Project Management Part 1: Communication is Key!
Whether we realize it or not, loan officers and support staff are really in the business of customer service. Unfortunately, customer service tools don’t really exist within the loan origination systems that are currently on the market. Is your loan origination system giving you an opportunity to provide great customer service to interested borrowers?
Transparent and well organized communication is key to effective project management.
Understanding this is the first step towards developing processes that are focused both on internal team efficiency and keeping applicants engaged, informed, and organized. A modern software platform should be incredibly intuitive for lenders and applicants. Client portals aren’t enough to create a true customer journey that both manages expectations and collects the right information at the right time.
“Did you get what I sent you?
“Is what I sent you correct?”
Applicants need to know whether the information they are sending you has been received and is correct. The most common way we see loan officers sending confirmations is by email or phone, which over many applications and many documents becomes a massively time consuming task.
This type of communication is also not easy to capture, or to capture in a useful way. When is the last time your underwriting team sifted through communications within your CRM to try to understand why an applicant's revenue might have been higher in Q1 of this year versus the prior two years? If the loan officer has had this conversation, ideally those notes should be linked with the Profit & Loss statement.
Visual confirmation of file uploads within a shared, cloud-based platform provides a lot of reassurance. While beneficial, manual confirmation that every item has been reviewed and is accurate is virtually impossible. Confirmation messages that are automated to occur as items are approved provide real-time progress updates, and reminder applicants to continue providing other required items.
Automated Weekly Updates
As with any project, weekly summaries are incredibly helpful. A snapshot of what’s complete, what still remains, and who is responsible for what is as beneficial for the applicant as it is for the lender. An asynchronous update ensures that both groups are in alignment.
Manual weekly summaries across dozens of applications is not feasible. Where is the source of truth for these updates… email, voicemail, CRM, LOS? Where would support staff look for real-time information across multiple loan officers? Automated, real-time weekly updates sent to applicants via email that detail what they have completed, and what they have yet to complete are a necessary solution. Pairing this status update with a clear call to action to return to their checklist results in faster document collection.
Communication Across Lending Teams
Applications are projects. Transparent and well organized communication is key to effective project management. With dozens or hundreds of open applications in progress across different team members, it is crucial that lending teams find an organized way to share progress, notes, feedback, and documents amongst the full team.
When a team member is out sick, transitions to another role, or needs assistance with an application, how does the rest of the get the information and context needed to pick up the process? Storing all application-related communications (messages, questions, confirmations) in the same place as application-related documents minimizes the hassle of transferring an application to a different team member, and provides the applicant with continuity throughout the full process.
It is crucial that lending teams find an organized way to share progress, notes, feedback, and documents amongst their full team.
Are you interested in learning more about how Lenderfit solves for these needs?