theLender is on a mission to innovate the traditional lending process by creating a streamlined experience that meets the needs of today’s borrowers. With a focus on non-QM and other non-traditional offerings, theLender caters to underserved markets, providing value, education, and expertise around niche loan products that accommodate a wide range of financial realities. To deliver for its customers while growing market share and building a profitable business, theLender leverages Maxwell Point of Sale and Processor Edge technology. Together, these solutions help theLender team increase efficiency, drive more sales, and serve its growing customer base a modern, customized experience.
Since its inception in 2017, California-based theLender has broken into mortgage lending at a rapid pace. Recently, its astounding three-year growth rate of 20,489% landed it at #11 overall—and #1 among mortgage lenders—on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list.
The force behind that growth? Over the past several years, theLender team has built its business to provide a wide array of unique loan offerings to its customers. In an industry inundated by QM-focused lenders, theLender saw opportunity in non-QM, especially as the market began to shift and demand for these products grew.
“The non-QM space is an underserved market in the sense that there’s only a fraction of the outlets to originate and fund those loans as compared to the QM stuff,” explains Chris Ledwidge, Co-founding Partner and EVP of theLender. “We’ve gotten the chance to bring our expertise and value to this market, allowing us to capture volume and sales.”
While growing market share within this space, efficiency and cost savings have been crucial considerations. Since the cost to produce loans has steadily risen, cutting into profitability, theLender knew it needed best-in-class solutions that would maximize margins across a wide range of loan offerings. Its search for solutions to empower its lending professionals and enhance the borrower experience led the team to explore Maxwell technology.
“The thing that attracted me to Maxwell Point of Sale in the first place was the efficiency it produced, buying time back for my originators to sell and get more loans and creating a great customer experience,” comments Chris. “It gives me that yield or opportunity to produce more loans.”
In today’s environment, where loan volume has declined significantly from 2020 and 2021, tools that offload low-ROI work from lending team members are key to remaining viable. Maxwell Point of Sale’s workflow technology removes the burden of busy work by automating basic tasks like tracking loan file progress, collecting documents, running credit checks, sharing pricing scenarios, verifying income or employment with Day 1 Certainty®, and more. Meanwhile, functionalities such as FlexLetters streamline interactions with real estate agent partners by giving them the ability to edit pre-approval and pre-qualification letters on the fly.
“It’s vital for us to facilitate the maximum output for me and my team,” says Chris. “If I can improve my team members’ lives between the hours of 9:00 and 5:00 with systems like this and make them sharp and dangerous on the front lines, that matters.”
Since Maxwell Point of Sale empowers each professional in the process to focus time on building relationships and catering to customer needs, it helps theLender deliver a leading borrower experience across both QM and non-QM loan products. This stand-out experience—coupled with dedicated marketing efforts that provide information and teachings around non-QM offerings—drives brand recognition, referrals, and business growth. In turn, theLender has been able to position itself as a reliable, go-to source for outside-the-box borrower needs.
Alongside Maxwell Point of Sale, theLender leverages Maxwell Processor Edge to drive powerful efficiency in its back office. Featuring first-of-its-kind processing workflow technology, Processor Edge helps theLender’s processing team achieve significantly higher productivity, lowering per-loan costs and increasing accuracy.
“I have a processor who was able to double her capacity with no negative impact to cycle times just because of the technology,” explains Chris. “You get greater yield out of the people on your team and your operations by using this technology.”
Since niche loan products require specific expertise to process and underwrite, each member of theLender’s team holds a unique, valuable skill set that’s not easy to source or scale. As a result, empowering, technology-driven tools are especially important to theLender. Processor Edge helps the team get the most out of their work by enabling processors to close an average of 15% more loans per month with 10% fewer loan resubmissions.
Similarly, Processor Edge enables theLender team to use planning and strategy touchpoints more efficiently. In weekly pipeline meetings, stakeholders used to rely on manual systems with spreadsheets that required tedious data input. Now, leveraging Processor Edge’s notes system, flagged loan report, and pipeline manager, the team can use their time far more productively, cutting down on administrative tasks and freeing up time to focus on improving pipeline efficiency.
For theLender team, having this technology in place as the market becomes increasingly volatile is vital to staying nimble and competitive. Reflecting on 2022 and the obstacles likely still lie ahead, Chris believes that efficiency-driving solutions such as Maxwell Point of Sale and Processor Edge will only become more important. In other words, lenders should take this opportunity to accelerate their search for technology-powered solutions to bolster profitability and boost resilience.
“The longer you wait, the further out into the ocean you’re going to drift,” advises Chris. “And it’s going to get harder to get back to the mainland.”
As Chris and the rest of theLender leadership look towards a challenging 2023, they plan to double down on the pillars that have gotten them this far: an expert team dedicated to serving diverse borrower needs and the technology that empowers them.
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