Mortgage Software for Mortgage Bankers

Is Your Web-Based Loan Origination System Truly SaaS? Part 3

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Fri, May 16, 2014

MortgageOrb recently interviewed JP Kelly, President of OpenClose to learn more about the changes and challenges currently facing LOS providers.

This is the final installment of a three-part series.

describe the image

Q: When selecting a new LOS platform, what steps should lenders take to perform adequate due diligence before engaging with an LOS vendor?

Kelly: After the crash, many lenders bought just enough technology to "get by," as they didn't know if they would be in business for the long haul. But in today's market, smart lenders are looking five-plus years out. An LOS implementation is a big deal and can be very disruptive to operations - if the wrong vendor is selected. Different LOS platforms are suited for different types of lenders and their specific workflows.

In general, I recommend that lenders do not just let one or two functional areas make the buying decision. Involve all areas. How will the new LOS affect production? Underwriting? Processors? Secondary marketing? Servicing? IT and support? How does it function within each business channel from retail to wholesale, correspondent, consumer direct? What is the bottom line return on investment from the chief financial officer's perspective?

Involving all functional areas is key to making the right decision - the first time. You should approach buying and LOS using a committee-level decision-making process. Look for a long-term LOS partner, not a vendor with which you'll potentially become "just another number."

We all know the usual request for information/request for proposal-type questions to ask. But other "above and beyond" questions to ask include:

  • Look at how long the vendor has been in business. Longevity is a good sign. How long has its core application been in use? Is it contemporary or elderly? Too old of an application could mean that there are issues with antiquated code bases. On the other hand, too young means the application probably isn't mature and may not be fully proven.
  • Is the vendor a continual innovator? How many new solutions has it recently launched? What is on its product development and enhancement road map? This will give you an idea as to what's to come if you were to engage. Many are just working to stay abreast of new compliance rules, which stifles innovation.
  • Does the LOS use multiple code bases that have been married together by way of acquisitions? How many integrations does the LOS have? If it partnered with too many other vendors, it probably isn't a very good interface. And it can make your LOS provider resource challenged to successfully support it.
  • How scalable is the software and how flexible? The application needs to be proven to handle an increase in volume given lender growth. And, it needs to have the flexibility and configurability to morph to a lender's unique business model and workflow. What are is customer sizes and profiles like - and how does scalability and flexibility apply?
  • A good, mature, robust LOS should address all business channels. Make sure the system does this and does it well. You don't want to be a wholesale and/or retail lender, as an example, and later decide to perhaps launch a correspondent or consumer direct channel, only to find that the system wasn't built for it.
  • It's also important to look at the length of tenure and experience of the vendor's developers, architects and support staff. Are they loaded with technical experience and do they possess a deep understanding of the mortgage process, having worked at multiple organizations? It counts.
  • What is its customer support like? What are its average response and resolution time frames?
  • What's their average implementation time frame, specifically for a company similar to your size?
  • Corporate structure and management is important. Ask for the vendor's organizational chart and management team experience. Does it have well-established functional areas? It's indicative of how well it operates internally. Some vendors are run by just a few owners that don't take input from other senior executives, and thus do not employ any. This should send up a red flag.
  • Are there any lawsuits pending? If so, why? What is the nature of the litigation?


It goes without saying, but don't just let a vendor give you a canned sales-centric solution demo. Watch its team run a loan through the system from start to finish. Put yourself in the driver's seat.


Q: What do you see on the horizon in the next 12 to 18 months in the LOS space?

Kelly: That's an easy one. First, we'll clearly have more compliance rules and regulations to implement. Not just for LOS vendors, but all mortgage technology providers. Second, we're going to start to see some consolidation. Profits are pinched for lenders - and consequently they will also be for vendors. Those providers that aren't well-capitalized will look at selling options. There is money sitting on the sidelines awaiting bargain-buying opportunities.

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Mortgage Banking Software, Mortgage Loan Origination software, Loan Origination

Is Your Web-Based Loan Origination System Truly SaaS? Part 2

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Thu, May 01, 2014

OpenClose President, JP Kelly

MortgageOrb recently interviewed JP Kelly, President of OpenClose to learn more about the changes and challenges currently facing LOS providers.

This is the second of a three-part series.

Q: There is a lot of ongoing talk about what truly defines a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based LOS platform. Can you weigh in?

Kelly: By definition, SaaS is a software distribution model in which applications and associated data are centrally hosted by a vendor, typically in the cloud. With SaaS, there is nothing for an organization to install in terms of software applications or data hosting.

As it relates to LOS platforms, once the mortgage industry no longer had an appetite for self-hosted and self-managed applications (which were expensive), had lengthy installs, required significant IT resources, and were onerous to maintain, the use of SaaS terminology became popular among mortgage technology vendors.

