Over the past few years, the proliferation of both mobile devices and their many useful applications has clearly demonstrated how businesses can leverage the power of mobile communications and computing to improve their overall productivity and revenue. Mobile technologies, such as smartphones and tablets, have greatly reduced turn-around times and overhead costs for businesses, because they allow professionals to efficiently work from anywhere using single-purposed applications that are designed to automatically streamline and expedite key business processes.
Professionals within the mortgage industry have begun to take notice of what these technologies can do for their businesses, and it has become apparent that transforming from desktop to mobile is the future of the entire mortgage industry. This transformation to mobile—which has already begun to take effect within the appraisal and loan origination spectrums—won’t rule out desktops all together, but will more or less act as a compliment to them by providing industry professionals with an external source that allows them to more efficiently conduct their business while away from their office systems.
Take appraisers for example, which arguably spend more time away from their offices than any other mortgage industry professional. The advent of mobile technologies has transformed the way many appraisers conduct their daily activities, because they can now directly receive and manage all of their orders on their smartphones via mobile applications. These order management applications allow appraisers to see who and what their orders are for; quickly accept, accept with conditions, or decline orders; update their orders’ statuses; schedule inspections with specific dates and times; and set specific delivery dates—all while on the go.
Best of all, these applications are usually synchronized directly to an appraiser’s office system, which provides real-time updates to the system without the appraiser having to go back and resubmit any data. This new mobile process allows appraisers to handle a much greater volume of orders, because their processing times and overhead costs have been cut to just a fraction of what they were when only desktops were being utilized.
Most loan originators are still just entering this mobile sphere, but the early adopters have begun using smartphones and tablets to improve efficiency and facilitate day-to-day tasks while away from their offices. Loan originators—especially at community oriented banks—are starting to spend more time out of their offices so they can cultivate personal relationships with their customers to help build referral business, and have predominantly used tablets to access their loan origination system while out visiting their customers. This will soon change however, because mobile LOS applications that further simplify the origination process are beginning to become more prevalent in the marketplace.
These relatively new LOS applications are designed to enhance the loan closing process by keeping loan originators in constant contact with their office’s LOS, no matter where they may be located. They also have several useful functionalities that help originators stay on top of their loans and establish better communications with their customers. Mobile LOS applications are always linked back to an originator’s office system, and provide them with the ability to view real-time status updates of loans in their pipeline. Some LOS applications even include a loan prequalification and pricing tool, where originators can enter in loan scenarios and instantly view eligibility and real-time pricing results. These loan scenarios can then be saved for quick access at a later date, further enhancing efficiency.
Not only do mobile LOS applications keep originators informed on the statuses of their loans, they cut down on the amount of calls that an originator would normally have to make when working away from their offices. Additionally, using a smartphone to get instant quotes on loan eligibility and pricing lets originators make a lasting impression on prospects, which helps build that referral business that many banks are seeking.
Potential borrowers are also using mobile devices far more frequently to fill out mortgage applications, and it has been estimated that 45 million people nationally will be using mobile banking services by 2014—an unimaginable figure just five short years ago. The amount of mobile devices in use, such as smartphones and tablets, is also expected to grow by 400% over the next eight years, which means the amount of mobile banking users will only continue to rise.
Whether you agree or not, it’s become inevitable; the mortgage industry must continue its transition to mobile to meet the demands of its professionals and consumers alike.