Project Management Part 2: Document Collection
Email is the worst for collecting and understanding documents. Some platforms provide secure portals to drop documents off, but their usefulness is limited due to the amount of clean-up that’s required after documents have been shared. That’s if applicants even use their “portal.” Portals that are only useful for document sharing are easily abandoned by applicants.
Client clutter can waste 30-60% of a Businesses Development Officer’s week.
Confirming receipt of information and asking clarifying questions takes a lot of time and is something most CRMs and LOS solutions do little to help manage.
Here are 4 tips to help to avoid client clutter and disorganization:
1. Organize your application checklist
Where is your list of all the documents and information that need to be collected from the client? Are you using a PDF? Is the list siloed or centralized between your loan officers and underwriters? Do you actually have a stand alone list, or is it buried within a master application document?
Breaking these down into individual checklist items with one ask item is the first step towards a project style approach to application management. This creates a simple ask for the applicant within a cloud-based, shared, checklist. A project structure with progress indicators and check boxes make it easier for anyone on your team to know what’s in and what still remains. It’s important for clients to understand what you’re asking them to provide for each requirement. Itemizing your needs creates more space for specific guidance, which increases the odds of receiving the right information at the right time.
Shorter checklist item names keep things clean, and reduce client confusion. When taking a project approach, and focusing on one item at a time, you have more freedom to give very specific guidance the deeper your client goes into each checklist item.
2. Break down your application into phases
One long checklist can be overwhelming. Applicant fatigue leads to abandonment. The application process is not always a single, straightforward journey. By creating phases inside the checklist you create mini-journeys for the applicant. An application with 15-20 checklist items can suddenly become manageable when broken into 4 short phases.
The other advantages to utilizing phases is that you can prevent over-collection, know when to pause to review, and make internal handoffs at the right time. For more tips on best utilizing phases, check out 4 phases every application needs!
3. Transparent document collection
When you have your application checklist built and broken down into phases, you have done more than half of the work. Knowing what information to provide and where to provide it becomes obvious to the applicant. You’ve also just created greater process transparency between departments, and colleagues.
In our previous post, we talked about the importance of communication within a project management approach. If you spot a mistake by an applicant and/or need them to resubmit documents, notifying them in the same location they upload documents helps them to focus and provide faster responses. Your team saves time by knowing exactly where each document is located, along with any comments or conversations about the document.
4. Long term document storage
You have everything you need for an approval, the loan is closed, what about long term storage? This is when you would archive your project. Before archiving, you may want to pull documents and communication logs for long-term storage. Not all applicants take the time to name file very well, leading to a time consuming wrap up period.
An effective projects management tool will rename files so that they stay organized as your exporting information. This is actually a two-fold solution for strangely named files, and internal naming consistency across your entire team.
Up next: Project Management Part 3: Progress & Process
Interested in learning more about how Lenderfit solves for these needs?