LLL kicked off 2022 with a conversation with Ty Cieloha, Manager, Lender Sales with title technology powerhouse Qualia.
The digital revolution continues in the mortgage industry, and Ty doesn’t feel it will slow anytime soon. He observed that, with a purchase market (and margin compression) emerging, lenders and title agents alike are revisiting their processes and considering means of automating more of their many manual processes.
He noted that there are so many different tech solutions available to the industry that it can be overwhelming at times. While TRID was intended to improve collaboration and encourage increased digitization, its complexity may have had the unintended consequence of driving LOs back to their tried and trusted methods of collecting data and collaborating. As a result, the use of pen, paper, unsecured emails with sensitive data, continues to an alarming extent today.
The end user, the borrower, will also begin to have a greater impact on automating the process, Ty said, especially as younger borrowers become the largest segment of the homebuyer market. They’re used to using technology or user-friendly purchase experiences in other industries, while the mortgage industry is still working its way to that point. Ty agreed with Jim Paolino’s long standing assertion that while the mortgage industry has gone much more digital in the past few years, the majority of that investment has been on the POS/LOS side of the transaction. He believes we’ll see more and better use of technology in the coming years to enhance the closing side of the transaction. He also believes there remains a significant human element to the overall transaction, and that technology could relieve a lender’s staff of the routine functions while empowering them to spend more time supporting the clients on more complex matters or helping to determine their needs.
Ty pointed out that a major problem being faced by lenders now is “portal fatigue,” the introduction of multiple technologies which do not easily integrate with other solutions in a lender’s (or title agent’s) tech stack, requiring the user to log in via several programs or solutions to manage the same order.
Asked what he feels the mortgage industry gets wrong about Millennials, Ty responded that there’s a faulty assumption that Millennials are entitled or generally lack a strong work ethic. Instead, he feels that Millennials have more of a tendency to ask “how can we do this better?” instead of resting on “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
Ty also feels that there are a number of things lenders could do better to market to Millennials. First among them? “Stop sending them physical mail!” Ty then confided that he tends to use such marketing materials for fire starters in his wood stove, rather than reading them. He also feels Millennials have a common urge to feel heard or that their lending partners “have their back.”
Ty also sees a greater impact on the mortgage industry than before when it comes to younger companies and younger executives. He recalls entering the industry at a time when younger executives or employees were expected to defer to elder executives.