Nationally, the average “time to close” is staying defiantly around the 46-48 day-range. According to National Mortgage News, the average time to close was 46 days, the shortest time in almost a year. Closing times for refinances are taking about 44 days.
While somewhat shorter closings are a welcome sign, most lenders still agree that closings take too long. An increase in regulations and disclosures only make that deadline more difficult.
While certain things may be out of your control, there are other items you and your lending office can do to help speed up time to close.
- Be organized. For certain people, this is much easier said than done. So instead of offering the usually stead advice, use some tricks that the pros always use to keep on top of organization.
- Use technology to help – Use Top of Mind to take care of marketing touches. Use reminders in Siri to help you remember. There’s a bunch of great software out there designed to keep you organize. Go out and try some of it!
- Sync up regularly with your staff. Do you have a daily “standup” or similar meeting to get organized with your staff? You would be amazed at how much organization can improve with a simple face to face meeting to go over to-dos and strategies.
- Use that piece of paper or note taking software on your phone. It doesn’t matter what the medium is (I personally really like Paper from Dropbox), but use it. One loan officer we spoke to told us about sitting down to her morning coffee every day with a pen and paper in order to create her daily to-do. The time to sit calmly and reflect helped her organize her small and large goals, helping her better serve her clients.
- Create a “standard” calendar and give it to borrowers so that they know what to expect and when. Even if borrowers are seasoned home buyers, they can still forget about the important details in securing their home loan. You can use any number of calendar templates to fill in what will happen on certain days. You can even add a little bit of personality, for example, recommending that every 7 days the borrower “drinks a beer” to relax and forget about the process.
- Spend some time every day reviewing your active loan files. Some lenders like to do this in the morning before all the craziness starts rolling in. And it’s not a bad idea – take a look at your current prospects and active borrowers to see if their needs are being tended to that day. While it may seem like “one more thing” to add to your plate, it can in fact save significant time later by preventing fires that need to be put out.
- Use e-signatures for disclosures. One lender we spoke to said that his average time to sign documents went from 7 days to 1 hour by one simple thing – using e-signatures for his disclosure forms. These days, encountering a borrower without access to a smartphone or laptop would be a rare find. So leverage those great things that borrowers already have in front of them!
This last point is a big reason why Nest Mortgage exists – let’s finally use the great digital assets that are at our fingertips to help lenders and borrowers communicate easily. And close faster!