This piece originally appeared in the July 2022 edition of MReport magazine, online now.
When the fax machine first hit the mortgage space, it was like the day Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon.
Gone were the days it took to mail or deliver copies of W-2s, bank statements, and tax returns from the borrower to the Loan Officer. Within minutes, vital pieces of information were transmitted across a phone line and into the hands of the party responsible for accepting or rejecting the application. A process that often took weeks, with the advent of a complex machine that magically sent copies across a telephone line, would now take just days, with customers and industry execs alike reveling in this new convenience.
After having its day in the sun, however, this “breakthrough” was eventually rendered near obsolete.
Shopping for a home and a loan all from the comfort of your phone is the new norm. Customers want answers and approval within minutes, not hours, not days, and especially not weeks. Instant gratification is the mantra that rules the day. Time spent waiting equals the loss of a client’s business. Bottom line, if you are not embracing all that tech has to offer, you might as well be driving potential business to the next shop.
And as technology moves faster to solve problems quicker, customer patience grows thinner. A study of 6.7 million users conducted by Associate Professor Ramesh Sitaraman from UMass Amherst showed that viewers tend to abandon online videos if they take more than two seconds to load.
Developers in the tech space must keep pace with the increasing demands of the consumer, and today, it’s all about instant gratification and speed. The industry must answer the call with the latest and greatest innovations to appease their audience.
MReport gathered a panel of experts to weigh in on several tech-related topics. Some are new to the game, and some are seasoned vets, but the common theme among them all is that tech is no longer a tool assisting the mortgage process, but a necessity in the process of achieving the American Dream of homeownership.
Nathan Bossers, President, Boston National Title Agency
Nathan Bossers is President of Boston National Title Agency LLC (BNT), one of the nation’s leading title insurance and settlement services providers and an Incenter company. He joined the firm in 2013 as Chief Operating Officer. He spent the next seven years building out BNT’s production platform, establishing a national service footprint, developing several product innovations, and helping clients optimize their own title and settlement processes.
Vince Furey, Chief Revenue Officer, OpenClose
As CRO at OpenClose, Vince Furey is responsible for business development, sales, marketing, and strategy. He is also engaged in the customer implementation processes and customer support. With more than 20 years of senior-level banking experience, Vince has extensive multi-channel experience in national sales, lending technology, operations, credit, secondary marketing, trade management and compliance. Prior to OpenClose, Vince led the team at Ovation7 LLC, a national consulting and business services firm that he founded. Prior to that, he held senior leadership positions in the retail, wholesale and correspondent sales and operations at Mellon Bank, Bank One, and Pinnacle Financial Corp.
Richard Gagliano, President, Origination Technologies Division, Black Knight Inc.
Richard Gagliano is President of the Origination Technologies Division of Black Knight, responsible for the direction of Black Knight’s origination technologies, which includes artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, point of sales solutions, and its enterprise loan origination systems that support retail, wholesale, consumer-direct and correspondent channels that lenders use to originate both first mortgages and home equity loans. With 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Gagliano offers a wide range of lending-product knowledge and insight. Before joining Black Knight, he was SVP of Direct Lending and Chief Administrative Officer at Aurora Bank.
Angela Hurst, EVP/CAO, RES.NET
Angela Hurst is EVP and CAO of RES.NET, a wholly-owned subsidiary of USRES. USRES provides financial support services for valuation and disposition of REO real estate assets. USRES’ products and services have provided the mortgage banking industry relief in origination and default valuation products, together with real estate-owned (REO) asset disposition services.
Chad Jampedro, CEO, Bonzo Group
Chad Jampedro serves as CEO of Bonzo Group, having joined the company after a 21-year career as President of GO Mortgage and GSF Mortgage Corp. His experience and leadership enabled GSF/GO Mortgage to become a top agency single-close construction-to-perm lender. Jampedro has successfully managed and developed technology and operations platforms to grow and support sales teams. He has earned numerous awards in the financial and lending space.
Asher Kahn, CEO, CondoTek
Asher Kahn is Co-Founder and CEO of CondoTek, responsible for running all facets of the business. Kahn has a proven executive management track record, with more than 20 years of experience in growing and operating real estate-related companies. He founded CondoTek in 2014 with his brother and CTO Joshua Kahn. His leadership and vision have grown CondoTek into a scaled, multi-product technology company, and the top resource for lenders providing condominium loans.
