– Roostify expands existing partnership with Optimal Blue to incorporate industry-leading product & 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

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

– 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

– Consumers & industry professionals gain unique insights into key product & 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 consumers and mortgage professionals 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 30% 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

– Its 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.

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

– Combination Expands Network of Buyers & Sellers Supporting $750 Billion of Transactions –

Today, Optimal Blue announced the acquisition of Resitrader, creating the mortgage industry’s largest mortgage loan trading platform. With the addition of Resitrader, Optimal Blue now supports $750 billion of transactions each year across its Digital Mortgage Marketplace, including nearly $600 billion of rate locks processed through its product and pricing engine and more than $150 billion of transactions through its hedging solution.

Since its founding in 2015, Resitrader has focused on bringing automation and transparency to the spot market for mortgage loans. 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.

“Two years ago, Optimal Blue set out to build a Digital Mortgage Marketplace that facilitates transactions between originators, investors, and the providers both use. This acquisition is another key step in that journey,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “Resitrader is the clear market leader in bringing efficiency, transparency, and security to a critical and expanding segment of the mortgage market, and we are excited to offer this innovative solution to our clients.”

By making Resitrader available to Optimal Blue customers, the company expects a major expansion in trading volume over the next year. The platform will be integrated with Optimal Blue’s hedging solution and substantially expand the company’s capabilities in the bulk bid market, an execution widely used by lenders employing a mandatory delivery strategy. More than 50 buyers are already active on the platform and over 150 sellers are expected on the platform by year end. Additionally, Optimal Blue will seek to expand third party relationships with hedge advisors and whole loan traders needing access to the bulk market. John Ardy, CEO of Resitrader, said “We are thrilled to join an organization that shares our vision of creating the industry’s premier platform for trading mortgage loans.” He added, “With Optimal Blue’s backing, I expect Resitrader to continue its rapid growth, bringing depth and breadth to the market.”

The company is proud to share that John Ardy, Seever Sulaiman, CIO of Resitrader, and the entire Resitrader team joined Optimal Blue upon close of the transaction. According to Happ, “John and Seever are proven innovators and bring considerable experience in building trading platforms to our team. There is no limit to what we can do together.”

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

– Exemplifying Commitment to Client-Focused Product Development & Functional Depth –

These are certainly exciting times in the mortgage industry. The industry has experienced a massive influx of mortgage technology solutions in the past several years and the pace of innovation has greatly increased. Never before have mortgage lenders been provided with as many digital alternatives to automate their mortgage process.

The fast pace of innovation and technology adoption across the industry coupled with heightened competitive pressure for originations, is driving today’s mortgage lenders to expect more from the providers they choose to partner with. Lenders have quickly ascertained that the next level of value and sustained competitive advantage requires functionally deep solutions that are continually enhanced to address their specific needs and objectives.

“In today’s landscape, lenders are searching for new ways to stay competitive and do more with less,” explained Brandon White, Secondary Marketing Supervisor at Affiliated Bank. “To accomplish that, innovative lenders are partnering with vendors that offer functional depth and are committed to extensive innovation. Optimal Blue has been the trusted partner we’ve embedded across our business to provide that competitive edge.”

In light of the industry’s new reality, Optimal Blue has invested heavily in the expansion of the features and functionality available through its enterprise secondary marketing solution. Surrounding core capabilities with a powerful and robust feature set not only differentiates Optimal Blue from other providers, but – more importantly – enables their client base to further enhance their already sophisticated secondary marketing strategies and sustain their competitive edge. Additionally, by leveraging ideas and direct feedback drawn from product design client workgroups as well as direct input sessions with many more, Optimal Blue can validate the impact and value of new offerings and enhancements before they are introduced to the marketplace.

“Optimal Blue is fortunate to have productive, long-term partnerships with some of the industry’s most innovative mortgage lenders, firms that are leading the industry with their focus on using workflow automation to drive efficiency,” explained Scott Happ, Chief Executive Officer of Optimal Blue. “Automating complex secondary marketing functions is of particular interest to our clients, and we are thrilled with their reaction to a number of groundbreaking workflow automation features we’ve recently developed.”

