Perhaps less visionary but no less consequential are some other ways automation and digitalization could advance industry productivity.
"High producing loan officers have large networks and influence; their challenge is not so much in bringing in new business but more so in managing workflow and efficiency to accommodate and serve their networks. The digital mortgage function provides that," wrote Tammy Saul, owner and loan originator of Baltimore-based Federal Hill Mortgage in her response.
Another example: Having data — asset, employment, income, etc. — automatically populate across the myriad forms involved in a mortgage would streamline borrowers’ information gathering as well as lenders’ processing.
Generating verified information would eliminate the need for resubmissions of updated documents, streamlining the entire procedure and create faster turn times.
Michael Lipari, SVP of Paramus, N.J.-based Bond Street Mortgage sees risks in aiming solely for speed.
“At the current time the innovation and technology that allows borrowers to avoid the human element of the mortgage process can be productive, but yet very concerning. I am all for technology giving the consumer the convenience to provide information privately on their own time. However, it is concerning if that information is not thoroughly reviewed or followed up with a conversation or meeting. This can rush the most important early stages of the process,” he said Paramus, N.J.-based Bond Street Mortgage SVP Michael Lipari.
LiPari sees the more likely outcome as instead favored a hybrid approach, marrying human and something short of a machine takeover.
“The last thing the mortgage industry needs is for a consumer to choose whom to get pre-approved by based on how quickly they can obtain a letter. On the other hand this technology, coupled with thorough individuals behind fielding the information, can allow lenders to reach new heights of business,” he said.
However the next phase of technological advancement proceeds, just about everyone expects the process of getting to closing to be much quicker than it is today.
“As more things become automated, loans will close much faster than they do now. I can see two-week purchase contracts becoming a norm over the next 15 years, allowing lending institutions to close more volume than ever could before,” said DeJacimo.