We live in a tough competitive world and in this market, technology’s role increases every day. It’s hardly news that loan officers have adopted every program they can find in an effort to generate more leads. Although access to technology is now universal the results are not. Some loan officers do better than others, and you may find yourself wondering why that is.
Artificial intelligence, big data, robotics and all the rest are enormously powerful tools − but tools by themselves are not enough. The real trick is how they’re used. This means we must customize technology to best serve your loan officers. There are several ways of doing this.
First, you must use data from your portfolio to work with borrowers. You’re continually in front of customers with relevant messaging that includes product information. With advanced customer relationship management technology (CRM) your loan officers can immediately respond when borrower-needs arise.
Second, continually watch your portfolio, looking for telltale signs of financial change, early prepayment, and nonpayment. Once alerted your loan officers can then work with borrowers who require refinancing or other forms of assistance with their existing loans.
Third, an online presence is acutely important. However, site traffic is just one measure of online success. Don’t get me wrong, we like traffic, the more the better, but the real question for lenders is what benefit is produced. The benefit we want, of course, is more new business, more repeat business, and better customer relationships.
Fourth, we love technology, but there continues to be a place for manual underwriting.
Borrowers spend a lot of time developing loan applications. It can be a scary process for some. It only seems fair that in turn, we should look at their entire financial profile to get a better understanding of who they are and what risks they represent. Although automated systems can process large batches of applications at great speed, we don’t want automated systems to unfairly deny financing to a person who might potentially be a solid borrower. At the same time, we must adhere to the traditional banking standard in which you have to know your customer. Sometimes the only way to do that is with manual underwriting.
Online and off, one constant reality is that lenders that are responsive, and that take customer interests seriously, are the lenders that succeed.