The Hidden Cost of Too Many Integrations and How to Facilitate the Big Picture with an End-to-End Digital Mortgage Solution
By:Jason Smith
January 17, 2020

The Hidden Cost of Too Many Integrations

For more than a decade now, the digital transformation of mortgage origination has been underway. Despite this, many lenders still rely on a patchwork of technology, often because they adopt limited-scope solutions to solve one specific problem. We’ve written in the past about how this can be expensive as lenders pay for so many types of software, but there are also hidden costs.

Relying on multiple integrations to facilitate mortgage origination can lead to problems that cost lenders time, reduce their capacity to innovate, and drive away talented employees. Here, I will outline how those problems often manifest and what lenders can do to correct them.

IT Problems: When Integrations Don’t Play Well Together

Too often, software marketed as a digital mortgage solution addresses just one workflow in the mortgage origination process. This may offer short-term relief but may cause additional pain in the long term.

If, for example, your e-signature software provider doesn’t integrate well with the software you use to generate disclosures, the two together may not actually save your Originators (or their customers) any time. 

In a worst-case scenario, dueling integrations may actually increase customer frustration. Imagine, for example, an origination process that requires customers to enter the same information over and over. Because customers know from other online experiences that it’s possible to distribute such information, they’ll likely be annoyed by having to type it again and again.

This might ultimately cause them to abandon an application, which of course affects a lender’s closing conversion.

On the back end, too, incompatible integrations can be costly: if sharing information among multiple software systems causes problems, a lender’s IT team may spend a disproportionate amount of time addressing those problems, rather than innovating and doing work that could actually improve their overall offering.

These functionality problems are bad for business, but they aren’t the only way patched-together origination systems can hurt lenders.

HR Problems: When Piecemeal Solutions Frustrate Your Team

The risk of driving away customers with inefficient technology is real; customers, however, aren’t the only ones likely to be frustrated by digital mortgage software that doesn’t live up to its promise. Originators, too, will likely grow weary of technology that makes their lives more complicated.

This can manifest in a few ways:

  • Burnout: Technology that is harder to use than it should be requires Originators to do more work than they should to get the results they want. Over time, working hard for mediocre results will take its toll. They may become burned out and disengaged, which can affect their motivation to close loans and therefore hurt your production.
  • Low adoption: If every new piece of digital mortgage software you introduce adds complexity to your Originators’ lives, there’s a good chance you’ll struggle to get them to adopt new solutions. This can be particularly costly: even though you’re paying for the software, you won’t see its benefits if your team isn’t using it. Low adoption can seriously hurt your ability to enjoy positive ROI from any type of mortgage technology.
  • Turnover: If you don’t address burnout or investigate the causes of low software adoption, you may find that your employee turnover rates increase. This is an expensive prospect: hiring experts estimate that it costs somewhere between 20 and 213 percent of an employee’s salary to replace them. What’s more, in the days of employer review sites like Glassdoor, you may have trouble attracting the best and the brightest Originator talent if current and former employees leave reviews about their frustrations for job candidates to see.

The good news for mortgage lenders looking to digitize their lending systems in a way that improves the borrowing experience for all parties is that there are digital mortgage software solutions that solve the problems created by piecemeal offerings.

Facilitate the Big Picture with End-to-End Digital Mortgage Software

Mortgage lenders that want to succeed in the age of the digital mortgage have to keep the big picture in mind: not just enabling faster document delivery, not just compiling potential loan products more quickly, but making it easier for people to get into homes.

Lenders have to facilitate not just individual steps in the mortgage process but the entire process, from house hunting to move-in. The only way to do this is to adopt digital mortgage software that enables customers to flow seamlessly through the entire borrowing process – software, in other words, that is built to facilitate the mortgage lending process from end to end.

End-to-end digital mortgage software not only facilitates the big picture, it also makes life easier for IT and management teams. With a single solution, IT doesn’t have to worry about managing dozens of individual integrations because every functionality is addressed in a single system. And management doesn’t have to work to ease employee burnout because an end-to-end solution works better for all parties.

Mortgage lenders may have done their best to stay on top of the latest technology as it rolled out piece by piece in the last decade. But today’s customers demand a smoother application process, and today’s originators expect a streamlined workflow. 

If it’s been a while since you last reviewed your mortgage tech stack, doing so now may help not only reduce the amount you’re paying for software integrations but also ease the burden on your IT team, management, and your top-performing originators.

Read more about how end-to-end mortgage origination software is re-engineering the origination workflow.

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