Education and Innovation Go Hand in Hand

Hans Dumayag, Vice President of Digital Strategy at loanDepot, recently spoke with Tom Wilkins of Mortgage Media at California MBA Mortgage Innovators Conference

In addition to attending the conference to see new innovations and connect with potential partners and vendors, Dumayag, who was on a panel, hoped to make sure mortgage professionals are cognizant of their digital strategy and thinking critically about implementation. 

He noted that for his team, which is based in San Diego where the conference was held, it was a chance to “see all the people playing around in your backyard.” He likened it to a bunch of neighbors hanging out, talking shop about mortgage – like a FinTech block party.

Dumayag has been instrumental in assisting with the creation and rollout of hybrid e-closing in all 50 States and has also been intensely focused on the rollout of mello smartloan, which launched in February 2019.

“All the stuff that we’ve built is leveraging data first as core, pushing as early into the origination process, so that we can increase efficiency, improve the consumer experience, and ultimately leverage all this nice technology that we have at our fingertips in our day-to-day process,” he said.

loanDepot’s vision was to build the platform and go deep. 

“It just doesn’t stop at an origination or an online application process,” he said. “What we really do is we fracture the entire mortgage process, and we think critically about how to improve it by leveraging the technology, by leveraging data, and ultimately in the end,help the consumer. We’re really innovating the platforms, so two or three years from now, this whole thing that’s super archaic and tough and painstakingly a tough process, it’s going to be a lot easier for consumers moving forward.”

mello smartloan leverages as much data as possible and transforms the workflow process to take a process that traditionally took 30 to 40 days and cut it down significantly – ultimately saving time and money. 

“We’re leveraging things like a property inspection waiver, which shaves off 12 plus days from your workflow,” he said. “Digital income and assets would shave off five days from a return time. And then counter in the digital title, digital credit, put them all together and we have the ability to almost instantly tell the borrower, hey look, you’re clear to close.”

However, as mortgage pros look to tackle that issue, Dumayag said they often fall into the trap of over-engineering.

“It’s really easy to take a simple process and make it complicated,” he said. “It’s even easier to take a complicated process like mortgage manufacturing and make that complicated. I think the biggest thing is to try to keep things as simple as possible and maintain that laser focus on simplicity, and then continue to iterate as you go along and eventually end up at a perfect process. But yeah, it’s really easy to over complicate things.”

According to Dumayag, maintaining focus on simplicity is a really key  – for the project, the users with the organizations and for consumers. That vision of delivering on simplicity permeates the entire culture of loanDepot.

“When you have leaders who believe in what you’re doing and they support you wholeheartedly, and you have a visionary like Anthony Hsieh, I think that’s what differentiates us from most people and most other lenders, because he believes in this stuff. He thinks about it and we execute it. You can give two companies the exact same tools, but what differentiates you is the people, and I think we’ve got a really great team,” Dumayag said.

Moving forward, the loanDepot team is poised to lead the industry’s paradigm shift of leveraging data, leveraging technology, and keeping the consumer in mind – all while providing significant efficiency gains in the cumbersome mortgage process. He knows that will save the lenders and borrowers time and money. Part of this is accomplished by incorporating AI (artificial intelligence), Blockchain, and machine learning into their platforms.

“All that stuff is needed and is necessary to get to the next era of modern lending. It’s not easy for a lot of people to jump into that. There’s a lot of work, there’s a lot of time, there’s a lot of learning,” he noted.

He also said that education about these technologies is critical to adoption – specifically around blockchain.

“I think it’s coming soon. There’s a lot of practical applications to blockchain, whether it be through title or through application data or through income calculations. And that stuff is coming, and it’s coming up really soon.”

Dumayag, who got married last October and is expecting his first child in January, said he feels extremely lucky to operate in this space. 

“Enterprise innovation for us is why we get up in the morning,” he said. “It’s why I love my job. It’s why I love getting to work for loanDepot and for Tammy Richards and for Anthony Hsieh. By allowing us to innovate, by allowing us to look at those types of things, we basically get to see and change the future of the industry. I tell my team all the time, the way we’re doing business today is not the way we’re going to be doing six months from now. And that rang true six months ago and it’s going to ring true six months from now.”