• • Black Knight’s new pricing and committing API helps investors automate bulk bids and commitments in the correspondent lending process
  • • This advanced API sets a new automation standard for correspondent buyer-seller interactions; it helps both investors and lenders achieve greater pricing accuracy, speed and transaction efficiency while extending daily pipeline marks to lenders
  • • Investors can benefit from greater scalability in correspondent lending operations with the ability to view, price and purchase loans from more sellers, all with greater accuracy and speed, resulting in an overall more efficient loan acquisition process
  • • The API is now integrated with CompassPoint, Black Knight’s risk management and loan sale platform, and the Resitrader loan trading solution, and is also available to other hedge advisors and technology providers
  • • For the first time, lenders can now access daily price indications for rate lock commitments and closed loans in their pipelines from participating investors who previously did not publish daily mandatory price models

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – April 19, 2021 – Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI), a leading provider of integrated software, data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries, recently announced the launch of a new application programming interface (API) to help investors automate bulk transaction pricing and committing in the correspondent lending process. This represents another step forward in the company’s strategy to boost lender efficiencies and workflow automation by providing real-time access to advanced secondary marketing capabilities throughout the mortgage loan process.

The new pricing and committing API is now integrated with CompassPoint, Black Knight’s risk management and loan sale platform, which is used by hundreds of industry professionals to hedge, value and sell more than $1 trillion in mortgage originations annually. It is also available via Resitrader, Black Knight’s online loan trading platform, which connects investors to a large base of sellers through a secure, cloud-based environment. Additionally, other mortgage hedge advisors and technology providers can implement this scalable, loan-level API for the benefit of their own lender customers.

Simplifying the exchange of information between correspondent buyers and sellers engaged in bulk transaction bidding and committing, the API provides an automated mechanism through which data can be shared and loans can be priced. Lenders can also access daily price indications for rate-lock commitments and closed loans in their pipeline.

“Black Knight continues to expand its development of APIs to drive innovation where there are industry opportunities for automation and efficiency,” said Rob Kessel, managing director, Black Knight Secondary Marketing Technologies. “This API marks a new standard for correspondent buyer-seller interactions and processes by automating the exchange of data, which has historically been a very manual process. It also solves the daily price discovery problem so many correspondent sellers face.”

Backed by CompassPoint’s sophisticated pipeline valuation model, the Black Knight API helps investors achieve higher levels of pricing accuracy and margin detail. With the ability to view more bids from more sellers, priced with greater accuracy, investors benefit from a more efficient commitment process and greater scalability. This advanced integration also provides sellers with one of the most efficient commitment workflows available, increasing the ease of doing business with the investor.

“Black Knight remains committed to providing comprehensive solutions that support an end-to-end correspondent lending process,” said Kessel. “Combined with our capabilities in valuation and analytics, pipeline risk management, and hedge advisory solutions and services, this API offers another layer to our secondary marketing ecosystem, which creates more efficiencies for the growing correspondent market.”

About Black Knight

Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) is an award-winning software, data and analytics company that drives innovation in the mortgage lending and servicing and real estate industries, as well as the capital and secondary markets. Businesses leverage our robust, integrated solutions across the entire homeownership life cycle to help retain existing customers, gain new customers, mitigate risk and operate more effectively.

Our clients rely on our proven, comprehensive, scalable products and our unwavering commitment to delivering superior client support to achieve their strategic goals and better serve their customers. For more information on Black Knight, please visit www.blackknightinc.com .

Media Contacts

Michelle Kersch
904.854.5043
michelle.kersch@bkfs.com

Mitch Cohen
704.890.8158
mitch.cohen@bkfs.com​​​

— Dramatic increase in platform adoption leads to early completion of long-term business goal —

Optimal Blue, a leading provider of secondary marketing solutions and data services in the mortgage industry, announced the recent achievement of a significant milestone more than one year earlier than originally anticipated. With the recent signing of Houston Federal Credit Union in mid-July, Optimal Blue crossed the 1,000-client threshold with its Product & Pricing Solution, the industry’s leading solution in the mortgage technology categories often referred to as secondary marketing or PPE automation.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with Houston FCU—our 1,000th PPE client. We look forward to providing them with the innovative capabilities of our secondary marketing platform that so many mortgage lenders leverage to create compelling results,” said Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “Achieving this exclusive industry milestone earlier than we anticipated is a strong testament to the incredible focus, commitment, and drive maintained by each and every Optimal Blue team member.”

Historic low rates, record origination volumes, market volatility, and intense competitive pressures have created a unique set of challenges and opportunities for today’s mortgage lenders, often leading them to search for automation platforms that create sustainable, long-term competitive advantages. As a result, Optimal Blue’s Marketplace Platform—the mortgage industry’s dominant secondary marketing automation platform that houses its Product & Pricing Solution—has experienced a dramatic increase in adoption and set record levels of activity. This year, Optimal Blue and their clients collectively surpassed every transaction metric currently tracked by the company, including:

Total BESTX™ Rate Quotes: Optimal Blue clients completed a total of nearly 280 million rate quotes in the first seven months of 2020, reflecting a 71% increase in activity over the same time period in 2019.

Total Rate Lock Volume: Over $195 billion in rate locks were completed on the Optimal Blue platform in July 2020, the highest level of monthly volume in the company’s history. Additionally, Optimal Blue clients completed more than $1 trillion in rate locks in the first seven months of 2020, more than doubling rate lock volume over the same time period in 2019.

Total Loan Trade Volume: Over $11.5 billion in loan trades were completed on the Optimal Blue platform in July 2020, 20% greater than the next highest month. The company has facilitated more than $57 billion in loan trades in the first seven months of 2020.

“Last year, 35% of all mortgage transactions completed nationwide were locked on the Optimal Blue platform by our impressive network of lender clients,” explained Happ. “We are humbled by the trust and confidence our clients place in Optimal Blue to facilitate those transactions, and we applaud their success and incredible growth.”

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing solutions and actionable data services in the mortgage industry, recently collaborated with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to enable the real-time distribution of Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices™ (OBMMI™) on the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) platform. This addition of timely mortgage data is another step forward in Optimal Blue’s ongoing commitment to make its proprietary rate indices more easily accessible to a broader market segment.

FRED, created and maintained by the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is a free online database consisting of hundreds of thousands of economic data time series from scores of national, international, public, and private sources. The inclusion of granular and accurate indices that depict the daily movement of mortgage rates provides lenders, investors, researchers, and economists with an unprecedented level of daily insight into observed transaction activity, as well as greater visibility into key drivers of mortgage pricing. Together, Optimal Blue and FRED now provide a new and unique access point to this valuable data.

“As the only transaction-based set of mortgage rates available to the industry and beyond, OBMMI establishes transparency beyond what is offered by lenders to what is actually being locked by consumers across 35% of all mortgage transactions nationwide,” explained Rick Allen, Vice President of Business Transformation at Optimal Blue. “Our new collaboration with FRED enables Optimal Blue to deliver this near real-time visibility to even more recipients that are thoroughly invested in this data.”

OBMMI was created by Optimal Blue to provide mortgage and finance professionals and market participants alike with greater visibility into how key credit factors impact mortgage pricing. Based on actual locked rates, each of the sixteen mortgage rate indices are developed around the most popular mortgage loan products and the primary credit-related attributes that impact mortgage pricing. OBMMI can be compared through compelling, interactive, and configurable visualizations to provide an unprecedented level of daily insight into mortgage rate trends.

“Our signature economic database known as FRED provides our users around the globe with the economic data they need—anytime, anywhere they need it,” said Maria A. Arias, FRED Data Engineer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Allen concluded, “We believe the addition of OBMMI as an economic data series on FRED will assist thousands of users to better understand mortgage rate movements and important dynamics across the evolving mortgage landscape.”

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PRESS CONTACT FOR THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ST. LOUIS
Laura Taylor
(314) 313-4613
laura.taylor@stls.frb.org

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

SimpleNexus, developer of the leading digital mortgage platform for loan officers, borrowers and real estate agents, today announced significant enhancements to its integration with Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing solutions and data services in the mortgage industry. The combined solution is the industry’s first to enable loan originators to lock loan pricing from a mobile device.

Now, mutual customers of SimpleNexus and Optimal Blue can run pricing scenarios and request rate locks directly from the SimpleNexus mobile or web application. Two-way data integration between SimpleNexus, Optimal Blue and the lender’s loan origination system streamlines the lock request process to minimize manual data entry, advancing loan originators straight to the results page whenever possible.

“Loan pricing can change throughout the day with little advance warning, especially in today’s turbulent market,” said SimpleNexus COO Ben Miller. “The ability to rapidly lock a loan from a mobile device puts loan originators at a tremendous advantage, enabling them to more effectively manage high volume and close more deals.”

Optimal Blue has seen record-setting system volume every month since February 2020, with clients using its enterprise product eligibility and pricing engine to lock well over $1 trillion in mortgage volume in the last 12 months alone.

“To handle today’s unprecedented level of activity, lenders need to leverage integrations that create efficiencies and make rate locking processes more scalable and effective” explained Optimal Blue Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Alliances Bob Brandt. “Optimal Blue’s integration with SimpleNexus puts accurate mortgage rates at the fingertips of borrowers and loan officers — no matter what device they’re using.”

For more information, visit https://simplenexus.com/sn/partners/optimal-blue/.

ABOUT SimpleNexus, LLC

SimpleNexus is the digital mortgage platform that enables lenders to originate and process loans from anywhere. The company’s best-in-class, easy-to-use app connects loan officers to their borrowers and real estate agents to easily communicate and exchange data in a single location throughout the entire loan life cycle. Loan officers can manage their loan pipelines, order credit, run pricing, send pre-approvals and sign disclosures — all on the go.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR SimpleNexus
Leslie Colley
DepthPR
(404) 390-3830
Leslie@DepthPR.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Real-time data provides insights into competitive position, market trends, and risk mitigation strategies during uncertain times —

The transition from 2019 into 2020 proved to be more difficult for mortgage lenders than in past years. In the switch of a year and the blink of an eye, the world changed dramatically.

The first quarter of 2020 ushered in a sea of change, including a worldwide pandemic, national and state stay-at-home orders, significant economic challenges, business shutdowns, record unemployment, and more.

Yet, despite it all and fueled by a lengthy period of historically low rates, today’s lenders generated a record number of mortgage rate locks in the first quarter — production levels rarely experienced in our industry.

As the federal government continued to provide stimulus and assistance to consumers, businesses and the economy as a whole, the challenging market volatility experienced in Q1 of 2020 did not subside in the second quarter. Nor did the heavy mortgage volumes.

Mortgage investors and servicers changed pricing, product eligibility requirements and underwriting standards at a record clip, further multiplying the complexities facing mortgage lenders. Now, as many states begin to open back up and start their economic engines, opportunities and challenges are once again shifting.

No matter what comes next, successful mortgage lenders have learned that maximum market transparency is the key to anticipating and understanding rapidly changing conditions.

Real-time data and comprehensive analytics are at the heart of market transparency, providing highly sought-after insights into competitive position, market trends and risk mitigation strategies amid these uncertain times.

Although Optimal Blue did not initially develop its actionable data and analytics products with a global pandemic in mind, they serve as a perfect fit for what lenders need in this volatile and dynamic environment.

The largest single source of rate lock data, Optimal Blue provides the mortgage industry with information on pricing and key transaction variables 60 to 90 days before closing data is available.

Updated daily, Optimal Blue’s rate lock data is deep and comprehensive, including a robust set of transactional data elements such as loan product, property type, LTV, FICO, geographical location, borrower demographics and more.

Representing over one-third of all mortgage loans completed within the industry every year, Optimal Blue’s platform locks more than $1 trillion of mortgage loans annually.

Optimal Blue’s actionable data and analytics products provide clients and partners with highly granular, early insights across the entire mortgage market. Delivered in raw data form and through a visually compelling analytics tool, Optimal Blue has drawn particularly strong interest from a diverse array of companies, including mortgage lenders, mortgage investors, investment firms and industry regulators.

In addition, attention has grown across public policy think tanks that study the mortgage industry, such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), as well as risk analytics and consulting firms for residential loans and MBS, and mortgage insurance providers like Genworth. Optimal Blue’s data and analytics enable users within those companies to:

1. Benchmark against the competition.

In today’s highly competitive industry, lenders need to not only understand their position relative to their competition but also have access to the tools that provide visibility into those specifics. Optimal Blue’s data and analytics products provide that sought-after transparency.

Lenders that use Optimal Blue’s Product & Pricing Solution can leverage Optimal Blue’s Competitive Analytics to more effectively analyze the competition, understand overall market composition, create competitive comparisons in real time and effectively evaluate how their margins measure up — both as a whole and at the more detailed, MSA level. This can help inform smarter lending strategies and decisions moving forward.

“Lenders that utilize Competitive Analytics are far better equipped to make agile decisions and take appropriate action, particularly in times of market uncertainty and fluctuation,” said Rick Allen, vice president of Business Transformation at Optimal Blue. “Their ability to remain nimble is in large part due to their use of a real-time, transactional data set as opposed to surveyed or aged data.”

For lenders that are not using Optimal Blue’s Product & Pricing Solution, Optimal Blue’s Market Analytics product enables any lender to benchmark their production against the broader market in a variety of different ways, including loan types, rate and price, FICO, LTV and more.

2. Focus marketing efforts.

When analytics are broken down at the geographical level, lenders gain visibility into new opportunities, have the power to better refine their outreach efforts and make more effective use of marketing dollars.

Optimal Blue’s Competitive Analytics product analyzes transactional mortgage data on over 350 MSAs across the country, offering visibility into local loan volume, pricing and other trends. Each granular filter enables the lender to hone into specific loan programs and assess trends across various timeframes, and due to the diversity and extensive reach of Optimal Blue’s network, data is available on a wide range of scenarios.

Lenders can then leverage this data to identify high-potential markets and better allocate financial and human resources. It can also cut down on wasted ad spend.

3. Understand borrower segments.

Borrowers can vary widely from one market to the next, in profile and in behavior. Actionable analytics can help lenders better grasp these market-level nuances, offering insights into borrower credit scores, LTV, DTI, loan amounts, property types and more. Further, they can even spot trends related to loan use which can inform better investment, hedging and resource allocation decisions.

AEI Housing Center produces a weekly research product focused specifically on the mortgage industry, called the “AEI Housing Market Nowcast” (formerly the Flash HMI Report). Released every Monday, the Housing Market Nowcast provides much-needed and timely insights on the single-family residential housing market convulsing from the effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Using newly acquired data from Optimal Blue, the AEI Housing Center is now able to provide near-real-time market indicators on purchase loan rate lock volume, home price, credit, and cash out refinance trends,” said Ed Pinto, resident fellow and director of the AEI Housing Center.

“After extensive historical analysis of Optimal Blue data going back seven years, we have concluded that this rate lock data tracks closely with that which is reported in our National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI), covering 99% of the agency market. As a result, today’s Housing Market Nowcast will provide an advanced look at tomorrow’s housing market as today’s rate locks will become next month’s home purchases and mortgages.”

