Independent Mortgage Lenders Have No Choice But To Become Fully Digital

by Mar 17, 2020Articles

Executive Summary

Home buyers are becoming increasingly more comfortable with using online channels to shop for a mortgage. Mortgage lending disruptors are well ahead of the curve when it comes to meeting customer demands. Picking the right lending tools is paramount for independent mortgage lenders to remain competitive. 

Understanding Borrower Behaviors

Tech-savvy lenders and borrower expectations are forcing independent mortgage lenders to offer a digital mortgage experience that makes sense. A common question lenders ask is “How do we compete?”.

To answer this question, we have to take a customer-centric approach. Ellie Mae’s report on digital mortgage trends and preferences found that borrowers are undeniably using the internet throughout the mortgage process to:

– compare loan options
– begin the loan process
– use a lender’s POS to share financial documents

Tech Adoption Is Key

Independent mortgage lenders must adopt the use of digital tools into their origination process, just as Rocket Mortgage has. The good news is lenders don’t need a big back-office to do so. Their strengths lie in their size as a small firm that can move swiftly without needing approval from a higher chain of command to adopt new technology.


Lenders that rely on paper, manual tasks, and legacy tech won’t make it. An average loan file can consist of 280 pages of documents. This cause long waits that can last up to 45 days as multiple stakeholders need to be involved. And, not to mention a complex, a mix of federal, state, and local regulations need to be adhered to. 

Because of this, lenders need fast and customizable digital alternatives to remain competitive. These alternatives (which will morph into staples) are:


– POS, eg. BeSmartee
– a customizable LOS, eg. LendingQB
– CRM, eg. HubSpot
– eClosing
– plus more


The catch is these systems aren’t traditionally plug-in-play, which contrary to popular belief from lenders, isn’t a bad thing. For lenders to remain competitive, they need a technology stack that is customizable, scalable and is guided by a solid digital strategy.


Lenders can expect to invest at least $25,000 and save upwards to 2-3 times this in mortgage origination cost. This may sound scary but what sounds worse is being out-competed by your competition.


No matter the back-office tools you use today, Indica Digital can help trim costs, regain time, and improve the mortgage experience for both your borrowers and internal teammates.

About The Author

Tracy Francis

Tracy Francis

Digital Strategist

Tracy Francis is a digital strategist that applies design thinking principles to help his clients solve problems and surpass growth goals. He’s helped a variety of firms succeed in a range of industries including independent mortgage lenders and non-profit organizations. His approach is to treat each case as unique and provide an individual solution based on research, prototyping, and testing.

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