Optimal Blue’s recent product innovations exemplify the company’s ongoing commitment to client-focused product development and market-leading functional depth across its platform. Designed and developed around core themes originating from its clients – Transparency, Granularity, and Personalization – the following are just three of the recent innovations available to Optimal Blue clients at no additional cost:

1. Transparency: Compelling Margin Management & Revenue Visualizations
As the mortgage landscape becomes more competitive, today’s lenders constantly evaluate mark-ups, margins, and overall profitability to improve results. Until recently, lenders have done so by managing just a single data point, their total margin. With this powerful enhancement to Optimal Blue’s business intelligence solution, Enterprise Analytics, lenders can easily assess metrics associated to profitability by understanding the breakdown of margin revenue and how it trends over time. Through compelling, interactive visualizations, geographical heat maps, and more, lenders can analyze the effectiveness of origination strategies and view margin data at the loan level, or by branch, loan officer, product, business channel, and investor.

2. Granularity: Configurable & Automated Lock Management Policies
Optimal Blue clients constantly search for opportunities to fine-tune the overall efficiency of their operations to reduce costs and improve overall execution. A common high-impact area, one where even the most modest of improvements can produce material results, is the lock management process. With this enhancement, Optimal Blue greatly extends its lock management automation by enabling clients to achieve significant granularity with the post-lock policies that surround various changes occurring after the initial rate lock. For example, if the borrower profile changes after the initial rate lock and this new scenario requires a change, Optimal Blue now enables lenders to auto-accept unique post-lock changes based on embedded logic. Furthermore, if a financing scenario change requires a modification to the loan product offer, lenders can configure specific rate lock policies for each type of modification to enforce consistency across their organization. With this enhancement, Optimal Blue clients can easily establish highly sophisticated, granular lock policies and self-administer unique customizations to those policies over time as strategies change.

3. Personalization: Additional Product Type Filters to Easily Identify Specialty Products
Non-QM or Expanded Guideline products are a popular growth area for many Optimal Blue clients, and a substantial new system enhancement now allows lenders to better support customers with specialized needs. With this enhancement, Optimal Blue users are provided with new, powerful product filters that can be used to display the products and pricing most appropriate for specific borrower scenarios. Examples include loans designed for borrowers with alternative income, low credit scores, and low debt-to-income ratios. This user personalization not only improves sales efficiency, but it helps Optimal Blue clients close more loans by aligning specific borrower needs with the most appropriate financing alternatives.

Ultimately, the future is bright for the mortgage industry. Opportunities for further automation are everywhere, and compelling change can indeed lead to the next level of value and true competitive differentiation for participants. However, high-level automation for automation’s sake is not always the answer. Many times, the most impactful successes with automation are found in the details of the workflow and the specifics of a process. Optimal Blue’s client-focused product development and commitment to functional depth serves as a model for the industry and illustrates the considerable benefits of deeper, continuous automation for lenders.

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

– Fifth Consecutive Recognition as a Technology Leader in the Housing Economy –

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, was recently named to HousingWire’s HW Tech100™ for the fifth consecutive year. The HW Tech100 takes a broad focus approach to innovative technology across the U.S. housing economy, spanning real estate to mortgage lending and servicing, as well as investments, recognizing industry leaders in a new, unique, and powerful way.

As explained by HousingWire’s Online Editor, Caroline Basile, “These companies provide innovative solutions and are moving the housing finance industry forward as technology rapidly changes how the landscape operates.” Since 2002, Optimal Blue has been a pioneer of mortgage technology innovation – known to provide the scale and experience that many in the industry rely upon for results every day.

Thousands of leading originators, investors, and providers rely on Optimal Blue’s technology and together, create a unique, multi-sided network referred to as the Digital Mortgage Marketplace. Through this single, unified technology and value-added services platform, originators can automate their entire secondary marketing operation, from content through commitment, while investors are empowered with network access and an array of compliance and business intelligence tools. By providing innovative mortgage technology firms with API-based access to the Digital Mortgage Marketplace, Optimal Blue has connected virtually every vendor in the digital mortgage space.

