Automation & technology

Customer Tell All: Three things to consider before switching lending platforms


By selecting the right lending platform, you can alleviate compliance concerns, support business growth, and automate lengthy, manual steps in the loan process. But how do you know which platform is the right one to support your workflow’s unique needs?Tune into this video to hear Daralyn Schneider, Vice President, Mortgage Services at Indiana Members Credit Union, and Tamera Jette, Vice President, Mortgage Operations at First Tech Federal Credit Union, share what they looked for in a new lending platform and the remarkable results they saw after making the switch.Resources:

Welcome to our open house. Instead of examining hardwood floors, closet space, and kitchen layouts, we're taking you on a tour of what's happening across today's mortgage industry. During each episode, we'll hear from industry leaders and subject matter experts to give us an inside look into a hot topic, cutting edge technology, or new trend that can help accelerate your digital journey. Thank you for joining us. Come on in.

Hello and welcome to another episode of the ICE Mortgage Technology Open House Podcast. My name is Deanne Bostock and I'm the marketing campaigns manager at Ice Mortgage Technology. And I recently sat down with two key customers for a customer tell all Assessment. I spoke with Darrell and Schneider. She's the vice president of mortgage operations at Indiana Members Credit Union and Tamra Jetty.

Who's the Vice President of Mortgage Operations at First Tech Federal Credit Union. And we talked about the three things a lender should consider prior to switching lending platforms. We also spoke in depth around automation, compliance and scalability. Now without further ado, take a listen to our conversation.

I'd like to start today's session by getting to know you both just a little bit better. So, Tamra, tell us a little bit about your role, how long you've been with the credit union and and what challenges were you facing prior to switching platforms? Sure. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me today. I've been the first tech, Federal Credit Union now for a little over seven years in the industry, about 28 years, joined again, first tech seven years ago, like you mentioned. I'm the vice president over mortgage operations. And what that entails is basically.

End to end operations. So once a loan application is taken, my team takes it all the way through servicing. So we've got underwriting, closing, processing, servicing, post closing, QC all within our little house. So pretty big shop. Yeah, it's a little bit about what I do here, wonderful and Darrell and same question, I've almost a clone of Canberra, so I've been in the business of a little over 30 years, but I've been with credit union for seven little bit different banking to credit union, but I'm the VP over mortgage services and it includes home equity.

And mortgage and also servicing. Wonderful. Let's switch gears a little bit and let's jump into the first thing you want to consider before switching lending platforms. And that first topic is around automation. So we know automated data entry saves time. It reduces errors and eliminates what is one of the most time consuming aspects of the loan process. So Darrell and you discuss with us that your organization is different than other mortgage lenders and banks and that it's not about the money, rather it's the service to your members.

Are you looking for when you were selecting a new platform, we're looking for many things. So we were definitely looking for a leader in the industry and someone that was working with the agencies and lots of other clients. So that document vendor, stuff like that, that really knew their way around a mortgage and we were training the loan origination system of what to do. We were looking for someone where we could reduce our workarounds that we had. We wanted flexibility that we could practice the work.

Flow that we had versus the workflow that maybe another lender wanted to use, but be able to flexible enough to be able to change that workflow. As things changed in the industry, we wanted flexibility with the vendors that we used. We definitely wanted to resolve any of the quality, quality control and audit issues that we were having.

And just being able to customize, we really wanted to be able to customize to our own uniqueness. That's great. And Tamra, you mentioned that having the right most reliable technology in place is critical for your organization.

Can you tell us what were you looking for when you were going through that evaluation process, Sir? It was similar to Darrell Lynn, right? It was extremely important for first Technology to provide that you know, extraordinary level of service for our members. You know we are very hard in ourselves as credit unions, You know, we managed to Net Promoter scores and we have a very high bar set and our members deserve that. Our members expect that. You know we're a little unique in first Tech in the sense of you know, we follow the separate employer group, so.

