Opinion

Why AI in the mortgage industry needs a human touch

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Many in the business community are interested in artificial intelligence, but struggle to see exactly how it will benefit their organization. For those of us in the mortgage marketing and sales space, it’s crucial to recognize that AI will be the magic ingredient that lets us scale our sales strategies without losing the human element.

The most successful organizations will use AI to enhance and enable their people to have better, more meaningful engagements with customers and members. And because of that, these folks will get superior outcomes.

AI-powered tech lets mortgage loan officers — real people — make better product recommendations. And the more relevant a recommendation is to a customer's needs, the more likely it is to have a better outcome for the customer based on where they are in their life.

For example, let's say the data indicates that if a customer runs a credit check, gets prequalified and reaches out to one of your organization's Realtor co-marketing partners, they have a 90% probability of getting a loan or other type of financing in the next 90 days. This is the kind of artificial intelligence- and machine learning-driven insight that helps mortgage lenders understand a customer’s needs.

This new technology allows mortgage loan officers to identify patterns like buying trends and behavioral patterns. This analysis helps lenders serve customers better from a business standpoint and from a human point-of-view. This technology allows lenders to get more value from the existing data without any additional work: no one, in other words, has to scour their customer lists for trends.

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Machine learning enables mortgage lenders to look at what they know about their customers, what drives customers and trends within a customer population so that the organization can anticipate its needs. If AI is doing this work, mortgage loan officers are freed to get their work done more efficiently and communicate directly with the customers who want or need to hear from them.

Most organizations are still at the stage of trying to figure out how to tie AI applications to business outcomes. While leadership is largely in the research phase, things are about to start moving fast.

In a recent Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey by Fannie Mae, 63% of lenders say they are familiar with AI or machine learning technology, but only 27% have actually tried AI tools for their mortgage business. To get up to speed, leadership needs to look closely at trends in how AI is already being applied by their competitors and jump into the game.

It's crucial to start building internal knowledge about AI. For many organizations, this will look like having an internal team that knows how to use insights from AI, as well as external partners that use and understand AI. It’s key to follow these parallel paths simultaneously to keep up with the technology because it's not going to slow down for anyone.

Adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning doesn't diminish the power of high-quality relationships — it supercharges them. If done right, this new tech replace some mundane tasks, but it will not replace relationship-building or the necessary human interactions that help explain complex financial concepts and interactions.

Against any robotic stereotypes, the onset of this change won’t be cold or unfeeling. AI and ML will enhance mortgage lenders’ ability to anticipate customer or member needs to strengthen their relationships in the long term.

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Digital mortgages Artificial intelligence Machine learning Mortgage technology Originations Marketing
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