mortgage applications

Consumers Want Lenders to Process Digital Mortgage Applications Faster

December 14, 2017

Overall satisfaction with lenders declined in 2017, primarily due to what consumers view as the slow processing of online mortgage applications, according to the new 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Survey released by J.D. Power in November. Overall satisfaction declined by 8 points on a 1,000-point scale compared to last year.

The results aren’t that surprising when also considering that the average purchase process also took close to a week longer than it did in 2016. The average length of the process in 2017 was 36 days, based on the study.

“We’re at a critical inflection point in the mortgage industry where new technology and the growing use of digital mortgage application channels has made it possible for the origination process to move more quickly; however, the customer is still the final judge of speed and quality,” said Craig Martin, Director of the Mortgage Practice at J.D. Power in a press release.

“A critical element of satisfaction is setting expectations, and this tends to be a weakness of technology, which is demonstrated by substantially lower satisfaction among customers who do not work with a human to complete their application,” he said.

Other Key Findings of the Study

Here are some other key findings of the study that we found interesting:

  • For the first time ever, both refinance and purchase customers reported that the most frequent method for submitting mortgage applications is online/website. Forty-three percent of mortgage customers applied for mortgages digitally in 2017, as compared to just 28 percent in 2016.
  • Satisfaction among mortgage customers declined this year for both online and in-person applications. It declined by 18 points for online applications, and 10 points for in-person applications just since last year.
  • Mortgage loan representatives play a key role in building customer trust, with overall satisfaction among customers with a high level of trust in their representatives more than 350 points higher than those with low levels of trust.
    • Based on the study, the top three things that drive this kind of trust are: 1) representatives calling back when promised; 2) working with a single representative throughout the loan process; and 3) representatives proactively providing status updates.

More About the Study

The J.D. Power U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Survey is designed to provide lenders with information for improving their mortgage customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy in six key areas: Loan Offerings, Application/Approval Process, Interaction, Closing, Onboarding, and Problem Resolution.

It covers four key market segments: New Home Purchase vs. Refinance, First-Time Homebuyers vs. Repeat Purchase, Various Demographic Segments, and Specialty Programs.

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