For years, the storage room in my Southern California office was home to reams of paper, yellow notepads, pens and pencils, huge desktop appointment calendars (remember those?) and a computer server the size of a stackable washer and dryer.
We used to have software programs that we’d have to license and download on every computer and keep updated—and our data would have to be backed up regularly for security. We also relied on huge amounts of paper documents. Everything took so much work—and time. I recognized it was something I had to change.
Moving my mortgage lending business to the cloud over the past five years has revolutionized our operations
Today, my five-person team uses Slack for internal communications, Salesforce for customer relationship management and Floify for web-based loan document management. What really helped elevate our game is BytePro, an online-based loan origination software that has made us incredibly nimble, efficient and data secure. All of these cloud-based platforms mean we no longer have to worry about keeping a server, software and data on site—and all of the ongoing maintenance that requires. Best yet, it has freed us up to spend more time on our mission: serving our clients and closing loans.
Streamlining our customer experience
Moving our operations to the cloud has created a much better experience for both our clients and employees. For one, online-based tools tend to be more robust and automated—so we can offer a more seamless, fast process.
One example: When a real-estate agent notifies me about an offer, I immediately send a link to a 60-second video through Vidyard to the listing agent promoting their clients—their great credit scores and their affection for the house. I also tell them how I work and the efficiencies we have built in. The agents love it.
Then—thanks to Salesforce—every party gets an automated email and text update at every stage of the buying process. DocuSign, the e-signature platform, makes the documentation and authorization process fast and simple. We used to manage and store paper loan documents. Today, clients just click the e-document twice to satisfy the underwriting requirements—no paper required.
Best yet, it has freed us up to spend more time on our mission: serving our clients and closing loans.
In fact, since we moved our operations totally to the cloud, clients can complete a mortgage with us entirely on our website. We think this has been critical to our success, as it allows us to service customers far faster—meaning we can devote our time to growing our business rather than the time-consuming tasks involved with managing paper documentation.
Sure, our clients can still meet with us at one of our two offices or pick up the phone and talk to someone on our team. What’s different now is that we can meet you in the venue that works best for you—whatever that looks like.
Focusing on high-value tasks
Like across much of the U.S., the real estate market in the Los Angeles area is on fire right now. It’s not uncommon to have 30 offers on the same house. In this environment, I am even more grateful for the ease and efficiencies that our cloud-based technology has baked into our business.
In fact, in 2020, we closed a record 205 residential loans totaling $110 million. I’m not sure we would have had the capacity to handle so many transactions if we were still doing things the old way and managing tons of paper documents.
Moreover, the time savings has freed me up to shower more love on my clients. I give a lot of small gifts that are fun. When clients get pre-approved for a loan, I give them a funny book about keeping a tidy house. When they’re approved, I send them moving boxes. When the offer is under contract, the client receives a “chill box” with aromatherapy oils and gummy bears. When the offer is accepted, they get cocktails.
As for that storage room, it no longer looks like an office-supply outpost. These days, it’s where I keep the holiday supplies. I’ve gotten so lean that I rarely use paper. I pretty much do my job on two laptops and my smartphone. I don’t even have a printer. Amazing for a mortgage loan firm, right?Print this article