July/August 2022 Edition

Winning In Wholesale Lending

In an article published by Eric Kujala, VP of Product Marketing, ICE Mortgage Technology, he talked with leading Wholesale lending experts who shared three critical focal points for lending in 2022. Let’s review these key points and then discuss some of the things holding lenders up from fully executing these strategies.

Focus on the path to pivot.

Finding ways to help originators succeed is essential to business growth for wholesale lenders. Kevin Peranio, Chief Lending Officer, PRMG, Inc, had some unique ideas about how supporting originators in their consumer-facing activity has helped increase their business flow at scale. Kevin pointed out four areas of focus to support TPOs, and gave us some insight into how that’s making a difference:

1.         Speed to lead – “If you’re the first loan officer or realtor to talk to a borrower, you win that deal about 60 to 65% of the time. Most borrowers don’t shop around beyond that first one, so getting to the borrower first is a big deal.”

2.         Customer for life – “When we get a call back from our borrower, that’s our originator’s borrower. That’s our originator’s relationship, so we give that borrower back to the broker. Building trust and loyalty in our business is a cornerstone of our success.”

3.         Capturing the deal – “The reality is, millennials want what they want, when they want it, how they want it, interconnected globally in the palm of their hand in this fourth industrial revolution. When they search all around on the web at nine different places for information and are ready to talk to a human, you’d better pick up that phone. If you don’t pick up the phone when they want to contact you, you lose that deal 90% of the time.”

4.         Investing in consumer-facing activity – “We’re trying to help our originators get in front of the clients first and give them that path to pivot. Don’t ignore what you’ve done to get here, but do some more consumer-facing activity, and then continue to grow and scale your business.”

Focus on personalized service.

TPOs need to know that the wholesale lender they’re working with is available and happy to give them support when they need it. Providing timely support to TPOs increases their efficiency, increasing yours. Great support also nurtures the TPO relationship so that you can attract and retain the best originators. Kim Alexander, Chief Operations and Transformation Officer, Towne Mortgage Company, summed up the importance of customer service within that TPO relationship when she said, “Every dollar that you spend, you’re going to get it back if you focus on service. Have someone that answers the phone within a minute. Make sure that person can answer the question because just a voice isn’t enough. They have to know what they’re talking about and provide consistency, a little variety, and price to the extent that it’s a necessity.” Kim goes on to clarify that the equation is simple:

Service = Profitability

Focus on key metrics.

At the end of the day, your profit and loss are the most telling metric about the health of your business. All other aspects of your business are tied into this metric, including your marketplace competitiveness, pricing, and ability to attract and retain TPOs. Jordan Brown points out the importance of focusing closely on a few key operating metrics as a health check. Cycle time, Profitability, and ROI are excellent places to start. When used correctly, these metrics become a decision-making tool. Jordan suggests, “Break down the ROI journey. Look at it through a P&L lens and from an operating metric lens. Ask yourself, ‘Am I doing a great job? Am I doing an okay job? Can I do better?’ I think that is the most important piece at the end of the day.”

Managing with technology.

Keeping all these balls in the air and your eye on all these targets at once might feel overwhelming, but it becomes simple and manageable when you have the right technology in place. Creating this level of organization pays off in spades as technology helps retain originators. Kim pointed out that turn-times are everything in this market and said, “Originators have choices, and they can choose not to use you on a deal-by-deal basis. We have to fight to build those relationships. We’ve just come out of an epic refinance boom, and the market has shifted. We have to think about serving differently. Within the wholesale space, improving the customer experience is really about leveraging technology for better time and efficiency, as Jordan noted in his study. Brokers appreciate the convenience of our TPO Connect portal.”

Kevin explained the goal concisely behind onboarding automation technology into the TPO process: “Process automation is giving us our time back. Not to eliminate the human element but to take away the menial stuff that can be automated. So, our human capital, our coworkers, our family, can do more of the relationship aspect of the business.”

Is Your CRM Technology Holding You Back?

These executives shared strategic insights for wholesale lenders and their TPO channels to be successful. One of the keys is a lender’s ability to successfully leverage technology to properly execute these strategies in a timely and highly efficient manner. What many wholesale lenders and their broker’s partners have found out through 2022 is that not all technology is created equal.

Wholesale lenders that were looking to deliver on the “Speed to Lead,” “Customer for Life,” “Capturing the Deal,” “Customer Facing Activities,” and “Personalization” have concluded that they need modern technology solutions to execute these key differentiators. CRM Technology that was created 10-20 years ago, technology that does not include dynamic API’s, Webhooks and microservices, technology that does not expose those API’s, and technology that only contains single contact objects, severely limits a wholesale lenders ability to seamless execute these strategies. 

What happens is that the operations and tech staffs spend an inordinate amount of time submitting change requests and waiting for months or longer to receive those changes from the vendor. Another area, due to the single contact object, handcuffs a wholesale lender’s ability to properly track the borrower’s activity, TPO/broker simultaneously with their pipelines, causing them to spend hours daily sifting through and analyzing spreadsheets to properly analyze the data amongst those different entities. This severely limits the wholesale lender’s ability to execute on “Speed to Lead,” “Customer for Life,” “Capturing the Deal,” “Customer Facing Activities,” and “Personalization” and the competitive differentiators they were trying to obtain.

Winning through Modern Technology

That is why wholesale lenders need a modern technology that seamlessly fits within their tech stack and provides dynamic APIs, Webhooks, and Microservices so that they can pivot as market conditions change, not just through new strategies but also through the use of modern technology.

Insellerate has integrated into ICE Technologies Encompass TPO through dynamic API objects, enabling its award-winning Customer Experience Platform to communicate and automate all communications to TPO, partners, brokers, loan officers, and customers.

In addition, this seamless integration also allows the reporting on TPO business production and gives a place for account executives to interact with their customers. Insellerate’s platform now serves all markets and all facets of the mortgage industry.