Lenders spend a lot of time and money selecting the partners and technologies to trust with their origination businesses. The stakes are high. From a compliance standpoint, vendor management is a significant concern. And then finding that a prospective partner who has made it all the way through the due diligence process doesn’t have what it takes to implement effectively can be very frustrating.
It’s easy to find horror stories about implementations gone wrong. Technology is complex, and it can be very challenging to connect disparate systems to achieve a common goal. And yet, that’s exactly what doc prep solution providers are called upon to do every day.
Not so many years ago, our client base included many smaller lenders who were doing fewer than 1,000 loans per month. Due to their size, they often pursued a best-practices-based strategy that focused on streamlined execution and extreme efficiencies. Without high volumes, this is a sound strategy for competing effectively.
For us, it meant that many of our clients were happy with standard functionality and didn’t require anything more than what came with our standard offering. Implementation in those days was pretty straightforward.
Today’s lending environment is different.
Executing in the modern mortgage business
New and evolving compliance requirements, intense competition in an emerging purchase market, and the increasing development of non-QM loans to broaden the lender product menu have all conspired to make implementing software more complicated in today’s market. The lender’s competitive strategy can no longer simply be doing what a competitor does but more quickly. Today, every lender is employing their own secret sauce.
The impact this has had on our business has been significant. Today, we have many clients who are originating more than 1,000 loans per month, but even smaller lenders want customized implementations. We’re called upon to get their new technology up and running quickly without any risk of noncompliance.
Many of our clients today have in house IT teams, which has allowed them to customize other platforms and has made them eager to bend new technology to their will. They absolutely deserve to do just that and our team is called upon to partner with them to accomplish it. Doing that requires the technology provider to spend more time upfront learning about the lender, understanding their unique needs and objectives for their platform.
We no longer pull a product off the shelf, configure it, get it all set up and then walk away. We become long-term IT partners with our lender clients. We’ve built our relationships on an unfailing ability to execute to our partner’s specifications.
The key to execution is to know in exact terms all of the requirements of a successful implementation -- from the lender’s perspective -- before we begin. That requires extensive initial discovery and due diligence. It means knowing what the final workflow will look like and creating customizations that will deliver it. It requires a written plan that takes into account the milestones and timeline schedule risks that are associated with the project and spells out how the solutions provider will clearly manage those risks as they present themselves.
Every lender deserves a doc prep solutions provider who is capable of getting the software implemented exactly right, by deadline.
In our next blog, we will discuss identifying the right and wrong partners.