Mobile Mortgages and the Dawn of Hybrid Digital

End-to-end is no longer required, flexibility is the key.

Ninety percent of home buyers searched online at some point during their home buying process according to NAR (National Association of Realtors).

Smartphone use continues to grow exponentially. Processes that were never expected to be available on a mobile device, such as tax returns, college applications, and medical data, are now in the repertoire of a very comfortable mobile user. These aforementioned processes require a significant amount of documentation and multiple steps to complete. And it’s no different with a mortgage.

Rocket Mortgage has made the industry stand up and pay close attention, as it launched a completely digital mobile mortgage. TurboTax has seen triple-digit growth in the number of people who completed their taxes on a smartphone rather than a desktop compared to last year. However, even with this growth and high adoption rates, borrowers and financial institutions alike are beginning to demand a different approach, a hybrid approach.

Today’s modern buyer’s process starts online, and so this is where a mortgage company’s outreach should start as well. This approach will allow financial institutions to reach the tech-savvy millennial demographic in a way that best correlates with their buying behavior.

Buying a house is usually the biggest financial decision that people make in their lifetime, and as such, homebuyers, particularly millennial homebuyers, are not looking for a completely hands-off experience. While the process may initially start online with education and research, it can also include talking with an advisor to answer questions or to provide clarity on document requirements or the origination process in general. Then, to complete the application process, users can head right back to where they started: their smartphone.

Integrative technology is one of the components that make this hybrid approach possible. The loan origination system must be in synch with the mobile platform, which must also be synched with every piece of communication that comes from the financial organization. Staying in touch with the borrower in a timely manner is critical to the success of this approach. Borrowers should receive automated loan status updates as various milestones happen in the process. These forms of communication need to be very personal and originate from whomever they are working with at the financial institution. If everything runs as it should, the mortgage company should be able to easily facilitate forward progress in the process.

Credit unions, in particular, can increase their net promoter score by up to 20 percent by implementing these types of communications. They would be able to reduce costs because they would no longer need to staff for large amounts of inbound calls from borrowers confused about the status of their mortgage.

Even with the delay, most millennials have in purchasing their first home, they need to be educated early in the process and through the mediums they choose. Financial institutions have now become financial advisors, and it should be no different when it comes to the mortgage process. It is no longer about end-to-end functionality, but more about providing a highly-customized and integrated, hybrid method of providing a mobile experience for mortgage lending.

To read further, download William Mills Bankers as Buyers 2017, visit page 54, and discover what your institution needs to know about mortgage lending in the digital age.