Adapt or Disappoint: Meeting Borrower Expectations in the Era of COVID

Despite the economic uncertainty still looming as a result of COVID-19, purchase
applications continue to surge. However, the virus has added an additional layer of
complexity to the origination process. A layer that is quickly being addressed by the
accelerated speed of technology adoption. Technology such as hybrid e-closings, exterior,
and desktop appraisals, and remote online notarizations have become more popular in
recent months.

However, if you are still reluctant to introduce new technology into your business model
let’s talk discuss a few tools to help increase borrower satisfaction and improve your
efficiencies in the era of COVID.

Hybrid Electronic Closing
Prior to the crisis, the mortgage application process was often no picnic for borrowers. The
time to close could easily take 40 days or more—and for someone eager and excited to
move into a new home, those days can feel like forever. Eagerness can turn into anxiety
when problems arise along the way.

Not surprisingly, closing times are longer now. Lenders are backed up with processing
refinancing applications and underwriting times are longer. Although these things are
outside of your control there are some ways to minimize borrower impact.

Start by managing your borrowers’ expectations so they understand what may lay ahead.
Communicating the details of your most recent experiences and time to close is a great
way to establish a relationship of transparency and trust. Some home buyers are even
adding addendums to contingency timelines to account for COVID related holdups.

Second, seek out one of the growing number of title companies offering e-closings. The
process is faster, reduces the risks associated with close interaction, reduces error,
decreases time to close, and offers you better control and accountability.

Exterior and Desktop Appraisals
The GSE's have announced the extension of temporary appraisal guidelines created as a
result of the virus. Big news considering this means some loan types will continue to be off
the table for origination. It also means you will need to work with appraisal companies
comfortable with exterior and desktop valuations.

The most important piece is a comprehensive, efficient LOS. It should be equipped with
seamless access to hundreds of integrated vendor partners. This gives you the choices and
tools you need to originate with confidence. Right now, that confidence can appear in the
form of choice. The ability to choose from a list of title, appraisal, credit vendors, lenders, or
more, is vital. Make sure your origination technology is working for you.

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