The 2019 Borrower Insights Survey from Ellie Mae found that even as borrowers are looking to engage with their lenders online, they are demanding more communication throughout the loan origination process.
The survey noted that 50 percent of borrowers said they chose their lender based on whether they offered an online application or portal. Forty-seven of the respondents said that access to an online portal for uploading documents was a factor that influenced their decision. Majority of borrowers who were not offered online or electronic options from their lenders would have preferred those options, according to Ellie Mae. Fifty-four percent would have preferred an eClosing portal, while 44 percent would have preferred to use an online application.
Among all borrowers surveyed—quicker time to close (66 percent), a simpler application process (61percent), and information more readily available (54percent)—were the top three reasons for preferring online application process. Borrowers are keen on finding more avenues for interaction and communication with their lender. The survey also noted that frequent communication across multiple channels between lenders and borrowers has increased by approximately 20 percent for those who took out loans within the last year when compared to borrowers who obtained their loan in the last three to five years.
Having direct communication with lenders can be especially important to younger borrowers and for first-time mortgage applicants, as it harbors a sense of reassurance that the processes are on track in real-time, Ellie Mae pointed out.
“As more Millennials enter the housing market, it will be imperative for lenders to prioritize the use of all available technologies, digital tools and communication channels to foster strong borrower relationships throughout each step of the loan lifecycle – from the moment they are interested, all the way through to closing,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of technology and corporate strategy for Ellie Mae.
Tyrell also noted that “borrowers use an average of more than five different methods of communication throughout the origination process and it is up to the lenders to offer a customized approach for each individual borrower to best suit their unique needs.”