4. Predict and leverage industry-wide trends.

Optimal Blue’s Market Analytics product enables users to better understand ongoing market tendencies, including trends in refinancing, specific loan products, home price trends and mortgage volume as a whole.

Because of its frequency, depth and overall position in the mortgage process, Market Analytics users gain an early indication of closing volume months before it occurs. Confidently understanding the mix of business that the industry will close in future months can be an immense benefit to lenders and other firms, such as mortgage insurance companies, that provide valuable services to the mortgage industry.

“In order to remain a committed, long-term provider of relevant products and services to the mortgage industry, it is imperative that Genworth closely monitors the trends, hotspots, and overall mix of business within industry,” said Kevin McMahon, senior vice president of Customer Solutions at Genworth. “Because Optimal Blue’s data and analytics products leverage actual mortgage rate lock data, our company has early and very detailed insight into industry closing activity, months before it occurs.”

5. Fine-tune MBS and MSR analytics to effectively mitigate risk.

With access to loan-level pricing, rate and loan data that covers over one-third of the market, lenders can improve predictive modeling efforts and reduce risk. Various studies using Optimal Blue’s Mortgage Market Indices (“OBMMI”) or custom indices derived from Optimal Blue’s Market Analytics product have shown the increased precision of using a more granular and accurate primary rate input, which can significantly improve prepayment modeling and estimates of refinance propensity.

The depth and granularity of Optimal Blue’s data may also help lenders and risk analytics and consulting firms for residential loans and MBS, like Andrew Davidson & Co., Inc. (AD&Co.), produce more vigorous prepayment forecasts in the future. Because the data is based on actual rates locked by consumers and fully reflects all risk-based pricing adjustments, it is proven to be more precise than the static risk-based spreads that many firms use for MBS and MSR analytics. A more accurate primary rate input results in a better prepayment prediction, which helps drive improved buy/sell and pricing decisions.

“Accurate and timely market data should be a part of every modeler’s toolkit,” explained Sanj Chatterjee, director of Modeling for Andrew Davidson & Co. “Optimal Blue’s rate lock data helps us monitor the evolution of rates on a continuous basis, especially for FHA, VA and jumbo prime loans.”

Making the case for data & analytics

Data and analytics that enable participants to benchmark against the competition and understand the impact of trends as early as possible are status quo in most every industry. While this level of granular business intelligence has always been important, conditions are now changing at such a pace that it would be incredibly difficult for any lender to keep up without it.

Being able to make informed decisions amid rapidly changing conditions, and doing so in near real time, leads to more effective and more profitable results — making actionable data and analytics a critical ingredient of success over the long haul.

“Operating in today’s volatile mortgage market without the right data is like taking a road trip without your GPS,” Allen concluded. “You might find your way with a lot of trial and error, but it won’t be the best or most economical path forward by any means.”

This piece was originally featured on HousingWire.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Offering the industry sophisticated insights into trends, volumes, and mix of business —

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing solutions and data services in the mortgage industry, recently announced the release of their Market Analytics solution. At a time when the mortgage industry is experiencing unprecedented origination volumes and dramatic rate volatility, Optimal Blue’s Market Analytics provides the industry extreme market visibility by leveraging the most comprehensive database of primary mortgage market data available today.

“Optimal Blue sits atop a sea of unique mortgage data that may be used, in real-time, to understand changes in key measures such as rate spreads, loan volume, and home prices,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “Optimal Blue is focused on helping our clients and the industry leverage this information to create greater market visibility and facilitate better decision making.”

Market Analytics leverages Optimal Blue’s mortgage rate lock data collected from one-third of all mortgages completed each year in the United States. Produced daily, Market Analytics provides a comprehensive array of transaction-specific data points that support several practical use cases, including:

  • BENCHMARKING, VALUATION & PERFORMANCE TOOLS
    With access to the largest source of rate lock data nationwide, users can confidently analyze primary mortgage market rate trends that drive the performance of secondary market assets. Optimal Blue’s unique data can be used to build and tune portfolio models, including prepayment and valuation modeling for MBS and MSR portfolios.

  • MARKET RESEARCH
    Users can effectively focus resources by gaining early insight into market activity that can help identify attractive geographies and demographics to offer products, direct marketing, or allocate capital. Optimal Blue’s market data can be analyzed at a very granular level, including by city, MSA, county, state, business channel, or institution type.

  • PROPRIETARY FORECASTING
    Closely associated with the application date, the data serves as a leading indicator to the housing and mortgage lending markets. Users can leverage this powerful capability to accurately predict macroeconomic housing and mortgage metrics in advance of their release. This includes, but is not limited to, existing homes sales forecasts, home price trends and indices, industry refinance trends, and mortgage rate and volume trends.

Powered by Microsoft® PowerBI®, Market Analytics is preconfigured with several intuitive visualizations that help the user quickly identify the data points important to them. The raw data behind Market Analytics is also available to the user via Optimal Blue’s Market Data License. With Market Data License, users can seamlessly connect directly to their internal data warehouse, support custom analytics, and uniquely integrate Optimal Blue’s raw data with in-house visualization solutions.

Market Analytics and Market Data License join Optimal Blue’s already established suite of actionable Data & Analytics products including Optimal Blue’s Competitive Analytics, Enterprise Analytics, Enterprise Data License, and the Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices™ (OBMMI™).

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

– Week of March 30–April 3, 2020 –

A valuable report was recently introduced by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), titled AEI Flash Housing Market Indicators. Using actionable data acquired from Optimal Blue, the AEI Housing Center is now able to provide near real-time Flash Housing Market Indicators (Flash HMI) on purchase loan rate lock volume, home price, credit, and cash-out refinance trends.

Released each Monday, the Flash HMIs will provide much-needed and timely insights on the single-family residential housing market convulsing from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). While Optimal Blue data is used, AEI’s Edward Pinto and Tobias Peter are solely responsible for the analysis contained therein.

ABOUT AEI
AEI is a public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world. The work of our scholars and staff advances ideas rooted in our belief in democracy, free enterprise, American strength and global leadership, solidarity with those at the periphery of our society, and a pluralistic, entrepreneurial culture.

Click here to view the Flash HMI.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, announced today an integration with Own Up. By integrating their home financing platform with Optimal Blue’s advanced product eligibility and pricing APIs, Own Up is now able to seamlessly return all possible mortgage options across multiple lender partners, thereby optimizing the home shopping experience for borrowers.

This unique partnership allows Own Up to leverage data for the purpose of helping borrowers secure mortgage financing options from a network of lenders that specifically match to their qualifications. This new approach to shopping for and securing a mortgage enables today’s consumer to not only find the mortgage they deserve on their own terms, but also empowers lenders to connect with targeted borrowers in a cost-effective manner.

“The real estate industry is experiencing a massive technological change,” explained Mike Tassone, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Own Up. “This makes partnerships like the one we have built with Optimal Blue incredibly important. Our integration provides Own Up customers with access to more data and enhances our connectivity with lenders so that we can create a modern mortgage experience for consumers, simplifying their lives and resulting in better financial outcomes.”

In addition to effectively engaging and prequalifying prospective borrowers, the seamless integration allows Own Up to better serve mortgage lenders in their pursuit to originate more loans and improve profitability.

“Optimal Blue is excited to partner with Own Up, and together, create a seamless solution for more borrowers to connect with more lenders,” said Chazz Huston, Strategic Alliances Manager at Optimal Blue. “Pairing their service with our highly accurate product eligibility and pricing is just another step forward in satisfying the growing digital demand across the industry.”

ABOUT OWN UP
Own Up is a technology company that is changing the way consumers shop for and secure a mortgage by empowering consumers with customized data, personalized advice, and unprecedented access to mortgage lenders. Own Up has created a modern home financing experience for borrowers that leads to better financial outcomes and reduces anxiety, while also increasing loan volume and profitability for our lender partners. For more information, visit www.ownup.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR OWN UP
Mike Tassone
Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer
(857) 600-1420
mike@ownup.com

Optimal Blue recently co-authored an article with Andrew Davidson & Co., Inc. (AD&Co), a leading provider of risk analytics and consulting for residential lending and MBS, titled Market Volatility and the Anatomy of Mortgage Rates. This timely article examines mortgage market pricing dynamics and how they have been impacted by the recent extreme market volatility spurred by the global impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019).

These are unprecedented times for all of us in many ways, and the mortgage industry is no exception – record low rates, record high volume, overflowing pipelines, and the challenges of processing and closing a loan under tight restrictions on social interactions. Things are moving extremely fast! So fast, in fact, that the recent Fed announcement that the Fed Funds rate was reduced to near zero and would re-institute Quantitative Easing occurred after we finalized this article. Regardless, while the primary rate to 10-year treasury rate spread has tightened as a result of the Fed actions, the concepts still apply and the spread remains historically high.

In this article, Optimal Blue’s actionable data and insights on current origination activity was combined with the AD&Co secondary market and risk expertise, to explore the recent behavior and dynamics of primary market mortgage rates and their determining factors.

Click here to read the full article.

ABOUT ANDREW DAVIDSON & CO., INC.
Andrew Davidson & Co., Inc. (AD&Co) was founded in 1992 by Andy Davidson, an international leader in the development of financial research and analytics, mortgage-backed securities product development, valuation and hedging, housing policy and GSE reform and credit-risk transfer transactions. Since its inception, the company has provided institutional fixed-income investors and risk managers with high quality models, applications, consulting services, research and thought leadership, aimed at yielding advanced, quantitative solutions to asset management issues. AD&Co’s clients include some of the world’s largest and most successful financial institutions and investment managers. For more information, visit www.ad-co.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

Ellie Mae®, the leading cloud-based loan origination platform for the mortgage industry, announced today the expansion of the strategic partnership with Optimal Blue®, the leading secondary marketing automation platform in the mortgage industry. The expansion includes the collaboration on multiple next-generation, API-based integrations between the Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform and the Optimal Blue’s Marketplace Platform™ – specifically the company’s flagship Product & Pricing, Hedge Analytics, and Loan Trading solutions. Additionally, Optimal Blue’s Hedge Analytics and Loan Trading solutions now join Optimal Blue’s Product & Pricing as recommended solutions in the Ellie Mae Marketplace™.

Focused on creating a seamless, end-to-end workflow between lenders and investors, Ellie Mae and Optimal Blue are underway with new initiatives to rethink how to best leverage Ellie Mae’s Digital Lending Platform and Optimal Blue’s industry-leading pricing, hedging, and loan trading capabilities to benefit both sellers and Investors. Their collective efforts will create new and further enhance existing integrations between Optimal Blue and Encompass Consumer Connect®, Encompass LO Connect®, Encompass TPO Connect®, and Encompass Investor Connect® solutions that will enable a completely automated data and document exchange between their lender and investor clients. The companies plan to collaborate on these new integrations and efficient workflow improvements throughout 2020.

“Ellie Mae is thrilled about the expansion of our partnership with Optimal Blue,” said Parvesh Sahi, senior vice president, business development for Ellie Mae. “Ellie Mae is committed to enabling further innovation on the Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform with industry-leading partners like Optimal Blue. This investment to deepen our partnership enables both originators and the purchasers of mortgage loans originated on Encompass to benefit from Optimal Blue’s broad secondary marketing capabilities.”

“Optimal Blue is proud of the work we have done over the past several years to strengthen our Ellie Mae partnership,” explained Scott Happ, President & Chief Executive Officer of Optimal Blue. “Increasing the joint value proposition to our mutual clients by building deeper and more meaningful pricing, hedging, and trading integrations between our platforms to create more efficient workflows is very exciting news for Optimal Blue, Ellie Mae, and our clients.”

ABOUT ELLIE MAE
Ellie Mae is the leading cloud-based loan origination platform provider for the mortgage industry. Ellie Mae’s technology solutions enable lenders to originate more loans, reduce origination costs, and shorten the time to close, all while ensuring the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency. EllieMae.com or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR ELLIE MAE
Erica Bigley
Ellie Mae, Inc.
(925) 227-5913
Erica.Bigley@elliemae.com

Caitlin Coffee
Allison+Partners
(312) 635-8204
EllieMae@allisonpr.com

© 2020 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, Mavent®, Velocify®, the Ellie Mae logo and other trademarks or service marks of Ellie Mae, Inc. appearing herein are the property of Ellie Mae, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Other company and product names may be trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.

— Roostify expands existing partnership to incorporate industry-leading product and pricing solution into platform —

Roostify, the nation’s most trusted digital lending platform, today announced an expanded relationship with Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation to the mortgage industry. The enhanced functionality obtained through this collaborative partnership will enable Roostify to further automate the digital lending experience for their clients by embedding Optimal Blue’s comprehensive pricing capabilities directly into their platform. Roostify has leveraged Optimal Blue’s product eligibility and pricing (PPE) technology to support lead generation efforts since 2016. Now, the enhanced integration enables their digital lending platform to deliver Optimal Blue’s robust, accurate pricing options directly to loan officers and borrowers, without ever leaving the Roostify environment.

The enhanced integration enables loan officers to access product and pricing information, and seamlessly share this data with borrowers at any time, from anywhere, through a fully mobile-optimized solution. The ability to access this data at the immediate point of need equips users with added flexibility and ultimately increases loan officer productivity and borrower engagement.

“Optimal Blue is committed to working with technology-forward partners that truly understand the incredible value of delivering accurate product and pricing to all relevant access points within the loan lifecycle,” explained Bob Brandt, vice president of marketing and strategic alliances at Optimal Blue. “We are pleased to expand our relationship with Roostify as they leverage our robust APIs to improve the digital mortgage experience for lenders and their clients.”

“Our partnership with Optimal Blue has been a significant value add for several years, starting with lead generation,” said Rajesh Bhat, co-founder and chief executive officer of Roostify. “With the enhanced integration of their PPE technology into our platform, we now have real-time borrower approval that elevates the customer experience and is best in class.”

ABOUT ROOSTIFY
Founded by consumers looking for a better way to buy a home, Roostify leads the industry in delivering accelerated and transparent digital lending experiences, processing nearly $20 billion a month in loans. From enterprise banks to independent mortgage lenders, lenders across the United States rely on Roostify to speed up closings, reduce risk and unnecessary work, and improve their customers’ lending experience. The company’s highly secure, future-proof lending platform is trusted by some of the world’s largest lenders. For more information, please visit www.roostify.com or follow them on social media at LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/roostify) or Twitter (@Roostify).

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR ROOSTIFY
Alyson Austin
Gaffney Austin, LLC
(949) 403-0484
alyson@gaffneyaustin.com

— Unrivaled capability enables lenders to compare quotes from every MI provider within a single view —

Optimal Blue, leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, announced today the launch of BESTX™ MI, a service that provides risk-based premium comparisons of all six Mortgage Insurance (MI) companies in a single, side-by-side view. This highly anticipated service builds on the already heavily utilized MI quoting capability currently embedded in the company’s industry-leading Product & Pricing Solution.

