In the 1970s TV series, “The Six-Million-Dollar Man,” astronaut Steve Austin suffers a near-fatal crash only to be reconstructed into a crime-fighting cyborg with superpowers. “We can rebuild him,” says his superior, Oscar Goldman, at the beginning of each episode. “We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.”
Unfortunately — or perhaps, fortunately — there are no cyborgs in our industry. But we do have CoBots, which are helping lenders and servicers do things much better than before. In fact, the integration of automation with human expertise has the capability to solve an unlimited number of business challenges and add value throughout the mortgage chain.
So, What Are CoBots, Anyway?
CoBots are collaborative robots intended for direct human/robot interaction, which are built on Intelligent Automation tools that have been used in the mortgage industry for some time now. These include Robotics Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligent Document Processing, Machine Learning (ML) and more.
As if out of a science fiction film, CoBots can be used as digital assistants to replace mundane and repetitive tasks and help originators, servicers, title companies and other parties create more intelligent workflows within the mortgage lifecycle. The idea is having humans and machines working together as a team to create more efficient, straight through processing scenarios and increase digital capacities.
For example, after a lender deploys CoBots, roles like loan officers and processors on the front end of the mortgage process remain largely the same. The only difference is that they eliminate the 50 to 60% of the time these people previously spent keying in data or information from the borrower at the point of sale or rekeying data into as many five different systems — all mundane tasks that cost time and money.
With CoBots, the retail loan officer has more time to build stronger relationships with borrowers and real estate agents, improving communications, and driving in more purchase business and borrowers. For loan processors, CoBots play an even wider role by capturing data for one-time entry and leaving less room for errors through better risk management tools. With CoBots, processors can also find red flags earlier in the QA and QC process, thus lowering or eliminating repurchase and reputational risk. The savings from potential losses can be hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more.
This is Not ‘Robots R Us’
Let’s be clear: We are not approaching mortgage companies to sell an off-the-shelf robot. Our role is to advise organizations on the positive impact Intelligent
Automation can have on their business, whether they originate or service loans, trade loans or MSRs in the capital markets, or all of the above.
In other words, CoBots are not meant to replace humans, but to augment their skills for greater efficiencies. Depending on the situation, a COBOT may be unnecessary or the ROI is minimal. However, if CoBots can help, we provide them. Unlike Hal, the all-powerful computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, CoBots only supplement the human element.
As anyone who has been in the mortgage industry for some time knows, the only constant is change. We’ve seen it before and after the 2008 housing meltdown. We saw it last year, when an extended refinance boom pushed up mortgage volume. And we see it today, as a red-hot purchase market has homebuyers fighting for a house as if it were a game of musical chairs.
As we enter a year with greater regulatory scrutiny, more underwriting complexities and different investor guidelines or requirements from non-QM loans, CoBots can assist both originators and servicers in risk management, QA and compliance. In other words, CoBots are not technology just for technology’s sake. They are technology for a better industry and a more satisfied customer.
If you have a BPO provider like Sourcepoint, you now have the opportunity to work with CoBots. Even if you do not need outsourcing help, we are still able to provide you with digital assistants that can help reduce costs and build a faster, stronger, better business. To learn more, just reach out to us at [email] or [phone].
Download our whitepaper An HFS POV – From outsourcing to innovation: partnering to revolutionize mortgage servicing that analyzes how outsourcing can be a gateway to innovation and adoption of emerging technologies in the mortgage servicing business.