“Optimal Blue supports an extensive ecosystem of digital mortgage providers and has helped bring positive change to the industry by reducing the barriers to collaboration,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “What an honor to be a part of this incredible revolution, and to be recognized as a technology leader in the HW Tech100. Together, we are helping move our industry forward.”

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

– Data and Analytics Solutions Offer Valuable Insights –

Optimal Blue has always been a data company. Founded in 2002, the company pioneered a variety of technology software solutions and eventually built a Digital Mortgage Marketplace that is now relied upon by thousands of originators, investors, and leading providers. In connecting these different parties through a single, unified technology and value-added services platform, the company did more than just automate secondary marketing — it evolved into a robust repository of data that provides critical insights into the mortgage loan process.

“We are uniquely positioned to provide data driven insights. That has a lot to do with our scale, as we are the largest industry marketplace of this type by a fair stretch,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue.

Supporting the daily activity between buyers and sellers has positioned the company to see more than 200 million searches in a year and lock over $500 billion in loans. Optimal Blue now touches one out of every four loans being originated in the U.S., generating a huge volume of transactional data.

As part of its marketplace function, Optimal Blue’s platform ingests raw data from investors and translates that into actionable information for originators looking to achieve best execution pricing. Through price comparison tools, originators can achieve entirely new levels of awareness about how others are pricing in different markets, and how competitive their own pricing is. As a result, they gain visibility into what market niches present growth opportunities.

“It’s a hyper competitive market and different originators have different strengths,” Happ said. “Say you want to offer FHA low-FICO loans, or jumbos in Seattle – without a tool to determine how instantly competitive you are, it’s really difficult to execute on that strategy.”

Happ continued, “That’s why we have customers that are running hundreds of geo-specific searches every day to get a quick handle on how they should adjust pricing. It’s a very dynamic marketplace and our tools provide real time information at the loan scenario level.”

But originators are only one part of the equation since Optimal Blue also provides data solutions to investors. When Optimal Blue acquired Comergence in May 2017, it was the equivalent of pouring rocket fuel on a fire — providing a completely new set of data points around the 18,000+ firms that originate the majority of loans nationwide. That information provides location, number of loan officers, licensing and loan production data for Optimal Blue’s investor clients.

“Comergence is a great fit with Optimal Blue because they offer services to the same investor base that we work with,” Happ explained. “Providing an investor with real-time insights into an originator’s profile allows for a more targeted sales strategy while ensuring low risk relationships.”

Gathering data is one thing, translating it into actionable insights is a different, more complex challenge. Last year, Optimal Blue worked with Microsoft to deploy a powerful business intelligence platform. This sophisticated visualization tool helps Optimal Blue make data understandable and meaningful to originators.

“One of the historical challenges with data solutions is that they necessitate additional resources or people who can slice and dice that data, but not all originators employ data scientists to help with analytics,” Happ said. “We built a tool to help originators visualize information – it really democratizes data! The Optimal Blue solution is available to anyone that wants a better understanding of what is happening within their operation.”

With an ever-growing volume of mortgage data, Optimal Blue continues to find new ways to leverage that information for originators and investors, with several innovations ready for release in the next few months.

“We have one foot in the marketplace, facilitating transactions, and another in data,” Happ said. “Our goal is to figure out how to package that information and make it a valuable resource for the mortgage industry.”

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

– Leading API Platform Powers the Industry’s Largest Ecosystem –

In a world fueled by technological advancements, it is no surprise that the “digital movement” has taken over the mortgage industry. Today, nearly all consumers begin the mortgage loan process online and have come to expect on-demand, transparent, consistent information at the immediate point of need.

These evolving consumer expectations paired with the industry’s highly competitive environment are causing a rush by originators to adopt digital capabilities. In the process, originators must grapple with how to integrate digital mortgage technologies, deliver information to the consumer in a real-time compliant manner, and ensure consumers have a consistent experience across channels and throughout the origination process.