Within the last year, the industry has experienced a shift in how MI premiums are calculated and quoted to consumers. As a result, MI providers now leverage borrower attributes and scenario-specific loan criteria to calculate risk-based MI premiums. Heavily motivated by their clients’ continuous focus to deliver the best possible pricing to consumers seeking home loans that require mortgage insurance, Optimal Blue worked tirelessly to develop a unique and modern MI quoting experience that enables users to easily and quickly calculate, quote, and compare MI premiums across providers.

Product Specialist at Guaranteed Rate, Julie Konrad, was an early adopter of Optimal Blue’s latest innovation. Konrad explained, “Optimal Blue’s BESTX™ MI has made a positive impact to both our loan officers and borrowers by saving time and providing the best option – within seconds.”

Immediately available to clients at no additional cost and requiring minimal setup, Optimal Blue’s BESTX™ MI service is completely configurable to support the user’s existing MI relationships. With one click, clients can generate accurately calculated premiums from a single MI provider or compare them across their complete set of configured MI providers. Optimal Blue sorts the provider’s results from the lowest premium to the highest and highlights the best available result for each financing scenario. Further, Optimal Blue’s BESTX™ MI service enables lenders to choose from and configure available MI premium types, including monthly, split, single premium, and lender paid.

For more than a decade, Optimal Blue has been a loyal advocate and proud partner of the MI industry. As the mortgage industry has evolved, they’ve worked together to support the changing preferences and needs of mutual clients. Optimal Blue’s BESTX™ MI service is a great example of that collaboration. Optimal Blue worked with each of the six MI firms to develop an efficient, one-click workflow for loan officers to quote pricing and structure loans. In doing so, together, they have helped their common lender clients further combat competitive pressures, higher costs, and tighter margins.

“Optimal Blue remains focused on delivering the highest level of price transparency in the mortgage industry,” said Sue Baker, Vice President of Product and Client Services at Optimal Blue. “The BESTX™ MI service is yet another Optimal Blue innovation that makes it extremely easy to discover the most affordable, best-fit financing options for today’s consumer – all with a single click.”

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Allows U.S. home buyers to identify best mortgage rates available —

YourHome1Source.com, the Anything and Everything Home® portal expands again – now teaming with Optimal Blue to provide homebuyers with the most timely and accurate U.S. mortgage rate and trend data available today.

“For more than 15 years, Optimal Blue has been focused on providing accurate mortgage rate data to consumers and lenders,” said Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing & Alliances with Optimal Blue. “We are proud that the Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices™ (OBMMI)™ are now an integral part of the robust mortgage and homebuyer resource content available on YourHome1Source.”

“It is a great privilege to congratulate our team at YourHome1Source on this exciting new partnership, which validates our strategic plan to become a leader in this category and space. Sean Stockell continues to impress the home and finance sectors with his knowledge and understanding of what people truly need, and how to fulfill those needs in the easiest way. As the content on our site continues to grow, it is exciting to bring experts in every area of home to this platform,” said Kathy Ireland, Executive Editor of YourHome1Source.

“We are honored to partner with Optimal Blue. Their unique data provides our visitors with unparalleled information on current mortgage rates and indices,” stated Robert Burgess, Chief Marketing Officer with YourHome1Source. “Our goal is to continue growing as the go-to resource for home buyers and homeowners by providing trusted information, allowing them to make smart home-related decisions. Our relationship with Optimal Blue provides practical and valuable information, empowering homeowners to identify the best home financing terms available throughout the U.S.”

ABOUT YOURHOME1SOURCE®
YourHome1Source® is America’s Resource on Homeownership®, a leading online resource for home buyers and homeowners covering many home-related topics including home buying, building, remodeling, furnishing & décor, home loans, insurance, inspections, security, smart-home and more. Visitors find tips, emerging product announcements, savings opportunities and home project solutions. YourHome1Source® hosts short videos on more than 30 home categories. Other resources include home plan and resource books, home valuation tool, home budget worksheet, mortgage calculator, photo galleries, checklists on home loans, buying, selling, building and access to free credit reports, credit scores and ways to protect personal identity and financial information.

ABOUT KATHY IRELAND® WORLDWIDE (kiWW®)
kiWW® is listed at #26 in the world by License Global Magazine. Kathy Ireland is one of the most influential businesswomen in the world today and according to Fairchild Publications, Kathy is one of the 50 most influential people in fashion. Furniture Today also names Kathy one of the most influential leaders in the furniture industry. Kathy has graced the cover of Forbes Magazine twice (2012, 2016) and was featured on the cover of SUCCESS magazine in August 2019. kiWW® is the recipient of many awards including several Good Housekeeping Seals.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR YOURHOME1SOURCE®
Sean Stockell
Your Home Digital, LLC
(813) 240-7881

— Advanced integration delivers compliant, real-time mortgage comparisons —

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, announced today the integration of MBS Highway’s mortgage market data and analytics platform. Through direct integration with Optimal Blue’s full suite of product eligibility and pricing APIs, MBS Highway’s advisor platform now seamlessly enables real-time, compliant, and personalized scenario comparison pricing, initiating an insightful and high-conversion mortgage loan process.

By integrating with Optimal Blue’s modernized APIs, MBS Highway advisors can simultaneously present product eligibility and variable rate comparisons for all loan programs – without ever having to leave the MBS Highway platform. Increasing the availability of program options creates a unique one-stop-shopping experience that positions MBS Highway as a transparent resource, leading to more referrals and higher application conversion rates.

“In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s very important to convert as many potential clients into an application as possible,” explained Avi Habib, Chief Operating Officer at MBS Highway. “Our clients will be able to pull in the most accurate pricing data directly from Optimal Blue, providing consumers all the possibilities of homeownership.”

“Optimal Blue’s partnership with MBS Highway gives mutual clients a competitive advantage under any market conditions,” said Chazz Huston, Strategic Alliances Manager at Optimal Blue. “The ability to quickly provide all possible and circumstantial rates is necessary to moving the application process forward.”

ABOUT MBS HIGHWAY
MBS Highway is a communication tool that will help you improve your batting average and turn more conversations into applications. There are various tools within MBS Highway that will help you show your customers and referral partners that you are a true advisor and an expert in the mortgage industry. In today’s constantly changing mortgage environment, it’s crucial that you stay ahead of these changes and your competition, so you stop losing out on loans! You’ll have the ability to generate Real Estate reports for every county in the US, with historical and forecasted rates of appreciation, so you can show your client the financial opportunity that exists in purchasing a home. Show your borrower easily and clearly which loan option is truly the best for them based on their specific situation. Become your Realtor’s go-to referral source by being able to show their customers the missed financial opportunity by delaying their purchase. Be a debt manager for past clients by showing them how you will be able to restructure their debt to reduce overall monthly payments and drive refinance business. Create short, engaging content for social media to drive referral business and keep you top of mind with customers as a trusted expert in the mortgage world.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR MBS HIGHWAY
Avi Habib
COO
(732) 526-7900
avi@mbshighway.com

— Competitive Analytics provides sophisticated industry benchmarking capabilities —

Optimal Blue’s position as the largest provider of secondary marketing automation gives it unique visibility into $750 billion of loan transactions across its Mortgage Marketplace Platform.

The company is using that data to create business intelligence solutions that provide benchmarking at an unprecedented scale.

Optimal Blue started with Enterprise Analytics, released two years ago to shed light on lenders’ margins and profitability through dynamic visualizations of their internal locks and change requests.

This summer, the company launched another powerful BI tool: Competitive Analytics.

This game-changing innovation enables Optimal Blue clients to gauge performance through granular illustrations of their market position, compare margins and profitability and assess the effectiveness of current pricing strategies.

Competitive Analytics provides three types of sophisticated industry benchmarking capabilities, including:

Volume benchmarking: Allows the user to compare their loan production to the overall market and chart volume trends across specific time periods – by week, month, or year. In addition, volume benchmarking provides a trended production percentile market rank by business channel, institution type, state, MSA, loan type and other parameters, as well as the ability to compare the percentage of their locks that observed change requests or lock extensions to the overall market.

Lending profile benchmarking: Enables clients to compare characteristics of their loan production by charting loan level parameters such as FICO, LTV, loan amount, property type, occupancy, loan type and loan purpose against the overall market.

Pricing strategies benchmarking: Provides a market comparison for a variety of secondary marketing metrics that impact profitability. Clients can compare margins, concessions, price and note rate to the market, and filter by business channel, institution type, state, MSA and more.

Future offerings will measure market share by origination volume, providing unrivaled transparency into the mortgage market through widgets available to lenders and other interested parties, like MI companies or investors, through a subscription.

Competitive Analytics is updated with new transactional data daily, which is a sharp contrast to historical HMDA data or survey data that lenders had to depend on in the past.

“Lenders are hungry for this kind of information because it puts the power in their hands,” said Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “Our clients are really delighted with their sudden ability to have full visibility into what’s happening elsewhere in the market and with their peers.”

This piece was originally featured on HousingWire.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— With Optimal Blue’s Competitive Analytics, lenders get anonymized transactional data that’s updated daily —

In any industry, it’s hard to win if you don’t know what your competition is doing. Traditionally, lenders have relied upon just a few very limited options to do so, such as often flawed survey data based on a very small market sampling, latent servicing data illustrating what business looked like six or more months ago, or an annual HMDA ranking. Suffice to say, none of these resources enabled them to effectively compare the current state of their business to those they compete with.

Optimal Blue has upended those concerns with a powerful new business intelligence offering called Competitive Analytics. This solution touts daily updates of comprehensive transactional data and features insightful visualizations that can be configured through a variety of highly granular filters.

Competitive Analytics is powered by data from actual mortgage transactions across the country and is updated every night, providing the most accurate, granular, and timely view of mortgage transactions available in the industry.

Further, the solution enables lenders to benchmark their results against the overall market in the areas that matter most, resulting in far more informed corporate decision-making and highly targeted lending strategies.

“Competitive Analytics is the only product available to lenders that provides such an extraordinary level of market transparency and sophisticated business intelligence,” said Optimal Blue CEO, Scott Happ. “Our clients are incredibly excited about their ability to benchmark against peers, as well as with the wealth of innovative new tools to create, adapt, and confirm winning business strategies.”

Optimal Blue’s market share is what makes this competitive analysis possible. As the largest provider of secondary marketing automation to the mortgage industry, Optimal Blue floats on a sea of operational and transactional data. One of every three mortgage loans completed nationwide every year are priced and locked through the Optimal Blue platform, uniquely positioning the company to provide meaningful and unrivaled benchmarks.

Competitive Analytics uses fully anonymized transactional data, a game-changer for Optimal Blue clients concerned about compliance and privacy. The company laid the foundation for its suite of business intelligence solutions by investing heavily in data infrastructure, building its data warehouse from the ground up and partnering with Microsoft to house and analyze Optimal Blue data in Microsoft’s Azure Data Lake.

How competitive are my lending strategies?

One of the many hallmarks of the Competitive Analytics solution lies in the advanced filtering capabilities, which were built and designed with extensive client feedback.

With Competitive Analytics, lenders can easily determine whether their market share is growing or declining and how it’s evolving over any configurable range of time. Lenders can choose to filter by loan type, loan purpose, and loan amount. They can also drill down by state, MSA level, or a user-defined market area to gauge their performance as it relates to FICO range, LTV, property type, occupancy, and more.

“Competitive Analytics enables insightful decisions that ignite action by intelligently grouping large chunks of data for comparison, and then providing lenders the tools to slice that data however they want,” explained Erin Wester, senior product manager.

The data that populates Competitive Analytics is interactive and interrelated, allowing lenders to observe trends across a diverse set of product and borrower profiles at the same time.

For example, a lender can see that they are closely aligned with the market in northwest Texas on conforming loans with credit scores over 680 and loan-to-value ratios above 80%, while also confirming an opportunity for growth in an entirely new market, like California, where they have been considering an FHA, non-conforming, or non-qualifying mortgage (Non-QM) product offering aimed at specific borrower profiles.

How does my profitability stack-up?

While Competitive Analytics does a masterful job at providing visibility into market share, its value continues through unique insights into lender profitability.

Users can compare rate and price to determine where they are operating at a higher or lower margin than others – with or without the impact of loan officer compensation. Then, directly next to those visualizations, Optimal Blue clients can also see what portion of their margins are being eroded by concessions and how concessions offered compare to the overall marketplace.

“It’s easy to overwhelm people with data. We wanted to provide out-of-the box capabilities to dig deep on front-of-mind questions, like whether their price is competitive and how their margins or concessions compare to other lenders in their producing markets,” Wester said.

“This really gets into profitability, not only providing lenders with the tools to highlight where they are most competitive, but – more importantly – illustrating where they can adjust resources and strategies to be even more competitive and profitable.”

Where do I rank in my current (or future) markets?

Another unique feature of Competitive Analytics is the analysis into the efficiency of a lender’s lock desk. A comprehensive volume snapshot lets lenders view their rank based on their number of locks and lock volume, as well as post-lock changes.

The unique and well-known lock desk management functionality of Optimal Blue’s PPE powers the data collection of how many change requests a lender receives and how long it takes to process those changes.

By leveraging that data, Competitive Analytics empowers lenders with deep visibility into their operations and unique comparisons to the overall market to inform profitable strategies, drive new efficiencies, and create competitive differentiation.

“The lock desk is a critical and expensive part of a mortgage operation and lenders are hungry to see how efficient and productive they are compared to others,” Happ said. “Optimal Blue is not only building software to support a more efficient, lights-out lock desk, but we now provide the visualizations to illustrate that efficiency in relation to their competition.”

Optimal Blue’s data engineering, data science, and product management teams worked hard to make the solution’s visualizations as compelling as possible so lenders can quickly understand and act on the analysis. The teams drew on the experience they gained in creating Optimal Blue’s Enterprise Analytics solution, which has received rave user reviews since being released two years ago.

Additionally, as part of an ongoing corporate effort to align product development closely to client needs, Optimal Blue’s product team conducted numerous collaborative feedback sessions with clients on Competitive Analytics through popular nationwide roadshows, conferences, and webinars. The results were impactful.

Ultimately, business intelligence that leads to improved efficiencies and a more competitive offering helps lenders better serve their most important stakeholder: the borrower. Daily insight into successful strategies to better serve borrowers and grow their businesses is the differentiating factor that lenders need in the current mortgage landscape.

“We are proud to announce the release of Competitive Analytics, which joins an established and growing base of data services offerings,” Happ concludes. “Optimal Blue is committed to helping our lenders visualize their business in new and unique ways, implement strategies to help them further differentiate, and aide them in their journey to better serve today’s mortgage borrower.”

This piece was originally featured on HousingWire.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

Spillane Consulting Associates, Inc. (“SCA”), a professional consulting firm for banks, credit unions, and non-depository institutions based in Weymouth, MA, has partnered with Optimal Blue to create a new offering focused on empowering community financial institutions to more easily and more profitably buy and sell loans with enhanced execution techniques. Through this turnkey offering, SCA’s expert consultants provide clients the ability to easily buy specific loan pools to support unique balance sheet needs or CRA requirements, efficiently sell loans to a broader and more diverse network of buyers to mitigate risk, and seamlessly execute advanced asset-liability management strategies to increase profitability – without any further investment in software, resources, or loan trading expertise.

