Sept/Oct 2022 Issue

The Case For Embracing Smart Automation

As the market shifts, lenders must automate more. The best use that I have seen is where technology and “humans” can work together. There are many software programs available today that do the menial tasks of an FTE. This technology is not replacing the FTE but making the FTE more efficient and productive.  

Take, for example, the marketing department. Most companies that have any sort of marketing department find that the hours are being spent on designing content, creating brand awareness, managing events, maintaining the CRM, etc., etc. By simply adding auto-posting software, a marketing team member is now removed from the menial task of ensuring the proper content is posted consistently on the right social media platform.

Another emerging technology that lenders need to incorporate in their business is smartphones. In this case it’s all about ensuring convenience. But in this case, it’s not only the consumer who receives the convenience; it’s also the loan officer.

By integrating smartphone technologies into our companies, we are allowing our sales team to be free of the confines of the office. Where dinosaurs once used to roam the hallways of a vast office, waiting to pull a credit report that would then be printed on a dot matrix printer, loan officers today can enjoy the convenience of being anywhere on the planet and have seamless communication with their borrowers, referral sources, or team members. LOs can pull credit reports, download borrower applications, and many more functions. 

The consumer is not only experiencing convenience, but they can also feel safer in knowing that due to smartphone technology, their information is more secure than email could have ever offered them. They can receive updates as their loan file moves through the process, so they are never left wondering. They can reach out to a team member via instant text.

For me, engagement is everything. From what I’ve seen is that most owners and/or leadership of a company find a new shiny software and then force-feed the rest of the company to it. It’s very disengaging.

The smart ones start from the ground up. What’s needed? Where are we missing something? How can we improve a function? 

While this method requires more time, the results are much better. The sales team feels a part of the decision-making process, so they are more open to utilizing it.

The other part of this equation is that once the new technology is launched, nothing will replace ongoing training. The best companies will have an open training schedule for whoever needs training. I still remember being part of a three-person webinar to learn a new software launched several weeks prior. But the three of us were still unsure, even though 88 more were. We were engaged with the trainers, and the trainers were as attentive as we needed them to be. That’s engagement. Now go out and embrace smart automation.