One of the advantages of starting a company from scratch is you have fewer obstacles between you and your vision.
That fresh canvas has helped direct mortgage lender Better Mortgage use technology to make homes more affordable by reducing mortgage creation costs, CMO Peter Scherr said.
Better Mortgage was founded in 2014 with its initial staff a combination of engineers and industry veterans. That allowed them to design technology that reduced processing times and met marketplace needs.
Mr. Scherr said the technology addresses the mundane and repetitive tasks so loan consultants can address more unique circumstances. Those loan consultants, who are paid bonuses based on customer satisfaction and not on pure sales numbers, are also available with one click on an electronic schedule.
“We empower the borrower to do things on their own, on their own time, versus being pressured by a commission-based loan officer,” Mr. Scherr said. “As much as they want that technology they also want to know there is someone they can turn to if they have a question.”
Better Mortgage is attracting millennials and other first-time homebuyers attracted to the application process, Mr. Scherr said. That process includes short educational videos that explain different mortgages or why specific documents are required. Applicants can also complete many parts on their own instead of paying someone else to do them for them.
Customers can also engage across multiple devices throughout the process, Mr. Scherr said. The majority now initially apply on their mobile devices, say on their commute. They might move to their home computer to retrieve documents before reading a future message on their phone.
“With better.com being mobile optimized we see a lot of people bouncing back and forth between devices,” Mr. Scherr said.
A fast, yet secure process comforts first-time home buyers who can act with certainty when competing against cash buyers, he added. Key approvals can be provided in hours.
Better Mortgage is also developing interesting partnerships that provide further value to their customers, Mr. Scherr said. Knowing the average home buyer spends $10,000 on their home in the first two years, Better Mortgage has partnered with an online furniture retailer and Samsung Pay, who hopes to capture some of that spend while providing points for completing various activities related to the mortgage process.
“The idea is what kind of value can we bring to the partner that might not be obvious at first and therefore what values they can bring to their consumers, and the value we can bring as a lender,” Mr. Scherr said.
Take the combination of responsive technology, self-directed processes, and responsive customer service, and it’s no wonder why more customers are having a better time at Better Mortgage, Mr. Scherr said.
“Established mortgage lenders have acquired a significant technology debt over decades (and) it’s quite challenging for them to transition their manufacturing plant if you will to more efficient and streamlined technologies.
“The average processing costs on a mortgage armour than $7,000. We’re just far lower than that.”