Is your checklist the same as your clients?
Where is your checklist located?
If you’re processing loans, chances are you have a checklist. You’re certainly aware of all of the information that needs to be collected for a final decision. The way most people manage this list is with a PDF checklist that they send out as an attachment on an email. Their client looks at it, and hopefully saves it for quick reference. Within a few days they’ve typically lost the list and proceed to ask “what’s next?” as they email the documents over. They likely call in repeatedly to ask if the information was received as well, but that’s a different topic for a different article!
Internally your list has been preserved within an excel spreadsheet, or possibly within a larger loan origination system, but more than likely it’s a sheet that you or a processor has created to make their job easier. It’s completely siloed and since it’s in excel it is not easy to update or share current updates.
As information comes in you rename it, review it, save it, and ask questions via email and phone regarding something that was provided hours or days before. Hopefully that internal list is updated as the information comes in, and you’re banking on your CRM integration to save email communication. The CRM is likely more of a backstop rather than a tool that helps your clients to progress through the application, organizes information on your behalf, and provides an organized package of information for anyone on your team to see along the way.
You really need 2 checklists in 1!
With any application process, there’s typically an external checklist that clients need to complete as well as an internal checklist that you and your team need to complete. The key is to combine the two in a way that a client sees their tasks, while you see yours and theirs.
Since CRMs and portfolio management tools are typically the systems on hand, it’s tempting to try to coordinate with an applicant from within those systems. This rarely works, however, as neither of those solutions are designed for project management with external stakeholders, your clients! . This problem needs to be addressed due to the efficiencies that come with embedding applicants within the process with a client-facing project management tool.
An effective client-facing solution allows clients to upload information within specific buckets such as 2020 Tax Return, Balance Sheet, W9, etc, but it doesn't stop there. As a client uploads documents, your team should be able to verify the information and let the client know they can move forward. You also need the ability to dialogue with the client regarding each item. To ask questions about the item, or to answer questions.
Here are some examples of external checklist items we often see:
Identification (Drivers License, Passport)
Personal Financial Statement
Business Tax Returns
Internal checklists include items that are internal only, or possibly distracting to your client. Tracking external and internal lists in one location on the cloud creates total alignment between you, your team, and the applicant.. .
Here are some examples of Internal checklist items:
Credit Report Documents
Credit Memo Preparation
Promissory Note Creation
Logging Client Meeting Time
Matching your checklist to your client’s
Having a shared checklist with your client is the key to transparency. With a checklist that provides live updates, it becomes easy for both you and your clients to remember where they last left off and increases the likelihood that an applicant will see the process through to the end. There’s enough documentation involved in a financing application already, so having just a single checklist that both you and your applicant work out of is another step towards increased efficiency and a better organized application.