To address these needs, Optimal Blue supports a wide array of third-party applications used in the digital mortgage process that enable originators to connect the product and pricing data within the Optimal Blue System with over 25 vendors. Now, for the first time, originators can rely on a single platform to power their digital pricing presentation, including CRM, mobile, point-of-sale, and marketing.

Because these applications are all connected using Optimal Blue’s common API framework, product eligibility and pricing is handled consistently by each application and APR calculations, payment disclosures, and mortgage insurance quotes are always correct. To ensure third-party applications comply with data and connectivity standards, Optimal Blue maintains a rigorous vendor certification process.

“By creating a platform supporting third-party applications, Optimal Blue has crushed the barrier to the digital mortgage,” said Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “By connecting virtually every vendor in the digital mortgage space to the Optimal Blue platform, we have paved the way for originators to join the digital mortgage movement.”

Optimal Blue supports a wide variety of transactions for vendor partners through its API platform, including product eligibility, complete price results, and locking. Since the API platform was announced nine months ago, more than 70 clients have subscribed.

To further support the use of Optimal Blue as a single source for product eligibility and pricing data, the company has also invested heavily in integrating with LOS and lead generation sites, and now has a Quick Quote solution allowing originators to easily embed live price quotes on their website or mobile application.

With Quick Quote, an originator can provide live, personalized, and compliant pricing to borrowers visiting a lender’s website or to loan officers through a mobile-enabled link.

“The ability to quote accurate pricing with a mobile device empowers the loan officer to develop and maintain relationships outside of the office,” said Sue Baker, vice president of product at Optimal Blue. “Not only do they remain competitive, but they build a solid foundation to transition the consumer through the application process – electronically and compliantly.”

Originators can control what products and pricing are returned in the Quick Quote solution through configuration settings.

The digital mortgage wave has caught the imagination of our industry and has spawned innovative technology providers. At the same time, rapidly changing consumer preferences are pressing originators to become more transparent, responsive, and consistent throughout the mortgage origination process.

To help originators grapple with the growing array of technology choices and address consumer needs, Optimal Blue now supports the largest ecosystem of digital mortgage providers in the industry with an advanced API platform connecting third-party applications to Optimal Blue’s network. Clients are using these third-party applications along with native solutions like Quick Quote to jumpstart their entry into the digital mortgage arena, and are realizing operational and compliance benefits from using Optimal Blue as a single source for loan pricing.

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

– Drives Originator Success With Powerful Business Intelligence Solution and Expansions to API Platform –

Secondary marketing automation and services provider Optimal Blue recently introduced an advanced data visualization tool and significant expansions to its highly-advanced application programming interface (API) platform. These innovations align with Optimal Blue’s commitment to develop best-in-class solutions that increase the competitiveness of their clients, enable sustainable operational efficiencies, and break down traditional integration barriers with the mortgage technology providers they rely upon.

With Optimal Blue’s Enterprise Analytics, originators finally have an intuitive and convenient centralized reporting mechanism to quickly and efficiently gather information for better decision-making. Originators can measure and compare expectations against their results to accurately determine if performance is truly aligned with organizational goals. Secondary marketing managers can also benchmark their business channels to easily compare lock volume by product type, loan purpose, note rates, FICO score and more.

“The Enterprise Analytics platform is a concise, integrated solution that breaks unnecessary dependency on database and reporting resources, putting the organization in the driver’s seat to nimbly adapt to driving market forces, and optimize profitability and expansion,” explained Richard Martin, assistant vice president of HomeStreet Bank. “The framework offers dynamic, customizable, and exportable dashboard solutions for every layer of management.”

Trends in change requests and lock volume are apparent and can be easily tracked, so decision makers can clearly identify and understand the behavior behind company numbers. Originators can utilize this valuable information to determine if their profit margins are sufficient to cover operational costs or if mark-ups should be created, if additional training should be provided to sales team individuals, or if other actions need to be taken.

