RealKey’s 2021 Predictions for the Mortgage Origination Industry: Prediction #2

In our previous blog post, we revealed our first of three predictions of the trends and transformations that we believe will take place within the mortgage origination industry in 2021. Coming out of 2020, a year of unprecedented socioeconomic upheaval brought about by Covid-19, organizations have had to learn to shift gears on the fly and operate in a far more agile manner than ever before. The coming year will be one in which mortgage lenders, originators, and underwriters will be required to deliver digitally-driven experiences and achieve operational excellence in order to compete and survive. To succeed in this new era of digital disruption, companies must be ready and willing to harness new technologies that allow for greater efficiencies and enable differentiation within the home buying and refinancing process.

Our first prediction is related to the real estate market correction and new market creation we believe will occur in the coming months. Today, we reveal our second of three predictions as discussed below. We will post our third and final prediction next week. 

More Demands on Brokers and Lenders Due to Continuing Low Interest Rates, which are Fueling Increased Home Sales and Refinancing Activity

The current housing bubble will continue for at least the next few months, until the economy supports increasing the current artificially low rates that are driving a record number of refinances and new home purchases. The spread of Covid-19 will likely slow down, but the effects the pandemic has already had on our daily lives will continue for some time. Many people will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future, which has been a driving force for homeowners to move to more affordable housing in the suburbs. With rates continuing to remain at record lows, existing homeowners will increasingly look to refinance their home loans. 

With both of these factors driving mortgage loan demand, MLOs and lenders will continue to face tremendous difficulty in keeping up — yet they will want to process as many loans as possible before rates increase again. As a result, they will need improved efficiencies in processing and closing loans so that they can close more loans with less time and effort.

With these factors as the economic and social backdrop for 2021, RealKey is positioned to play a key role in providing mortgage brokers and lenders with much faster, more efficient ways of handling the huge increase in demand, which helps them maintain a competitive advantage. Processing and underwriting efficiency is critical in these scenarios, and RealKey provides differentiated tools to close more deals, faster, and with less effort, while also reducing ramp-up times for onboarding new hires as needed.

RealKey Creates Lifelong Referrals from Borrowers and Real Estate Agents with Cleaner Approvals

Christopher Hussain, CEO and Founder

Making the customer happy is the end goal for the mortgage loan originator (MLO). Happy customers are synonymous with creating and maintaining a successful business. It takes just one happy borrower or real estate agent to create a lifelong referral source. From there, an originator can build upon referral after referral to successfully grow and scale without relying on pricey lead-gen or painful cold calling.

Transparency, education, and setting expectations are key to becoming a top MLO that people return to. To help them get there, MLOs need the right tools and resources to educate borrowers in how the mortgage process works, and provide transparency into what documents will be needed, and if a delay occurs, explain why. Last but not least, MLOs need to set expectations on how each step works to keep the whole process moving forward.

Unfortunately, current processes and systems work against us. With so many built-in inefficiencies — from time consuming, manual processes, to spending hours or even days emailing and calling everyone involved in the process to keep them updated on progress, to the volumes of documentation that need to be right the first time so that the process does not experience additional delays in underwriting — MLOs have to work even harder to provide the best customer service. Because of these manual, burdensome ways of operating, ignoring the recent surge in applications, most MLOs only average 3 to 5 closings each month. The entire process is exasperating, because with the right tools, we could be doing so much more.

For instance, there are plenty of upgrades to today’s Loan Origination Systems (LOS) and Points of Sale (POS), but the overall process needs an overhaul. The POS gets minimal data and generic documents from borrowers. The POS is built with a focus on being a lead-gen tool that empowers the consumer to start the process, providing more data for the initial call with an MLO. Because the POS cannot logically force consumers down an exhausting list of tedious questions, the MLO has to revert back to the LOSs that have been in use for decades. Neither of these systems facilitate getting detailed requirements, such as supporting documents or letters of explanation from the borrowers. Add to that, they do not communicate with the numerous parties involved in each transaction. This means a lot of time wasted on daily calls and emails, along with tons of back and forth to get the right conditions necessary to submit and get the loan clear-to-close.

With the RealKey Digital Mortgage Platform, you can cut your mortgage processing time by about 50%, affording you the extra time you need to focus on doing more to make your customers happy and scale your business.

How RealKey frees up your time from burdensome processes:

  • Each step of the way, RealKey walks your customers and third parties through the documentation collection process to ensure that everyone is getting the right conditions the first time, reducing the time spent going back and forth with each other and underwriting.
  • All parties involved in the process receive automated updates, removing the need to email and call everyone to keep them updated on progress and open tasks to clear transactions to close.
  • RealKey shares documentation with the right people accordingly, streamlining and automating communication, eliminating infinite unnecessary calls and emails.
  • Through a centralized chat, those involved in the process can chat as a group or individually within document requirement rooms, greatly improving response times.

