The global pandemic of 2020 has profoundly altered how home buyers shop for mortgages.

For loan officers, the implications are a game changer. What mortgage customers value more than face-to-face relationships, what almost half of them think is more important than the interest rate, is convenience.

Read through this report for a deep dive into how technology - as a part of the larger digital transformation movement - is helping the industry better respond to an array of difficult and dynamic market conditions. You’ll discover: 

  • How to provide the seamless online experience your customers desire
  • The key areas where technology could have the greatest impact
  • What happens when you get greater visibility across all your pipeline
  • How to dramatically increase referrals

1. How to Compete with One-Stop Digital Solutions?

The answer is clear - with better and more convenient service.

The global pandemic of 2020 has profoundly altered how home buyers shop for mortgages. For loan officers, the implications are a game changer. What mortgage customers value more than face-to-face relationships, what almost half of them think is more important than the interest rate, is convenience.

“We know from talking to our top brokers that this tool can save them anywhere up to two hours per application, so if you think about that, we've given well over 60,000 hours a year back to our brokers to be out there providing more service to more Australians.”

Rainer Rhedey, Chief Digital Officer, Aussie Home Loans

That’s why, even though Internet-only mortgage solutions are taking a sizable bite out of the market, savvy officers can differentiate themselves by taking advantage of the powerful, intuitive features included in a robust document collection solution. From automatically reminding clients of what forms still need to be submitted, to providing visibility into the status of all aspects of the loan application, to the ability to collect digital signatures from multiple parties, choosing the right technology today will save time and money by taking the hassle out of paperwork and interactions with lenders for years to come.


2. Home Buying - Here to Stay?

Due to historically low interest rates, and in spite of a global pandemic that ground in-person activities to a halt, the number of first and second mortgages secured in 2020 rose dramatically. Due in part to the more widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, the economy is expected to improve. That includes the housing market, which many economists believe will continue to ride a strong wave of demand in 2021, even though mortgage rates are expected to rise slightly. The pandemic hasn’t slowed home buying, but it did dramatically alter the way officers work with clients to secure that record-setting number of mortgages. Conducting real estate transactions virtually wasn’t unheard of before the pandemic, but the realities of social distancing and working from home have made the practice the norm.

Our clientele are remote working entrepreneurs and small businesses who are never keen to take on anything they consider convoluted or complex. FileInvite is the opposite and has been super helpful for our firm in terms of organization and providing a great client experience.

Alexandra Jumper, Director of Client Success, Aprio Cloud

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For officers, the mass migration mortgage shoppers have made to the Internet presents a clear mandate: Make it fast, easy, and painless for your customers to conduct transactions online, or lose those customers. And in the mortgage business, since customer experience correlates directly with customer referrals, there’s no such thing as losing just one customer.

3. Understanding Today's Customer

In the U.S., today’s real estate market is driven by those born between 1981 and 1996, better known as millennials, who now represent the largest contingent of home buyers. Not surprisingly, millennials go about financing their homes differently than their parents or grandparents did. Rather than starting the process by scheduling an in-person visit to a mom-and-pop loan shop, by the time millennial buyers text or email a mortgage broker, they’re fairly well informed. That’s because it’s second nature for them to use sites like Google, NextDoor, and Zillow to research the home and its history, the neighborhood, the schools, and a range of other factors—including mortgage rates.

While many have proclaimed the ability of the average home buyer being able to secure a mortgage online a death knell for officers, they can provide something that the Internet simply cannot: peace of mind and expert guidance, which combined, add up to a better, more convenient customer experience. In fact, research found that up to 40 percent of shoppers will accept a mortgage with a higher rate for a better customer experience. But it’s important for brokers to understand what today’s mortgage shoppers want. 


4. It Starts with the Paperwork

Anyone who has ever bought or sold real estate knows that the paperwork required to complete a transaction is often confusing and almost always overwhelming. A desire to circumvent the stress caused by confusion and paperwork fatigue is at the heart of the demand for convenience. And delivering a convenient experience is exactly what loan officers should emphasize when they market their service.

It starts with the paperwork. While email represents a huge step forward from the days of making, signing, and notarizing paper copies, it leaves a lot to be desired. It’s almost universally agreed that email is a terrible way to collect documents. Printing, filling in data, and scanning documents is a considerable challenge for consumers who frequently don’t have equipment beyond a mobile phone. Emails bounce regularly and large files need to be split across emails, adding the confusion of what has been submitted, contributing to the delay of the approval process.