Intel, the tech companies and as you know, they're hard critics, right. They expect that cutting edge technology, they're they're always looking for the innovation and we have to provide that, you know, or we become irrelevant, right. There's a lot of choices for them. So you know, first and foremost it was that level of service. Secondly and very close behind, you know, it was safety. It was the quality component and the safety mechanism. You know, our previous operating system on operating system was not as safe, right. There was a lot of manual workarounds, a lot of you know.

Intensity in that area and with that comes a lot of mistakes that could impact us from a regulatory and reputational perspective. So safety was a huge deciding factor. And then again like Darlin mentioned, the scalability, the flexibility, you know we have very large goals to achieve in the next several years as you know becoming the most admired credit union and we we needed a system that will allow us to scale and we believe that when we chose Encompass.

They gave us 99% of what we needed and that's very important. And you know that the vendor flexibility, the, you know, the ability to use our talents in, in the sense of, you know, I'll give you an example, as a processor, right, we want them to spend time on the phone with our members. We don't want them to do workarounds and spending all their time going through 600 procedures, right. We want them to capitalize on the automation to allow their talents to shine with our member so that we can provide that extraordinary service. That was #1 for us as well.

Think, you know, automation in general can can scare people off a little bit, right? Because they think of gosh, people who've been doing sort of manual processes for years, that's been their job. You know, maybe that automation is going to come in and it's going to take that position and maybe that'll happen. You know that there may be some cases for that. But I think automation is plays such an important role in technology right now, you know that it's allowing folks to really focus in on high impact tasks and you know projects versus doing sort of the repetitive tasks.

We've been doing right. So that's, I love hearing that because that's everything we're about to. Let's talk about this second thing to consider before switching to a new lending platform and that's around compliance. So while ERLA is behind us now, who knows what's in store for the future. So Tamra, I understand that as you said, you had a lot of procedures, a lot of manual workarounds before that your previous solution couldn't offer you.

How are you feeling today about future industry changes now that you're on Encompass super confident again, super, super. I can't stress that enough, right? You know, we call it a great evolution here at First Tech, right? We had to replace a pricing engine and we replaced our pricing engine with Epps which is LMA solution or ICE mortgage technology solution. You know, we had to replace our digital application for regulatory reasons and we migrated to Consumer Connect.

So over our evolution at First Tech and ICE mortgage technology, we've replaced a lot to get us to this point of confidence, right? So now our future looks.

Forward in the innovation and evolution category. So we've got we we're in process of scoping several projects and capitalizing on some of the menu options that Ice Mortgage technology offers to be able to be more efficient, you know to be more scalable to capitalize on more automation. And when we get to that that that point in the interview we'll we'll talk through some of these forward leaning projects that First Tech is really excited about and without Encompass we wouldn't be here today so.

So I'm feeling very confident. I love that. And Darrell and you brought up the thing that broke the camel's back was the TRID roll out. Are you still nervous about industry changes now that you made the switch? Well, I mean, I'm always nervous with what the industry could bring, but certainly having the technology at hand that encompasses provided us, we certainly feel a lot more comfortable about going through change management.

With Tread, I never attended so many sessions in my life trying to learn exactly how it was going to impact everyone on my team and having everyone on my team get on those same calls.

And I think just because of where we were in with our other loan origination system, we were vulnerable if we're vulnerable. And it just made it very difficult, very scary to do your job. And as Tamra was mentioned in, you know, processor, we want them, we want them on the phone, we want them comfortable, we want them to have a conversation. But if they're, you know, using checklists and having to mark everything off to make sure they, you know, cross every single T and every single I.

It it just made it very difficult for them to really focus on doing their job and and it was just so there's so many different tasks, there's so many different things that you have to do in the mortgage industry to get a loan from A-Z. We wanted to make sure that the people that were involved were just focused on the member and doing what their jobs were and more comfortable about coming in and not having to worry about every change in the industry. It was more we got them back.

And we could make the changes and work with whatever Encompass rolls out with the changes and know that if we needed to tweak anything, we had plenty of time to do that. Yeah, it just took the edge off of change management. Totally good. I'm so glad to hear that. So lastly, let's switch to the third thing to consider prior to switching lending platforms and that this last topic is around scalability.

