One of the biggest time-takers for a mortgage planner is all the paperwork to be dealt with.
It never ends, and all we can hope for is a way to make this tedious process easier.
That’s where Filogix hopes to come in. Filogix, Canada’s leading mortgage technology provider, recently launched a product called Exchange 2.0. The company calls it a “secure, browser-based, collaborative document management and archiving solution.” That’s a mouthful, but from what we’ve seen so far, Exchange 2.0 is the real deal.
With it, a broker can:
Easily send documents to lenders using electronic transfer, email or a built-in fax feature
Quickly access previously submitted documents
Safely store digital copies of ALL paperwork related to a file–including compliance and broker-specific docs. (All documents are stored by deal name and number and held online indefinitely and without size restrictions.)
Leave comments on documents for lenders
Automatically scan incoming documents from clients or 3rd parties (like real estate agents)
Other interesting features:
Lenders are immediately notified when you send them documents (How long they take to look at them is another matter.)
Brokers and lenders can message each other in real-time (with auto-notification of messages)
Not all uploaded documents need to be sent to the lender. The broker can pick what he/she wants to send.
Full audit trails document when items were uploaded and sent to/from lenders
In the future, it would be great to receive notification of when lenders open the documents you send them. Lenders with poor response times might not like it, but brokers would love it. (For the record, Filogix says it’s working hard on improving “real-time deal and status updates.”)
So far, Concentra Financial is the first lender using the system. Other lenders have displayed considerable interest and are expected to go live in “coming months,” says Filogix Marketing Specialist, Kate Bruyea.
On the broker side, Invis was the first to get onboard. Executive Vice President, Gord Dahlen, believes that Exchange “will effectively decrease the time for a deal to go from application to funding."
Filogix was very wise in one key respect. It doesn't require lenders to participate in Exchange 2.0 in order to receive documents from brokers. Brokers can fax or email paperwork to any lender, directly from the system. That means brokers have plenty of reason to sign up even if no lender ever joined the network.
Bruyea says the set-up process is simple. “Lenders and Brokers simply need to sign-up for the service,” she says. We haven’t seen the sign-up process so we can’t comment on it. We do know that individual agents are not able to sign up directly at this point. Subscription must be done at the firm level.
With slick new technology, the biggest hurdle to adoption–besides users’ fear of change–is often cost. No pricing has yet been publicly announced, but Filogix assures it will be “reasonable” and “consistent with other mortgage service providers for subscription services.”
“Exchange 2.0 clients pay for their unique usage of the solution,” says Bruyea. “The lender pays for what the lender uses and the brokerage pays for what the brokerage uses.”
For brokerage houses, “the firm would pay a reasonable monthly fee for every agent, following a low-cost per user model,” she says. If that’s the case, the product could easily pay for itself through higher deal throughput and reduced labour costs.
Indeed, Exchange 2.0 has the potential to be the single biggest catalyst for paperless transactions that the industry has ever had. It all depends on cost and how fast lenders and brokers adopt it. If and when they do, brokers and lenders alike may find it a whole lot easier to keep organized and efficient.