Mortgage lender bridges people, processes and data with OptifiNow’s sales enablement and marketing platform
Open Mortgage is a lender that is expanding both vertically and horizontally. Over the past few years, they’ve more than tripled their loan volume and launched new business channels that have diversified their product lines and customer base. But with that growth, Open Mortgage struggled to stay on top of their sales and marketing operations.
“We’ve grown tremendously, but we have a very flexible business model that attracts highly entrepreneurial loan officers,” said Brian Roe, vice president of sales at Open Mortgage. “Getting everyone marching to the same beat is difficult.”
Open Mortgage has 130 loan officers distributed across 60 branches in 24 states. Satisfying the needs of every loan officer while maintaining a consistent and compliant brand is a challenge that the company conquered using the OptifiNow Sales and Management platform.
Master of All Trades, Jack of None
Open Mortgage used several CRM systems in the past, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Some had good lead management features but lacked robust email campaign functionality. Others had a broad range of customizable options but were not cloud-based and costly to maintain.
The company found OptifiNow to have all the functionality they needed in one tightly integrated solution. Email, SMS messaging, LOS integration and mobile access gave them a wide range of capabilities that satisfied the diverse needs of their loan officers, resulting in a higher adoption rate and increased volume per loan officer.
“Some of the systems we used previously were good at specific things but had us manually re-keying data to perform certain activities,” said Roe. “OptifiNow does everything well. Lead management, marketing automation, reporting – everything is well integrated and available at the click of a button. It gives us much better control over the sales process.”
Adapting to Retail, Wholesale and Reverse Mortgage Lending
Achieving growth in a single business channel is challenging as it is, but Open Mortgage upped the level of difficulty dramatically by adding both a wholesale and a reverse mortgage group to their traditional retail lending. OptifiNow was more than up to the task, providing the company with a single solution to manage sales and marketing for three entirely different types of business models.
“We know we’re different than other lenders, and not only because we’re multi-channel,” Roe noted. “We’re very data-focused and have a lot of proprietary systems in our technology stack. OptifiNow was able to adapt to the way that we work instead of the other way around.”
“Not only were they able to support sales and marketing for all of our business channels, but their API connected all of our data sources and give us a better view on our business. There are very few systems that have the level of flexibility that OptifiNow has.”
The Unbearable Lightness of Simplicity
Roe pointed out that not every loan officer is a technology geek and very few technologists have experience as loan officers.
“Other CRMs had too many bells and whistles,” said Roe. “It was overwhelming for our users and they would get lost in the experience.”
Finding the right balance between innovative features and usability shortened the learning curve and increased user adoption, generating better ROI for Open Mortgage. “OptifiNow has a clean user interface that made it easy for our loan officers to pick up and use. But it still has the power to make our loan officers effective and more efficient with their sales.”
Many actions in OptifiNow are designed to be “one-click,” such as initiating a phone call, sending a marketing email or creating an SMS message. In addition, retaining a consistent user interface between the desktop browser version and the mobile application encouraged users to stay connected to OptifiNow more frequently, increasing the accuracy of their metrics.
Seeing is Believing
OptifiNow has clearly benefitted Open Mortgage’s management over their sales and marketing. They eliminated redundant systems and streamlined inefficient processes, both around sales operations and data management.
“Calculating ROI is too hard, especially in a volatile industry like mortgage lending,” said Roe. “But I know that we easily cover the cost of OptifiNow and that loan officers are getting more loans. Even something as simple as an automated email newsletter to past clients is helping to generate repeat sales.”
“Streamlining processes in a distributed sales organization like ours is very difficult,” Roe continues. “OptifiNow has done more than just corral our sales and marketing. We can identify leverage points in our sales process and identify areas that need to be fixed much more easily. They’ve given us the ability to see our business differently and be more strategic.”