“Enterprise Analytics provides the crucial business insight that our clients need to more rapidly solve problems, seize opportunities, and drive success. We’ve also expanded our API product lineup, allowing clients to further integrate highly-advanced APIs into their unique business processes,” said Bob Brandt, vice president of marketing and alliances at Optimal Blue. “This elevated data transparency and availability are fundamental components in our strategic product initiative.”

The recent expansion of Optimal Blue’s API platform is yet another innovation pioneered to set the technology standard for the mortgage industry. This expanded suite of API offerings provides originators with full listing search results, best execution search results, pipeline and lock management. Users can easily create, update, and retrieve loans, and seamlessly retrieve, filter, and sort pipelines. Additionally, the API features a built-in capability to register loans, request locks, and automatically accept locks.

Clients have experienced enormous success by creatively leveraging these APIs to automate dynamic marketing campaigns, advertise corporate rates, perform accurate and fast borrower-specific searches, and more. The expanded API suite has also encouraged customers to leverage mobile apps and online portals, allowing them to take control of the entire user experience, from start to finish.

“Through our API integration, Mace Innovations has the power of Optimal Blue with added flexibility,” explained Chris Mace, president and founder. “We now have a comprehensive complement of data and a modern, intuitive technology platform to transfer additional data points and custom fields – all of which helps eradicate the obstacles that have historically hindered innovation within our industry.”

As the fintech landscape continues to change, Optimal Blue resolves to stay in the forefront as an industry leader. By providing comprehensive insight into real-time, loan-level metrics and exposing new channels to coherently source accurate data throughout the loan lifecycle, Optimal Blue proves that there is no limit to what can be achieved through innovation.

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

– Digital Oversight & Process Automation Provides Added Assurance to Satisfy Internal & 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

– Company Releases Enterprise Analytics, an Innovative Business Intelligence Solution for Secondary Marketing Leaders –

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, announces the launch of Enterprise Analytics. This powerful business intelligence and data visualization tool represents the latest innovation in its best-in-class Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution.

Enterprise Analytics provides secondary marketing leaders with full visibility into lock activity and change requests, including lock extensions. Transactional lock data can be monitored in near real-time, allowing users to understand trends and monitor activity at the product, channel, branch, and loan officer level. With captivating reports, interactive dashboards, and extensive drill-down features, Enterprise Analytics delivers the insights business leaders need to optimize their operations.

“Optimal Blue has a major commitment to building business intelligence tools for our customers, and the release of Enterprise Analytics represents a major step on that journey,” said Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “By giving users instant access to the business metrics that matter most, this innovative solution will help customers rapidly solve problems and seize opportunities.”

By combining lock data and pricing details with powerful visualizations, Enterprise Analytics provides business intelligence that is truly actionable. As stated by Sheryl Teague, Senior Product Manager at Optimal Blue, “Enterprise Analytics is powered by an industry-leading business intelligence engine, designed to take full advantage of Optimal Blue’s robust data warehouse. Originators now have the essential functionality to easily monitor and react to changes in market conditions, product mixes, and loan activity.”

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

– Significant Speed, Accuracy, and Compliance Advantages Achieved Throughout the Lending Process –

Optimal Blue has experienced incredible growth in the past year by offering a unique, end-to-end secondary marketing automation solution for originators. Optimal Blue automates the entire secondary marketing operation — from content through commitment — which has created an entirely new mortgage technology category in the marketplace.

“Secondary marketing is an enterprise-wide function that touches every aspect of the mortgage lending process, from lead generation through application, closing, and delivery,” said Bob Brandt, vice president of marketing and alliances at Optimal Blue. “What makes Optimal Blue different is that, with one end-to-end system integrated tightly with the various systems our clients rely upon, we’ve taken a more holistic approach to automating secondary marketing that covers the full gamut of the lending process.”

Through a single, unified technology and value-added platform, Optimal Blue’s Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution incorporates every critical secondary marketing function throughout the loan process in a user-friendly, feature-rich way, including:

CONTENT
Optimal Blue’s end-to-end platform replaces manual processes with real-time, automated ingestion of loan program and pricing data. Because content is fully automated for a wide array of investors, originators can quickly activate new investor relationships and self-configure mortgage loan programs with embedded investor guidelines and company policies, or by blending the best pricing available from multiple investors.

