We're thrilled to add Whitney Vogt as a Solution Principal at Snapdocs to further our mission in powering the perfect closing.
Whitney is a fierce advocate for eMortgages and will work closely with our customers to make them successful with Snapdocs. She also advises our product development team in building new products that enable customers to implement, scale, and maximize the value of their digital closing initiatives.
Whitney brings a wealth of mortgage industry experience to this role. Before Snapdocs, she was the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Guaranteed Rate and led the implementation of hybrid and full eClose products nationally across all Guaranteed Rate companies. She also has extensive experience leading programs and initiatives at many regional and national banks.
We sat down with Whitney to discuss the industry's evolution toward digital processes and her advice for lenders to make the transition to digital closings successful.
Snapdocs: With all your experience, why did you decide to join Snapdocs – and why now?
Whitney: There are several reasons coming to Snapdocs was the right fit and the right time. I’ve spent the past several years implementing digital closings, there were a lot of successes and, of course, lots of learnings. I wanted this role for the opportunity to share my knowledge so that others can move quickly to adopt and successfully scale eClose. I’m excited to share my experiences and insights with our clients.
On a personal level, it’s inspiring to be at the forefront of change and working to transform the mortgage industry. I’m excited to take part in the work that will soon make eNotes the standard for originating, trading, and servicing mortgages and digital closings that provide customers with a convenient, secure way to close their loans with confidence.
Snapdocs: Do you remember your initial impression of the concept of digital closing – and what have you learned since?
Whitney: At first, the concept seemed intuitive; definitely a no-brainer. Over the years, I gained an appreciation for the underlying complexities of digital closings and learned the importance of:
- Knowledge: Needing a deep base of expertise that includes understanding investor requirements and state laws/regulations
- Process/Technical Experience: Clearly understanding how different systems interact throughout the closing process
- Stakeholder Expectations: Appreciating all the parties involved in or impacted by a closing and working on solutions in which the process, the experience, and ultimately the end product of a digital closing meet the expectations of all the key players
With these learnings at Guaranteed Rate, we built a successful eClose program that achieved 300K hybrid closings and nearly 10K RONs.
Snapdocs: The number of digital mortgages continues to rise, but hardly at the rate we saw during COVID. (For example, we’re still just under double-digit percentage adoption of eNotes.) How would you describe the industry’s progress toward digital closings?
Whitney: The best word is probably stilted. We’ve experienced great tailwinds, but also headwinds that have slowed progress and overall adoption. For a long time, many were skeptical and uncertain about the viability or benefit of moving to digital closings, especially since mortgage closings have long been viewed as a people-facing, relationship-building activity. Digital closings don’t diminish the customer relationship; instead, they take out the non-value add work so participants can fully focus on the customer.
For the most part, now that awareness and buy-in are there, many organizations are uncertain about how to embark on this transformative journey. That’s why I’m excited to join the Snapdocs team, bringing my lender experience to augment a team that has already succeeded in helping clients drive adoption and quickly realize the financial and operational benefits of digital closings.
Snapdocs: What are the key strategies lenders should adopt to make the transition to eClosings successful?
Whitney: First and foremost, recognize this is more than just a technology initiative. Companies that successfully adopt digital closings use a holistic approach that includes People, Process, and Technology. Lenders have the opportunity to redesign processes and redefine staff roles to eliminate many non-value add activities and foster more efficient operations. The lenders trying to replicate existing processes with technology can take advantage of the opportunity to achieve real gains and efficiencies. As the saying goes, “Don’t pave over the old cow path!”
Snapdocs: What are the barriers lenders often face when adopting digital closing technology, and how do you see the industry moving past them?
Whitney: Even the most proactive lenders continue to encounter hurdles in scaling their digital closings. For example, eNotes can be transacted in all 50 states, supported by both GSEs and Ginnie, yet their funding partners and correspondent investors may be in different places of adoption. The secondary market needs to accelerate adoption to enable lenders to trade with their counterparties and facilitate the best execution. Likewise, with RON, nationwide acceptance is required to offer a secure and virtual closing process for borrowers in all 50 states. Most states have adopted RON laws for their notaries; we just need the last few states to finish efforts to get their notaries online.
Snapdocs: What's one piece of advice you'd offer to a lender who's ready to implement digital closing technology but doesn't know where to start?
Whitney: Look at your talent pool to find a resource who knows your business, is forward-thinking, and is eager to be part of transformative change. Working with the Snapdocs team, we will empower them to become an internal thought leader and advocate for digital closings across your organization. This resource will be more than a project manager; they will be the operational leader committed to long-term success.
To contact Whitney directly, you can email email@example.com. For more information on how Snapdocs can help your business save time and money while improving the borrower experience, get in touch with a member of our team here.