Matt Lehnen, CTO, Deephaven Mortgage
Matt Lehnen is CTO of non-QM lender Deephaven Mortgage, overseeing all aspects of the company’s technology infrastructure, customer service delivery platform, and cybersecurity program. He is responsible for continuously advancing the Deephaven technology posture to create stronger synergy between their business, their products, and their customers. Prior to Deephaven, Lehnen served as VP of IT at Wyndham Capital for 11 years. He has more than 15 years of experience in the technology field, and holds several industry certifications.
Shelley Leonard, President, Xactus
Shelley Leonard is President of Xactus, and a member of its Board of Directors. With more than two decades of experience developing and delivering technology solutions, Leonard is steering the company to drive the transformation of the mortgage verifications industry with its innovative credit and data solutions and digital technologies. Prior to joining Xactus, Shelley served as an executive at Black Knight and its predecessor businesses, where she managed multiple, complex initiatives. Most recently, she was the Chief Product and Digital Officer, and she led the Servicing Technologies, business including the company’s MSP loan servicing solution.
Phil McCall, President/COO, ACES Quality Management
Phil McCall brings more than two decades of executive experience in the mortgage industry to ACES. Prior to joining ACES, McCall’s career included posts as COO for IMARC, a forensic loan auditing and loan data verification provider, and executive positions with three privately-owned mortgage banking firms. He has been an integral liaison between his companies and various Wall Street firms, and was actively engaged as a seller/servicer with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
John McGee, President/CEO, OptifiNow
John McGee has been providing CRM technology to the mortgage industry for more than a decade. He brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, serving the telecommunications, health care, and mortgage industries. An engineer by trade, McGee has unique insight into mortgage sales and marketing workflows through his work developing custom platforms for lenders such as REMN, Sprout Mortgage, and Sun West Mortgage Company.
Dave Parker, EVP, Product, LoanLogics
Dave Parker is EVP, Product at LoanLogics, responsible for defining and executing the vision and direction of the company's product portfolio and go-to market strategy to rapidly grow sales, customer engagement and retention. He is also responsible for designing new solutions for the industry's current challenges, while positioning LoanLogics for the market's future demands.
Brian D. Pannell, Chief eServices Executive, DocMagic Inc.
Brian D. Pannell has and continues to serve as a valuable resource to the mortgage industry as a subject matter expert on technologies that digitize the mortgage process, such as eSignings, eNotarizations, eClosings, eNotes, eVaults, eRecording, eWarehouse lending, and more. He has helped countless lenders, banks, servicers, tech service providers, GSEs, and others understand the immense value of going “e.” Prior to DocMagic, Pannell was VP of Client Services at eSignSystems, and before that, spent more than 10 years at Fannie Mae as a Senior Manager in the technology department.
Jim Paolino, CEO/Co-Founder, LodeStar Software Solutions
From climbing the file cabinets in his family-owned title agency as a boy, to leading the charge toward a paperless mortgage process as LodeStar’s CEO Jim Paolino has spent his entire life in the real estate and mortgage industry. He is frequently quoted in the mortgage media on technology trends as they relate to compliance, operational efficiency, and sales growth. He has presented at the MBA Annual Convention and Expo; RESPRO Conferences, and more. He is a recent graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, and is a current member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). Jim also mentors local aspiring entrepreneurs at Drexel and Lehigh Universities.
Brad Sivert, Head of Proptech, Tavant
Brad Sivert is Head of Proptech for Tavant, an AI-powered digital platform that helps power more than 50% of the largest real estate proptech companies. Sivert has been in fintech and proptech for more than 15 years, pivoting between start-ups and larger companies, but always with an entrepreneurial spirit and focus.
Dan Sogorka, CEO/President, Sagent
Dan Sogorka is CEO and President of Sagent, and has led digital transformation in housing for more than two decades. Before joining Sagent, Sogorka served as CEO of digital mortgage point-of-sale provider Cloudvirga, President of EXOS Technologies, EVP of ServiceLink, and Division President at Black Knight. As CEO of Sagent, Sogorka plays a vital role in reinventing how banks and lenders power the homeownership and consumer lending experience for millions of borrowers.
Nicole Valentin-Smith, VP, Sales, Digital Lending and Origination, Fiserv
Nicole Valentin-Smith serves as VP of Sales, Digital Lending and Origination at Fiserv. Prior to joining Fiserv in 2018, she served as VP, Lending Solutions at Mortgage Cadence, an Accenture Company, and before that, Chief Sales Officer/SVP, Sales and Lending for Xceed Financial Credit Union, and VP of Business & Community Development for Kinecta Federal Credit Union. Valentin-Smith began her career with Washington Mutual Bank/Great Western Bank, rising to the role of Regional Sales Manager/VP, Branch Manager.
