For many mortgage brokers and mortgage borrowers, document collection is the most tedious part of the loan approval process.
In this article, we explain how we leverage document collection software plus teamwork to streamline the process, cut hours out of every deal, and improve client experience.
Top 7 Document Collection Pain Points
It’s useful to note the specific challenges brokers face when requesting documents, before explaining how we recommend solving each one.
- Ensuring the correct documents are requested for every deal without having to reinvent the wheel each time.
- Keeping track of what you do and don’t have from the client.
- Following up on missing or incomplete items.
- Validating each document to ensure it’s suitable for submission.
- Managing outstanding items and supplementary requests from the lender.
- Where appropriate, delegating this process to an assistant to free up the broker’s time.
- Reassuring clients that the document submission process won’t be too painful.
How To Solve Document Collection Challenges
Having faced each of the above challenges first hand, we wanted to design a solution that would address each of these points. This document portal feature is now included in the BrokerEngine software suite. Here’s how it works:
Initiating The Document Request Process
To kick off a document request, the broker can select from pre-saved templates, or build a document request from scratch.
The broker can add, edit or remove specific items from each document request to match the deal at hand.
Making It Easy For Clients To Respond
Clients receive document request notifications via email. They are able to access the document request via a secure hyperlink from any computer, tablet or smartphone.
(The “client facing” brand is FinanceVault, which features consumer-facing messaging as opposed to broker-facing messaging.)
Clients can upload photos from their phone or attach required documents in a range of formats.
Our goal is reducing friction for the client.
Keeping Track Of Document Statuses
Clients will sometimes drip-feed documents as they dig up everything that you’ve requested.
Unless you have an easy way to keep track of loan statuses, it can take a lot of time for a broker to continually get their head back into the deal to work out where everything is at.
We use a status pane to show document statuses:
Validating Supplied Documents
Document validation is an important step to ensure documents are ready for submission.
Where there are errors or omissions, the broker can revert back to the client with instructions on how to fix the issue:
Managing Upcoming Requests
There are times when some documents are due now, and other documents are due later.
Rather than surprising the client with a request at a later date, we flag future requests so the client is aware they’re on the horizon.
Once the deal moves into that stage, the client is sent an automated reminder that the these documents are now required.
Common examples of “Due Later” documents include:
- FHOG forms (required when the client signs land and build contracts)
- Building insurance (required when documents are issued)
- Construction Documents (required for a Letter of Commencement, e.g. Council Approved Plans, Builder’s Insurance etc.)
Dealing With Additional Requests From The Lender
It has become more common for lenders to request additional information or documents throughout a deal.
There are at least three categories of these additional requests, which each need to be dealt with in a slightly different way.
Type 1: Request For Further Documents
Where extra document(s) are required, a supplementary request can be sent to the client, which looks like this:
Type 2: Request For A Response From The Client
The second type of request is for a response from the client (e.g. to explain a charge on their bank statement). This type of request can also be consolidated within the document portal.
Type 3: Request For A Response From The Broker
The third type of request is a broker-facing request. Usually this type of request would be hidden from the client, which can be done by adding the item and clicking “Hide From Client”.
This allows the broker to keep track of all pending items in the one place, without having to reveal non-client facing items to the client.
Creating Doc Stack Templates
For common scenarios, it can be useful to create templates for common doc stacks, which can be drag and dropped into a particular request.
Templates can be edited for each document request, but it saves a lot of time to start with something that’s almost ready to go.
Leveraging Your Team In The Document Collection Process
There are only two main activities that deliver value as a mortgage broker: sales and strategy. Everything else is a peripheral activity that should be delegated where possible.
Some of the ways you can leverage an assistant in the document collection phase are by empowering them to:
- Creating draft document requests for you to review (or full requests sent directly to the client)
- Validating documents as they come in and following up with additional requirements
- Following up on outstanding requests.
Successful delegation can save the broker at least a few hours per deal, which can be spent on higher-value activities.
This is just one of many other things to automate in your mortgage broking practice.
If document collection is a bottleneck for your firm, now may be a good time to put some of these best practices into action.
The document portal is now included with BrokerEngine software. Click here to register for a software demo to find out more.