"I keep files out of my inbox and easily managed with FileInvite. It sets auto reminders for my clients and I can customise the list of items I'm asking for to simplify the process."

Mark Magill, Mortgage Adviser, Mike Pero Mortgages

In addition to the inconvenience that collecting mortgage documents by email causes clients, it’s also far from ideal for officers. It bogs the process down with incorrect files, disorganized inboxes, and security and sharing challenges. When officers are spending time chasing down documents, the loans take longer to close than they should, or they don’t close at all.

In spite of these issues, email remains the most common way that loan officers and originators collect documents from their clients. And when the whole process becomes too difficult, overwhelmed clients often simply abandon the process, often moving to the provider who provides the most easy process.

5. The Importance of Document Collection

A powerful document collection platform is beneficial to those shopping for mortgages and the officers, originators and lenders who are selling them. For customers, moving the process of collecting documents out of email and onto a robust technology platform saves a lot of time. It also reduces, and in many cases eliminates, the frustrations that go hand-in-hand with paperwork. While securing a mortgage will always require documentation, the right document collection platform will easily accommodate uploading photos from mobile phones, which eliminates the need for scanning and rids the entire process of the many bottlenecks associated with email attachments.

1 in 3 brokered loans in Australia are powered by FileInvite.

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6. Technology and Digital Transformation

For loan officers, the right platform will free up the time previously spent on manual document collection and management, time that can instead be used to deliver better service to more clients. A robust solution automates and streamlines processes that can consume massive amounts of time. This in turn eliminates the need for officers to go back and forth with applicants, sorting through multiple emails, all of which include attachments, and auditing the process several times. Bottom line: Providing customers with a good digital experience enables officers to sell more efficiently. ¹

With the request for documents loaded into the system, officers no longer need to request the same document over and over. ¹

The solution gives the client context about what documents are required, relieving busy officers of the burden of explaining, repeatedly, what a 1040 is.

A quality solution also provides visibility to those who can help move the application forward. The broker, the broker’s manager, the credit-approval person, or the assistant can be notified the instant the documentation is complete; they can also see that the applicant needs help with one final document, and take the appropriate action. The document collection platform should also provide a view of all the messages that have been exchanged regarding the application, similar to what’s visible when a CRM system is connected to email.

The transparency into a broker’s pipeline offered by a robust document collection platform is also beneficial beyond the customer relationship. If a broker works for a larger organization, they can provide transparency—or not— into the loan applications they have in the pipeline as a way of demonstrating the value they’re bringing to their group.

The broker can also create an account for people at the financial institution so that they can instantly see the status of the loan applications with which they’re concerned. This eliminates the need for the broker to consistently update people at the banks, who need to know the status of the applications in order to predict their own loan volume and the amount of work that will be required to support it. As long as the solution is SOC compliant—which is an important factor to consider before buying—bank employees have the assurance they need to feel comfortable logging into an account and seeing where everything stands. Not surprisingly, this saves a phenomenal amount of time for both loan officers, bankers and lenders.

Finally, many officers who use document collection technology use it to package up all of the information and share it with several banks with the goal of securing the best offer for the borrower. That’s an extra step, but it’s an important one. With 53,000 mortgage brokerages in the U.S. alone, standing out from the competition by delivering the level of service today’s mortgage buyers’ expect is sure to pave the way for more referrals.


7. Don't Get Left Behind

As more of the mortgage lending workflow becomes transformed by technology, it is imperative that your organization is not left behind. Use an automated document collection tool like FileInvite to improve the workings of your business (think increased efficiencies and time saved, a more organized collection process and even an improved customer experience.


Boost team productivity by 35% on average

Gone are the days of requesting documents from clients via email. Our client-facing customers have experienced an average 35% increase in productivity as a direct result of implementing FileInvite.


Reduce time to close by 64%

By improving internal and external efficiencies within the document collection process, the entire lending process moves faster, giving you more time to devote to client - and revenue - growth.



Increase application completion rates by 34% 

Give your clients complete visibility into the document collection process - including which documents are due and when, as well as what their requirements are. Not only does this increase application completion rates, but it also improves client experience.

Delight your clients with the FileInvite experience