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Homeowners Seeking Both a High-tech and Human-touch Mortgage Experience, Ellie Mae 2017 Borrower Insights Survey Finds

Survey of Homeowners and Renters Reveals Preferences Among Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers; Showcases Differences Between Male and Female Borrowers

LAS VEGAS, Calif. – March 8, 2017 – Fifty-seven percent of homeowners applied for and completed their latest mortgage completely in person, while more than one-quarter of homeowners (28 percent) applied for their most recent mortgage using a combination of online and in-person interaction, according to the 2017 Borrower Insights Survey of homeowners and renters conducted by mortgage automation provider Ellie Mae® (NYSE: ELLI). Another 11 percent of homeowners applied for their latest mortgage completely online with no in-person interaction. The survey findings were announced today at the annual Ellie Mae Experience conference.

When asked what factor would have improved the mortgage process, approximately 40 percent of homeowners indicated they would have liked a faster process with fewer delays. Twenty percent indicated that a shorter, easier to understand application would be preferable, while 11 percent asked for more communication with their lender throughout the process.

Millennials were the most likely generation of homebuyers to begin their mortgage application online and finish it with an in-person interaction with their lender (30 percent). Gen X (28 percent) and Baby Boomer (20 percent) borrowers weren’t far behind in using this online and in-person approach.

“There’s no question that technology is playing a larger role in the home buying experience,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Ellie Mae. “As we expected, many homeowners are seeking a faster and more streamlined experience. And it’s not just a millennial phenomenon; it’s homebuyers of all ages and both genders.”

“But what’s even more telling is that homeowners still want a personal interaction with their lender. They want someone who can answer important questions, and make them feel confident that everything will be handled correctly and on time. While 27 percent of millennials identified the speed of the process as the top area to improve their experience, surprisingly 23 percent cited more face-to-face interaction as the second-greatest opportunity for improvement. By leveraging technology, lenders can provide a more high tech experience to simplify and speed the overall process, while still having the high-touch interactions when and where homebuyers want,” Tyrrell said.

The Ellie Mae survey found that today’s homebuyers most value speed, security and simplicity when applying for a home loan – all of which are enabled by technology. Millennials and women were the most likely to cite security as the most important factor when they applied for a loan. Gen X and Baby Boomer buyers were more likely to value the speed of the process. All three generations equally valued simplicity.


  Millennials Gen X Boomers Women Men
Security 35% 23% 21% 32% 27%
Speed of the Process 23% 34% 36% 29% 30%
Simplicity 20% 22% 22% 19% 21%
Transparency 12% 9% 5% 6% 10%
Ability to Complete Loan at Own Pace 7% 7% 11% 10% 8%
Reduced Data Entry 4% 4% 3% 3% 4%
Other 0% 1% 2% 2% 1%

Ellie Mae’s study also revealed that, despite the abundance of online marketing by lenders, referrals remain the predominant method consumers use to select a mortgage lender. Sixty-one percent of respondents chose their last lender based on a referral from a friend or family member (23 percent), bank (17 percent), realtor (16 percent), or financial advisor (5 percent). Online search was used by 18 percent of the survey respondents. Looking at behaviors across generations, 25 percent of millennials said they selected their mortgage lender based on an online search.

More data from the Ellie Mae 2017 Borrower Insights Survey are available online at www.elliemae.com/borrower-insights


Ellie Mae surveyed 3,099 individuals between the ages of 18 and 70 using the Qualtrics Insight Platform and a panel of homeowners and renters provided by Qualtrics panel services. The survey was fielded from December 21 – 30, 2016.

News organizations have the right to reuse this data, provided that Ellie Mae, Inc. is credited as the source.

About Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae (NYSE:ELLI) is a leading provider of innovative on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry. Mortgage lenders of all sizes use Ellie Mae’s Encompass® all-in-one mortgage management solution, Mavent Compliance Service and AllRegs research, reference and education resources to improve compliance, loan quality and efficiency across the entire mortgage lifecycle. Visit EllieMae.com or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.


Erica Harvill
Ellie Mae, Inc.
(925) 227-5913

Alexandra Gardell Kreuter
(646) 428-0618

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© 2017 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, the Ellie Mae logo and other trademarks or service marks of Ellie Mae, Inc. appearing herein are the property of Ellie Mae, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Other company and product names may be trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.

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