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As the refinancing wave winds down and the United States approaches a return to a purchase mortgage market, lenders’ operations are being pulled in two different directions.
How can they retool their organizations to address rising purchase volumes, while still managing a large backlog of refinancing applications?
In this HousingWire Magazine article, Accenture’s Ghazale Johnston and Kelly Adkisson suggests three steps lenders can take to prepare for the significant transition ahead.
Download the full report [PDF, 3pp., 1.24MB]
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As interest rates rise and the housing recovery continues, lenders are starting to accept more purchase applications. Yet, refinancing still represents 62 percent of the market—and the US Federal Housing Finance Agency’s recent extension of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) could make an additional 2 million borrowers eligible for the program.
This new environment will require lenders to be more nimble, more efficient and more customer-focused. As the purchase market picks up, customers will demand greater access and transparency, and grow less tolerant of the lengthy cycle times that were common during the refinancing boom.
As the housing market recovery continues to evolve, lenders will need to:
Enhance the customer experience. In today’s digital world, customers expect convenient, real-time access. They want to be able to upload documents and update their loan information online and on the go with mobile applications for smartphones and tablets.
Invest in skills development. Lenders are discovering that agents who were trained in the relatively straightforward rules of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) are not necessarily equipped for the more complex purchase market. Formal rotational programs that expose staff to different products and internal certification programs that give managers insight into employee proficiency are two tools that lenders can use to deal with this skills gap.
Use third-party services providers. A lender interested in bolstering its retail channel might hire a business process outsourcing (BPO) provider to manage its direct-to-consumer channel, for example. Strategic use of experienced third-party services providers can free lenders to focus their attention on critical operations.
November 4, 2013
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