The Evolving Digital Lending Landscape
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The Evolving Digital Lending Landscape

Justin A. Glass, SVP, Chief Digital Officer, United Wholesale Mortgage
Justin A. Glass, SVP, Chief Digital Officer, United Wholesale Mortgage

Justin A. Glass, SVP, Chief Digital Officer, United Wholesale Mortgage

As SVP and Chief Digital Officer, Justin is responsible for United Wholesale Mortgage's digital innovation and core digital platforms, including web, mobile, CRM, loan transaction systems, as well as future digital innovation. He possesses a one-of-a-kind capacity to combine his intuitive knowledge of the mortgage industry with modern technology. He is always innovating systems to operate more effectively to create a broker experience that is unparalleled in the industry.

As a "Customer First" Digital Marketing and e-commerce Transformation Leader, how do you see growing companies using the power of data, digital marketing, and eCommerce in this evolving space?

Our industry is typically referred to as an aging industry, but I’m witnessing first-hand, how the new generation is shaping the future of the business. Traditionally, the only way to grow was through word-of-mouth referrals and low rates, but with the volatility of the market, utilizing proprietary technologies and providing consumers with a flawless experience is key. We’re constantly looking for different ways to enable the consumer to leverage a platform that efficiently educates them on the process of obtaining a mortgage.

Specifically, we’re seeing an increase in the use of digital tools that haven’t traditionally been used in the past. For example, text message methodologies have become more popular to help nurture clients, in addition to more robust websites that provide them with both an educational and transactional service. 

Every organization needs to be a "one-stop-shop" that can provide end-to-end processes all on one platform—to go through separate application flows and speak to multiple parties. Finding ways to keep clients and their borrowers in theecosystem is what we see as the evolution for our business.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our lives and business, forcing significant changes in the way we work, shop, and interact. How has Digital transformation helped you in such situations? 

The mortgage industry requires innovation. The pandemic actuallyhelped push and drive forward a lot of the new technology that allows consumers to get a loan without having that face-to-face interaction. 

  The shift away from traditional processes needs more than just technological advancements; it also necessitates a mindset shift among industry leaders. 

For example, our clients, independent mortgage brokers, can now process a borrower’s loan application quickly and more efficiently without any paperwork or physical presence. Our technology allows consumers to provide all their information, including validating credit scores and income documentation via our online portal. This streamlines customer interactions under one platform,increasing productivity, improving customer experience and allows clients to close their loans completely online.

What are some of the challenges existing for the companies going on a digital transformation journey?

The most significant obstacle I've observed in our profession is the fear of the unknown. And more specifically, the fear of jumping into the digital age and the costs associated with it.

At United Mortgage Wholesale, we build and provide various tools to our clients so that they can get their feet wet andsee first-hand the positive impacts something such as a digital application system can have on their business.

However, some are weary and need a little more persuasion. The shift away from traditional processes needs more than just technological advancements; it also necessitates a mindset shift among industry leaders.

Any piece of advice there for fellow colleagues or aspiring professionals?

The biggest piece of advice I like to give is you don’t have to do everything at the same time, but you have to start somewhere. Start by determining what your biggest pain points are in a digital transformation, andrank them by importance. Once you’ve done this, you can go through each challenge, individually, and develop solutions.

You don’t have to do everything in one day, but as you start to do little bits and pieces, it’ll eventually add up to the big picture and you’ll find yourself with a full strategy in the digital marketplace.

Adaption is key. If you don't adapt now, your company may become extinct.

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