Mark Walser, President, Incenter Appraisal Management
Mark Walser is President of Incenter Appraisal Management, a national AMC providing professional appraisal services and the RemoteVal mobile appraisal technology. Walser is responsible for all facets of the company and its valuation offerings, including customer service, operations, business development, products, and technology. Walser joined the company in the fall of 2020 as EVP and was promoted to his current role in early 2021, growing the company’s client base and volume across banks, credit unions and mortgage bankers.
Louis Zitting, Founder/CEO, MonitorBase
Louis Zitting is the Founder and CEO of MonitorBase, a fintech company that monitors prescreened credit information and other real time behavioral data to alert salespeople when someone is in the market to purchase or refinance a home. Zitting began his career developing websites for mortgage companies before becoming a Loan Originator and Branch Manager for a large nationwide lender. His passion is helping clients find new ways to grow their business in a data-driven world, while removing complexity from the process.
What has yet to be uncovered in terms of mortgage technology by the industry? Has a ceiling been reached in terms of growth?
Nathan Bossers: The profession needs regulatory consistency. New technologies in the mortgage space are extremely challenging to implement on a nationwide basis because of how the industry is governed. Originators, servicers, and investors must adhere to a library of regulations on the federal, state, and local levels, and there is currently no consistency to it. So, while some technologies are great solutions to some of their problems, they are either not allowed to be embraced at all or cannot be uniformly and effectively implemented throughout a lender’s national operations.
So many lenders just stay away as the downside risk of implementation may exceed the upside of it. The federal and collective state governments are laser-focused on reducing the consumer’s cost to borrow. As a result, we absolutely have not reached a ceiling of growth. We never will. There will always be thought leaders looking to innovate impactful technologies to improve the service delivery model in this and every industry.
Vince Furey: We’ve just come off two of the largest production years our industry has ever experienced. We’re now seeing a major pendulum swing with rising interest rates, diminished refinance opportunities, and a housing market that still demands inventory. It will take time and market stabilization to return consistent, predictable production levels. This down cycle presents an opportunity to take a step back from throwing people at volume and commit to advancing blockchain, AI, and machine learning technologies that have just begun to scratch the surface of their ultimate potential. There is absolutely no reason why upwards of 80% of the mortgage fulfillment process cannot be fully automated.
Asher Kahn: When it comes to opportunities to create efficiencies for outdated or manual workflows, the sky is still the limit. There is plenty of room to enhance and improve current technologies. The value proposition of all mortgage technology shifts with market trends, creating more opportunity. During the refi boom, for example, the stronger value proposition for our products and services may have been speed of process to closing, which of course is still important now, but maybe it’s not as high a priority as rates begin to rise. With current mortgage rate increases and lesser volume, cost reduction becomes a stronger value proposition. Whenever there is change, there are new technologies to be discovered to ease the mortgage process. The market is always changing, and that’s the time to create those opportunities for growth.
Matt Lehnen: Although digitization has improved borrower and property credentialing, it’s often complicated to access and integrate data and files from different sources. In my opinion, a ceiling has not been reached in terms of growth. Despite data access and integration challenges, the industry is seeing exciting advances with blockchain and similar technologies—which have the potential to make borrower and property data available to all parties in a transaction simultaneously.
Blockchain is an immutable, secure ledger that others can see on a permission basis. Imagine all parties involved in the mortgage process—borrowers, lenders, title agents, appraisers, real estate agents, attorneys, etc.—all having instant access to this data and being able to access updates in real-time. With back-and-forth emails and calls reduced or eliminated, the lending process would be transformed. There is great potential in taking this a step further by putting borrowers in control.
Shelley Leonard: To uncover areas for improvement, we must constantly ask why we do things the way we do them. Only by challenging the way tasks have always been accomplished can we identify new and different workflows—all the while balancing the need to still meet risk and regulatory requirements. I think it is important to examine the areas where technology can be used to truly make more efficient processes—rather than just using technology for processes simply because they exist. By diving deep into the workflows, you can better assess how they can be performed more efficiently and reinvent them.
