In 1989, Ray Scott opened a mortgage company in Upland, California. He named it Oaktree Funding because he wanted his business to grow quickly, stand strong for many years to come and provide a home for his employees and all the homeowners he helps. More than thirty years later, Ray’s company has more than lived up to its namesake, providing quality mortgage banking services to thousands of people every year through Wholesale, Correspondent and Retail production channels.
In recent years, Oaktree Funding’s business has grown significantly. Now owned and led by mortgage banking veterans and Co-CEOs Kristopher Martin and Stephen Lippens, Oaktree Wholesale focuses on Non-QM products featuring their Titanium bank statement, Investor DSCR and Jumbo products.
Custom Built for High Volume Wholesale Lending
Strategically, Oaktree knew that growing market share in wholesale requires more than just having great loan products, superior mortgage operations and friendly customer service. The vision included a high volume sales and marketing process that would give them the opportunity to engage with as many loan originators as possible.
“There are more than 300,000 loan officers in the United States and we want to talk to all of them,” said Martin. “The only way we can reach that many people is by using an inside sales call center approach. We also knew that in order for this to work, we would need a CRM that could handle the process we had in mind.”
Call center sales rely heavily on technology to enable a fast and efficient process. A CRM platform is at the core of this type of sales process because it provides the automation necessary for sales reps to be fast and effective. It also provides seamless integration to other technology components to create a smooth and uninterrupted workflow.
Oaktree selected OptifiNow as their CRM platform not just because they had a proven track record with wholesale mortgage lenders. OptifiNow gave Oaktree the ability to design their own CRM, complete with custom screens, workflows and integrations to their existing technology stack. The result was a fast and efficient process that allowed them to grow their team quickly.
Integrations and Automation Create a Seamless Sales Process
OptifiNow integrated Oaktree’s VOIP system to automatically match inbound phone calls to contact records so that Account Executives could quickly access information on a broker. Leveraging an integration to Oaktree’s LOS, OptifiNow provided instant access to critical information including account status and loan production details.
Next, OptifiNow built a scenario ticketing module integrated to Oaktree’s pricing engine. This allowed Account Executives to provide eligibility and pricing responses to brokers within minutes of answering a phone call. As a last step, OptifiNow created a marketing sequence that would email pricing engine results to the broker and initiate an email follow up campaign with the click of a button.
As a result, Oaktree Funding Account Executives can engage with more brokers on a daily basis, generating trackable loan scenario responses and automating the follow up process.
“OptifiNow is great for our AE’s because everything is at their fingertips,” said Mike Ernst, Executive Vice President and Director of Wholesale Lending at Oaktree Funding. “The system automatically finds the right record, gives them the information they need and they can immediately run a loan scenario for them. Every tool they need is integrated into OptifiNow so they never have to leave the CRM.”
Automated ‘Lead Store’ Account Distribution Model
In order to ensure their Account Executives are engaging with as many broker companies as possible, Oaktree asked OptifiNow to build an automated account distribution process that identifies approved accounts that are not active or neglected accounts and re-distributes them to other Account Executives using a “Lead Store” method. OptifiNow is able to detect when a loan is submitted by a broker, when an Account Executive performs an action with a broker (ie., make a phone call, send a scenario, etc.) and when an account has been assigned to the Account Executive. The combination of these factors results in an Account Classification rating that indicates the priority and relative sales value of an account so that the Account Executive can be best prepared to handle a sales situation.
If a Account Executive does not perform an action in the CRM or a loan has not been submitted by a broker within a certain period of time, OptifiNow will automatically reassign an account and place it in the “Lead Store”, where other reps are allowed to grab an account and have their hand at engagement. Using this method of automatically cycling accounts, Oaktree is able to avoid account hoarding and let their Account Executives determine the number of accounts they can handle on their own.
“The Lead Store helps us understand how many accounts an AE can manage and therefore the number of AE’s we need to hire,” said Ernst. “OptifiNow changes the way our AE’s view account ownership. They understand that there is a direct relationship between their performance and the number of accounts they get to own. Even if they lose an account, they know that they can grab another one from the Lead Store at any time.”
OptifiNow Enables Oaktree Funding to Thrive in New Business Environment
Since implementing OptifiNow, Oaktree Funding has grown their sales team by 40 percent and Non-QM loan volume has increased substantially, in spite of challenging conditions. “Wholesale lending is still a relationship business, but times have changed,” said Martin. “Sending out a team of outside AE’s to visit offices and drop off donuts is inefficient and out of step with the Zoom business culture we’re in today. What matters most to brokers is that we’re responsive and have answers to their questions. OptifiNow enabled us to be successful because they created a sales process that we designed. We couldn’t be happier with our CRM.”