InsightsOrigination modernization: How the right partnership can drive success

Today, lenders have an opportunity to modernize the mortgage experience thanks to advancements in technology. Technology can promote a more efficient experience, but the partner behind the technology is critical.

Modernizing the mortgage experience

"Today, with loan origination volumes down across the board, lenders are looking more closely at the cost of producing a loan, and at best practices that can help them streamline their costs and processes," says Jim Gladden, senior vice president, origination strategy, ServiceLink. "They recognize that tech-enabled solutions are essential to the mortgage process. The key to success now is choosing the strategic partner who not only continually invests in leading-edge technology, but also collaborates with lender partners to optimize their processes and help them prepare for the future."

ServiceLink sets lenders apart by delivering solutions such as EXOS® Title, which offers instant clear-to-close title commitments to get borrowers to the closing table faster. EXOS Title also creates exceptional consumer experiences and saves lenders time, labor and money. We do this by providing expertise and support in the development and implementation of high-efficiency processes.

With the mortgage rates reaching a 2023 high in October, ServiceLink continues to help lenders capitalize on market opportunities while overcoming internal workflow challenges. The following three case studies illustrate how ServiceLink's expertise, commitment and solutions have helped position its partners for success.

#1 Streamlining processes for a top-tier lender and its captive title agency

When a non-bank lender aggressively moving up in the originator rankings was looking for a more efficient and consistent workflow, EXOS Title offered a solution.

"We integrated directly with the lender's loan origination platform so we could receive order information and immediately send back notifications as to whether loans qualified for the instant process or not," says Gladden. "The lender put transactions that qualified into a separate swim lane, where the title-to-close process could be streamlined. Meanwhile, the more complex loans were routed to a team with curative experience. The result was faster title decisions and clear-to-close commitments, which enabled the company to manage growing volume with ease."

After receiving exceptional service, the lender was so pleased with process that they asked ServiceLink to duplicate it for their captive title agency. This consisted of managing more than half of their volume. ServiceLink was able to reduce cycle times, once again, and helped the agency consistently meet their rate locks. They were able to do this by proactively identifying loans that qualified for faster closing, increasing efficiencies. ServiceLink’s approach to title met the lender’s need and enabled them to manage substantial volume growth. ServiceLink’s process improvements touched more than 80 percent of their volume and allowed them to close more than 100,00 transactions over one 12-month period.

ServiceLink also had the opportunity to expand this lender’s origination modernization efforts and add value with EXOS Close. This technology platform offers exclusive access to the real-time availability of local signing agents, driving faster cycle times. Using this platform eliminated all uncertainty and delays by allowing the lender to control closing timelines and set their own parameters for their borrower, receiving a transparent and efficient experience.

"When we established this relationship, we were one of several national providers," says Dave Howard, executive vice president, origination services, ServiceLink. "The lender is now consolidating their third-party work between just ServiceLink and their captive. Their internal costs have been reduced as their efficiency has improved. They have fewer touchpoints with other vendors, a more consistent process for their internal people and a better customer experience made possible by our scheduling technology."

#2 Improving speed and customer satisfaction across direct consumer and retail channels

When volumes began trending downward, this top-tier depository institution adopted instant title. They began to consider implanting new best practices and engaged ServiceLink for a 60- to 90-day pilot. This lender had the goal of identifying loans in their direct consumer channel that could clear in two days or less, and then driving a high percentage of those loans to close within 15 days, essentially cutting out two-thirds of the cycle time.

The two partners collaborated on a process that would clear titles quickly and minimize any idle time between clearance and closing. They found that about 70 percent of transactions met the criteria for instant title processing and that they could close around 60 percent of those loans within the 15-day window. The success in the consumer channel has led to a new pilot to drive similar outcomes in the lender's retail channel.

Origination modernization enabled this lender to complete their processes faster. "The pilot's success was attributable to not only the application of EXOS Title technology, but also the lender's willingness to modify their internal processes to get instant title transactions to the table faster," explains Howard. "The loans moving through this process require fewer touches and can be booked with greater speed and certainty."

This new efficiency has been welcomed by borrowers, according to Gladden. "Though we are still very early in this initiative, the lender has already seen the needle move 10 to 15 percent higher on customer satisfaction scores. Consumers are saying a lot of good things about their refinance experiences."

#3 Accelerating the title process and making the most of data

When a lender's volume jumps from 5,000 to 16,000 loans a month, with 30-day rate locks, their process needs to be reliable and efficient. This top-tier lender had that advantage in 2020, when their volume more than tripled. ServiceLink had worked with them to establish an instant title process that helped them fast-track qualifying loans and positioned them to scale up without increasing headcount.

"This lender was interested in not only the instant title process itself but also the related data we could provide," says Gladden. "By extracting and analyzing that data, they were able to bypass certain rules and some of their manual underwriting processes further downstream. Alternately, they might decide that for some loans it would be prudent to use their offshore underwriting process, which was more cost-effective since it involved a junior title reviewer as opposed to a more experienced reviewer based in the States."

By delivering the instant title experience on more than 65 percent of title orders and providing title data that was instrumental in streamlining the internal processes, ServiceLink enabled the lender to increase efficiency and reduce loan production costs. We deliver more than 150 data fields related to property, ownership, title product, tax product and ownership, lowering your risk and eliminating the need for reviews.

Moving toward a more collaborative partnership can be a smart move, particularly in today's challenging environment. Origination modernization will also help lenders be prepared to scale when volume picks back up again. When you choose the right partner - one with exceptional technology, reliable data, a track record of stability and success, a commitment to security and compliance, and a knowledgeable, supportive team - the results can be extraordinary.

Learn more about ServiceLink's EXOS Title instant title solution.

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