So Darrell and you mentioned that one of the reasons you started looking for a new solution was to have a lending platform that could grow with the credit union. So I'm curious to hear what kind of results have you see, did you see in 2020 and and how are you in 2021? Well, certainly I'm sure anybody that is probably either listening in on this call was just hit with the, with the major refi booth. And again I've been in this business 30 years, I've been with larger lenders.

Pretty small credit union IT we almost tripled our business and with the credit union, we don't just hire a bunch of people either whenever we tripled business. So we really had to find work flows in processes that work to make sure that we were addressing our members as quickly as we could, not necessarily have to hire a bunch of more people.

To do to do it because we knew that the refi business would go away. So certainly we expanded a little bit but we didn't have to expand as much as we would have norternal away or frustrate members our clients in in order to get a loan done. I think that Encompass did a good job allowing us to you know with consumer connect and the way that their system works, we were able to work from home very easily without and manage people from home.

Which if we were had a bunch of workarounds, a bunch of paper, a bunch of manual processes that would have been very difficult to do from home. But with our wonderful IS department that we have and then this tool in our hands we were we were just we put business resumption into play and it worked beautifully. That's wonderful. The flexibility was so key, right to keep keep your business moving.

Absolutely. It's such a crazy time. And Tamra, you shared that in 2020, your first full year on Encompass, that the credit union nearly doubled the number of units in 2019 without adding headcount. Those results are pretty amazing. How did Encompass help you achieve that and how is this year going so far? Yeah, so you know, Encompass was obviously key, right, with the automation of the ability, you know, to allow us the time, you know, just to spend with our members. You know, we, we increased our Net Promoter scores.

You know by 15 to 20 points during the evolution of Encompass and I think with the automation you know and I'd be remiss if I don't mention two we and just like.

Sarah Lynn, we added very few head count from 2019 to 2020. And with that the head count that we did bring on board because there's a lot of familiarity in Encompass in the industry, right, because you own so much of of of the of the industry, we were able to take somebody that worked at a previous company but has Encompass experience. So are still the competency ramp up.

Was probably half the time that it would have taken on our previous loan operating system because they had that familiarity. Well, we've customized Encompass to meet our needs. They navigated very productively through it and the training time was cut significantly down. So again, I'd be remiss if I don't mention that that's a big, big help, you know, from the 2019 to the 2020 evolution.

And we did, we doubled our loans per employee by two loans per employee mentioned the N PS:, scores that increased 15 to 20 points on average. We took you know in 2019 we took 2.4 billion and we reached in 2020 3.6 billion. We took 7600 units in 2019 and you know built back to 10,600 units in 2020. So everything was had immense growth.

And because of the automation, because of the pipeline sizes in this crazy industry, because everybody's mentioned during pandemic, right, We couldn't have done it without Encompass and you know, highly productive in 100% remote environment I might mention so.

Very successful and I feel great. This year is going amazingly. You know where our forecast is again we're going to produce you know probably 11 to 12,000 units this year. We've got you know about four point, excuse me 3.7 billion that were forecasted to fund in in this crazy time. So it's going great. Wow though that's impressive. I mean you, you both are fairly new customers right to.

ICE mortgage technology and to see the results that you're already seeing is impressive and you know thank you for sharing that with us. You know the only other thing I want to just quickly touch on was you know I understand you both attended our user conference experience 21 back in March, you know which was a much different experience than previous years, you know as we held our first virtual event. But I'm curious to know you know after attending you know I guess previous years as well as last year, has that conference helped your business in any way and if so how?

I've kind of looked back at those years and we started with, I think I've been to two experience conferences. One is a prospect and one is a customer. And I've had just as a positive experience as a prospect as I would a customer, which is awesome, right? You always think that, well, maybe they're putting their best foot forward as a prospect and things kind of change, But that's not the case with this experience. The two experiences I've had, you know what impressed me?

