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Finding The Ideal CRM: Key Considerations For Multi-Channel Mortgage Lending

Updated: Feb 7

As a multi-channel mortgage lender, you understand the importance of having a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that meets the unique needs of your different business units. Off-the-shelf CRMs are limited and may not always provide the flexibility and customization options required by your entire organization.

Many businesses struggle to find a CRM that aligns perfectly with their requirements. Business units even resort to using different CRMs because most don’t have the flexibility or capacity to cater to each channel’s needs. This results in inefficiencies, a complicated tech stack, a lack of data visibility across the organization, and inflated costs. Sadly, lenders are forced into this far-from-ideal scenario due to the following:

  1. High cost of customization: Building a custom CRM from scratch can be expensive, especially for small and medium-sized businesses with limited resources.

  2. Complexity of integrating existing mortgage-specific systems into generic CRMs: Integrating existing technology stacks into CRMs can be a complex, expensive, and time-consuming process. Most CRMs are not built for the mortgage industry and therefore do not have the ability to integrate into multiple LOS and other mortgage-specific applications.

  3. Lack of flexibility: Off-the-shelf CRMs often have limited customization options, making it difficult to adapt the specific workflows and processes of each business unit.

It’s clear. You need to find a powerful and flexible CRM solution… but how do you go about the selection process? What do you need to consider when choosing the right CRM?

In this guide, we will outline some questions you need to ask when considering a CRM for your multi-channel lending business.

Let’s dive in.

Question 1: Is it made for the mortgage industry?

This is the most important question you need to ask at the very beginning of your search. If the answer to this question is “no,” strike that CRM off your list. The mortgage industry has unique requirements that a generic CRM cannot fulfill. Assess the expertise of the individuals behind the technology. Are they experienced in mortgage lending? Do they possess a solid understanding of the industry’s intricacies? Deep knowledge of mortgage lending typically results in CRM features that address actual needs without unnecessary extras.

One major feature all mortgage CRMs must have: the ability to integrate with LOS systems. Integrating two of the most important systems for lenders is an absolute must. Seamless data transfer and information exchange between platforms help lenders generate precise reports, automate nurture campaigns, and minimize double entry.

Question 2: Does the CRM have a proven track record in supporting different mortgage channels?

Not all mortgage-specific CRMs are made the same. Most can only support retail, some can support consumer direct, and only a handful can effectively support wholesale and reverse. You must find a CRM that can support all of these channels.

But beware, there are some vendors that claim to have the capability to do all these, but don’t have a proven track record. Make sure to speak with several people who’ve actually used the CRM before finalizing your decision.

Question 3: Is the CRM fully customizable?

Even if a CRM is built for the mortgage industry, it will still need to be customized to your organization’s specifications. Look for a vendor that takes the time to meticulously understand the nuances of each of your business units and provides a platform tailored to meet those needs.

Consider the following:

  • Customization process: The CRM must allow you to customize fields, workflows, and processes according to the specific requirements of each business unit. However, most lenders are not CRM experts and even if a CRM claims to have an intuitive interface, it may still be quite difficult for some to achieve the customizations they want. This brings us to the second point…

  • White glove service: Sadly, there are many CRM companies that install and disappear. You must find a vendor that is committed to partnering with you every step of the way. Companies like OptifiNow meet with clients every single week to provide comprehensive tech support and formulate innovative strategies and customizations that drive success. You get access to a team of CRM experts at no extra cost.

  • Integration capabilities: Check if the CRM can seamlessly integrate with your existing systems and technology stack. This makes it easier for AEs to adapt to the CRM and helps you get the desired outcome (aka ROI) much faster.

  • Scalability and adaptability: Mortgage lending is a volatile industry and strategies change over time. A CRM loses its useability and importance when it does not change when your needs change. Choose a CRM that can grow with your business and accommodate future changes and expansions.

Question 4: Will it break the bank?

Let’s address the elephant in the room. All these features sound ideal, but if it costs an arm and a leg, then it’s not worth it. When selecting a CRM solution, do not be swayed by low set-up costs or free trials. Instead, the total cost of ownership must be considered.

Reflect on this question: Do I need to hire someone to manage the CRM for me? Generic CRMs may seem like a good deal, but they could be costing you 10x more than you think. Most CRM vendors expect businesses to manage their CRM themselves or hire CRM consultants. But, the cost to hire dedicated staff or CRM consultants averages well over $100,000 per year. Find a provider like OptifiNow which includes custom software development, integration services, and day-to-day maintenance with your purchase.

Finding the right CRM solution for your multi-channel mortgage lending business can be a daunting task. Off-the-shelf CRMs often fall short of meeting the unique needs of multi-channel lenders and can lead to inefficiencies, complicated tech stacks, and inflated costs.

The good news is, there are CRM solutions like OptifiNow that offer a highly flexible and customizable platform designed specifically for the mortgage industry. Clients like Plaza Home Mortgage, REMN, Logan Financial, and Oaktree all attest to its unmatchable white glove service and ongoing support. OptifiNow is scalable, adaptable, easy to use, and cost-effective.

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