Spotting signs of wear: How to keep your tech stack running smoothly

A lender’s tech stack is the engine that powers their mortgage business, and like any engine, it needs regular maintenance to keep firing on all cylinders. Aging and outdated technology can slow down the loan origination process, costing time and money. But, is a decelerating mortgage market truly the time to invest in technology?

Dark Matter Technologies held discovery sessions with 32 decision makers from banks, credit unions and independent mortgage banks (IMBs) of various sizes and the verdict is in. Those organizations agreed that watching for and addressing signs of wear in a mortgage origination tech stack is one of the cornerstones of their technology strategies for 2023 and beyond.

Shop-worn technology puts lenders at a competitive disadvantage by limiting their ability to make timely and informed decisions, respond to changes in demand, and recruit and retain talent. In the end, these six recommendations emerged from our discovery sessions, and this is what competitive lenders watch for when they want to keep their tech stack running at full horsepower.

Slow performance

Mortgage origination is complex, and software issues can feel like an everyday hazard of the job. But before you begin to dismiss those seemingly minor annoyances, look at the broader picture. Is your mortgage software having another hiccup, or is it gasping for air as it struggles to scale with your business demands?

Stay vigilant for excessive downtime, and frequent latency and stability issues. These delays pile up, and not only will they hamstring your organization’s ability to complete tasks, but they can leave your borrowers in a lurch wondering why the loan process is taking so long. In fact, many lenders we spoke with experienced this firsthand when refis boomed recently.

Over-reliance on human effort

When you hired your team members, your hiring decision was probably not based on their stamina for hours of “stare-and-compare” file reviewing and manual data entry. Virtual assistant solutions already do that work in a fraction of the time. You likely hired your team for their ability to focus on high-value work that requires a human touch: guiding the borrower through the loan process, sourcing new and repeat business, and more.

Take stock of how your employees parcel out their day. If they’re spending too much of their valuable time on tasks that artificial intelligence can handle with ease, that’s a sign there might be room for improvement.

Costs that keep creeping up

Some lenders worry that new technologies can be more expensive than systems they already have in place. But aging technology comes with costs as well. Lenders should review the internal time and resources that are devoted to administering, updating, testing and deploying technology at each stage of the loan process. Note that these costs will often climb as systems and their connections age.

Redundancy

It is only natural that growth means growing pains. When lenders expand their business, they often absorb teams that come with their own legacy systems, and some of these might overlap with the organization’s preferred solutions –if they work together at all.

The hidden cost of redundant systems is twofold: not only do these systems place strain on tech infrastructure, but they also duplicate effort and make it difficult to share data across the organization. This redundancy also leads to the next sign of wear lenders need to watch for.

Too many silos

When lenders rely on piecemeal systems that do not integrate well with one another, the experience for employees and customers can truly start to suffer. Highly compartmentalized systems can lead to inefficiencies and errors as users wade through a sea of overwhelming touch points: multiple logins, toggling between screens and juggling apps that don’t interconnect.

And that’s only from the user’s side. At the management level, siloed solutions make data management a nightmare and hamper efforts to assess and improve performance. The antidote to this is systems that communicate fluently with one another, orchestrated by a powerful digital LOS that makes seamless integration a breeze.

Security vulnerabilities

A telltale sign that your tech stack needs a tune-up is frequent security breaches, data leaks and unauthorized access to your systems. All of these can indicate the need for upgrades to prevent exposing sensitive company intelligence and non-public customer information to bad actors.