Navigating the future of borrower engagement

Author: Shannon Johnson, Encompass® Team Manager, EPM

Where we are: Think fast!

Many of the biggest challenges loan officers have been facing over the past year are centered around borrower engagement. Borrowers have a LOT of choices now, and if your offering or level of service doesn’t match their needs immediately, away they go. So, how do you connect with, engage, and retain borrowers for the long haul? At EPM, we’ve successfully met these challenges by using data and automation technology solutions to streamline the borrower experience.

How we got here

The mortgage industry experienced a 71% increase in refinance origination in 2020*. While the industry is reaping the benefits of this increased volume, some lenders are struggling to fulfill that demand due to resource constraints. Today’s borrowers are probably the most over-stimulated consumers in history – their choices are literally endless. When it comes to getting a mortgage loan, they have much more flexibility in how they select, engage, and interact with lenders. Lenders have minutes to make a first, and possibly only, impression. Responsiveness is key. In fact, in a recent survey, only 50% of borrowers described their lenders as responsive**…so, there is obviously work to do.

Where we’re going

Going forward, the lending landscape will be different. For some context, I’ve been in the mortgage industry since fax machines were brand new (remember those?). I’ve experienced the evolution of our industry first-hand, and witnessed expansive change. Even through this progression, one thing has not, and will not, change: In order to engage effectively and win customers for life, loan officers must react and respond to borrowers with speed, relevancy, and consistency. Borrower engagement tools that offer automation are essential for loan officers, as they enable the flexibility to create a unique experience that makes borrowers feel like they’re being heard, and are highly valued.

How to get there

So, how do you take the next steps to get on the mortgage automation bandwagon? Here are my top 6 tips for fine-tuning the borrower experience:

  1. First, you need to find the balance between being responsive, without being overly-aggressive
  2. Engage borrowers with content that is relevant, informative, and important
  3. Use data to discover which borrowers need to hear which messages, and at what time, and then deliver right on time
  4. Understand which borrowers want a call every day, versus those who are just fine exploring your app in their jammies at 3 am
  5. Know who needs a high-tech experience, or no tech at all
  6. Provide as many concise options as possible, and allow customers to select their experience

We’ve been implementing all of these solutions within Encompass LO Connect™ from ICE Mortgage Technology. It has everything my loan officers need to reach borrowers, all in one place. LO Connect is a must-have tool for loan officers because new ideas and automated client communications tools are built right in.

Fearlessly moving forward

Data and automation technology solutions are built to meet the needs of all types of borrowers, and all types of loan officers as well. Encompass LO Connect gives EPM loan officers on-the-go access to all the information they need to stay engaged with their borrowers. With so much data at their fingertips, they can achieve maximum responsiveness and deliver a better borrower experience. And so can you! I encourage you to be tech-forward and fearless as you greet the future. Having the right mortgage automation technology is a must, and the solutions from ICE Mortgage Technology are purpose-built to improve your business and help you create a great borrower experience.

*ICE Mortgage Technology Origination Insight Report

**The Digital Mortgage Opportunity: A Perspective from Lenders and Buyers

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