Are you ready to provide your customers with the best experience, increase referrals, and grow your business? It’s time to experience a more efficient way to process your loans, so you can do more and be more. Get started today. Sign-up here for a seven-day free trial.


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Mortgage Lending is at an All-time High, Straining MLOs’ Capacity. RealKey Helps Lenders and Brokers Keep Up.

Christopher Hussain, CEO and Founder

Every day we read about the record-high demand for mortgage loans and refinancing activity due to the extremely low interest rates we’ve seen this year. At the same time, MLOs are struggling to keep up due to the volume of paperwork and barriers to effective communications in loan processing. Their pipelines are backed up like a beaver damming a river’s flow. As a result, when demand for mortgages goes up, MLOs’ capacity goes down — and they and their teams are focused on damming the river, getting the documents needed, keeping those documents and the people involved updated, all while juggling incoming applications and growing their networks. Ultimately, some originators may be forced to drop customers altogether if they can’t fit them into their current workload. That’s no way to run or grow a business.

RealKey offers everyone in the loan process a real solution. The RealKey Digital Mortgage Platform significantly streamlines loan processing through automated document collection and review, as well as enabling centralized communications among all parties. This amounts to you closing more loans for your customers in a much shorter time frame so you can meet the growth in demand and scale your business. As a result, your customers have a much more pleasurable experience, which means they’re more likely to give you referrals and repeat business in the future.

Can you imagine providing a mortgage loan experience that your customers — and all other parties involved, including yourself — find relatively painless and easy? How nice would that be! While it may sound like a dream, RealKey makes it a reality. Here’s how.

RealKey delivers a fully digital mortgage processing experience to lenders, brokers, and their clients through:

  • Automated intelligent collection and review of documents, meaning less back and forth with your customers, underwriters, and lenders
  • Enabling fast, secure communications through a centralized portal for all parties involved
  • Providing centralized storage of all relevant information for easy access by all parties
  • Working seamlessly with your existing LOS, POS and AUS systems and operations to make the entire process faster and more efficient

These combined capabilities shorten the loan processing cycle by roughly 50%, giving you more time to close more loans and grow your business to meet increasing loan application demands.

Are you ready to get more capacity out of your team and your business, so you can close more loans? With the holiday crunch fast approaching, this is a great time to give RealKey a try. Sign-up here for a seven-day free trial.


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RealKey’s 2021 Predictions for the Mortgage Origination Industry: Prediction #1

As 2020 comes to a close, we will undoubtedly look back on the past twelve months as a time in which disruption was the hallmark. Amid the unprecedented socioeconomic upheaval brought about by Covid-19, organizations have had to pivot and strategize, adapt and change in new ways – in a far more agile manner than at any time in history. 2021 will be the year when the mortgage industry must double down on continuing to deliver digitally-driven experiences and achieving operational excellence – not just to rapidly advance, but in some cases to survive. The measurement of each company’s success will be dependent on how well they harness new technologies to inject differentiation and greater efficiencies into the home buying and refinancing process.

Today, we are announcing our first of three predictions of the trends and transformations that we believe will take place within the mortgage origination industry in 2021. Our first prediction is discussed below, and the second and third predictions will post in the coming weeks.

Real Estate Market Correction and New Market Creation

As a result of Covid-related factors and behaviors, single-family housing will be in short supply and prices will continue to rise in the near term. Over the longer term, however, several market forces will come together and put pressure on that housing bubble, ultimately flooding the market with properties that most people cannot afford. To summarize, with millions of Americans unemployed or with lower incomes, a significant number of homeowners will have difficulty paying their mortgages. Renters may be hit even harder due to a lack of income, in addition to eviction moratoriums that are coming to an end. The potential inability to pay their rent will then impact landlords and homeowners who count on that rental income to pay their mortgages, and they may rethink the value of owning these secondary and investment properties. Ultimately they may sell, or worse, be foreclosed on if they can’t make ends meet. All of this adds up to an influx of properties on the market, which will put huge pressure on the housing bubble. As a result, housing prices will begin to decline, and banks will look for ways to renegotiate existing loans with new options such as forbearance agreements, deferral of payments, loan modifications, or even principal reductions — similar to what happened in 2008.

RealKey will continue to play a key role in streamlining paperwork processing in the current low-rate environment and demand for new home purchases. Over the longer term, RealKey will be perfectly positioned for the new wave of refinances and/or other negotiated options that will be offered when the bubble ultimately pops.

Additionally, as the housing market undergoes this major shift and foreclosures begin occurring, we will see more home purchases being made by the investor community rather than individual homeowners. MLOs will need to think about the kind of service they provide to these customers as the definition of a ‘good’ loan will change. A ‘good’ loan will need to provide for a better experience collecting and reviewing documentation for investment-oriented purchasers vs. individual borrowers financing their primary residence. Again, this underscores the need for RealKey, which streamlines complex documentation scenarios.