Since 1991, SCA has enabled community financial institutions to advance their mortgage lending capabilities by delivering innovations and successful financial management strategies that streamline process flows, improve compliance results, enhance system utilization, and optimize staff composition. However, over the past several years, SCA has observed that many community financial institutions were not well positioned to take full advantage of the sophisticated mortgage lending strategies or breadth of counterparty options that their larger competitors leverage, thereby missing opportunities to improve liquidity, increase profitability, and mitigate risk.

Under this unique offering fully supported by Optimal Blue’s industry-leading Loan Trading solution, SCA’s team of seasoned industry experts become an integral extension of the community financial institutions’ mortgage lending department. SCA’s broad network of buyers and sellers as well as their ability to match counterparties based on balance sheet needs enables secondary marketing transactions to be handled more quickly and more profitably for community financial institutions. Initially focused on clients in the Northeast, this program will soon be expanded to all community financial institutions across the United States.

“For close to three decades, SCA’s mission has been diligently focused on making community financial institutions more efficient and more successful,” explained John Spillane, CEO of SCA. “By pairing our expertise with the sophisticated loan trading automation of Optimal Blue, we’ve been able to dramatically enhance the mortgage lending and balance sheet management capabilities of the traditional community lender to keep them on par with their larger competitors.”

“Optimal Blue has experienced dramatic growth in our Mortgage Marketplace, both in the size of our network and in the extent of our innovations,” said Scott Happ, CEO at Optimal Blue. “We are proud to bring our proven Mortgage Marketplace loan trading capabilities to the community banking industry through this partnership with SCA.”

ABOUT SPILLANE CONSULTING ASSOCIATES, INC.
Founded in 1991, Spillane Consulting Associates, Inc. provides professional consulting services in the areas of compliance, quality control, staffing, technology, and management services to the mortgage banking industry. We value our strong and long-standing client relationships and believe our personalized service is especially important in today’s environment. For more information, please visit www.scapartnering.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR SPILLANE CONSULTING ASSOCIATES, INC.
William Dolan, CMB
Director, Business Development
(781) 356-2772
wdolan@scapartnering.com

— Real-time integration provides loan officers with mobile access to Optimal Blue’s market leading PPE —

Ellie Mae®,the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, today announced an extended integration with Optimal Blue to enhance Encompass LO Connect™, Ellie Mae’s Encompass mobile solution for LOs on the go. LO Connect gives loan officers secure, real-time access to the Encompass® Digital Lending Platform from their fingertips, from any mobile device.

LO Connect gives loan officers the competitive advantage of providing the highest level of customer service, and the ability to originate and close loans faster from anywhere, at any time. It offers:

• Enhanced borrower communications to help loan officers stay engaged and deliver a superior customer experience
• Always-on, real-time access to move loans forward
• The ability to connect with agents, referral partners, credit reporting agencies, and underwriters, from a single system of record

LO Connect can also enable your team to take action on abandoned loan applications through Encompass Consumer Connect™, Ellie Mae’s point-of-sale solution, to capture business that otherwise would be lost.

Hundreds of Ellie Mae lenders rely on Optimal Blue to support their product and pricing strategies in the Encompass Digital Lending Platform. By extending the Optimal Blue integration to the Opportunities view within LO Connect, loan officers can accurately quote the most appropriate financing alternatives based on the borrower’s unique mortgage loan scenario – all from the convenience of their mobile device. In addition, Ellie Mae has also integrated to Optimal Blue’s pricing and lock functionality on the Pipeline view within LO Connect, enabling loan officers to confidently price and lock loans with Optimal Blue while never leaving Encompass.

“We are excited to once again expand our integration with the Encompass Digital Lending Platform,” explained Scott Happ, CEO at Optimal Blue. “Optimal Blue is committed to an API-first strategy that provides real-time access to our industry leading secondary marketing capabilities with the systems our clients rely upon throughout the mortgage loan process.”

“More than 80 percent of top loan producers say digital mortgage technology is key to their company’s future growth,” said Joe Tyrrell, chief operating officer, Ellie Mae. “With Optimal Blue support now included in Encompass LO Connect, loan officers now have access to product and pricing whether they are in the office or on the go. This partnership with Optimal Blue gives loan officers access to the tools and technology they need to be successful.”

For more information about how to benefit from LO Connect with Optimal Blue, visit:
https://www.elliemae.com/encompass/encompass-lo-connect

ABOUT ELLIE MAE
Ellie Mae is the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry. Ellie Mae’s technology solutions enable lenders to originate more loans, lower origination costs, and reduce the time to close, all while ensuring the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency. Visit ‪EllieMae.com‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ or call ‪(877) 355-4362‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ to learn more.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR ELLIE MAE
Erica Harvill
Ellie Mae, Inc.
(925) 227-5913
Erica.harvill@elliemae.com

© 2019 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, the Ellie Mae logo and other trademarks or service marks of Ellie Mae, Inc. appearing herein are the property of Ellie Mae, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Other company and product names may be trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.

— Unprecedented solution positions clients with sophisticated market comparison tools to gauge success —

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing solutions and data services in the mortgage industry, announced today the release of their Competitive Analytics solution. With mortgage rates at all-time lows, lenders are experiencing a surge in production, requiring access to real-time business intelligence to understand how well they are performing. Updated with new data daily, this game changing innovation positions Optimal Blue clients ahead of their peers by enabling them to gauge performance through sophisticated visualizations that illustrate market position, compare margins and profitability, and assess the effectiveness of current pricing strategies.

Competitive Analytics provides three types of sophisticated industry benchmarking capabilities, including:

• VOLUME BENCHMARKING
Advanced volume benchmarking allows the user to compare their loan production to the overall market and chart volume trends across specific time periods – by week, month, quarter, or year. In addition, volume benchmarking provides a production percentile market rank by business channel, institution type, state, MSA, loan type, and other parameters, as well as the ability to compare the percentage of their locks that observed change requests or lock extensions to the overall market.
• LENDING PROFILE BENCHMARKING
Lending profile benchmarking enables clients to compare characteristics of their loan production by charting loan level parameters such as FICO, LTV, loan amount, property type, occupancy, loan type, and loan purpose against the overall market.
• PRICING STRATEGIES BENCHMARKING
Pricing strategies benchmarking provides a market comparison for a variety of secondary marketing metrics that impact profitability. Through this powerful capability, clients can compare margins, concessions, price, and note rate to the market, and filter by business channel, institution type, state, MSA, and more.

Competitive Analytics joins Optimal Blue’s already established suite of business intelligence offerings including the Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices™ (OBMMI™) published earlier this year, as well as the unrivaled Enterprise Analytics solution which provides Optimal Blue clients with compelling visualizations that illustrate highly granular data on their own operation.

“The Optimal Blue Marketplace Platform has supported the daily activity of mortgage buyers and sellers for close to two decades,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “This has generated an incredible amount of transactional data that uniquely positions Optimal Blue to achieve an entirely new scope of market transparency and competitive insight.”

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Functionality provides immediate expansion of competitive product offerings with unique loan types demanded by today’s consumers —

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, announced today the groundbreaking release to augment and expand their support for Non-QM and Expanded Guidelines products. Earlier this year, the company decided to make a substantial investment to further enhance support for these unique mortgage loan products after observing significant growth in this area. Currently, Optimal Blue’s Expanded Guidelines monthly lock volume exceeds $1 billion, a threshold 2.5 times the volume experienced just 18 months earlier.

Significantly benefiting investor and lender clients alike, these powerful and innovative capabilities allow investor clients to further expand their suite of product offerings, improve accuracy, and gain new clients. Additionally, lenders can streamline inefficient workflows, enhance their competitive reach with new borrowers, and easily access the Non-QM and Expanded Guidelines product offerings for more than 60 leading investors.

“Sprout Mortgage congratulates Optimal Blue on the release of its new Non-QM product selection capabilities and thanks them for creating this industry leading technology,” said Mike Strauss, President of Sprout Mortgage. “While only requiring minimal user inputs and established data feeds from leading loan origination systems to automatically pre-populate additional values, Sprout has found Optimal Blue’s Non-QM filters to fully support its product line with complete accuracy.”

Users of the Optimal Blue platform can quickly and easily identify the most accurate, “best fit” financing alternative for each and every consumer they serve. Immediately available to clients at no additional cost, a brand-new Expanded Guidelines section will be added to all applicable search, profile, and lock forms within the platform in order to fully support the unique specifications of Expanded Guidelines products. Close to 20 granular filters will be embedded into those forms for income verification, payment history, debt consolidation, bankruptcy, and more. In addition, Optimal Blue now evaluates specific housing events, financial outcomes, and other user-defined selections to further refine pricing precision and overall product searchability.

“This is a tremendous step forward for the Non-QM marketplace and takes the uncertainty out of choosing the Non-QM loan that best fits borrowers’ needs,” Strauss continued. “As a result of the new Non-QM filters, loan officers can put away their makeshift scratch pad notes and instead, leverage the power of Optimal Blue’s engine to discover those eligible Non-QM products that provide borrowers with their lowest cost financing choices.”

“We are proud to offer enhanced Expanded Guidelines support to our clients,” explained Tiffany McGarry, Director of Client Services at Optimal Blue. “These market-leading capabilities further exemplify our continued focus on delivering unique secondary marketing solutions that help our clients differentiate and grow.”

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Integration builds on legacy of disruptive secondary marketing automation and sets stage for significant ongoing enhancements —

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, announced today the completion of a “lights-out” integration between its comprehensive hedge advisory and loan trading platforms. The announcement exemplifies Optimal Blue’s ongoing commitment to provide enterprise, end-to-end automation through superior technology with functional depth.

The only one of its kind, this real-time integration uses a library of proprietary APIs to seamlessly automate vital functions within the secondary marketing process that to date, have been increasingly complex and resource intensive. Further, the two-way integration builds on the advanced workflow automation that is already established within the Optimal Blue platform.

For years, Optimal Blue clients have recognized the significant competitive advantage of a seamless integration between the company’s flagship product eligibility and pricing and hedge advisory platforms by automatically updating the hedge position based on loans locked in the product eligibility and pricing engine. The new and highly anticipated “lights-out” integration between the hedge analytics and trading platform takes it a step further by fully automating the feed of loans that are “ready-to-sell” and returning post-trade updates to sync hedge positions in real time.

“We are thrilled to deliver this next generation of automation to our clients,” said John Ardy, Vice President of Resitrader by Optimal Blue. “More than half of our clients have already transitioned to the integrated platform and those that remain will be migrated over the next several months.” Optimal Blue anticipates monthly trading volumes to exceed $5 billion upon completion of client onboarding.

Optimal Blue views this integration as the foundation for several significant innovations and ongoing enhancements, like the use of proprietary machine learning algorithms to assist buyers and sellers optimize their trading strategies, as well as a fully automated “lights-out” loan execution to deliver a full roundtrip automation experience linking buyers and sellers. In addition, Optimal Blue is pursuing the expansion of axe posting for CRA, non-QM, and Jumbo transactions.

“There is considerable value in a unified technology platform,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “This integration provides further transparency into whole loan transactions and delivers the connectivity, efficiency, and liquidity necessary to thrive in today’s competitive environment.”

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— The only social media compliance automation platform designed for the mortgage industry —

The mortgage industry is aggressively pursuing the digital mortgage while margins are tight and competition is at an all-time high. Additionally, vendor integration is a must and consumers are requiring transparency like never before.

Because of all of these challenges, the industry is calling for an integrated platform, as well as more granular automation and functionalities. Optimal Blue, a pioneer in secondary marketing automation, offers an innovative, integrated, end-to-end platform that lenders rely on to meet and exceed their secondary marketing needs.

With the largest resource commitment to secondary marketing technology in the industry, Optimal Blue is used more widely than any other solution and is exclusively focused on helping lenders streamline the entire secondary marketing process, from content to commitment, and everything in between.

“Our comprehensive secondary marketing automation platform sits at the center of our Digital Mortgage Marketplace, which breaks down silos between industry participants – lenders, investors, and mortgage technology providers – and brings them together for mutual success,” said Optimal Blue CEO Scott Happ.

The Optimal Blue platform includes a robust content management application, a product eligibility and pricing engine (PPE), a hedge analytics and digital loan trading system, data and analytics, and the only social media compliance automation platform designed specifically for the mortgage industry.

In addition, Optimal Blue offers a comprehensive set of APIs and automatic connections to a broad network of best-of-breed mortgage technology providers and strategic partners.

Due to Optimal Blue’s size and reach, participants benefit from the “network effect.”

Investors and originators benefit from a larger pool of both buyers and sellers, while technology providers benefit from being connected to the largest networks of originators, investors and real-time content versus a “closed network” strategy.

By bringing loan buyers and sellers together — along with best-of-breed mortgage technology providers — on a single, unified technology platform, Optimal Blue equips every player in the secondary market to compete and thrive.

EXECUTIVES PROFILED IN THIS ARTICLE

Scott Happ, CEO
Scott Happ has 30 years of experience in financial services and mortgage lending technology. He founded Mortgagebot in 1997 and built the company into a nationally recognized SaaS solutions provider, selling the company to D+H in 2011. In 2016, Happ teamed with GTCR, a leading private equity firm, to acquire Optimal Blue, where he serves as CEO.

Sue Baker, VP of Product and Client Services
Sue Baker brings over 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry, beginning as a loan officer and later assuming responsibility for sales and training for a network of over 200 loan officers. She also designed a software solution that allowed loan officers to gather applications and request online underwriting approval electronically at the point of sale. Baker serves as chief product officer at Mortgagebot.

Bob Brandt, VP of Marketing and Alliances
Bob Brandt has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to Optimal Blue, Brandt established and managed the sales and marketing organization at Mortgagebot, where over 15 years he helped the company acquire productive, multi-year relationships with more than 1,500 banks and credit unions nation-wide and was named to the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest growing companies.

This piece was originally featured on HousingWire.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— The company’s suite of products provide a transparent process for buyers and sellers —

The last 18 months have seen a significant shift in both the primary and secondary mortgage markets. Facing shrinking loan volume and compressed margins, lenders have broadened their loan products for borrowers who fall outside of traditional government or conforming guidelines, prompting investors to add programs that incorporate these loans.

But these new opportunities present real challenges. The number of investors has grown significantly since the financial crisis, with 150 organizations now actively buying loans. And the types of loans available for purchase have also multiplied. Combined, these factors have compounded the complexity of the secondary marketing function, demanding sophisticated automation for accurate content management and execution.

Fortunately, Optimal Blue has spent the last several years relentlessly auto-mating the entire secondary marketing process — from content to commitment, and everything in between — and can meet these challenges head-on.

Optimal Blue, founded in 2002, provides not only industry-leading solutions for originators and investors but also an enterprise-level, end-to-end platform that processes more than $750 billion worth of transactions each year. Its Digital Mortgage Marketplace connects mortgage buyers and sellers in an efficient, transparent process that facilitates a broad set of secondary market interactions.