ELIGIBILITY AND PRICING
Optimal Blue’s platform renders real-time loan quotes by instantly evaluating up-to-date investor content, and also delivers best execution results that display all eligible products ranked by price. In addition, originators can control and track pricing exceptions as well as mortgage insurance integration, which enables borrowers to obtain accurate total loan cost information.

LOCKING
Replacing manual lock desk functions with automation provides an immediate boost to an originator’s efficiency, giving them the ability to initiate rate lock requests and receive instant lock confirmations through a highly configurable, auto-accept process. Automating the change request function allows lock desk personnel to allocate more time handling exceptions, which results in a reduction of errors and ensures a pipeline position that is always current.

PIPELINE RISK
With Optimal Blue’s Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution, pipeline positions are updated with real-time market and lock data feeds, providing secondary marketing managers with continuous visibility into risk positions. The platform includes strong error examination routines, identifies eligibility problems as loan characteristics change, and leverages native investor content to generate precise, mark-to-market reports for managers, auditors, and regulatory authorities.

HEDGING
Optimal Blue enables risk managers to perform “what-if” analyses to understand how various actions affect their risk position, as well as model the P&L impact of market changes. Positions and market values are constantly updated, so potential hedging actions may be evaluated and positions modified at any time, allowing the secondary desk to react promptly to incoming locks or market changes. Additionally, it supports note rate hedging for those who sell forward commitments through the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cash window.

COMMITTING​​​​​​​
For originators that access the popular bulk bid market execution, automation helps streamline an otherwise tedious process. If system-to-system integration exists with the investor, committing can be initiated from within the Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution once an execution is selected, resulting in substantial time and cost savings. Commitment automation also eliminates the need to reconcile two systems, reduces error rates and ultimately risk levels by enabling the offsetting of incoming locks more quickly.

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE​​​​​​​
Secondary marketing managers are required to make quick, high-impact decisions but often lack access to the data and analytical tools necessary to operate effectively. To address this issue, Optimal Blue offers impressive business intelligence capabilities that provide instant access to broad data sets along with analytical tools that help users understand and evaluate opportunities. These systems also provide access to real-time production, performance and competitive data, as well as insight on competitive positioning and market share.

One of the most valued aspects of Optimal Blue’s Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution extends well beyond the robust functionality. The API-first strategy of Optimal Blue led to the development of the industry’s first comprehensive RESTful API platform that supports automated product eligibility, pricing, lock desk and pipeline management integrations with the third-party technology providers the industry relies upon.

Optimal Blue clients can directly gain access to the company’s API library and develop an integration on their own, or they can choose from a library of turnkey APIs developed in partnership with a wealth of leading providers focused on lead generation, marketing, CRM, consumer-direct, point-of-sale (POS), loan origination (LOS), and more.

“Throughout the loan lifecycle, no matter what system is relied upon, the originator has the confidence that they are quoting accurate, compliant, and real-time product eligibility and pricing,” said Brandt. “With our robust API capabilities and the numerous leading mortgage technology vendors who have built to them, Optimal Blue is breaking down the integration barriers that have held back the industry.”

Optimal Blue has pioneered the full range of capabilities required to offer true, end-to-end secondary marketing automation with the emergence of its Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution. Early adopters report significant efficiency and profitability improvements, all imperative in the compliance-critical, competitive environment in which we operate today.

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 Continues to Refine Secondary Market Automation for Lenders –

Optimal Blue’s significant investment in developing and deploying comprehensive secondary market automation propelled the company’s growth in the first half of 2017, netting a 21% increase in new clients.

The company released a number of new enhancements to its end-to-end technology this year, including a market share analytics solution, a business intelligence tool and a social media compliance solution.

It also launched capabilities that integrate mortgage technology systems across the industry. Through its 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.

With Optimal Blue solutions, lenders can automate their entire secondary marketing function and interact seamlessly with the industry’s largest network of leading investors, all through a single, unified platform.

“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.

