefits of having their own receptionist. 

Employing a virtual call center service like PatLive may be your answer! Here’s how it works: If a call isn’t answered immediately by you (one of your team members), it then flows over to a call answering service, such as PATLive, where well-trained agents answer your missed incoming calls. The agents ensure that your calls get the same kind of treatment that they would get if they called you by following a script and some FAQ answers that you provide to them. Instead of training one receptionist how to handle your incoming calls, you’re essentially training a powerful team of people. 

After taking the call, the answering company then fills out some general information and then sends that info back to you. This is an excellent tool for offering after-hours customer service, as well as making sure that your customers always get a live person, no matter when they call in or where you are located. You or your team gets the message, and then you can rest assured that they’re capturing all the leads that are coming into the company.

The entire process is seamless, so prospects and clients never know the difference. This not only takes the heat off the busy producer, but it also adds an air of professionalism, boosting brand trust in the process. 

Even for larger origination business operations that can afford in-house receptionists, a virtual call center can be used as a backup for overflow calls, ensuring that incoming communication is handled in a timely, professional manner. Furthermore, the platform can be set up to cover only after-hours calls, enabling extended service for enhanced client satisfaction. 

Far cheaper than a receptionist and open 24 hours a day, it’s an excellent option for mortgage origination business operations that are growing quickly or that want to scale efficiently.

(Cost: Starting at ~ $150 / month)

Online Appointment Scheduler

Playing phone tag in an attempt to get an appointment on the schedule is not only a huge waste of precious time, but it can also decrease the likelihood of closing the deal. With so much competition in the market today, prompt, professional and convenient service is the most important factor of success.

Intelligent appointment scheduling (IAS) technology addresses this by enabling prospects to book an appointment at the exact time of need. Not only does this provide a better experience to prospects, but it can dramatically improve the chances of conversion as a result. Additionally, its more efficient for you, taking you completely out of the process. 

With an online scheduling tool like Calendly, new and existing clients can view availability right online and select the time and date they’d prefer to receive a call back or schedule a meeting. A confirmation is then automatically sent to the MLO and to the client via email. 

As a bonus, this tool can also be used by virtual call center agents, making the appointment booking process simple, efficient and effective. 

(Cost: Starting at ~ $12 / month)

Mobile Pre-Qualification App

These days, everyone has a smartphone, and people use their mobile devices for everything like online banking, shopping and starting the mortgage loan process. Now, thanks to advanced technology and tools like Loanzify, interested individuals can fill out their online mortgage applications right from their mobile devices. 

Mobile pre-qual apps are typically a condensed, short application that will enable buyers to begin the mortgage loan process. Clients are also able to upload documents directly to the pre-app, and the system can be setup to have triggers where the application will automatically send out requests for customers to upload pay stubs, W2s, etc. It works as part of an email signature, can be hosted on a website, and best of all, the entire system can work on a mobile platform. 

With a cloud-based online application like this, everything is covered – from obtaining credit and calculating ratios to collecting required documentation and issuing pre-approval letters. It’s not only convenient for the prospective borrower, but it’s also a huge time-saver for the mortgage professional. 

Furthermore, the use of a pre-qualification app can also help MLO’s develop and strengthen valuable origination business relationships with referral partners. By targeting borrowers before they find realtors and getting them loan-ready, mortgage producers can be in a position to hand out pre-approved, hot leads over to their preferred real estate partners. Referral partners will close more deals as a result, the clients will enjoy a more seamless home-buying process from start to finish and the Originator will receive more reciprocal leads from the real estate partners. It’s a win -win.

(Cost: $39 / month)

Origination Business Conclusion

Being more efficient so you can be more productive isn’t an impossible feat. It just takes the right strategies. As the mortgage origination business market continues to shift, it becomes even more important to streamline operations, boost productivity, maximize efficiency and facilitate consistent, sustainable growth. Working smarter instead of harder doesn’t happen by accident. By implementing the four tools listed above, you’ll get more done with less stress, close more sales, and increase your production, both this year and in the future.