The company’s view into the data associated with these transactions led it to develop the Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices (OBMMI) to provide mortgage and finance professionals and market participants with greater visibility into key drivers of mortgage pricing. Based on actual locked rates with consumers across more than 35% of all mortgage transactions nationwide, OBMMI provide the most extensive and accurate interactive analysis of pricing ever conducted in the mortgage industry.

OBMMI aggregates data from 2 million transactions a year between 800 lenders, 3,000 brokers, and 200 buyers of loans and synthesizes that data into 16 primary and detailed mortgage rate indices. Updated daily through a robust API, the indices can be compared with each other to isolate specific market movements and spot trends.

“For close to two decades, Optimal Blue has led the mortgage industry with pricing automation technology designed to facilitate transactions between consumers and lenders,” explained Bob Brandt, vice president of marketing and alliances at Optimal Blue. “Complete with the industry’s largest product eligibility and pricing library, and backed by an unparalleled commitment to accuracy, Optimal Blue’s platform ensures that consumers are presented with the best-fit financing alternatives and that lenders consistently deliver the best price.”

Optimal Blue continues to evolve its platform, providing lenders and investors with inspired technology that automates key functions of the secondary marketing process.

AUTOMATING THE SECONDARY MARKETING FUNCTION

Product Eligibility & Pricing

Optimal Blue is the largest product eligibility and pricing (PPE) provider in the industry, serving more than 50% of the market and processing $600 billion worth of rate locks every year. The company has made significant investments to automate this functionality and the result is a robust system that delivers a single source of compliant pricing with 99.995% accuracy, making Optimal Blue’s PPE the system of record for the mortgage industry.

That accuracy is a hallmark of Optimal Blue, which uses an extensive set of product filters to identify applicable loan programs and then evaluates best execution pricing among eligible products. This capability is even more critical given the growing number of non-QM loan products in the market.

In addition to the execution, content, and margin management that Optimal Blue’s flagship PPE is known for, the company recently rolled out a new innovation — a “lights-out” lock desk functionality that can automatically lock the loan, change the lock, change the product type, grant exceptions, and more.

“When it comes to secondary marketing, the lock desk is a high-cost function,” said Optimal Blue CEO, Scott Happ. “We’ve automated the entire process. Lenders can configure auto-accept policies for locking and relocking products with characteristics that don’t require a manual touch, thereby reducing lock desk involvement in scenarios where automated policies can do the work instead.”

Hedging

Optimal Blue’s sophisticated hedge advisory and analytics platform integrates seamlessly with its PPE and digital loan trading platforms. This automated collaboration provides Optimal Blue clients with a tremendous competitive advantage.

First, interest rate locks from the PPE flow into the pipeline in real time, ensuring that the hedge position is always fully updated. Second, the broadest possible set of executions is available, ensuring that lenders will always discover the best price.

In addition, automating the loan trading and committing process through the Resitrader system reduces costs and error rates. “By combining exceptional analytics with unmatched system integration, Optimal Blue is uniquely positioned to help lenders succeed when deploying a mandatory execution strategy,” Happ said.

Loan Trading

In July 2018, Optimal Blue acquired Resitrader, creating the mortgage industry’s largest mortgage loan trading platform. Resitrader’s interactive trading environment enables buyers, sellers, and their advisors to transact in real time using an auction process and replaces the widely-used method of exchanging bid tapes via email.

The solution also helps traders optimize executions by supporting shadow-bidding, the posting of axes, chat-based communication, and color reports. Resitrader has achieved remarkable success with its trading platform over the past year, recording a 400% increase in transactions.

Optimal Blue has made it easy for investors to use Resitrader through the recent launch of another robust API designed to integrate with investors’ existing, internal systems. The APIs embed and trigger the market-leading capabilities of Resitrader into whatever trading application the investor is currently using, similar to the API plug-in capability offered through Optimal Blue’s PPE.

“Most clients are perfectly fine with coming into the Resitrader system to do their business,” explained Happ. “However, the largest investors look to our highly functional and real-time APIs to integrate with their own infrastructure and technology, so they are still able to take advantage of the benefits of the Resitrader platform. This is just another step for us to integrate into investor and origination businesses to maximize the efficiencies they require.”

Social Media Platform

Social media is an extremely powerful business development tool for lenders and Optimal Blue provides the only fully automated social media compliance platform designed specifically for the mortgage industry. The comprehensive platform enables lenders to manage the social media activities of loan officers through audits, monitoring, and collaboration. The audits are point-in-time, comprehensive reviews, while automated monitoring constantly evaluates social activity and proactively identifies trigger terms and keywords to isolate compliance concerns requiring remediation.

This piece was originally featured on HousingWire.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Integration modernizes MLS property specific listings with accurate, compliant pricing —

Optimal Blue,the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, announced today the integration certification of RatePlug. Through direct integration with Optimal Blue’s real-time product eligibility and pricing API, RatePlug’s proprietary mortgage marketing platform now seamlessly delivers compliant scenario pricing and connects today’s real estate agents, lenders, and homebuyers via participating Multiple Listing Services (MLS).

Optimal Blue’s advanced RESTful API endpoints enable RatePlug to provide property specific affordability calculations with over 70 MLS partnerships. This comprehensive pairing of technology brings mortgage transparency to the homebuying process and creates a unique, fully compliant flow of mortgage data between the MLS platforms that active agents, their lender partners, and homebuyers rely on daily to transact home purchases.

“We are excited to afford our audience of +800,000 real estate agents the ability to share real-time mortgage payment options directly to homebuyers that are actively searching for a home,” explained Brad Springer, President of RatePlug. “Any lender focused on purchase originations will recognize that this is an incredible opportunity to not only build deeper agent relationships, but to encourage more digital pre-approvals and write more loan applications.”

The RatePlug MLS footprint, coupled with Optimal Blue’s industry-leading product eligibility and pricing, sets the gold standard for MLS listing promotions and broadens the scope of opportunity for those shopping for affordable mortgage payments. The integration also creates additional marketing opportunities for lenders, such as ‘total monthly cost to own’ flyers and search results for special financing programs.

“Our partnership with RatePlug is unique in that it ties an MLS property listing to a borrower’s personalized profile,” said Chazz Huston, Manager of Strategic Alliances at Optimal Blue. “This integration exhibits another great example of leveraging Optimal Blue’s API technology to create a high-impact experience for lenders and their realtor partners alike, as well as today’s homebuyer.”

ABOUT RATEPLUG
RatePlug is the nation’s leading mortgage technology that is integrated directly into Multiple Listing Service platforms. Providing over 800,000 Agents and their homebuyers with real time mortgage information, including a digital pre-approval process, specific to every property they view. Realtors benefit from this technology as it has been shown to accelerate the speed of the transaction by upwards of 15%. Lenders benefit by having their information compliantly shared by their Agent’s with each and every homebuyer they work with, which increases capture rate and ultimately generates more purchase volumes. The RatePlug Program also includes an automated flyer system, and transactional alerts. To learn more about us, visit our site at RatePlug.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR RATEPLUG
Brad Springer
President
(630) 848-1335
brad.springer@rateplug.com

— Designed specifically for mortgage professionals, newly released publishing capabilities empower loan officers and automate engagement with marketing and compliance functions —

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, announced today the release of their powerful social media publishing tool. Optimal Blue’s publishing solution was released with complete integration to the unique monitoring, audit, and collaboration capabilities of their comprehensive social media platform, the only all-in-one platform designed specifically for the needs of the mortgage industry.

Using a library of approved templates and other corporate assets, the publishing tool enables loan officers to schedule and post relevant content to any of their social networks with ease. Users benefit from an intuitive publishing scheduler that makes the process of arranging social interactions across the organization effortless. A built-in calendar manages posts across all profiles, networks, and campaigns, while detailed reports track engagement metrics across all social networks.

Unlike any other service being offered in the mortgage space today, Optimal Blue’s social media platform is developed around NMLS® Consumer AccessSM. It is pre-loaded with every mortgage professional in the country, enabling originators to quickly take advantage of the solution without the burden and hidden cost of user administration.

Optimal Blue’s end-to-end, fully automated social media platform also allows originators to manage the social networking activities of their loan officers through monitoring, audits, and collaboration. Automated, ongoing monitoring enables real-time oversight of social activity and proactively identifies mortgage-specific trigger terms and keywords to isolate compliance concerns that may require remediation. On-demand audit reports aggregate trends within an integrated portal, so management can easily view the organization’s digital presence and assess all compliance findings. Corporate campaign enrollment, team content sharing, and multi-network posting are also made possible through advanced collaboration tools.

“Social media is an extremely powerful business development tool for today’s originator,” explained Michael Stallings, Vice President of Comergence by Optimal Blue. “By leveraging modern automation through our end-to-end social media platform, originators not only exceed regulatory expectations, they can efficiently communicate their value proposition and gain a significant competitive advantage at both the corporate and loan officer level.”

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Robust integration brings compliant pricing to cloud-based digital mortgage lending platform —

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, announced today the certification of multiple integrations with Blue Sage Solutions’ sophisticated, multi-channel digital lending platform. Through seamless integrations with Optimal Blue’s product eligibility and pricing platform, Blue Sage now enables wholesale, correspondent, and retail lenders to receive real-time, compliant pricing scenarios regardless of their business channel.

Enabled through Optimal Blue’s highly unique and advanced RESTful API endpoints, these integrations provide “lights-out” automation for any type of lender to deliver a modern, timely and personalized experience that meets the expectations of today’s mortgage consumer while improving transparency. Without ever leaving the Blue Sage Solutions platform, loan officers can easily generate individual scenarios, quickly launch an application, and lock the loan when appropriate. The integration also streamlines the mortgage process, enhances loan officer productivity, and reduces costs along the way.

“Partnering with an industry leader like Optimal Blue is an opportunity to drive mortgage process automation through our combined, best-of-breed technologies and resources,” explained Joe Langner, CEO of Blue Sage Solutions. “Because Blue Sage handles multiple loan channels, this integration delivers the right information to today’s borrowers at the right time in the loan process and does it for a wider range of lenders than competing mortgage platforms. Our partnership also reflects Blue Sage’s steadfast commitment to ongoing innovation, modernizing the mortgage process through lights-out technology.”

“We are proud to announce the certification of multiple pricing and lock integrations across the Blue Sage Solutions platform,” said Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing and Alliances at Optimal Blue. “Our partnership with Blue Sage furthers our goal of system-to-system automation with the industry’s leading solutions, bringing a single source of pricing for every client and user, across every system.”

ABOUT BLUE SAGE SOLUTIONS
Blue Sage is an innovative, cloud-based digital lending platform for retail, wholesale and correspondent lenders that provides a superior lending experience for every borrower. The company’s technology is 100% browser-based and provides end-to-end functionality for the entire lending and fulfillment process, regardless of channel. All Blue Sage solutions include mobile applications and are delivered through a secure, fully managed cloud service. The company’s technology was developed over the past four years by the founders of Palisades Technology Partners, developers of Impact, the first end-to-end web-based loan platform which was used by five of the 10 largest U.S. originators. Blue Sage Solutions is headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR BLUE SAGE SOLUTIONS
Mike Murray
Strategic Vantage Marketing & Public Relations
(240) 498-0863
mikemurray@strategicvantage.com

— Enables lenders to bring price consistency and transparency to the entire mortgage process —

Tavant, a leading digital products and solutions company for the consumer lending industry, today announced the next level of integration between Tavant VΞLOX, its AI-powered digital lending platform, and Optimal Blue’s industry-leading product eligibility and pricing engine.

The upgraded integration creates new efficiencies throughout the loan lifecycle and quickly converts leads into loans. The integration of VΞLOX with Optimal Blue’s real-time Scenario Pricing API provides immediate access to accurate and compliant product, eligibility, and pricing information at the point of sale — maximizing efficiency in the loan life cycle while minimizing the potential for error.

Tavant VΞLOX brings a best-in-class, fully personalized user experience through any business channel while removing significant costs from the loan origination process. The platform facilitates a single, integrated, hierarchical view of the entire loan pipeline and provides lenders with the ability to drive the lending process seamlessly.

Together, the companies provide loan originators the ability for multi-system product and pricing distribution to offer borrowers a more personalized and customized exchange. Additionally, the integration reduces the amount of manual intervention, raising process efficiency and data accuracy across the supported loan process.

“We are delighted about our partnership with Optimal Blue. By leveraging Optimal Blue’s pricing and lock automation, Tavant has taken a major step towards eliminating traditional inefficiencies and advancing the industry’s digital mortgage agenda,” said Hassan Rashid, CRO, Tavant.

“The real-time integration between Optimal Blue’s product eligibility and pricing engine and Tavant’s VΞLOX platform is a great example of how modern, yet disparate systems can interact as one and deliver a better user experience and new efficiencies,” explained Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing and Alliances at Optimal Blue. “The partnership between our organizations will continue to grow and remain focused on creating a better loan process for our mutual clients.”

ABOUT TAVANT
Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Tavant is a digital products and platforms company that provides impactful results to its customers across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Founded in 2000, the company employs over 2500 people and is a recognized top employer. Tavant is creating an AI-powered intelligent lending enterprise by reimagining customer experiences, driving operational efficiencies and improving collaboration. Find Tavant on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR TAVANT
Vibhor Mishra
(408) 519-5400
press@tavant.com

— Industry-first API enables seamless, system-to-system integrations for investors —

Optimal Blue’s digital loan trading platform, Resitrader, announced today the launch of the first in a series of robust APIs designed to create a “lights-out” integration with investors’ in-house systems and automate critical functions throughout the digital loan trading process. The first of its kind, this comprehensive API allows the investor to connect directly to the Resitrader marketplace and effortlessly automate pricing, offer pick-up, bid tape retrieval, bid placement and return, seller assignment, trade confirmation, and commitment.

Designed specifically for innovative investors operating at scale with an existing trading technology platform in place, the “lights-out” APIs embed and trigger the market-leading capabilities of Resitrader without requiring the investor to ever leave their own in-house systems.

The investor is able to actively engage with Resitrader’s digital loan trading marketplace and hundreds of participating buyers and sellers, significantly increasing productivity without the prerequisite of training on a new platform. They can monitor deal flow in real time as the systems communicate directly on pricing and trading, and benefit from the speed, accuracy, and scalability provided.

Sellers benefit as well, in the form of speed of response, accuracy, and the ability to reallocate most of their time to making more informed execution decisions.

“The Resitrader APIs are another step forward as we create an open architecture that links buyers and sellers across the Optimal Blue platform,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “Our hedge advisory clients, as well as those that self-hedge or use another hedge provider, will benefit from this new technology as we continue to pursue our goal of serving all clients and vendors across the secondary market.”

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Mortgage and finance professionals gain insights into key product and credit risk factors that impact nationwide mortgage pricing —

Optimal Blue, operator of the mortgage industry’s leading secondary marketing automation platform, announced today the release of its latest market innovation – Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices or OBMMI. Created to provide mortgage and finance professionals and market participants with greater visibility into key drivers of mortgage pricing, OBMMI provide an unprecedented level of daily insight into observed mortgage transactions. Based on actual locked rates with consumers across more than 35% of all mortgage transactions nationwide, OBMMI provide the most comprehensive, accurate, timely, and interactive analysis of pricing ever conducted in the mortgage industry.

Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue said, “This is an important milestone in Optimal Blue’s transformation from a pricing engine to a digital mortgage marketplace. We are uniquely positioned to introduce these new benchmarks and trust they will be of value to a broad range of participants looking for transaction-based mortgage price data.”

In this groundbreaking inaugural release of OBMMI, Optimal Blue provides multiple mortgage rate indices developed around the most popular mortgage loan products and specific borrower attributes. Each of the sixteen mortgage indices are represented with the national average of mortgage rates locked by consumers each day and include the change from the previous day. Indices can be compared through compelling interactive and configurable visualizations. For example, users can easily select pre-defined or custom time periods to isolate specific market movements or illustrate unique trends, such as the well documented jumbo-conventional spread inversion that currently exists.

“For close to two decades, Optimal Blue has led the mortgage industry with pricing automation technology designed to facilitate transactions between consumers and lenders,” explained Bob Brandt, VP of Marketing and Strategic Alliances at Optimal Blue. “Complete with the industry’s largest product and pricing library and backed by an unparalleled commitment to accuracy, Optimal Blue’s platform ensures that consumers are presented with the best-fit financing alternatives and that lenders consistently deliver the best price. OBMMI will help both audiences better understand trends and pricing in the mortgage market.”

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Resitrader by Optimal Blue connects lenders and investors in real time to accelerate results —

For the last several years, the mortgage industry has experienced a disruptive wave of technology innovation by vendors aiming to improve results and lower costs. Until recently, the vast majority of these innovations have focused on automating the front-end of the digital mortgage loan process, leaving significant opportunities to automate post-closing processes such as whole loan pricing and loan trading. Now, Optimal Blue has upended the status quo in the mortgage industry by building a revolutionary digital marketplace that is transforming the way loans are bought and sold in the secondary market.

Optimal Blue’s recent acquisition of market leader Resitrader created the largest loan trading platform in the industry. In the last year, Resitrader saw a 350% increase in the number of sellers and more than 300% growth in loan trading volume, while also increasing the offer-to-purchase rate for sellers on the platform.

“Given Optimal Blue’s unique and strong market share position, the acquisition put us in the front seat to create an industry-standard platform for whole loan pricing and trading,” explained John Ardy, vice president of Resitrader by Optimal Blue.

By connecting lenders and investors in real time, Resitrader automates what used to be a manual, email-based trading process and makes it incredibly scalable. Besides the immediate time savings, the Resitrader platform fosters real relationships between engaged buyers and sellers, which is mutually beneficial to both sides.

Benefits for sellers

On the sell side, Resitrader empowers the lender to optimize true best execution by offering loans to an entire marketplace of buyers instead of the four or five investors they are used to dealing with. Originators can connect with new investors almost instantly and accelerate the traditionally protracted, difficult shadow bidding process, so what used to take weeks is now accomplished in seconds by clicking on someone’s name to view their pricing.

Benefits for buyers

The transparency of pricing within the platform creates the opportunity for sellers to find investors quickly and provides investors with valuable insight into the competitiveness of their bids. Resitrader reports this information automatically, so investors can see why they won or lost certain bids and adjust their strategy accordingly.

“Resitrader takes a function that was manual from end to end and fully automates all of it,” continued Ardy. “It streamlines communication and eliminates the latency that occurs with the manual process. It’s very exciting — in an area that was never very exciting.”

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Understanding their critical role as investors, Optimal Blue has paid special attention to streamlining connections with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The company completed an early integration with Fannie Mae’s Pricing and Execution – Whole Loan application last year and was first to integrate with Freddie Mac’s Loan Selling Advisor in August. Because Optimal Blue operates in a SaaS environment, Resitrader clients had full access to the new capabilities on the same day.

The integration with Loan Selling Advisor allows the user to seamlessly acquire Freddie Mac pricing data and compare against alternative executions, such as bulk bids. It also enables the automated commitment of Freddie Mac loans by returning trade confirmations directly back to the Resitrader user, so they don’t have to use multiple systems to conduct a single transaction.

Optimal Blue then followed up with an enhanced integration that fully automates the cash pricing and commitment process to include cash pay-ups for fixed-rate mortgages across all specified loan attributes. Prior to this integration, sellers would have to download and print a .PDF from Freddie Mac and calculate these loan details.

Now, that data pull takes seconds.

New efficiencies

Once buyers and sellers see the ability to interact at such a fast rate, the platform quickly becomes indispensable to their business model.

Jim Glennon is the director of secondary services at Optimal Blue and he noted a major gain in efficiencies using Resitrader for Optimal Blue’s full-service hedge advisory clients. “As we add new layers of innovation to our core platform, we are giving lenders and investors incredible new opportunities to get things done faster and better. This is part of the mortgage process that no one spent much time on, and now it has caught up to the rest of the digital mortgage process,” Glennon said.

As significant as the evolution of the Resitrader platform is individually, the seamless integration of Optimal Blue’s solutions across the entire secondary market platform is the true game changer.

“When Resitrader operated independently, we were able to grow to $2 billion a month,” said Ardy. “Now, backed by the power of Optimal Blue’s Digital Mortgage Marketplace, our growth rate will accelerate and catapult Resitrader into the largest industry destination for digital loan trading and bring considerable value to platform participants.”

As adoption of these interactive loan trading platforms flourish, Optimal Blue aims to continue looking toward the future of the industry with an ongoing commitment to deliver market-leading mortgage automation.

This piece was originally featured on HousingWire.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— The company’s PPE network now includes more than 2,000 clients —

Over the last two years, Optimal Blue has strategically acquired several companies, built an extensive API network, and invested heavily in automation and technology with one goal in mind: to create an entirely automated secondary marketing ecosystem for mortgage originators and investors, as well as the technology providers they rely upon every day.

Those efforts have established Optimal Blue’s product and pricing as the mortgage industry’s system of record — from leads at the beginning of the process to hedging and selling into the secondary market — approximately one of every three mortgages is facilitated by the company’s Digital Mortgage Marketplace.

Optimal Blue’s recent acquisition of LoanLogics’ PPE business unit, LoanDecisions, is just the latest in a series of strategic buys, including its purchase of Comergence in 2017 and Resitrader earlier this year.

Comergence enables Optimal Blue to offer a wide array of comprehensive due diligence and oversight capabilities, while the acquisition of Resitrader assets created the industry’s largest digital loan trading platform, allowing Optimal Blue to support more than $750 billion in transactions across its marketplace.

With the LoanDecisions acquisition marking the beginning of what seems to be a consolidation trend in the PPE space, Optimal Blue has expanded the reach of its PPE network to a client count exceeding 2,000+.

These customers are already in the process of migrating to the Optimal Blue PPE and the company will continue to expand its partnership with LoanLogics to automate correspondent loan transactions.

Essential to all of this innovation is Optimal Blue’s expanding universe of APIs, created over the last 18 months by a dedicated team of developers. The company has more than 50 customers using their APIs directly, with more than 40 vendors providing solutions that allow originators and investors to build a custom set of solutions that maximize opportunity at every critical inflection point throughout the mortgage process.

Originators are using Optimal Blue APIs for best execution product and pricing, loan and pipeline management, configuration, search results, and lock management, while investors are leveraging them for counter party oversight, NMLS verification, historical production, prospect marketing, compliance questionnaires, and FHA performance scores.

In September, Optimal Blue launched the latest in its series, a set of post-lock management APIs that enable users to easily incorporate worse case evaluations, change request submissions, and historical pricing for any loan or scenario.

Erin Wester, senior product manager at Optimal Blue, explained how the new post-lock APIs fit into the company’s initiative to fully automate everything within the Optimal Blue user interface via an API.

“We took a look at the API products we have today and some common use cases — how our clients are using them,” explained Wester. “With the post-lock APIs, users can now execute searches, create and manage loans, and submit lock requests. You can lock and register the loan through our APIs.”

The new offerings include APIs for change requests and APIs related to historical pricing results. The latter allows searching for a loan ID with a desired date and time, or even searching for a specific scenario based on a certain date and time.

Optimal Blue also recently introduced a direct data access option for its business intelligence suite, which provides users with a robust data that contains an extremely granular history of every change that has taken place within the Optimal Blue platform — including who requested a change and when, who accepted it, who denied it, etc.

The direct data access option lets users connect internal data warehouses, support custom analytics, and uniquely integrate to any in-house visualization solution. This includes data visualizations on locking analytics and change request analytics. For example, users will be able to see how many times a lock desk is having to touch a loan, as well as average cost and days per lock extension.

“The direct data access product is an automated way for the user to gain access to their organization’s unique raw data and run their own in-house, custom analytics,” Wester said. “This competitive and actionable insight is then reported to internal data warehouse solutions within the institution, opening the door for any mortgage professional to quantify and transform operational data into an advantageous asset.”

In reflecting on the previous year and the extensive progress that the company has achieved, CEO Scott Happ explained, “2018 has been a prolific year for Optimal Blue, both from an acquisition and product development perspective. Not only have we strengthened our offering with substantial new capabilities, we’ve expanded our network with scores of new client and vendor relationships.”

It has, in fact, been a noteworthy year for Optimal Blue, as the company continues to thrive in its quest to fully automate the secondary marketing function.

This piece was originally featured on HousingWire.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

Customer Relations Management (CRM) provider, Big Purple Dot, has chosen Optimal Blue as their partner to integrate accurate product eligibility and pricing data into their platform through the use of Optimal Blue’s advanced API. This highly-anticipated integration will simplify a historically disjointed lead-to-close process, enhancing collaboration and streamlining business processes throughout the loan lifecycle.

As a client driven product and technology platform, Big Purple Dot evolves with the needs and wants of their customer base. “Our clientele has been asking for an Optimal Blue integration for several years,” explained Aldo Sarmiento, President and Chief Technology Officer at Big Purple Dot. “Optimal Blue’s API initiative has provided us the opportunity to make this happen and increases the value of our CRM immensely. We plan to introduce an assortment of dynamic and intriguing tools to the mortgage industry very soon.”

Big Purple Dot is known for their innovation and unrivaled methods that eradicate the communication barriers between the various parties involved in the lifecycle of a mortgage transaction, beginning with the borrower experience. The company has developed an application intake form that can be white-labeled per an originator’s unique UI preference, and the integration with Optimal Blue now guarantees accurate product eligibility and pricing data at this pivotal stage. The integration also allows originators and realtors to funnel leads from any source, arming them with tools to quickly distribute and efficiently close deals, in addition to subsequently managing those relationships after closing. Big Purple Dot also anticipates increased success in client re-targeting.

“Our focus is to develop technology partnerships with companies that are equally motivated to shape the future of the mortgage industry,” said Optimal Blue Strategic Alliances Manager, Chazz Huston. “Adding the CRM platform provided by Big Purple Dot into our technology ecosystem of innovators will serve Optimal Blue customers – and the mortgage industry as a whole – with true lead-to-close management, and beyond.”

ABOUT BIG PURPLE DOT
Big Purple Dot is a real estate centric, Customer Relations Management (CRM) system that provides services to both mortgage and real estate professionals. From single users to large corporate structures, Big Purple Dot focuses on speed to contact via automatic email and text message technology with an emphasis on task management, to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. Big Purple Dot also offers lenders and realtors the ability to collaborate in real time, which promotes better communication, proper lead source tracking, and complete transparency.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR BIG PURPLE DOT
Aldo Sarmiento
President and Chief Technology Officer
(949) 223-0900
aldo@bigpurpledot.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Digital oversight and process automation provides added assurance to satisfy internal and regulatory requirements —

South Street Securities, LLC (“South Street”), a Tier 1 member of FICC and MBSD with a current balance sheet of $30+ billion, has selected Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and third-party oversight solutions in the mortgage industry, to strengthen the company’s compliance regime. In adopting this technology, South Street further demonstrates their position as a premier broker-dealer in a niche market by leveraging a comprehensive due diligence and surveillance platform to satisfy rigorous business and oversight requirements.

Utilizing the electronic document collection and financial status reporting modules available in the Comergence platform provides South Street with a deeper understanding of a client’s financial health at the time of application, while enabling ongoing visibility during the life of the relationship. Relying on system automation removes what was previously a labor-intensive review process, while maintaining company protocols and compliance with regulatory mandates.

South Street’s MBS division began TBA Pipeline Hedging for originator clients in 2017. According to David DeBlase, Chief Financial Officer of South Street, the decision to move forward with Optimal Blue came after meticulous evaluations of compliance, surveillance, and on-boarding platforms. “We determined that the Comergence platform was able to effortlessly facilitate the various credit and compliance demands of a complex process that grants margin and hedging lines to our clients. Further, the system seamlessly complements the robust infrastructure that South Street employs to on-board, trade, and clear securities.”

Comergence was acquired by Optimal Blue because the company was widely recognized for its innovations in due diligence automation and ongoing surveillance services – a capability unmatched in the mortgage industry. Popularity has continued to grow, with new segments like the broker-dealer market now adopting these services.

“This is a huge endorsement of our technology,” said Greg Schroeder, Vice President of Comergence at Optimal Blue. “It further validates our enterprise automation approach that is centered on process improvement and acceleration rooted in data insight – without compromising compliance demands.”

ABOUT SOUTH STREET SECURITIES, LLC
Established in 2001, South Street Securities (SSS) is a FINRA-regulated broker/dealer that concentrates on Repo Cash Investment, Repo Security Financing Services and Mortgage Backed Securities for mortgage originators. As a Tier 1 member of Fixed Income Clearing Corp (FICC), DTC, and MBSD with full netting rights, South Street self-clears all transactions.

South Street provides access to the capital markets for mortgage originators that need to hedge their forward pipeline exposure by allocating trading lines and margin to facilitate transactions. South Street partners with the leading analytics firms to provide the best execution for mortgage originators.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR SOUTH STREET SECURITIES, LLC
David DeBlase
Chief Financial Officer
(212) 803-5050
david.deblase@sssnyc.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

MortgageHippo has partnered with Optimal Blue to help clients deliver a wholly transparent borrower experience with accurate loan programs and rates in real-time using the Optimal Blue API. This enterprise integration allows MortgageHippo clients to customize their own pricing configurations seamlessly for the benefit of borrowers through the Optimal Blue platform.

“Today’s consumers want transparency in their mortgage process, especially through digital channels where they are likely shopping around,” said Valentin Saportas, CEO of MortgageHippo. “Our integration with Optimal Blue enables lenders to maximize conversions by giving those borrowers what they are looking for: accurate loan programs, rates and closing costs in real time.”

Optimal Blue’s best-in-class eCommerce platform consumes product and pricing content from the industry’s largest network of investors, provides intelligent selection and customization of that content as desired by lenders, and distributes the personalized results to leading technology providers via RESTful APIs – wherever, whenever it matters most.