Many vendors that claim to be SaaS term their systems "Web-based" or "Web-enabled." This generally translates to there being some sort of an install on the client’s side. A truly SaaS-based LOS platform, however, is 100% accessible via a Web browser - from any computer, anywhere, and without installed software. Web-based/enabled (non-SaaS vendors) must rely on installed applications to extend their applications to the Web, such as Citrix.

There are a lot of LOS platforms in the mortgage industry that do not have a true SaaS model but lay claim to it anyway for the sake of sales and marketing purposes. There aren’t very many true SaaS LOS vendors for lenders to choose from. True SaaS offers faster implementation, reduced costs through little to no upfront investment for new servers and infrastructure, seamless automated updating, virtualization and reduced need for internal support.

Q: How are LOS vendors working with other vendors and lender clients to address the sea of ever-changing compliance rules and regulations in today’s highly fluid marketplace?

Kelly: It’s very hard for Loan Origination System vendors that developed an end-end-end platform using different code bases to produce a seamless workflow and offer lenders full control over their data, and hence compliance. Once you have too many code types, databases and/or integrations involved you’re going to encounter issues. When it comes to compliance in today’s market, it’s like a mish-mash of poorly paired food groups and wrong ingredients - a recipe for disaster.

An end-to-end LOS vendor has the ability to better control data across a seamless workflow. At our company, we developed automated compliance monitoring functionality. This enables us to track things such as, for example, potential ability-to-repay/qualified mortgage (ATR/QM) compliance issues where we provide instant change of circumstance notifications to our clients. With the best-of-breed approach, you often have a lot of chefs in the kitchen all doing things a bit differently. Our approach is streamlined compliance monitoring across our clients’ specific workflows within our LOS.

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Mortgage Banking Software, Mortgage Loan Origination software, Loan Origination

Is Your Web-Based Loan Origination System Truly SaaS? Part 1

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Thu, Apr 24, 2014

 jp kelly

MortgageOrb recently interviewed JP Kelly, President of OpenClose to learn more about the changes and challenges currently facing LOS providers.

This is the first of a three-part series

Q: The LOS space has seen a significant shift in the past couple of years toward lenders investing in end-to-end platforms. Why is this?

Kelly: The old end-to-end versus best-of-breed debate has been going on for years, and you’ll get a hard stance position from respective vendors operating on each side of the fence. Best-of-breed vendors will always state that that no end-to-end vendor can do everything as well as they can. End-to-end vendors will say that they handle the entire lending process efficiently and that the best-of-breed approach muddies the waters. There are degrees of merit to both.

Our position is that there are some best-of-breed vendors that are so specialized at what they do, that an end-to-end LOS provider would be remiss if they attempted to engineer and support certain functions of the lending process that are completely out of their wheelhouse. A couple examples are disclosure compliance, valuation management and fraud protection, to name a few. These types of functions assume huge amounts of responsibility and liability. The sheer compliance risk involved in these areas and needed robustness of the solutions is better suited for a partnership and integration. In this regard, end-to-end LOS providers need to be very selective about the specialized vendors they integrate with and must ensure that it is a truly seamless interface that does not disrupt workflows.

Another notable difference is a best-of-breed vendor’s cost and time factor to develop and maintain integrations. A really good integration is no easy undertaking. And maintaining it is a whole other challenge. New software versions and updates are rolled out all the time. Developing too many integrations raises the possibility that something will break.

One trend that emerged in recent years is technology firms that simply acquire other technologies in an effort to create an end-to-end platform. But at the end of the day, these are still disparate technologies that are pieced together by multiple solutions to establish an all-in-one solution as opposed to actually engineering it from the ground up. That said, the solution may technically qualify as an "end-to-end;" however, it isn’t designed by a single vendor, and it oftentimes uses multiple databases, and has feeble pairings of technology and rough workflows.

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Mortgage Banking Software, loan software

Apple Co-founder, OpenClose Co-founder Discuss Mortgage Software

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Thu, Apr 17, 2014
Co-founders of Apple, OpenClose
Did you know that you can take a loan using OpenClose loan origination software on an iPad? Well Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (aka Woz) knows it now. 
Recently OpenClose CEO/CTO and cofounder Jason Regalbuto had a talk with Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak. 
OpenClose, the pioneer in web-based mortgage software and Apple, the leader in personal computer software have more in common then you might initially think. 

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Web-based Mortgage Software, Apple, Wozniak, Regalbuto, OpenClose Mortgage Software

Is Loan Origination Software on Your Resolution List?

