When you’re adopting digital closings for the first time, it’s difficult to know what you should be looking for and asking vendors. Many lenders realize the functionalities and requirements that matter most only after they’ve signed a contract and started implementation.
To help you avoid this, here are 10 questions that you should ask the vendors you evaluate. These questions will help guide you to choosing a digital closing platform that doesn’t create more work, will drive real business results for you, and has a history of success with its customers.
How many closings were processed through your eClosing solution last month?
This question validates whether the vendor is processing substantial volumes of closings. It can be risky to choose an eClosing provider that doesn’t have much experience or hasn’t processed thousands of transactions each month. By choosing a provider that has onboarded many lenders and has a track record of getting their clients to scale with digital closings, you can increase your chances of success.
Also, ask the vendor to break down the total amount by the different types of digital closings: wet closings, hybrid closings with a paper note, hybrid closings with an eNote, and eClosings. This will show you whether the vendor has a strong product offering for all closing types and how successful they’ve been with customer adoption.
Does the solution support all documents for all closings, including lender docs, title docs, custom docs, and security instruments?
Both lenders and settlement agents should be able to upload their documents to the digital closing solution and access completed documents. If the solution doesn’t support this, you and your settlement partners will need to manage multiple ways of sending and receiving documents.
Can you automatically tag lender and title documents for eSignature and eNotarization?
Tagging documents with fields for eSignatures and eNotarizations is a tedious and time-consuming manual task. Some vendors offer semi-automated solutions to this, like templates. However, this method still requires manual setup and maintenance.
The most efficient way to tag documents is by finding a digital closing platform that completely automates this body of work. It’s important that the digital closing technology can not only automatically tag lender docs, but also title docs. When settlement agents are able to upload and have their documents automatically tagged, they feel more ownership over the success of the digital closing. As a result, borrowers eSign 100% of the time.
How many settlement agents used your tool last month?
Getting settlement agents to adopt your digital closing technology is a major challenge for lenders. You can overcome this by looking for a solution that doesn’t just have settlement users, but is also actively used by settlement each month.
If the product isn’t being used by thousands of settlement agents, it’s a sign of unsuccessful adoption. You’ll want to further understand why this is. It could be due to poor user experience, the creation of additional steps for settlement, or even a lack of implementation support from the digital closing provider.
How many mobile and remote notaries used your tool last month?
Similarly, it’s important to know how many notaries are actively using the digital closing solution. There should be thousands of notaries across the entire country that use the technology. This ensures you’ll be able to meet your customers’ requests for a mobile or remote closing wherever they are.
Plus, your settlement partners can easily find a notary to complete any type of closing without having to leave the digital closing platform.
What LOS, POS, and document preparation providers do you integrate with?
The digital closing technology should integrate with your LOS, POS, and document provider. This is a must-have for lenders. If you can’t integrate your POS with the digital closing technology, borrowers will have to create another login for the closing. Without a LOS or doc prep integration, your team will have to manually copy and paste information and transfer documents between the different systems.
In addition to checking that the digital closing solution integrates with your current systems, you also want to get an idea of how many integrations they have and whether they can integrate with custom solutions. When the digital closing solution is compatible with a wide range of technologies, you’ll be able to flexibly change your tech stack without disrupting the closing process.
What IT resources do we need for implementation?
Some digital closing solutions will require a lot of technical work and development to implement, while others can easily plug into your tech stack and workflow. Lenders who have large IT and engineering teams can afford to choose a solution that requires heavy implementation work. For lenders who don’t have those resources though, you’ll want to choose a solution that can just plug in and work.
Luckily, not all solutions require a heavy lift. Todd Burton, Director of Process Development at Allied Mortgage Group, described his experience as, “It’s not a tremendous burden on your internal resources. You need a project leader and a few people to dedicate maybe five hours a week over a month and a half, including testing and training. But, you don’t need a team of 15 engineers, IT, and 20 closers to get through it.”
How long will it take for us to close 100% of our loans through your technology?
To operate most efficiently, lenders need to be closing all of their loans through a single platform. By having one standardized closing process, you’ll streamline how your team closes loans and works with settlement agents. As a result, you can close up to 40% more loans without having to hire additional staff.
The amount of time it takes to get 100% of a lender’s loans processed through a digital closing platform will vary by lender. However, the vendor should be able to provide you with an average or a range for how long it takes to get to full adoption, based on their current clients. The faster the timeline, the quicker you can realize increased efficiencies.
What kind of results can you guarantee?
Successful digital closing providers will be confident in the results they drive. This can include the percentage of digital closings that are successfully eSigned by borrowers or how long it takes to digitize all your closings. By looking for vendors who can guarantee outcomes and aren’t afraid to commit to them in their contract, you’ll hold them accountable for helping you succeed.
What is your product roadmap for mortgage closings?
Who you choose to purchase from isn’t just a vendor. They’re a long-term partner whose roadmap and vision for the future will impact your business and your ability to keep up with the industry’s digital transformation.
“When we look for vendors, we look for people who are planning for the future and developing in a way that’s gonna work for us and help us grow,” said Sarah Endicott, Operations Manager at Credit Union Home Mortgage Solutions.
Understanding how the vendor plans on continuing to improve mortgage closings will help you choose a partner that can help you achieve your goals. It also provides you with insight into how frequently the company develops new features or products and the amount of resources they’ll be investing in their digital closing product.
More questions to help you find the right eClosing platform
These 10 questions are just some of the many questions you should ask digital closing providers. There are many more questions that will help you uncover important information and choose a solution that enables you to close more loans, reduce your costs, and delight borrowers.
To find the full list of 45 questions to ask technology providers and their customer references, download A Lender’s Guide to Choosing the Right Digital Closing Solution.