“Borrowers want a mortgage process where they know they have the latest and most accurate information at their fingertips,” said Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing & Alliances for Optimal Blue. “By integrating with Optimal Blue, MortgageHippo delivers on that expectation of borrowers, increasing both satisfaction and closing rates.”

ABOUT MORTGAGEHIPPO

MortgageHippo works with lenders to devise and implement their digital mortgage strategies using its borrower-centric digital lending platform. The MortgageHippo platform allows lenders to deliver a modern borrowing experience, improve borrower conversions, significantly reduce origination costs and integrate with other innovative technologies. MortgageHippo’s platform is fully customizable to lender preferences and configurable to lenders’ workflows and processes. For more, visit www.mortgagehippo.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR MORTGAGEHIPPO
Valentin Saportas
CEO
(312) 416-3955
press@mortgagehippo.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

Vantage Production has chosen Optimal Blue as their partner to provide a unique digital mortgage experience. This enterprise integration allows a Vantage Production VIP user to incorporate accurate, compliant, real-time product and pricing information directly into consumer quotes and sales presentations.

“Vantage Production is very pleased to grow our relationship with Optimal Blue,” said Todd Ballenger, Executive Vice President of Vantage Production. “This deepening of our relationship enables our VIP clients to create and share Optimal Blue’s real-time pricing with prospective customers to increase sales and reduce compliance risk. It is our goal to reduce complexity for the loan originator and the companies we support in a way that empowers our clients to close more loans.”

Optimal Blue’s best-in-class digital mortgage marketplace platform consumes product and pricing content from the industry’s largest network of investors, provides intelligent selection and customization of that content as desired by originators, and distributes the personalized results to leading technology providers via RESTful APIs – wherever, and whenever it matters most.

“The partnership with Vantage Production greatly enhances the tools their VIP users offer to borrowers,” said Chazz Huston, Strategic Alliances Manager for Optimal Blue. “Borrowers and originators want a simplified, accurate and streamlined mortgage experience. This delivers.”

ABOUT VANTAGE PRODUCTION
Vantage Production, LLC is the industry’s premier provider of content, technology and services supporting the sales and marketing of mortgage products. With more than 15 years of experience, serving thousands of mortgage loan originators, Vantage Production empowers lenders to close more loans and minimize risk with solutions that are designed by mortgage experts, for mortgage experts. For more, visit www.vantageproduction.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR VANTAGE PRODUCTION
Torry Burdick
EVP, Marketing
(732) 526-1516
tburdick@vantageproduction.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Industry leader accelerates delivery of new secondary marketing innovations in response to increased demand —

Optimal Blue LLC, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, recently announced that the company achieved record customer adoption and growth in the first half of 2017.

In response to the growing demand for comprehensive secondary marketing automation and the company’s ongoing commitment to deliver value-added solutions, Optimal Blue has invested heavily over the past year to accelerate the deployment of new innovations.

In the first half of 2017, Optimal Blue released numerous enhancements to its end-to-end technology platform, providing mortgage lenders the ability to automate their entire secondary marketing function and interact seamlessly with the industry’s largest network of leading investors – through a single, unified platform. Optimal Blue also launched significant capabilities that bring together mortgage technology systems through sophisticated integration, further enhancing the industry’s vision of a fully digital mortgage. Embedded with a highly scalable API interface platform, lenders can easily integrate compliant product and pricing content with the leading third-party technology and service providers they rely upon for lead generation, CRM, consumer-direct, mobile, LOS, and more.

The market response to Optimal Blue’s investment has proved noteworthy. In the first six months of 2017, Optimal Blue has grown new clients by 21% from the prior six-month period. Although Optimal Blue is known for unrivaled product eligibility, pricing, and lock desk automation, the company added a record number of new clients for its pipeline risk management, hedging, and committing automation capabilities in the first half of 2017.

“The competitive mortgage industry landscape comes with numerous complex challenges, and our goal is to enable customers to manage and conquer those challenges as simply and as efficiently as possible,” said Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “I am thrilled to welcome so many new customers to Optimal Blue, and I’m equally honored that they’ve entrusted our secondary marketing solutions to further automate their operation and successfully accomplish their technology and business goals.”

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Turnkey service automates regulatory oversight, eliminates manual tasks and financial risks —

Comergence, an Optimal Blue company and a trusted compliance solutions provider to the mortgage industry, announced today the launch of its newest compliance solution, Social Media Compliance. Powered by sophisticated regulatory intelligence capabilities and embedded with the specific policies and procedures of a licensed mortgage originator, the unique and leading-edge service addresses the growing need and seemingly insurmountable task of monitoring social and digital media communications within a regulatory framework.

“Social media is a powerful tool used more and more by today’s loan officers to source business. Yet, with numerous regulations today and even more expected in the future, the risk is high for unintentional social media mistakes that could pose significant financial risks for lenders,” stated Scott Happ, Chief Executive Officer of Optimal Blue. “We recognize that adherence to growing compliance demands will be challenging for lenders if social media compliance remains a manual, time-consuming effort coming at a great cost. By delivering this robust automation at an extremely affordable price, lenders discover an immediate ROI – regardless of whether they have five loan officers or hundreds.”

The Social Media Compliance system can evaluate social media activity across all loan officers and all venues in real time via automated scheduling. The platform also identifies potential violations, highlights usage trends, and provides 360-degree audit reports for a deeper violation review so lenders can communicate and remediate internally and externally – all within a single, turnkey compliance tool. The system provides enormous advantages for the hundreds of organizations that already rely upon other Comergence Compliance solutions, including streamlined organizational and user set-up.

“Social media presents a large playing field and a new frontier for today’s lenders that is not going away anytime soon. Leveraging automation removes the heavy lifting and positions lenders to properly take full advantage of the opportunities through this great marketing asset,” said Greg Schroeder, Vice President of Comergence. “Everything lenders need to self-manage social media compliance is available in our solution, bringing efficiencies, simplicities, and real-time oversight with little effort.”

For more information on the social media compliance demands in the mortgage industry, Optimal Blue has developed a resource titled The Importance of Developing a Social Media Compliance Policy. The white paper can be accessed at – http://comergencecompliance.com/smc-whitepaper1/.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

WebMax has chosen Optimal Blue as their partner to provide a unique digital mortgage experience with lender-specific, real-time, compliant pricing, rates and product eligibility through the Optimal Blue API.

This integration will allow WebMax to provide accurate, instantaneous data at the time of application submission, further enhancing and providing a better path to completion, as well as increased efficiencies for the lender and enhancing customer satisfaction.

“WebMax is thrilled to work with Optimal Blue to increase the seamlessness of the borrowing experience,” said Curt Tegeler, President and CEO of WebMax. “Current and future clients can now benefit from the enhancement of the borrowing life cycle through this integration. Through our website solution, pricing and rates are provided to the borrower immediately upon submission of our digital application.”

Optimal Blue’s best-in-class eCommerce platform consumes product and pricing content from the industry’s largest network of investors, provides intelligent selection and customization of that content as desired by lenders, and distributes the personalized results to leading technology providers via RESTful APIs – wherever, whenever it matters most.

“This is an exciting partnership for Optimal Blue and WebMax,” said Chazz Huston, Strategic Alliances Manager for Optimal Blue. “It benefits everyone in the loan lifecycle. Borrowers and lenders are seeking a simplified, accurate and streamlined mortgage experience, and this integration does just that.”

ABOUT WEBMAX
WebMax provides an innovative digital solution designed to make Mortgage and Real Estate easy by enhancing the lending experience. The company’s compliant, enterprise-level solutions incorporate website design, custom development and third-party system integration: maximizing lead generation and conversion, expediting the loan origination process and enhancing referral partner relationships. For more information, visit www.webmaxco.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR WEBMAX
Siera Smith
Director of Marketing
(609) 920-6526
www.webmaxco.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

Velma.com has chosen Optimal Blue as their partner to provide mortgage lenders with highly accurate, real-time product eligibility and pricing through the Optimal Blue API.

Enterprise lenders using Velma’s CRM and Marketing platforms will be able to leverage Optimal Blue’s loan officer-specific, real-time product eligibility and pricing data to create an information-driven, one-to-one marketing experience. By eliminating tedious and error-prone processes of manually including product and pricing content in marketing communications, the loan officer will be more productive and free of “cut-and-paste” headaches. In addition, compliance officers are assured that compliant pricing is consistently quoted in the field, and that Velma’s industry-leading approval workflows can be invoked if needed.

“Today’s consumers have a ‘show me you know me’ mentality, and successful marketing communication treats recipients like individuals. By integrating Velma’s marketing cloud, CRM and Optimal Blue’s industry leading content, we further achieve the holy grail of marketing: the segment of one,” said Brent Emler, Velma.com’s VP of Sales and Marketing.

Optimal Blue’s best-in-class Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution consumes product and pricing content from the industry’s largest network of investors, provides intelligent selection and customization of that content as desired by lenders, and distributes the personalized results to leading technology providers via RESTful APIs – wherever, whenever it matters most.

“We’re in a world where every important constituent in the loan process – consumers, loan officers, compliance officers, and more – can’t be out of sync with any of the others,” said Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing & Alliances for Optimal Blue. “The real-time integration with Velma.com is a great example of how key stakeholders benefit throughout the loan life cycle.”

ABOUT VELMA.COM
Velma.com is a leader in mortgage marketing and creating customers and partners for life. Velma provides cloud-based marketing automation, content, CRM, and multimedia communication that has delighted our clients since 2007 with its ease of use, quality, and effectiveness. For more information, visit www.velma.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR VELMA.COM
Nicole Anderson
Velma Communications
208 854.7900
nanderson@velma.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

Optimal Blue announced today that the company has partnered with Capsilon Corporation to provide a unique digital mortgage experience with highly accurate, real-time product eligibility and pricing content.

The Capsilon digital mortgage platform leverages the power of the cloud and intelligent process automation to evolve the existing mortgage production process into a modern digital mortgage factory. By integrating Optimal Blue’s real-time product eligibility and pricing content directly into the upcoming Capsilon mortgage point-of-sale solutions, joint clients will be able to improve overall compliance, create numerous process efficiencies, and deliver an engaging origination experience.

“Capsilon is transforming the mortgage industry with intelligent process automation that increases the velocity and accuracy of every step in the loan production process,” said Sanjeev Malaney, CEO of Capsilon. “Our partnership with Optimal Blue provides the data connectivity, integrated pricing workflows, and process automation lenders require to accelerate the loan production process and improve customer satisfaction.”

Optimal Blue’s best-in-class eCommerce platform consumes product and pricing content from the industry’s largest network of investors, provides intelligent selection and customization of that content as desired by lenders, and distributes the personalized results to leading technology providers via RESTful APIs – wherever, whenever it matters most.

“Our goal is to further unite the industry with our digital marketplace and break down the traditional vendor silos that have held back industry success,” said Optimal Blue CEO Scott Happ. “Strategic integrations with digital mortgage technology leaders such as Capsilon will move the industry forward.”

ABOUT CAPSILON CORPORATION
Capsilon transforms the speed and economics of the mortgage production process. Capsilon gives mortgage originators, servicers and correspondents a disruptive advantage by making it possible to deliver mortgages at the highest velocity and at a new cost structure with the utmost integrity. Headquartered in San Francisco, Capsilon serves many of the mortgage industry’s most innovative companies, including two of the 10 largest residential mortgage lenders in the United States. For more information, visit www.capsilon.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR CAPSILON
Greg Marek
Chief Marketing Officer
(415) 889-2195
greg.marek@capsilon.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

Optimal Blue announced today that the company has partnered with BankingBridge to enhance the co-branded marketing media that the web-based vendor provides to loan officers and Realtors.

Through this integration, BankingBridge can offer participating lenders a simple, precise, affordable, and compliant way to display accurate, real-time interest rates. Clients can now offer multiple media platforms, thus improving efficiency for lenders and, ultimately, increasing customer satisfaction.

“We built BankingBridge to serve as the platform that all loan officers and realtors utilize to search, invite, and share compliant and co-branded marketing across print, digital, and social media. It’s a completely ‘hands off’ tool,” said Jimmy King, Co-Founder of BankingBridge. “Our integration with Optimal Blue’s unrivaled pricing will now allow our customer’s interest rates and loan programs to be as real-time as a stock quote on a financial website. That’s exciting!”

Optimal Blue’s best-in-class eCommerce platform consumes product and pricing content from the industry’s largest network of investors, provides intelligent selection and customization of that content as desired by lenders, and distributes the personalized results to leading technology providers via RESTful APIs – wherever, whenever it matters most.

“Customers want their mortgage process to be as simple as logging in to social media and friending someone, or as precise as buying consumer products online,” said Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing & Alliances for Optimal Blue. “By integrating with Optimal Blue, BankingBridge will be able to greatly enhance the tools that their lender and realtor partners offer to borrowers through multiple co-branded marketing vehicles, ensuring that this accurate information is tailored to their specific needs.”

ABOUT BANKINGBRIDGE
BankingBridge is a software company based out of Charleston, South Carolina, that provides a platform for loan officers and realtors to create co-branded marketing media. BankingBridge believes it should be easier for banks to market themselves and their products on-line. For more information, please visit www.bankingbridge.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR BANKINGBRIDGE
Jimmy King
Co-Founder
(843) 514-3325
jimmy@bankingbridge.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

CMPS Institute has chosen Optimal Blue as their partner to provide loan officers with highly accurate, real-time product eligibility and pricing through the Optimal Blue API.

The CMPS Platform is a CRM technology and lead conversion suite for banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and individual loan originators. Loan originators use the CMPS Platform to create and keep track of daily sales activities, prepare loan comparison reports, automate marketing, and measure progress with each borrower and strategic partner relationship. By integrating Optimal Blue’s real-time product eligibility and pricing content directly into the CMPS workflow, loan originators can now easily leverage real-time, accurate pricing directly from the CMPS system when comparing loan options.

“Our partnership with Optimal Blue will help banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies to improve their customer experience,” said Gibran Nicholas, CEO of CMPS Institute and creator of the CMPS Platform. “This integration will empower loan originators to compare loan options more effectively and automatically send quarterly mortgage reviews to their borrowers, comparing the borrower’s interest rate with current market rates. This gives loan originators a relevant way to stay in touch with their database, improve client retention, and unlock the lifetime value of their clients.”

“For too long, mortgage industry services have been isolated and essentials like real-time pricing and product eligibility were considered out of reach to even the most sophisticated platforms. Partnering and integrating with CMPS changes the game,” said Chazz Huston, Strategic Alliances Manager for Optimal Blue. “This integration brings together a first-in-class CRM with the best-in-class Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution to provide instant and accurate pricing, and creates a model for how to move the industry forward.”

ABOUT CMPS INSTITUTE
CMPS Institute is a national organization that certifies mortgage bankers and brokers. We provide mortgage planning certification, sales training and technology systems to banks, credit unions, mortgage companies and individual loan originators. For more information, visit www.cmpsinstitute.org.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR CMPS INSTITUTE
Gibran Nicholas
Chairman and CEO
(734) 385-6177
gibran@cmpsinstitute.org

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Award honors top technology innovators in the real estate industry —

Optimal Blue, operator of the mortgage industry’s digital marketplace, was recently named to HousingWire Magazine’s 2017 HW TECH100, an award listing reserved for the top technology companies leading the housing industry. This marks the fourth consecutive year Optimal Blue has been honored as part of this prestigious group.