John McGee: Technology growth in the mortgage industry will never stop. The mortgage process is way too complex for there to ever be a point where technology can’t make it more efficient. I think the real issue is whether there’s enough acceptance and support in the market to allow a technology innovation to thrive. There are many different parties that must cross a threshold of adoption for technology to gain widespread acceptance. That’s why technology advancement tends to be slower in the mortgage industry, but the potential for change always remains high.
Dave Parker: We’re seeing greater trading of mortgage servicing rights (MSRs), as well as new technology that is expanding opportunities for buyers in the secondary and MSR markets. There is also a tremendous opportunity this year and next to build a better network ecosystem for sellers and buyers to find each other in the secondary market. While mortgage loan commerce is still very one-to-one, single-seller to single-buyer, that trend may be changing this year. In addition, there is room to use digital technology to create buyer-seller connections during the origination process, while the facts of a particular loan scenario are changing, which can ensure greater sales certainty in the secondary market.
Louis Zitting: There is still a lot that can be done to make the process easier and smoother, particularly when it comes to sales enablement. So far, much of the focus of innovation has been in the areas of taking applications, processing loans, and the underwriting and closing processes. There has been some headway made in CRM technology, but most future growth will be in the area of data analytics on consumers and feeding that information to salespeople, which is why sales enablement technology will become so valuable going forward.
What can the industry expect next in terms of digital and AI processes to move into the future?
Nathan Bossers: A lot. There are technologies being brought to market that will change how funds are delivered in the mortgage process, in real-time payments, replacing the archaic methods of wire and check delivery that require more attention to mitigate security risks. As data continues to be more and more accessible the flow of data will become easier and more streamlined, thereby shortening production efficiencies, and allowing AI to serve a more powerful role in the origination of loans and in transaction processing.
This will allow for more fixed process rules to be built into underwriting, which should allow more units per underwriter to be completed. Consumer demand for digital closings will increase, but the methods for that delivery will be different, and originators will need to be flexible as to how they are provided. There will be a consolidation of tech companies in the space, as the market reassesses the fintech industry, and begins to appropriately value companies on profitability, and not on potential.
Richard Gagliano: Every digital improvement made to the mortgage process is helping the industry collectively create what the future will look like. Regarding AI, particularly, the more data incorporated, the more functional tasks completed, the larger the knowledge base that helps train machine learning. By enabling the continual, iterative improvement of the process, we can get from the 45 days it takes to originate a loan today, down to just a couple of weeks while also driving down the cost of origination for lenders and borrowers alike.
Chad Jampedro: I believe we will evolve to a mostly AI-powered appraisal process. With the shortage of qualified appraisers and few people joining the profession, we will land here by necessity. Fannie and Freddie have been expanding their appraisal databases over the years and flexed their muscle during the refinance boom of 2020-2021 with a substantial increase in appraisal waivers.
In April, lenders also got additional latitude to use of appraisal reports less than 12 months old, which is another step toward data-based property evaluations. We will continue to see the use of aggregated data and AI driving the evolution of the appraisal process.
Asher Kahn: The industry always wants better, faster, cheaper. “Better” is the most relative term of the three, and it’s the foundation for AI and digital processes. When AI and digital processes make “better” more tangible, then “faster” and “cheaper” usually fall next in line. Our mission is to use AI/digital technology to “better” simplify complex warranting and approval processes for condo lending. Our automation allows lenders of any size to leverage our products and services to underwrite condo loans faster and at lower costs. As a result, rather than maintaining high-cost internal resources, lenders can receive a high-quality, risk-free warrant within days. That’s the mix of better, faster, cheaper. With this underlying concept, digital and AI processes will continue to push the industry forward.
Matt Lehnen: AI will hopefully get smarter, more complex, and better able to contextualize what it’s looking at. Right now, the technology is founded on a pass/fail system. Every loan has an individual story behind it—particularly in the non-QM mortgage segment. Ideally, AI will get closer to understanding each story, and making more accurate decisions about why a particular date should or shouldn’t be allowable, for example. Still, an experienced underwriter will always be necessary behind the scenes. In the future, I’m hoping the industry will offer an even better blend of self-service technology and a seamless experience. The promise of faster processes, and fewer steps and touches is illusory if any “glitches” burden the borrower. Someone always needs to be in the background to preempt problems for a more seamless and positive consumer experience.
John McGee: The shift towards digital processes is well on its way as traditional sources of information digitize and newer sources of information are created with digital as its foundation. We’ve already seen the benefits of digital processes through greater interoperability between systems and an entire technology ecosystem devoted to analyzing data.
