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2023 ICE Innovation Award winners


The 2023 ICE Innovation Awards recognize our customers and partners who go above and beyond to discover innovative ways to grow and meet customer needs. The winners for 2023 were selected by an executive committee who reviewed key data points and identified customers who use automation through Encompass eClose, Velocify®, ICE Mortgage Analyzers, and other ICE Mortgage Technology® solutions to deliver an exceptional experience to borrowers and gain a real competitive edge.

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A widely shifting market has made it very clear that it’s critical for lenders to employ automation technology that streamlines processes and maximizes ROI. How are industry leaders adapting and implementing? Read on for more details about how they have harnessed their potential for success, and how your own organization can catch the wave of innovative technology, too.

The 2023 ICE Innovation Award winners are:

eClose Advantage - Best consumer closing experience

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

Recognizing the need to offer members a different, more efficient experience, Affinity Plus decided to make the move to eClose. Right from the start, it was clear that this way of doing business would be long-term. Member feedback about the ease of the closing process has been outstanding! They’ve shortened turn-times, enhanced the member experience by keeping them more informed, and provided members the opportunity to engage with their loan officer more throughout the lending process. The result is the amount of time spent at closing has been significantly reduced.

“We are focused on our member experience first and foremost, and we’re always trying to make the lending process easier and more efficient for them. Rolling out eClosing was one of the best decisions we have made. The signing process is faster and easier and offers more flexibility for members who are always busy. Not to mention, before closings, members can go over documents and have adequate time to review all the details on their new loan. All these successes are why we have over 90% of our loans eClosings.” – Travis Lambrecht, Senior Real Estate Operations Manager, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union and other top lenders have already cleared a path to eClose, and you’re further along than you think. Find out more about what your next steps should be here.

Data Driver - Best use of data to drive decisions

Waterstone Mortgage

In a quickly changing industry, Waterstone Mortgage needed to pin down and predict their underwriting capacity, factoring in market changes over time. They wanted to base decisions on more than just a feeling and turned to solid data to help them make a plan. By combining data from Encompass® with their internal payroll system, they’ve developed a forecasting model that accurately predicts underwriting capacity and drives efficiency wherever necessary. This is achieved by taking into account their underwriters’ individual knowledge levels, the average number of touches and decisions being made per day, and even vacation and sick leave. This is just one example of how Waterstone has integrated data from ICE Mortgage Technology into their home-grown operations to inform high-level and day-to-day business decisions.

“ICE Mortgage Technology continues to be a vital part of not only our day-to-day loan operations, but also how we evaluate and implement solutions to better serve our customers. ICE allows us to access all of our loan-related data, which – in turn – gives us the ability to make informed and strategic decisions.” - Jake Rowoldt, VP – Information Services, Waterstone Mortgage

See a demo of the trusted data technology Waterstone uses to drive their workflow here.

Intelligent Automation – Best use of data to drive workflow

Mann Mortgage, LLC

The team at Mann Mortgage felt that they were too reliant on people performing repetitive tasks and knew that their operational processes needed to be streamlined. Automation was the answer to the problem, and they implemented ICE Mortgage Analyzers to eliminate stare-and-compare processes and create a more efficient workflow. Each stage of automation shines a light on other areas that can be improved, and the process of rooting out and streamlining more and more tasks rolls on, gaining more efficiency with every change.

“Since we have turned on the Income Analyzer, we have found the income calculations to be highly accurate. This will speed up turn times on Conventional and FHA loans with W-2 borrowers. Our vision is this will allow the more senior underwriters to focus on loans that need their expertise, while junior underwriters can quickly run through the Analyzers.” - Colin, IT, Mann Mortgage

Get in-depth information about how automation can streamline lending processes throughout your loan cycle here.

Web Integration – Best use of nextgen technology

Absolute Home Mortgage

When the team at Absolute Home Mortgage decides to adopt change, they go all the way. With the goal of becoming industry leaders in Next Generation technology, they reprogrammed their Point of Sale System to seamlessly integrate with Encompass. This increased security and efficiency has made their loan officers highly mobile to provide immediate responses to borrowers. Absolute has also successfully adopted Encompass eClose and worked to maximize Encompass Consumer Connect® capabilities. Embracing NextGen technology has been a huge differentiator for Absolute, creating efficiencies in both operations and sales, and helping them grow as a company.

“The technology Absolute implemented over the past few years has made my day-to-day as an originator seamless and efficient. More importantly, our clients are experiencing a simple, paper-free, user-friendly process with faster turn times and 5-star service.“ -William Koedatich, Loan Officer, Absolute Home Mortgage

Discover how Encompass is sharpening the cutting edge of NextGen technology here.

Borrower Conversion – Best application-to-closed loan conversion process

First Home Mortgage

First Home Mortgage discovered that the key to increasing conversion rates was to remove all roadblocks at the initial application stage and solve problems before they arise. By customizing applications based on service area, and even for individual loan officers, they were able to confidently direct borrowers to the Encompass Consumer Connect® portal knowing that they’ll get all the correct information they need right from the start. Being able to take complete applications and have the applicant upload their documentation right at the beginning is crucial for loan officers to quickly identify potential issues and deal with them early in the process. First Home now delivers a smoother borrower experience and has achieved an outstanding application-to-closed-loan conversion rate.

“Just recently, one of my Encompass support specialists was on a three-way call with a borrower and loan officer. The borrower was having some trouble navigating the system and she was blown away by the loan officer’s ability to walk the borrower through the system. With his knowledge of the product, the loan officer was able to quickly resolve the issue and avoid frustrating the borrower.” Eric McCall, VP, First Home Mortgage

Find out more about how Encompass Consumer Connect streamlines the borrower experience here.

Lenders’ choice for innovative service provider


Xactus is an ICE Mortgage Technology partner that integrates with Encompass to automate verification services in the lending process. They have been working with ICE Mortgage Technology customer Mutual of Omaha Mortgage to improve their customer experience with simple, easy-to-read credit reporting. Xactus has also been working with ICE customer Federal Savings Bank and helped them to increase on-time closings by 10%, so far, with automated employment and income verification services.

“We are exceedingly proud and excited that Xactus has won this year’s ICE Lenders’ Choice Award. It’s especially gratifying that our efforts to help our clients succeed, as we work in partnership with ICE Mortgage Technology, have been acknowledged by lenders who use Encompass. We sincerely appreciate the recognition.” -Greg Holmes, Chief Revenue Officer, Xactus

Learn more about Xactus and other partners in the Marketplace by ICE Mortgage Technology®here.

This is just a small sampling of what our Innovation Award winners have achieved, and there’s so much more to uncover. Visit our Innovation Awards page to get key metrics and more detailed information about each winner.

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