Attending the May 2016 Texas Mortgage Bankers Conference sparked an interest in eNotes for Michael Jones, Chief Financial Officer at Thrive Mortgage. While researching, Michael discovered another Texas-based lender that was delivering eNotes to Fannie Mae and realized Thrive Mortgage could too. It only took a few months to get set up; by December 2016, Thrive Mortgage had a program in place to deliver eNotes and closed their first eNote in Austin, TX.
The onboarding process had a few challenges including a reluctance from title companies to do a true eClosing. “At one point in time, we would notify a title company that a loan would be an eClosing, and even if we offered to help walk them through it, they refused to do it.” Jones succeed by developing an education plan and partnering with the title companies to drive acceptance of eClosings. He began reaching out to title companies notifying them of an eClosing and offering to provide training or send mobile notaries to their offices. Half of the title companies said they preferred to have the mobile notaries come to their office, and the other half accepted the training. “In theory, if a title company can conduct an eClosing and cut closing time from 60 minutes to 15 minutes, they can now close 2-4 times the volume using the same staff and the same office.” says Jones.
Jones also credits a deliberate approach to adoption of eNotes among their top producers to their success. He noted that Thrive Mortgage has several Loan Officers (LOs) that really drive the ship when it comes to brand and product awareness. “We have an LO who brands herself as the Mortgage Nerd who is very active on social media. She does an excellent job of educating borrowers, so when she finally adopted eNotes, it gave us an edge because she is so vocal and visual within the community. Also, we have another LO, Patty Newby, who was our true first adopter of the technology and she was an amazing advocate. You must have advocates and trend setters in order to successfully push the boundaries of what’s possible.”
The fact that so few are doing eNotes was a major driving factor for Jones to adopt. Being one of the few companies to offer an eNote process is attractive to both LOs and borrowers. This has assisted greatly in recruiting efforts.
For Thrive Mortgage, the cost and time savings of adopting eNotes came naturally. By going paperless, the company saved money on operational expenses, such as courier and shipping fees.
And with the increased loan accuracy of an eNote, some of Thrive Mortgage’s funders can now fund a loan in a third of the time it takes for a traditional mortgage, enabling them to triple their hourly production. On the post-close and delivery side, not having to print, stack and get a shipping label to go out the door can save about 45 minutes to an hour across all the departments who touch the file. Additionally, greater accuracy upfront saves post-close time by eliminating back and forth with an investor.
These time savings resulted in better use of human capital, which has become more important given the compressed margins many lenders are operating in. At Thrive Mortgage, moving to eNotes has enabled the same number of people to do more loans than ever before in the same 9-5 schedule.
Chief Financial Officer