Dreaming of an LOS
Do you know what you want in your loan origination system (LOS)? If you’ve been in the industry for awhile, you have a pretty good idea, and you may have spent months finding just the right system for your company. Perhaps, though, there is a slight nagging concern that your system may not be as efficient as it could be, or as easy to use as you’d like it to be, or even able to fit your needs as they change. Do you lie awake at night wishing you could take a quick peek into your pipeline? Is your LOS time-intensive or complicated to learn and use? Would you like the peace of mind knowing that only certain employees of your choosing can make changes to loan data? Can you make sense of the files in your system? Would you like to? If these questions sound familiar to you, you are not alone. Features such as ease-of-use, security, accessibility, organization, and accountability are extremely important to organizations that originate and process mortgage loans. Delivery and accessibility But it’s not always the feature, it’s how it gets to you that often matters more. It’s a matter of deliverables versus delivery. We are a very Web-focused culture now and so many of the things we do are on the Internet: Social media, e-mail, searches, marketing and games. The beauty of the Web for the mortgage businesses is that it allows professionals to be connected to their pipeline 24/7, wherever there is a secure Internet connection. For the mobile mortgage professional, having access to your LOS remotely is vastly convenient. Even for small offices, having the ability to stay on top of your business gives you greater flexibility with your time. You no longer have to be tethered to your office computer to give your clients the attention they deserve. But beyond convenience and flexibility, setting up your LOS in this way also gives you greater security over your sensitive data. In order to accommodate remote Internet access to your LOS system, all of your data is stored on a centralized server. This server system means that your files are all stored in one secured location. You no longer have to worry about your computer crashing with all your data or your laptop being stolen with your client’s sensitive data along with it. Additionally, if you or somebody else in your office works on a file offline, it is automatically uploaded to the server the next time it connects, making sure the file in the server is the only file for that client—clearing the way for instant and easy oversight. Un-complicate your business Utilizing advanced technology designed to help you become more efficient and productive doesn’t mean your life has to become more complicated. If you are trying to go paperless, or at least reduce the amount of paper and clutter in your office, why would you want to deal with cluttered technology? If your system is complicated to use and your learning curve is longer than you would prefer, it’s probably not going to be the best tool for your business. Technology is supposed to make your life simpler, not scare you with its obscurity. There’s nothing wrong with being advanced on the inside, but simple to use on the outside. It’s a concept that Microsoft doesn’t always get right when they put out a new version of the programs we use every day. Remember having to learn Office products all over again when 2007 came out? To be the right tool for you, your system needs to have the features and functionality you need without the complexity you don’t. Make it your way It also wouldn’t be an effective tool for your business if it didn’t work the way you wanted it to. We often depend on technology that dictates to us how we should run our processes, and inevitably, our businesses. To adequately support mortgage professionals, your systems need the flexibility to change as your needs change. Your compliance requirements change constantly. You need to be able to enforce certain behaviors of your end users through your technology. The ability to create your own rules in-house, either action-based or field/screen level, is important. But again, if the process is too complicated or requires a special team of IT experts to develop the rules you need, it’s not going to be an effective tool for you in your quest for efficiency and profitability. When we talk about configurability, we must include a significant integration with flexibility. To be able to configure your own system with rules and process stops is to have the flexibility to work the way you want to. Your software should have the flexibility to conform to your way of doing business, not the other way around. Configurability comes into play when the flexibility you need is managed by you, not your technology vendor. Securing accountability To enforce the behaviors that your business needs for compliance and efficiency, you must have rules and the technology to implement them. Restricting access is the first step in securing your business and ensuring process accountability. If your LOS isn’t providing the simplest access restrictions, your business is vulnerable to security leaks, lost sensitive data, or inadvertent data manipulation. You need to be able to determine who in your business has access to certain fields, screens or files. And you need to be able to change restriction levels at any time. For those who have the access required for their role in the process, ensuring that they follow your rules while working with client files is extremely important for compliance and pipeline control. This is where the importance of configurability comes in. The rules you create will dictate the appropriate course of action for each step in the process and for each role in your company. These rules govern both compliance and effective workflow and give you the gift of accountability throughout your organization. Organization The visibility into your pipeline you get from having a server-based system gives you the benefit of oversight and management of your processes. But it’s not just about having a centralized file location or visibility into your workflow, it’s also important that you have the ability to package your loan documents in any number of orders to accommodate the needs of your lenders and vendors. By also having the ability to drop in documents from your desktop or e-mail, your processes run smoother and organizing your workflow is a breeze. Another important aspect of organizing your loan pipeline is simplifying and automating your document and services ordering. With often hundreds of available vendors to choose from, ordering directly from your LOS saves time and effort as there is no re-keying of data that could result in errors and time-consuming returns. End the nightmare At the end of every rainbow is a pot of gold, and at the end of every dream is an awakening. If you’ve ever wondered if you can achieve a higher level of productivity without spending countless hours learning new software and reading convoluted manuals, now is your chance to wake up and explore your options. Your technology does not have to keep you up at night. It’s meant to enhance your business, not create additional stress and worry. An LOS can be extremely diverse in delivery method and functionality. When you find reliable delivery, flexibility and robust security packaged in an easy-to-use and easy-to-manage platform, you’ve found the LOS you’ve been dreaming of. B.J. Bounds is senior marketing communications specialist for Calyx Software. In addition to media relations and copywriting, BJ is a contributing author to the Calyx Software blog, CalyxCorner. She has more than 10 years of experience in sales and corporate marketing with a focus on technology that spans several industries. She may be reached by phone at (800) 362-2599.