Why a Remote Team is a Winning Strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of change in the mortgage industry, but no change has been bigger than the adoption of remote work. The industry learned that with the right technologies and controls, remote teams can work more efficiently and cost-effectively than teams working in an office environment.

Of course, we already knew that. Evolve has been operating remote teams for the past 20 years. But for companies that haven’t fully taken advantage of remote teams, here are a few good reasons to do so now.

Greater Scalability

The mortgage business is anything but static. Because rates, volumes and markets are always shifting, it’s nearly impossible for lenders and servicers to maintain optimum staffing levels at all times. As a result, companies continue to staff up when volumes rise and slash positions when they drop. This ongoing battle to maintain proper staffing levels is not only time-consuming and expensive but can also impact team morale.

Accessing remote teams enables lenders and servicers to break free from this vicious cycle. When origination or default volumes rise, additional work can simply be offloaded to an experienced outsourcer with remote teams working domestically. This gives companies almost unlimited scalability while also taking the pressure off HR departments and making it easier for lenders and servicers to maintain a healthy, anxiety-free company culture.

Getting the Right Expertise

Another challenge that often accompanies a market shift is a shortage of talent. We all saw this during pandemic, when low rates created a dearth of underwriters and lenders struggled to keep up with demand. Talent shortages can also invite risk when lenders move teams from one side of the business to another without providing them with the proper training.

It’s the job of a good outsourcer to meet the needs of its clients no matter what type of market they’re in. An experienced outsourcer will have a deep bench of experienced underwriters and auditors capable of filling every market need, whether it’s one component of the loan fulfillment process or end-to-end services. Leveraging remote teams can also provide lenders with expertise they may not currently have, such as originating and underwriting non-QM loans.

Access to Technology

These days, remote teams not only provide companies with the expertise they need. With the right outsourcer, lenders and servicers can also get access to better technology that streamlines operations and saves money.

Unless they’re capable of building their own systems, most lenders and servicers rely on legacy technologies that haven’t been updated in years. At Evolve, we’ve developed and continuously update our own technology for every aspect of the mortgage lifecycle, from origination to loss mitigation.

Through our SigniaDocuments subsidiary, we also provide full library of SMART Docs, as well as eClosings, hybrid eClosings, and remote online notarizations (RONs). We also have our own servicing technologies that can streamline loan modifications and loss mitigation activities, as well as predictive analytics that can help servicers proactively manage potential defaults.

Technology also enables our remote teams to work faster. In fact, our underwriters typically complete seven to eight loan files a day—roughly four times the industry average.

While not every component of originating or servicing loans may need to be outsourced, the bottom line is that remote teams are increasingly becoming part of a winning business strategy. Many of the largest and most successful companies in our industry leverage remote teams in order to better manage staff costs and focus on growth.

If you’d like to find out how remote teams can help accelerate your business, just reach out to us at 888-892-1843 or drop us a note at [email protected].

SMARTDocs Versus PDFs—Why There’s No Comparison

It would be hard to argue that digital processes are better than manual ones—especially in the mortgage industry, given the hundreds of pages of documents involved in the typical loan transaction.

And while most industry participants have abandoned paper documents, the majority have only transitioned to PDFs, which are essentially digital photos of paper documents. By using PDFs, companies are missing out on the huge benefits of going truly digital with SMARTDocs. Here’s why.

PDFs in a nutshell

PDFs are merely electronic copies of printed documents—meaning that PDFs still require human processors and underwriters to read and understand their contents. While PDFs can be read by optical character recognition (OCR) and other tools, they can’t be read electronically with 100% accuracy—which means they still require human oversight.

And if a borrower must sign a PDF, someone must manually place signature tags onto them as well. So PDFs require a lot of manual effort, which not only adds costs and time to loan transactions, but also increases the chance of human error.

The beauty of SMART Docs

SMART Docs, on the other hand, are true digital documents capable of containing an almost unlimited amount of data that can be easily read, transmitted, and stored digitally, without human intervention or even the need for OCR tools. Hence the name SMART, which stands for Securable, Manageable, Archivable, Retrievable and Transferable.

The Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) defines a SMART Doc as “a single electronic document that binds together data and presentation along with other information needed to maximize its performance.” With SMART Docs, whatever information the borrower sees can be guaranteed to be the same information lenders use to process their loan.

Unlike PDFs, every SMART Doc also contains a secure record of when and where it was created, modified and sent. SMART Docs never have to be manually tagged for signatures, either.

SMART Docs make a truly end-to-end digital mortgage possible. They also make remote online notarizations much easier, too, because they contain a secure, verifiable record of the borrower’s signature, whether or not the borrower and the notary are in the same room.

The importance of a SMART Doc library

When you’re ready to ditch the time-sapping PDF habit, be mindful that you’ll want to use a document provider that is equipped with a full library of SMART Docs for every document type, not just the mortgage note.

When all the documents in a loan file are SMART Docs, lenders, servicers and investors don’t have to spend time and money on staff to inspect them for accuracy. Plus, it makes it easy to perform due diligence or compliance testing on a loan file electronically in just seconds.

Very few document providers have SMART Doc libraries. That’s why more lenders and servicers that are adopting SMART Docs have chosen Evolve Mortgage Services to implement digital mortgages. Through Evolve’s SigniaDocuments subsidiary, we offer a full library of MISMO Category 1 SMART Docs. Plus, we offer a complete eClosing platform that includes remote online notarizations (RONs), which enables Evolve to deliver an end-to-end digital mortgage process.

If you’re seeking to implement a truly digital mortgage process and would like to see the benefits of SMART Docs for yourself, just reach out to us at 888-892-1843 or drop us a note at [email protected].

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