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"Digital mortgage" is the hot new buzzword taking over the industry. But what is a digital mortgage anyways? And how did we get here?

Industry professionals helped define the digital mortgage experience at the National Mortgage News Digital Mortgage Conference last week in San Francisco.

In a live survey conducted during the conference by NMN and Mortgage Cadence, the majority of respondents defined a digital mortgage as a fully end-to-end electronic process, which includes the borrower experience, internal processes and electronic closings.

Almost 14% defined a digital mortgage as having an electronic borrower experience and digital internal processes, and about 10.4% claimed a digital mortgage constituted an online experience for the borrower.

Of those participants, only nine voted that they already have a true end-to-end solution in place, with the vast majority claiming they have some, but not all, features available. About 34.4% are still determining the best approach for their specific organization.

Participants cited a number of reasons for not yet reaching their digital mortgage goals, with about 44.1% blaming current internal technology limitations. The second most common reason involved budgetary constraints, followed by stakeholder considerations, such as Board and C-Suite. About 3.5% of professionals claimed the impersonalization of technology prevented them from achieving their digital mortgage goals.

Participants also weighed-in on their organization's timeline for offering a true digital mortgage experience for their borrowers.

Most attendees anticipate being able to offer borrowers a fully digital experience within 18-24 months, followed by almost 18% who said their organizations will be ready in 24-48 months. Only 11 voters claimed they needed over 48 months to offer borrowers a fully electronic experience.

Here's a recap of the survey, with charts to explain the respondents' answers.