Optimal Blue’s Digital Mortgage Marketplace connects originators, investors and providers and the company continues to forge strategic partnerships with other mortgage tech providers, such as Roostify and Easy Mortgage Apps. In May, Optimal Blue announced its acquisition of Comergence, a provider of due diligence automation and ongoing surveillance services.

“Optimal Blue and Comergence are well-aligned around our principal mission of facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers of loans,” Happ said. “Comergence solutions help build trust and confidence among marketplace participants by verifying third-party compliance in real-time, a capability unmatched in the industry.”

The Comergence acquisition was one more milestone in the company’s ultimate two-pronged mission: to enable originators to automate their entire secondary marketing operation, from content through commitment; while enabling investors and leading providers to accelerate the loan origination process by leveraging automated data exchange, streamlined value delivery, robust innovations and actionable business intelligence.

The market response to Optimal Blue’s development and acquisition of cutting-edge solutions had been dramatic, with record customer growth and adoption this year. The company’s Digital Mortgage Marketplace already touches one of every four mortgage loans in the U.S., and Optimal Blue is poised to continue that growth with its commitment to innovation.

“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,” Happ said.

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

– System Automates Entire Secondary Marketing Process; Includes Major Innovation Supporting Hedge with Mandatory Cash Commitments –

Optimal Blue LLC, leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, recently announced the introduction of an unprecedented new Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution for credit unions. This new solution includes an industry first – a note rate hedging module specifically designed to support how credit unions sell loans to the GSEs.

Credit unions that sell directly to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can now take advantage of this new offering that combines Optimal Blue’s best-in-class secondary marketing automation, product eligibility and pricing engine, and note rate hedging, as well as the bespoke features needed to offer credit union members a more competitive product lineup.

Among the platform’s unique features – designed specifically with credit unions and their members in mind – are instantaneous and highly-accurate eligibility and pricing, a real-time pricing and commitment integration with e, advanced automation that eliminates the tedium and potential risks of manual spreadsheets, and significant fiscal risk-minimalization through focused pipeline hedge capabilities.

“This is an innovative new enterprise solution that for the first time, fully supports the unique challenges that credit unions face in their day-to-day approach and processes,” Said Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “Rather than using a patchwork of systems and manual methods, credit union executives can now automate the entire secondary marketing process, resulting in significant efficiency and profitability improvements.”

For additional details on the elements, functionality, and effect of an Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution for credit unions and the digital mortgage market, Optimal Blue has developed a resource titled Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solutions: Automating Content to Commitment and Everything In Between. Read White Paper.

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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’s Intelligent Trade Blotter Enables Easy Modeling and Trade Execution; Draws High Praise from Clients –

The comprehensive pipeline risk management and hedging capabilities of Optimal Blue’s Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution just got better. Today the company has unveiled a highly-advanced trade blotter feature that empowers its clients to easily model coverage and execute trades, leverage a streamlined workflow for associating longs/shorts, and benefit from enhanced business intelligence capabilities.

The functionality is garnering rave reviews from Optimal Blue clients. They have noticed a significant increase in efficiencies as related to modeling, adding, lifting and rolling coverage, as well as the planning and executing of trades.

“It is great to be able to see what someone has modeled, rather than relying on screen shots or word of mouth,” said Patrick Ruybal, Risk Management Specialist at All Western Mortgage. Ruybal further explained that his team enjoys being able to set up buy/offers as first-in, first-out, stating “The dealers have gone this route, and we prefer to remain in line with our dealers and lift coverage as needed by order of trade date, based upon the security.”

Another bonus, Ruybal adds, is the ability to lift from multiple dealers at once for the same security. “Optimal Blue’s trade blotter has saved considerable time in this process and reduced the manual task of working within spreadsheets. Our team is free to allocate that much needed time elsewhere.”

Zalman Zwiebel, Secondary Market Director at Ark Mortgage, said that leveraging this feature has dramatically increased efficiency. “What I love most is when I have multiple trades at the same time. I am now able to enter all data at once as opposed to previously entering data separately,” Zwiebel said.

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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

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

– 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

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