Digital Closings: One-On-One With Todd Maki At Snapdocs

As technology improves, mortgage lenders are looking for ways to work more efficiently and the vice president of customer success at Snapdocs says the adoption of digital closings improves bottom lines and consumer satisfaction.

Snapdocs uses patented AI technology and research performed by the California-based company suggests mortgage lenders can save more than $400 per loan by using eClose technology, according to a press release.

Todd Maki recently sat down with editor Kimberley Haas to talk about their product and the role artificial intelligence plays in the process.

Haas: Tell me some of the things that pop up the most often, some of the challenges you face.

Maki: We’re focused on digital closings with the lender side where we focus on digitizing the closing process as well as supporting title and settlement companies on scheduling.

What we hear, especially now in this market, is a major focus on one of the reasons we’re talking, just a major focus on cost savings through digital. “How can I run my company more efficiently? How can I do more with less? How can I improve my borrowing?”

At the same time, as the expectations of the consumers evolve, one of the things that we talk about often is in the same way that in real estate everything is location, location, location, what we found is that in digital closings everything’s about adoption, adoption, adoption.

We’re able to allow our company to support our customers in getting to full adoption of our product across their portfolio, so actually utilizing digital closings across 75, 85, and 95 percent of all of the mortgage transactions that they’re conducting.

That’s really beneficial for lenders. I mean, we know that people can save money through digital closings.

Haas: How do you get people who are unfamiliar with the product to open up to the idea of using you for digital closings as opposed to other products?

Maki: One thing that we’ve seen is significant demand, particularly in the last few years, continuing.

Every lender that we speak to looks forward to continuing to realize the benefits for their consumers, within their business, for their employees, because those create efficiency and a better experience for all.

We decided to focus on digital closings because we see that as one of the single most fragmented and complex points of the transaction that has prevented a lot of digitization historically because it’s not necessarily that the technologies to digitize a mortgage transaction haven’t existed, it’s that there are dozens of different parties that have to interact in any transaction and in order to conduct a digital mortgage closing all of those parties have to agree, coordinate, understand the process, be able to interact with the process environment. It prevented lenders historically from being able to move forward in their digital journey particularly when it comes to digital closing.

Being able to operate across many different parties in the process has allowed us to support our lenders in seeing more success.

Haas: How about consumers? I’m sure that there’s a lot of demand for as many things as possible being as easy as possible.

I mean, you would imagine some people would be very comfortable with things completely remote, but there are still some people that want to do a hybrid closing or more of a traditional closing. What’s the consumer reaction been to the product?

Maki: What we see in the lenders that we work with is a measurable increase in customer satisfaction in the form of a net promoter score when they’re using a digital closing versus when they’re not.

We also see more anecdotal evidence from loan officers and our customers who are interacting directly with consumers who significantly prefer the ease of use of a digital platform, particularly the ability for customers or consumers to preview and review the documentation on their own in advance, and actually sign it electronically without the environment of having someone sitting next to you while you’re reading the document.

The error reduction additionally drives a significant benefit to consumers.

Haas: AI seems to be catching everybody’s attention. I don’t know how it works in your space, so maybe you can tell our readers a little bit about how AI is used with these digital closings so they have a better understanding of what’s happening with the technology that’s available.

Maki: Our product is an AI-powered product that digitized the mortgage process and we continue to invest in how we defragment the industry through the different stakeholders that we connect to, ensuring that we have as connected a closing as possible across lenders.

What it allows us to do is seamlessly interact with and handle all of the different mortgage documents from any different software generation which allows us to truly be technology agnostic as we’re engaging with lenders with their document generation system.

We can ingest those documents automatically, tag them, prepare them for them for consumers – whether they need to be website or digitally signed – and then when we receive those documents back we’re able to run them again through our AI to ensure that they’re completed accurately and fully to help streamline the lenders processes on both the front end and the back end of the mortgage closing and that provides significant efficiency for the lender closing department.

Haas: You mentioned the phrase technology agnostic. What does that mean?

Maki: Part of the fragmentation of the industry is not just that there are so many parties but that every party has their own tech stacks and multiple technologies within the single business. Snapdocs can interact with any of the different providers. Part of this is because we are one of the only companies focused on digital closings.

This is our product. This is what we do. This is where we’re focused, and so we have created the ability to ensure that we can integrate with any of the other technologies that the lender may utilize.

Haas: I can imagine that AI is not only a benefit but also kind of necessary to have that happen, to be able to work with all of those different products, and I correct in assuming that?

Maki: It’s exactly why we started with it five years ago. We saw it as the path that would allow us the most flexibility, the most capability, also the longest innovation horizon because the benefits and capabilities of AI will continue to advance.

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