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Nguyen Talks AI vs. Loan Officers, The Future Of Digital Mortgage And More

Navi Persaud
Jul 09, 2020
Photo of Tim Nguyen and quote from July 8 MLO.

Tim Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of BeSmartee, appeared on Wednesday’s episode of Mortgage Leadership Outlook. Nguyen and series' host Andrew Berman, head of engagement and outreach for National Mortgage Professional magazine, engaged in a discussion focused on his work with BeSmartee, mortgage tech solutions today, what the future of digital mortgage could look and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As COVID-19 continues to pose challenges for the industry, the Mortgage Leadership Outlook series helps mortgage professionals navigate these uncertain times.

Nguyen's BeSmartee is a mortgage tech platform that uses big data and artificial intelligence to give borrowers the ability to go from application to approval, to disclosures and enter underwriting in about 15 minutes.

It was created in 2014 after Nguyen exited the previous company he was with. He had vendors and clients that were willing to help build the company by providing information about the mortgage process and compliance.

There were other point of sales systems out there, including Mortgage Bot, which Nguyen credits as the first digital mortgage platform. Nguyen said he thinks of BeSmartee as the founders of the modern digital mortgage.

“No matter how much technology is out there, the process is still pretty darn manual,” said Nguyen. “We’re not sitting there scrounging through stacks and stacks of paper anymore. But we’re still scrounging through now, tons of PDF scans, images, hunting for data on the screen, mapping the data and verifying the data.”

Highlights From The Interview:

  • “It’s not about automating the loan officer’s role, it’s about automating those functions so loan officers can be more of a consultant, they can be a guide, an advisor to the transaction,” said Nguyen. “We need the loan officers and will always need the loan officers, so they can think through it and help guide the consumers to make the right decisions for their lives.”
  • “Can AI replace humans? I don’t know. But based on what I’ve seen, there’s a strong chance it could. Can that actually eliminate loan officers? If it can eliminate all of the other functions it probably could. The question is should it, and I don’t think it should.”
  • When COVID-19 hit Nguyen said they looked at their organization. He said folks were already moving to a work-from-home posture anyway. Their infrastructure people were hard at work making sure the hardware was available for employees.
  • “For BeSmartee, the way we operate, we actually feel like we were operating better than ever. The tools are out there, the Slack, the emails, the Go-To-Meetings and a lot of people were using Zoom.” Nguyen said that the company will move to a work-from-home posture permanently; however, they will open the office when it’s safe, for those who want to go in and continue to build the team comradery.
  • In terms of the company’s product line, Nguyen said that they are rethinking their roadmap. He said they did not expect e-Closings and the entire backend of the process would come as quick as it has since COVID-19. It forced the company to rethink the way they do their business and believe it or not, the pandemic also increased business for BeSmartee.

Previous guests include Laura Brandao, Kristy Fercho, Tony Thompson, Mat Ishbia, David Luna, Barry Habib, Rob Chrisman and more.

See all the interviews from the Mortgage Leadership Outlook series on its YouTube channel.

Check out the full interview between Nguyen and Berman below.

Jul 09, 2020
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