Mortgage know-how companies replace enterprise growth instruments when quantity slows

As the volume of mortgage refinancing continues to decline, Black Knight, Blend and Embrace Home Loans each bring new business development tools to the market.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's March forecast predicts total volume in each of the four quarters of this year will decrease from $ 1.1 trillion in the first quarter to $ 578 billion in the fourth quarter.

Projected refi origins over the same period are expected to increase from $ 774 billion in the first quarter to just $ 145 billion in the fourth quarter.

As such, the timing may be a little unusual for Black Knight to update their lead analytics product, Capture, to integrate with the Optimal Blue product and pricing engine they acquired last year.

But that is exactly the rationale behind launching this offering as originators need robust analytics to identify and prioritize specific leads, said Rob Kessel, general manager of hedging and credit trading services at Black Knight.

"Additionally, monitoring home equity for payout opportunities, rather than just interest / term opportunities, becomes even more important in increasing production volume," he added. "In the past year, most of the excellent services were refinancing and the service technicians couldn't take in what they had to offer, let alone analyze them to make further suggestions."

In fact, Black Knight has quantified that in the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, 2.3 million potential refinancing borrowers were lost from lenders to their competitors.

The change will allow users to identify actionable leads, determine the right time to contact the customer, and calculate personalized credit rates.

Separately, Blend released the LO Toolkit, which brings together a number of features in its point-of-sales system that it built on over the past year.

Accessible through iOS and Android mobile apps, as well as a web browser for desktop and tablet, the toolkit can best be described as a unified workflow for loan officers. This enables them to carry out the entire end-to-end qualification process within this system, said John Whipple, product manager at Blend, in an interview.

"Particularly with the borrower pre-qualification or pre-approval tools, we see this as a very useful tool for loan officers working with home-buying borrowers," said Whipple.

Meanwhile, Embrace Home Loans, a Middletown, R.I.-based lender, has introduced SimpleNexus point-of-sale technology to its 300+ loan officers to help its loan officers get more buying deals.

"We needed a solution that was LO-centric and flexible enough so that our team could continue to serve clients and brokers the way they prefer," said Meghan Handy, customer experience director and vice president of Embrace, in a press release.

Embrace will be the first lender to use SimpleNexus in conjunction with a new mobile disclosure integration with First American Docutech, the announcement said. The new technology also allows borrowers to pay for reviews in the app using a credit card.

"Embrace has been a great partner and pushed us to expand the functionality of SimpleNexus," said Fintech Founder and CEO Matt Hansen in the press release. "We can't wait to see how loan officers and borrowers react to the improved experience."

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