The HW TECH100 is the only list of tech innovation that captures the entire U.S. housing economy, spanning real estate, mortgage lending, servicing, and investments.

“Inclusion on this list is a truly special honor,” said Ben Lane, HousingWire’s senior financial reporter, announcing the winners. “Making the cut puts these companies into unique territory as a tech leader in the housing economy.” Optimal Blue was recognized for its slate of technology services. At the core of Optimal Blue’s digital marketplace is a comprehensive Secondary Marketing eCommerce Platform used by the largest network of mortgage lenders, investors, and providers to share real-time content and price, lock, hedge, and sell mortgage loans.

Optimal Blue remains the industry leader, operating the largest SaaS-based network of investors and lenders, and providing that network with solutions for content management, loan quoting, margin administration, pipeline risk management, best execution, and competitive analysis. Lenders capture efficiencies by automating a variety of secondary marketing functions, including pricing updates, locking, and committing, while investors distribute content in real time and gain visibility into the competitive landscape. The customizable platform can be tailored to fit any lender or investor business model.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Optimal Blue and Blend integrate to reduce friction for borrowers and benders —

Optimal Blue, architect and operator of the mortgage industry’s digital marketplace, announced today that the company has a partnered with Blend, a Silicon Valley technology company bringing mortgages into the modern age.

As a result of the partnership, lenders that utilize Blend and Optimal Blue technology will be able to seamlessly integrate pricing workflows into Blend, resulting in an end-to-end digital mortgage platform with a sleek user interface that significantly improves lender efficiency. The combination of these two industry-leading solutions will provide more transparent and streamlined mortgage application experiences built on robust data connectivity, empowering lenders to provide a more complete decision-ready application – faster than ever before.

“Optimal Blue is focused on developing technology that empowers lenders to make smart, accurate decisions while producing the best loan options for their borrowers,” said Optimal Blue CEO Scott Happ. “This partnership with Blend moves our mission forward by introducing our pricing workflow into an emerging platform with a modern interface.”

“At its core, Blend was built to propel the mortgage process into the digital age,” said Nima Ghamsari, CEO & co-founder of Blend. “We’re committed to providing the best customer experience and the most efficient path toward homeownership. Partnering with industry technology leaders like Optimal Blue makes that experience even better.”

ABOUT BLEND
Blend is a Silicon Valley technology company transforming the multi-trillion dollar home mortgage industry. Blend’s technology delivers speed and efficiency to lenders, so they can serve the modern borrower and safely navigate the industry’s changing rules and regulations. Founded in May 2012, Blend is backed by Peter Thiel, Andreessen Horowitz, Formation 8, Lightspeed, Max Levchin, Hans Morris, and other leading venture investors. To learn more, visit www.blend.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Lenders benefit from shorter closing times, higher loan volume, higher quality loans, and increased client satisfaction —

Optimal Blue, architect of the industry-leading enterprise product and pricing engine, announced entry into a technology partnership with San Francisco, CA.-based Roostify, a leading digital mortgage platform provider. Optimal Blue’s robust enterprise mortgage pricing service, backed by an unbeatable 99.999+% accuracy rate, is now accessible to banks and mortgage originators nationwide that utilize Roostify’s innovative technology to deliver a streamlined home lending experience to their borrowers and partners. This strategic alliance of two technology experts will further accelerate and demystify the home loan and closing experience.

Roostify enables loan officers and borrowers to seamlessly share and track critical information in the mortgage application and closing process through a secure interface that significantly improves client responsiveness and reduces cycles for loan officers. The combination of Optimal Blue’s expertise in pricing, along with the transparency and step-by-step guidance in Roostify’s loan application and closing processes, provides increased efficiency and profitability through accurate and precise tools.

“Our goal is always to enable lenders to offer the best possible loan application experience to consumers, and we’re excited to further that goal through partnering with an industry leader like Optimal Blue,” explained CEO of Roostify, Rajesh Bhat. “The integration with Optimal Blue is a win for our joint customers, who will be able to close loans faster and more seamlessly. It’s also a win for their customers, who will benefit from a more transparent, streamlined application process and realize a far less stressful home-buying experience.”

“Lenders have an insatiable appetite for innovative, market-leading solutions that drive ease, transparency and efficiency to the mortgage process,” said Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing and Alliances at Optimal Blue. “We’re extremely excited to see Roostify connecting with the Optimal Blue platform in such a way that the tools driving pricing and product decisions, as well as workflow, will be interwoven into a unique experience within Roostify that provides tangible value for both the lender and consumer.”

The Roostify platform — accessible from anywhere, including mobile devices — provides shorter loan processing times by allowing lenders to eliminate manual application origination tasks, documentation, and status communication, reducing the time required to close a loan. In addition, applicants can pull data into the application directly from their financial institutions, circumventing mistakes that can delay or derail a loan decision.

The partnership has been well-received by Roostify and Optimal Blue’s mutual customers. Gellert Dornay, President and CEO of Axia Home Loans explained, “Roostify is a key component in giving our clients the ability to quickly and confidentially submit financial information to begin the process of an entirely new mortgage experience, while Optimal Blue’s automation tools increase our efficiency and profitability. The integration of these services will further streamline and improve our clients’ mortgage experience, addressing increasing customer demand for greater transparency, confidentiality and ability to expedite! This all fits perfectly into Axia Home Loans’ strategy to improve the process for our clients to make educated decisions around sustainable homeownership.”

ABOUT ROOSTIFY
Founded by three technologists frustrated with their home buying experiences, Roostify enables a more efficient, transparent mortgage process for lenders, agents and homebuyers. Roostify’s software platform is trusted by prominent banks and mortgage brokers nationwide to deliver more loan volume, faster closes and happier customers. Roostify is backed by private investors, and headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.roostify.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Strategic alliance between industry pioneers —

The premier cloud-based provider of Enterprise Lending Services (“ELS”) to the mortgage industry, Optimal Blue, recently announced it has entered into a technology partnership with SimpleNexus. Optimal Blue’s compliant pricing services, backed by an unrivaled 99.999+% accuracy rate, will now be available to industry professionals and consumers through the SimpleNexus mobile platform. Having this dynamic blend of resource tools at their fingertips, loan officers will be more efficient in nurturing clientele and facilitating all phases of the loan process.

There has been an unprecedented demand for pricing through mobile platforms, so executives from both companies are confident that this alliance will set the new standard for compliance, convenience, security and mobility. The combination of Optimal Blue’s expertise in pricing, along with the robust capabilities of SimpleNexus’ mobile platform, will provide loan officers and other stakeholders with increased profitability and productivity by providing the necessary tools when and where needed.

“SimpleNexus enables originators to interact with borrowers and agents, not only during the loan, but before and after as well,” said Matt Hansen, president of SimpleNexus. “This strategic partnership was an ambitious accomplishment. Optimal Blue’s reputation and focus on innovation align perfectly with who we are, so we are confident that lenders and their partners will see increased production when utilizing these technologies.”

“This is the perfect blend of skills and services provided by two best-in-class companies,” commented Mark Coupland, vice president of business development at Optimal Blue. “This will further extend the reach of both companies’ offerings into the loan origination process, benefiting all stakeholders in the process and most importantly, the consumer. This is just the beginning”

From lead generation to closing, Optimal Blue and SimpleNexus will continue to provide innovative solutions that offer organizational-level compliance, while improving the experience for all parties involved in the mortgage process.

ABOUT SIMPLENEXUS
In 2011, SimpleNexus pioneered private-labeled mobile apps for the mortgage space. Focusing on mobile, SimpleNexus provides convenience from the beginning of the home search to closing. Borrowers, loan officers and agents all use the technology to stay connected and close loans faster. Furthermore, SimpleNexus is a select member of the Mortgage Bankers Association and the only mobile technology provider with a SOC 2 security audit incorporated into its services. SimpleNexus is a trusted partner and has the resources and expertise to help companies deliver above and beyond their customers’ expectations. For more information, please visit www.SimpleNexus.com, or contact SimpleNexus at (855) 684-2777 or info@simplenexus.com.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

As a mortgage originator grows, it becomes apparent that many processes which worked in the past need to be changed to accommodate the larger volume. Most owners or managers are familiar with the origination process and can make good decisions regarding changes to those processes. The secondary market, however, typically is a mystery and not as well understood.

Originators with a best efforts strategy often hear that they can make more money selling mandatory if they have enough volume. However, they have no way of assessing that statement. In addition, there are many other considerations a mortgage company must evaluate before making a decision to sell their loans mandatory.

The improvement in price achieved by selling loans mandatory is often referred to as the best efforts – mandatory spread. This is the difference achieved by pricing to the loan officers based on best efforts rate sheet and the price achieved by selling the loans mandatory. However, this revenue opportunity does not come without a cost. When selling mandatory, the loan originator now has to manage the fall out assumptions and the interest rate risk from lock to commitment of loans at funding – a task that previously was passed on to the best efforts investor. To accomplish this, the originator must implement a hedging strategy.

An originator can implement a hedge strategy in several ways. They can hire the appropriate talent to perform this task or they can outsource this task to a hedge provider to manage it for them. If they decide to manage it in-house, they still must decide what analytical tools to use. This can be a complicated decision and one that will be addressed in a future column. In addition to how to manage the hedge, there are many other internal changes that an originator must address when making the transition to a mandatory commitment strategy. These include:

Loan Delivery: In my experience, this can be more important than the best efforts – mandatory price improvement on an operation. When growing it becomes very onerous to manage each lock individually with the investor. By moving to a mandatory strategy, most originators say the improvement in operations creates about 1 -3 bps improvement to profits. Loans are delivered in bulk instead of individually improving loan delivery efficiencies. Also, loans data is final (no management of loan data during the underwriting process) and loan substitutions in commitments are allowed so there is much more flexibility in delivery.

Lock Desk: For a mandatory strategy, a centralized lock desk is a necessary. Some shops let their loan officers manage the locks. This will not work with a mandatory strategy. I recommend implementing a centralized lock desk first while you still are operating with a best efforts strategy. This will reduce dramatically the work required of a lock desk and will pave the way for the transition to mandatory commitments. When a new lock comes in at a best efforts shop, the lock desk must turn around and lock the loan with the investor. Data changes have to be managed on an individual loan basis. With a mandatory strategy, this does not have to be done. In addition, the lock desk would have to administer any lock changes with the investor based on the investors lock policies. With a mandatory strategy, lock policies are determined by the originator. This includes extensions, relocks, renegotiations and other changes. This means there can be consistent policy that can be published for all loans locked by the originator. In addition, the economics of the lock policy are managed by the originator and not passed along to the investor.

Underwriting: I suggest, although it is not required, that you create a common underwriting guideline per product when selling loans mandatory. Best efforts shops lock loans with the investor as soon as they lock a rate with the customer. It makes sense to underwrite to the investors guidelines. When selling mandatory, the investor is not selected until funding of the loan. Therefore, underwriting to a single guideline gives the secondary markets group the most flexibility to sell the loan to the investor with the highest price. Issues arise when investors have soft overlays that are different from other investors. In that situation, there should be a mechanism to include or exclude investors available for the sale of the loan.

Pricing: Many originators begin a mandatory strategy for selling loans but continue to use best efforts pricing for origination. I highly recommended that the originator transition to one pricing strategy per program to match the common underwriting guidelines. Many loan officers are used to picking the investor with the best price so this might require a cultural change within the organization. And this could take time. If the originator decides to continue to offer pricing based on investor best efforts rate sheets, extra care should be taken to make sure that best efforts pricing offered can be sold mandatory at a profit. Sometimes, investors offer a very aggressive best efforts price for a short period of time. In such cases, it could be more aggressive than mandatory pricing. This typically is a short-term phenomenon and will adjust back to a price that is lower than mandatory. But any origination occurring during that time could experience a loss. I would recommend either (1) adjusting origination spreads to compensate for the difference or (2) locking loans best efforts at the time the lock is taken from the customer.

Investor Management: When going from a best-efforts to a mandatory strategy, it is important to make sure that (1) your current investors are aware of the new delivery strategy and (2) they are evaluated to ensure that they are the best outlets for the new strategy. Many investors offer incentives on the delivery method used by the originator. By notifying investors of the change in strategy, it will ensure that the originator will make the most profit from the change.

There are a lot of opportunities to improve profitability and efficiency with a mandatory strategy. I have seen many customers successfully go from best efforts to mandatory but the work on the above items needs to be done first. For originators who have volume over $10 million per month and a net worth over $3 million that want to get to the next level, this is a worthwhile endeavor. But as you could see from the items described above, many operational changes have to take place to be successful.

This article was featured in the May issue of Mortgage WOMEN Magazine. View the entire article here.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

— Two mortgage technology experts pioneer further innovation —

Optimal Blue, the premier cloud-based provider of enterprise lending services to the mortgage industry, recently announced its technology partnership with Easy Mortgage Apps. This exciting integration will provide loan officers, real estate agents, and consumers with the flexibility to utilize the Optimal Blue platform within a lender’s native application, powered by Easy Mortgage Apps. The result is the ability to easily generate eligibility and rate quotes directly on their preferred device: the smartphone.

Optimal Blue is known as the premier cloud-based provider of enterprise lending services, including their industry-leading Product eligibility and Pricing Engine (PPE), Optimal Blue Banker. This integration represents a valuable opportunity for lenders to communicate vital information with all relevant parties, including product and rate information, as well as track application statuses and share time-sensitive data between loan officers and borrowers via mobile channels.

“Easy Mortgage Apps looks forward to building this partnership with industry leader, Optimal Blue, to offer all parties involved in the mortgage process a mobile-centric and more efficient way to instantly provide loan options for consumers,” said Michael Kelleher, President and Founder of Easy Mortgage Apps. “The result is a more engaged borrower. Companies who are looking to attract the millennial mortgage applicant need to review and evaluate mobile strategies designed to enhance the consumer experience, versus lead generation. We will continue to focus on developing strategic relationships with companies like Optimal Blue, which share the vision of a technically evolved lending industry.”

“We are excited about this strategic alliance,” added Mark Coupland, Vice President of Business Development for Optimal Blue. “Easy Mortgage Apps shares our passion for creating new technology and mobile experiences that will continue to reduce friction in the lending process! The added transparency and clarity resulting from this strong integration will only further enhance the lending experience for lenders and consumers alike.”

ABOUT EASY MORTGAGE APPS
Easy Mortgage Apps (EMA), the mobile-first platform where borrowers, loan officers and realtors communicate, upload info, and track in-process loans. EMA’s white labeled product helps banks and lending institutions close the gap between today’s mortgage technology and borrowers’ expectations to use smartphones in the home buying process. The EMA native app is industry compliant and seamlessly integrates into all major loan processing systems. EMA now serves 100+ enterprise customers in 47 states.

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PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com