The most and I I could go on, but I won't. I know we have a short amount of time together but what it cost me the most as both as a prospect and a customer, is your transparency with your Rd. maps. And I'm not. I'm not used to that. You know my previous loan operating system and other technology was interesting, you know, not that they were secretive by any means but I'm not sure that all the the planning what was there. And when I went to my first experience as a prospect what floored me and had me at hello was.

The road map transparency and also the at that time one time close construction was a little clunky let's say, but Ellie May at the time, their approach to this was let's get a SWAT team, let's go to customers, let's go and.

Project manage this and let's figure this out and let's make it great for our customer. That approach was just everything I've always wanted and more and then the next time I went you know they reported out, they reported out how it went and they had customers speak on how the improvement has helped their business at that time. So that's what really sold me amongst 25,000 of the things but that that's that would that struck me as I kind of looked back retrospectively during my past two experiences.

I love that and we continue to to showcase that, you know, moving forward. So there's a lot of fun stuff to look forward to for next year on our road map. And Darlin, how about you? Well, I've been to one in person and experience 21. I've been to many conferences in the past, so I thought the conference was well put together. It was great place to network with people and you weren't really on your you can be on your own, but you didn't have to be on your own.

There were lots of opportunities to have one on ones as well as attend some of the the conferences or the one offs or the group sessions, excuse me, that you guys had as well. And I thought that part was all put together really well. I was able to get a lot of the additional products demonstrated. We've actually hooked up with a couple of the vendors that were at the the one a couple years ago that I went to.

And that's those partnerships have been working really, really well. So getting to know people that really work with Encompass already was helpful to get additional tools. I think the experience 21, I I can't talk enough about. I think that it went really well. It was so inviting, it was nice that our our staff could take advantage of the experience themselves and they could learn, they can learn first hand what I learned through some of these sessions.

And then they it was just amazing to watch how much they had to offer when we came together on various projects like right now we're working on the enhanced underwriting conditions.

It was it. Without having our underwriters attend some of those sessions, it would have just been left in our system administrators hands and it probably would have been a little clunky and we would have had to fix it and stuff like that. But it out of I can't talk enough about them. I just think that they were great. They were well put together. I look forward to going to Vegas and I'm still hopeful that there are additional opportunities.

For those that we can't bring along with us so that they can also attend some of these sessions as well, it was just an open, it wasn't all about the money to go to the session. It was about really encompass caring about the people that, you know, we're in partnership with. So it was great love that you make such a great point because you know, as sort of.

Unusual as this virtual world was last year, it really extended to so many different people that normally may not be able to travel to these types of events in the past, right? Maybe it's a budget thing or you know, you can't send 20 people to a user conference. So then the few people that are sent have that burden of taking notes, bringing back information and trying to, you know, communicate everything they learned at that event back to their their teammates. So I think being able to have a virtual event has definitely helped.

You know, allow other people to be a part of it that normally might not be able to. I'm so excited to hopefully meet you guys in person next year in Vegas. You know, it's been too long when I miss the connections, I miss meeting with customers and partners. So I I really hope to see you both there and gosh, I mean time really flies you guys. We've been having so much fun. But I just, I just want to give you both a huge thank you for joining me today. You know you're obviously both so passionate about what you do your organization.

Just speaking with you, so, so easy and you know, I know everyone on this call is so thankful to have you on as well. And I hope that you know they've learned a few things when you know they're in that process of of really looking at maybe switching to a different platform or at least exploring and evaluating that, you know what are those key things that they should be thinking about it and looking at. And I know your stories will resonate with them very well. So thank you. And again, we love that you're part of the ICE mortgage technology family and I just want to thank you for your time and insight and and wish you both a wonderful.

Weekends Thank you. Thank you so much.


Information contained in this audio was obtained in part from publicly sources and not independently verified. Neither ICE Mortgage Technology nor its affiliates, make any representations or warranties, express or implied as to the accuracy or completeness of the information and do not sponsor, approve or endorse any of the content herein. All of which is presented solely for informational and educational purposes. Nothing herein constitutes an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy any security or a recommendation of any security or trading practice. Some portions of the preceding conversation may have been edited for the purpose of length or clarity.

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