However, the application of true “artificial intelligence” is really in its infancy, especially in the mortgage space. AI at this point is more experimental than it is practical. AI right now tends to be more analytical or used in low priority contexts. The next step is to connect AI to end users by helping them make decisions more efficiently. These types of AI-driven decisions are likely to be made in processes that are repeatable and scalable, such as BPO-type processes, which can yield a bigger bang per AI buck.
Brad Sivert: Every lender talks about digital, and most are beginning to talk about AI, but how many are fully embracing it? That is the magic question. AI in fintech market size is expected to reach $17 billion by 2027, and it’s no surprise that AI and ML (machine learning), and intelligent automation will be at the heart of this. The true question is how much they are embraced. The refi boom is coming to an end, and now lenders need to streamline operations, become more efficient, and save money. Digital and AI processes are what will enable that. That is a fact.
Dan Sogorka: From Sagent, the industry can expect us to continue to execute alongside our customers every day as we build stable solutions that serve their most pressing needs. Data-first, cloud-native platforms that keep customers in control of their finances and financial institutions in control of their tech spend will spur rapid, ongoing innovation without surprises or waste. Mortgage tech companies that empower their customers to operate in the ways that they see fit will ensure they can come out on top of market consolidation opportunities as this cycle plays out. The winning firms of the future will maintain a fintech development mindset while delivering scale solutions and custom service at reasonable costs.
Nicole Valentin-Smith: The industry can expect more, better, and faster digital and AI processes. We expect to see many new tools come to market over the next few years as developers, many from other industries, enter the mortgage space in the hopes of capturing market share before lenders clamp down on spending due to falling loan volumes.
Whether lenders invest in technology from a new entrant or use new tools from their existing, trusted partners, everyone in the industry will go fully digital and they will leverage AI to make that process as smooth and profitable as possible. The days of lending without digital tools are now behind us.
How does your research and development arm gauge what the marketplace needs in terms of new product development?
Angela Hurst: RES.NET’s mission is to offer a more holistic product so our clients can get the best technology available all under one roof by combining new proprietary solutions with third-party integrated tools, filling critical gaps that have fragmented the marketplace for many years. Since its inception, RES.NET continues to enhance its platforms to support the ebb and flow of market fluctuations, business requirements and regulatory changes. By constantly seeking feedback from clients, we focus on what their needs are, and what keeps them up all night. The team thoughtfully considers both short- and long-term solutions with focus on second and third order consequences. Understanding the consequences are the downstream ramifications of change, the company is committed to garnering meaningful results for each of its clients.
John McGee: Since our entire business model is based on providing mortgage lenders with custom CRM platforms, we basically perform R&D on all our clients. We’re much more sensitive to market demand because our job is to say “yes” to investing in R&D where other CRM providers say “no.” This mindset allows us to discover and build new functionality more rapidly than other providers and understand shifting trends in the marketplace.
Brian D. Pannell: DocMagic works closely with key members of the supply chain and our clients to make sure we’re on the pulse of today and tomorrow’s needs. We are constantly asking for customer feedback on the useability of our solutions to determine where our development resources should be focused.
We conduct surveys to better understand what new feature/functionality to develop and what systems to enhance. Further, we also have a close eye on any compliance or regulation changes that affect the marketplace via our Compliance Department that works in tandem with our development teams.
Our staff sits on many eMortgage Industry standard boards, and we are constant suppliers of content and expertise at conferences and training seminars. We believe that the best way to meet our customers’ needs is to continue our efforts at being thought leaders throughout the industry, and build products and services that set the standards for technology advancement.
Jim Paolino: Although LodeStar has a national reach, and we’ve grown exponentially over the past few years, our “research and development” still rests with a small team of our top people, who tend to have other titles. But it doesn’t take an expensive survey or focus group to listen to your customers and the prospects that don’t convert, as well. We stay in close touch with our clients, and take to heart what they want. We also hear from new clients who may have worked with our competitors—another impeccable form of market intelligence. The key ingredients are listening, documenting, and reviewing what we hear thoughtfully. Thus far, it’s why we’ve seen success when we have rolled out new products.
Nicole Valentin-Smith: Our management team has been in this business for a very long time. That allows us to see opportunities for innovation before others, but it also means that we have large, mature networks. This allows us to find the right people who can answer the right questions. The reason so many financial institutions trust Fiserv is that so much of our work involves anticipating future trends and seeing shifts in the business before they impact our clients. By talking to our clients, we can determine whether a new trend will impact them and what problems our clients want our new products to solve.