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Wed, Jan 08, 2014

images

We all make resolutions for ourselves come the New Year, but what about a New Year's resolution for our lending business? 

That's another way of looking at budgets I suppose, but we tend to look at budgets to add to what we have rather than change it. And resolutions are about change.

Maybe you've been relying upon the same software vendor for years? Maybe they've been promising to improve or to add those features you need year after year but never do?

Is Loan Origination Software on your resolution list? It should be. And finding the best mortgage software can be difficult. 

We suggest you take a look at OpenClose. It has been developed to change with the market and for a growing mortgage banker.

New Call-to-Action

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Mortgage Banking Software, Mortgage Loan Origination software, Loan Origination

Your Loan Software Should Be Easy to Use. This Easy.

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Fri, Sep 27, 2013

Some LOS vendors would have you believe that having a comprehensive solution means a complicatedsolution. It's simply not true. Nor are cramped screens, non-compliance and 1980s technology "necessary evils."

Lenders who use OpenClose get a simple solution to their complex  banking operations. It's a better way to think about the loan process where everything you need is securely at your fingertips.

OpenClose is all Web-based, proven, and integrates faster than any comparable system. 

Need help finding a new loan management system? Read our eBook!

 

Download our whitepaper

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Loan Origination, loan software

LenderAssist™ loan origination software

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Thu, Sep 12, 2013

LOS Websites Pricing Social top

LenderAssist™ loan origination software keeps going where most other mortgage software vendors leave off. Our LOS provides mortgage banking functionality, document imaging, underwriting, secondary marketing, shipping and accounting, and post closing software. Our mortgage origination software is 100% web-based and provides the individual user with only the tools they need. Management loves the functionality, employees love the speed and ease of use. It's one multi channel software that adapts to any and all of your business channels: wholesale, retail, and correspondent.

LenderAssist™ doesn't make you change the way you do business, it makes the way you do business easier, faster, with less mistakes. We're sure you've never used an LOS that was easier, faster, or more reliable.

  • fully Web-based, end-to-end loan solution
  • secondary marketing and post closing tools included
  • integrates with our loan pricing engine
Download our eBook on Correspondent Lending
New Call-to-Action

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Mortgage Loan Origination software, Loan Origination

Who's leading the LOS charge, coach?

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Thu, Sep 05, 2013

babyplayer

 

Next week Football season begins --  and so does loan origination software (LOS) season.

Many lenders use the fourth quarter to select a vendor to lead their charge in mortgage technology. Many vendors say they  "can" and "will" but if you ask around, you'll find few have the experience. We're not just software vendors, we're teammates leading the charge through experience. 

At OpenClose, we know that a successful integration requires teamwork and experience. We like to think of ourselves as affordable superstars. We pioneered the Web-based mortgage yet our technology remains on the cutting edge.  Many of our employees are ex-mortgage bankers themselves. That's why the transition to a new LOS runs smoothly, from sales to implementation to support.

Download our LOS Buyer's Guide FREE!
 

Click me
  

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, LOS, Loan Origination

Get Ready Mortgage Lenders: The NAHB housing index soared

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Mon, Jun 17, 2013

Screen Shot 2013 06 17 at 9.24.30 AM

The National Association of Home Builders' housing market index rose well ahead of expectations to 52 in June (vs consensus 45) from 44 in May. The June increase brings the index to its highest level since March 2006. By component, builders' assessments of present sales rose 8 points, the future sales index rose 9 points, and traffic of prospective buyers rose 7 points. The NAHB index is a decent leading indicator of housing starts. Over the past year, the index has risen by 17 points. 

That means there will be more mortgages for the new first time buyers, as well as those who will upgrade. Will you be ready for the influx? More importantly, will your staff? You could hire more people or you could upgrade your mortgage banking software.

OpenClose lets lenders do more with less. It is highly scaleable, allowing residential mortgage lenders to adjust to market jumps and falls. Is one of your offices busier than the others do to a housing boon? The centralized loan database lets you distribute work through work queues. 

Mortgage lenders need to be ready for the influx; OpenClose is ready to get you there!

New Call to action

Topics: Mortgage Software, mortgage lending software, Loan Origination system, residential mortgage software

You inherited that loan origination software?

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Fri, Mar 22, 2013

cringe resized 600

It's not your fault.


You inherited that loan origination software. It's what the company has always used. And the lack of proper training, that unresponsive support, those lost files -- those headaches are the same with every LOS vendor, right?  Uhm, no.

OpenClose is a mortgage banking solution that's easy to use and taught to you by real bankers -- not manuals written by software developers. Learn what makes partnering with us so different. Find a better LOS. Find a better LOS company.

New Call-to-Action

Topics: Loan Origination system, Mortgage Banking Software

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all