Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sleepless Nights; Mobile Apps

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that power naps can help busy information workers be more creative at work. I don’t know if that’s true, but I can tell you that the mobile apps are helping some lenders sleep better at night by helping ease their compliance burdens.

Mobile technology is white hot right now for every industry from global travel to ordering pizza. It’s becoming that way in the mortgage space as well, and just in time. Being better, faster and cheaper for the lender used to be the way the industry guaged a successful product. But these considerations already mean far less to federal regulators than meeting consumer expectations.

I quote Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray in an article I recently penned for Mortgage Technology magazine and he says the same thing.

We believe that this is actually an opportunity for lenders, especially if they can take Director Cordray’s statements at face value. If the lion’s share of what it take to please the industry’s new regulator can be delivered by pleasing the home loan borrower, those lenders that put the borrower first will reap huge rewards.

We think a big step in that direction is providing good information earlier in the loan origination process, in the manner in which consumers want to receive it. Increasingly, that means mobile.

Find out more about what we’re doing with mobile on our website. And let me know what you’re doing in the mobile space in the comments below.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Keeping Up with the Mobile Jones

I sometimes think of competition like the radar gun game. As soon as a new radar detector comes out, lawmen get a new type of radar gun. The circle goes around and it never ends. That’s pretty much how competition goes in an industry with almost no customer loyalty; in mortgage lending, the circle revolves around falling interest rates. Now that rates have fallen below the 4% line, that’s probably going to change.

I recently penned an article for Mortgage Technology magazine. in which I talk about the way competition is heating up in our industry and about how some lenders are turning to mobile technology to keep up.

That’s a smart move because mobile apps increase customer satisfaction and they can even build brand loyalty. Find out more by checking out my article.

If you don’t already have a mobile app for providing closing costs at the POS, you’re in danger of being left behind. Don’t let the competition pass you now or you may not get a chance to catch up.

Find out more about what we’re doing with mobile on our website. And let me know what you’re doing in the mobile space in the comments below.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Adapting to a Mobile Borrower

Technology has always served one or more of three basic needs in our business: better, cheaper or faster. Many lenders expect it to be no different for the white hot mobile technology sector. But they are wrong.

I recently penned an article about mobile tech for Mortgage Technology magazine. You'll find my article on page 8. In it, I point out that being better, faster and cheaper for the lender will soon mean far less to federal regulators than meeting consumer expectations. Part of that is due to the new CFPB and its demands for our industry, but part of it is that we’re dealing with a new class of borrower today.

I don’t want to replant the ground I covered in MT, but I am looking forward to helping our lender customers reach better, cheaper and faster at the same time they improve the borrower experience with mobile technology.

 Find out more about what we’re doing with mobile on our website. And let me know what you’re doing in the mobile space in the comments below.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Long is Too Long For a Rule?

National Mortgage News recently ran the story about Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray defending the newly released Mortgage Disclosure Rule. At 1,400 pages long, it’s been hard for many to accept that this is the path to simplifying the disclosures required under RESPA and TILA.

According to NMN:

"They have asked for more detail, more specificity, which ultimately means more pages, in order that they won't have lots of questions afterwards," Cordray said. "Why all these pages? Every one of those pages is trying to help solve problems that people have told us about."

There has been a lot of chatter across the social media spectrum about the rule, a lot of it expressing disappointment in the length of the document. While the rule could have come out a lot shorter, all of the FAQ pages and commentary that would have accumulated while regulators and the industry fleshed out the rule would have added up to at least as many pages.

That’s exactly what happened back in 2010. It’s hard to find anyone who thinks the way HUD dealt with the original changes back then was anything close to ideal. It wasn’t, but perhaps the biggest issue was that smaller institutions were forced to continually monitor the additions to the Agency’s FAQs in order to stay abreast of the most current interpretations.

In business and in life, if you know the rules up front you can make educated and effective decisions. I think that the small institutions that now see the "Mortgage Disclosure Rule" as long and cumbersome will come to realize that having the bulk of their questions answered upfront will allow them to adequately adjust their business practices to meet the requirements and create a more predictable and pleasant consumer experience - which is the ultimate goal of both the institution and the CFPB.

Have you read the rule yet? I’d love to hear what you think of it in the comments below.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

An Informational Blog from the Pioneers of Real Estate Data

Welcome to our new blog. In this space, we'll be bringing you the kind of information that will make you better at what you do, better and more successful. When it comes to real estate data and information, no one has been providing it for longer than Ernst. We hope you find this resource as valuable as we know it will be.

We'll also tell you more about ourselves in this space, of course. The fact is that even though Carl Ernst was a pioneer in the business of providing accurate public record and tax information to the real estate and home mortgage industries, many people don't know who we are. That's one of the risks you face when you're embedded in so many systems.

How many systems? Thanks for asking! Ernst programs process an average of 120 million real estate transactions each year. We serve 9 of the top 10 loan originators, 9 of the top 10 servicers and all 5 of the nation's top title underwriters. And through this blog, we'll serve you, too.

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to bookmark this site or add us to your favorite RSS feed reader.