Mark Walser: Our innovations are informed by the multiple areas of the industry we touch—title insurance, title search and settlement, appraisals, MSR trading, etc. Not only do we have strong relationships with the C-suite at the nation’s top lenders and servicers, many of us have decades of industry leadership experience ourselves. We’re constantly meeting with our networks to learn more about their operational challenges. Those pain points factor into our decisions to build, buy, and otherwise actuate solutions (which could also include outsourcing).
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in the mortgage tech space?
Vince Furey: I’ve benefited from being surrounded by a team of brilliant technologists who also have direct operating experience in mortgage banking. We’re intent about solving for the future and making sure we don’t get distracted only in the present. So, our team is always thinking two, three years forward. We are excited about helping our customers operate as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible by reducing the cost to manufacture loans, and we applaud new lenders that are interested in stepping up their technology game for lending automation.
Richard Gagliano: The integrated technology ecosystem Black Knight has created is made up of solutions that stretch and interconnect across the entire real estate and mortgage continuum. Our investments in innovation and acquisition have been laser-focused on bringing together all the capabilities lenders need to be faster and more efficient without the friction of integrating dozens of third parties.
Angela Hurst: Where many individuals see fintech as narrow space, I view it as an opportunity to collaborate with like-minded organizations. Creating proactive solutions to new market conditions is exciting and enables me to bring collective and comprehensive insight to each challenge. I am very mindful of today’s technology demands on internal and external forces and by leveraging my diverse background, I try to solve for today’s challenges in an ever-evolving market space. The founder of our company, Keith Guenther, was an industry pioneer. He had a unique vision that has proven successful, and that vision established the longevity and one of the largest geographical footprints of any of the competition. His vision has enabled the company to not only survive, but also thrive in evolving market conditions.
Phil McCall: I think ACES’ greatest accomplishment has been elevating the need for a total quality management platform. Quality shouldn’t be relegated to just the QC department—it needs to be an enterprise-wide effort, and to do that, organizations need a system that can tie together the various areas of the business, allowing them to take that holistic view of their overall quality and how it affects all their business. That’s been our goal, and we’ve seen great strides thus far. We’ve also sought to be stewards of quality not just for our clients, but for the entire industry.
Brian D. Pannell: When I first entered the mortgage technology space, the development efforts of my group at Fannie Mae were focused on building out AI Technologies where decisions could be made on the probability that Fannie Mae would purchase a mortgage. Since then, I have grown within the industry as it has pushed forward with the expansion of eMortgage/digital mortgage technologies. I believe that I am one of the few mortgage technologists that can trace the evolution of the industry from its roots to where it has grown today. I was a part of the early adoption of eSignatures, and to see that we are now conducting remote eClosings where borrowers are in different countries and know that I had a leading role in getting that done, is incredible. The efficiency that technology has provided our customers and what it means to the entire life cycle of the mortgage is a powerful reinforcement of our efforts. It has been great to have a front-row seat to the maturation of the eMortgage undertaking as a whole.
Jim Paolino: I am extremely proud that we’ve been able to take something as seemingly mundane as a federal regulation (TRID) and closing cost data and provide a technological improvement to the challenges rising from the way the industry addressed them. That, in turn, has become a bit of a lever for us to advocate for a larger and faster digitalization process across the entire industry. The data we’ve accumulated, and been able to use to help lenders improve the process—especially at a point in the transaction that, until recently was mostly manual and entirely painful—has allowed us to become vocal proponents for advancement and positive change. It’s very humbling.
Mark Walser: For Incenter Appraisal Management, we were so proud to bring the RemoteVal remote/desktop appraisal solution to the market to benefit lenders, servicers, and appraisers. Lenders are still wrestling with the dual challenges of an appraiser shortfall and consequent valuation reporting backlogs, which force them to routinely build more time into mortgage transactions. Our technology uniquely empowers appraisers to virtually inspect a property and do the type of real-time verification they are used to handling in person. That in turn benefits the lender with a much faster process.
Louis Zitting: I’m proud that MonitorBase was the original provider of sales enablement technology, and the first to introduce borrower analytics to the sales process way back in 2007. Since then, we’ve seen competitors come and go, but we’ve continued to innovate and make our technology more powerful and efficient. This has enabled us to keep our costs down, while delivering the industry’s most affordable, cost-effective solution with the highest ROI. I’m really proud of that, too.