Deeper Thoughts
Navigating the Mortgage Technology Maze

Navigating the Mortgage Technology Maze: Customizable vs. Configurable Solutions

A guest post by Lynnette Nuese

Director of Sales, Constellation Mortgage Solutions


So, you’re in the mortgage business and looking for the perfect solution to level up your game. The question is: customizable or configurable? Now, don’t let these words fool you—they may sound similar, but they’re worlds apart. Figuring out which one suits you best is essential, so let’s dive in and explore the differences in more detail.

Evaluating Existing Processes

Let’s start by talking about your existing processes and workflows. If you’re considering new technology, take a step back and evaluate how things are currently done in your company. Get input from employees in various loan manufacturing phases, have detailed discussions about their workflow, and identify areas for improvement.

Now that you have gathered this information you are ready for the discovery call. At Constellation Mortgage Solutions, when we begin the discovery process, it is crucial for us to get an understanding of your needs and expectations of what our technology can provide. With you taking the time to gather the details regarding your business, we are able to provide a more tailored and effective solution. We understand that your time is valuable, so we aim to make the discovery call a quick and efficient process. It’s an opportunity for us to learn how you operate, and for you to determine if we’re the right fit for your needs. Don’t worry—if you feel that we’re not the right vendor for you, there’s no hard feelings in walking away after the call. We want you to be confident in your decision. You should be provided the same consideration with any technology vendor you explore.

Assessing Your Needs

Walking through this assessment of your business will help you determine if you have specific requirements and unique needs based on your business model or niche market. If you crave full control and want to revolutionize your processes, a customizable solution might be the way to go. But be prepared, customization can be pricey and time-consuming, requiring resources and involvement from your IT department.

On the flip side, if your processes align well with industry best practices and standard procedures, a configurable solution could be a better fit. With a configurable solution, you have a range of pre-defined options and settings at your disposal. Think of it as buying an existing house and making adaptations to fit your needs. While configurable solutions still allow for some customization, it often comes at an additional cost.

Configurable solutions often come with pre-built integrations with commonly used vendors and tools, sparing you the trouble of building your own. For example, Constellation Mortgage Solutions’s LOS NOVA integrates with Lodestar, BeSmartee, Wolters Kluwer, and Lender Price. Configurable solutions are more cost-effective and have shorter implementation times, as they don’t require the extensive development and testing that you have with a customizable solution.

Analogy of a Home

To further illustrate this, let’s draw a parallel with the mortgage industry itself. Imagine customizable solutions as buying a newly constructed home, where you have the freedom to select various features and appliances based on your preferences. You can even add an extra bedroom, a pool, a larger garage, or transform a bonus area into an office, but keep in mind that it comes with a significant price tag and takes time to achieve. The newly constructed home is your dream home and built to your exact specifications.

On the other hand, configurable solutions are akin to purchasing a preowned home and tweaking the layout to suit your needs. That extra bedroom becomes an office, and the laundry area doubles as a mudroom, the guest bedroom becomes the nursery as your family grows, and if you aren’t too handy you are stuck with that 1970s wallpaper so you decorate around it.

The Importance of Social Proofing

When considering your options, it’s wise to seek advice from other technology vendors you currently work with, industry experts, and consultants. In fact, there was a recent conversation hosted by Blackfin Group and Constellation Mortgage Solutions, featuring different industry experts, aimed at helping lenders make informed decisions when selecting technology. Engaging in conversations about what you’re looking for and seeking recommendations can provide valuable insights. Of course, having a discovery call with the vendor themselves is crucial. This call allows you to gauge if their features and functionality align with your needs within a short period. Remember, the discovery call is not only for the vendor to understand your business but also for you to determine if they’re the right fit for you. Don’t worry, once again, there’s no harm in walking away from a vendor after that call if it doesn’t feel like a good fit.

Regardless of the path you choose, evaluating the capabilities and expertise of the technology solution is vital. This evaluation ensures that you receive adequate support, training, and ongoing maintenance throughout the implementation process and beyond. Ultimately, the decision to opt for a customizable or configurable solution depends on your organization’s requirements, needs, budget, and timeline. These factors should be addressed during your discovery call when evaluating your LOS or any new technology.

So, remember, finding the perfect fit is key! Happy exploring, and may you discover the ideal solution to take your mortgage business to new heights!