Indices provide granular and accurate data to daily movement of mortgage rates

Optimal Blue, a leading provider of secondary marketing solutions and actionable data services in the mortgage industry, recently announced the completion of integration with Nasdaq’s Contributor API (CAPI), which enables the real-time distribution of Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices™ (OBMMI™) on Nasdaq’s Global Index Data Service℠ (GIDS) platform.

Individuals who closely monitor the U.S. economy understand the strong correlation between the performance of the housing industry and the overall economy. For that reason, the availability of granular and accurate indices that depict the daily movement of mortgage rates provides a great benefit to the investing public. Optimal Blue’s timely indices offer substantial visibility into some of the critical drivers of mortgage pricing and trends over time for all GIDS data recipients, at no additional cost.

“We are thrilled to announce the availability of OBMMI on the Nasdaq platform,” said Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “OBMMI are uniquely positioned to provide unparalleled transparency into mortgage rates and this partnership enables Optimal Blue to deliver additional visibility into these key market metrics to even more financial services professionals—that’s a win for all involved.”

OBMMI was created by Optimal Blue to provide mortgage and finance professionals and consumers alike with greater visibility into how key credit factors impact mortgage pricing. Based on actual locked rates with consumers across 35% of all mortgage transactions nationwide, OBMMI are a compilation of sixteen mortgage rate indices developed around the most popular mortgage loan products and the primary credit-related attributes that impact mortgage pricing. These unique and granular indices provide an unprecedented level of daily insight into mortgage rate trends—the most comprehensive, accurate, and timely analysis of pricing ever conducted in the mortgage industry.

“Nasdaq is dedicated to bringing transparency throughout the financial ecosystem, including through our Global Index Data Service (GIDS),” explained Oliver Albers, Senior Vice President and Head of Data with Nasdaq’s Global Information Services. “The addition of mortgage rate indices known as OBMMI on GIDS provides additional clarity to an important asset class.”

Nasdaq GIDS provides data recipients, either directly or through a third-party distributor, the opportunity to reduce network, administrative, and data center costs through one connected ecosystem, rather than multiple data feeds. More than 700 firms—including all major market data vendors, market exchanges, sell-side banks, buy-side firms, trade automation providers, and financial web portals—receive real-time data feeds from Nasdaq GIDS and distribute to financial industry participants around the globe.

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

— Consumers and industry 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 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

— Exemplifying commitment to client-focused product development and 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

— 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

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

— 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