Bah Humbug – How Mortgage Loan Originators can Survive the Holiday Crunch

By Christopher Hussain, CEO and Founder

Whether you’re the homeowner, real estate agent, or Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO), getting a mortgage approved is a time consuming and painful process. With so much information and documentation needed by numerous parties, with varying deadlines, the endless loop of processing paperwork can be trauma inducing, and it only gets worse during the holiday season. Like your local retailers on Black Friday, the holidays tend to be the source of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for most lenders and brokers.

The typical MLO’s day is long, with a continuous pipeline of transactions requiring numerous manual processes. Each transaction requires many hours, even days of effort, spent just on calling and emailing all of the parties involved in the mortgage process to gather requirements and keep everyone updated on the progress of each loan. Once November and December arrive, the number of transactions escalate, as individuals try to complete financing before the year’s end. So, while most people spend this time celebrating with family and friends, for MLOs, the holidays not only mean more work, but also, longer turnaround times. Why? Because no one is around!!!

Phone calls and emails go unanswered, as the typical MLO is completely alone while everyone else takes a vacation to enjoy the holiday season. Unlike the rest of the world, MLOs do not have the luxury of simply “disappearing.” Bottom line, if they want to do a good job, they do not get to take a vacation.

I know this firsthand. For two years, I was the country’s top MLO, and to get there, I had to make a lot of personal sacrifices. I had clients and agents counting on me to make their holidays by closing their transactions. So, the months of November and December were always the busiest time of the year. And every year it was the same – a chaotic mess of paperwork that needed to close by year’s end. As a result, I could not afford to take time off to go on a holiday getaway with my family because I was too busy working in an industry with broken processes. Thanksgiving and Christmas blew, and were undoubtedly the worst times of my life. In fact, there were many occasions when I broke down and was brought to tears — I wanted to do a good job and make my clients happy, so that meant while others enjoyed their holidays, I worked non-stop and did not spend time with my family. There were no ski vacations, evenings gathered by the fire, or leisurely afternoons with family and friends. For me, holidays were not a time of joy, but rather, one of pure misery. BAAAAAAHHHHH HUMBUG!!!

Further exacerbating the situation is COVID-19. The pandemic has led to a crushing demand of new borrowers and those in search of refinancing as a result of today’s unprecedented economic pressures. Add to that, turn around times are now even longer, and lenders are adding overlays and requirements that did not previously exist — — SERIOUSLY?! As if MLOs don’t have enough roadblocks and broken processes to go through, when all we want to do is help our clients!

After one holiday too many spent chasing down conditions to fund these loans, I had enough. MLOs, processors, underwriters, title and escrow agents, and all the other parties involved in the mortgage process deserve a more cost efficient, less time consuming business that provides accurate, fast service, resulting in happier customers.

With the RealKey Digital Mortgage Platform, we are doing just that by not only shortening the loan processing cycle by roughly 50%, but also, by providing a much-needed solution through our automated conditioning system that provides processing and underwriting feedback when no one is around. With RealKey, everyone involved in the mortgage loan process can see what is or is not done on the transaction, saving countless hours – even days – that were once spent calling and emailing all relevant parties. We are setting a new standard for more efficient mortgage processing through automated and intelligent collection of documents, review of data, and secure communications among all collaborators in the mortgage process.

Want to reclaim your holidays while still providing a world-class experience? With RealKey, never say “Bah Humbug!” again, thanks to our platform’s automated collection and review of documents, and streamlined communication for everyone involved in your transactions. Visit here to sign-up for a seven-day free trial.