Mortgage brokers: improve your profitability with online fax
The average total work time to process a home loan is 14 hours, and most of that time is handling paperwork and tedious data entry. Unsurprisingly if you can cut down the amount of time it takes you to process a loan, you’ll improve your profitability.
Think about it this way: if you earn a fixed commission for selling a home loan, and you can process each loan in a total of 8 hours instead of 12, you’ve increased your hourly rate by 30%.
One of the easiest ways to cut down processing time is to improve your process for collecting, transmitting and storing documents.
In this article, we’ll show you how to cut hours off your loan processing time, and as a result, increase your profitability.
Sounds pretty good, right? You can do it by switching to an online fax system with these features:
- Digital signatures on your phone or tablet
- Fax from anywhere, such as at a client’s home
- Use a dedicated fax line for each broker in your team
- Paperless processing to reduce document handling
- Save digital faxes straight to your CRM software
Let’s dive into how it works.
What is an online fax?
Online faxing (aka ‘digital faxing’) is a way of sending and receiving faxes via the internet, without the use (or inconvenience) of a traditional fax machine. You still have a normal fax number and you can even keep your existing fax number. Everyone can still exchange faxes with you just as they always did. The only difference is that, on your end, everything is digital.
Instead of using a fax machine to send and receive faxes, you use your computer, tablet or mobile. In other words, with online fax, you can send and receive faxes in much the same way you do email. All you need is an internet connection and you’re good to go.
But for the record, not all internet connections are created equal when it comes to traditional fax.
Traditional fax doesn’t work on nbn
Unfortunately, while the NBN™ rollout will (theoretically) make your internet faster, it will also turn your traditional fax machine into nothing more than an expensive paperweight.
When you get NBN™ your phone line will become digital, and because your traditional fax machine is purely analog, it will simply stop working.
You may be able to find a suitable workaround, such as an adapter or a VoIP provider. But both these workaround options are fiddly and take a lot of patience - that’s potentially hours of time each month you could spend on lead generation or sales conversion instead.
The good news is: online fax works with the NBN™. So by moving to online fax, you’ll be able to focus on your core business – writing new loans.
Now let’s take a look at how online fax can transform your processes.
Online fax is like a fax machine in your pocket
One of the most time-consuming parts of processing a loan is meeting with the client and collating their application documents. There are pages of ID records, bank statements, payslips and application forms. Here’s how you can save a lot of time, starting with that first client meeting.
For starters, with online fax, you don’t need to take physical copies of your clients’ financial documents. Instead, you can just photograph them and fax them to your office. With the better online fax providers, you get a mobile app when you sign up for online fax. These apps usually have an inbuilt function that allows you to take and fax a photo. But even if your online fax provider doesn’t have a mobile app, you can still take a photo, log into their website, upload the photo, and send from there.
The other huge benefit is that you don’t have to handle the physical papers and decide how to keep them secure or dispose of them later. That means no more time-consuming filing or shredding of sensitive documents. Those files can happily stay in digital format in your mortgage broker CRM software, taking up no physical space at all.
What’s more, you can see, at a glance, when an urgent fax has arrived. No need to wait until you’re back in the office to check the fax machine. That’s another huge time saver right there.
Sign on the go with digital signatures
With online fax from a good provider, you can get your clients to sign documents on your phone or tablet, without printing.
This can save you a significant amount of time during client visits because you can get their signatures on the spot. No need to arrange a separate visit to their home, or for the client to come to your office just to sign paperwork. It can all happen on your phone or tablet in the first meeting, literally at their fingertips.
Just use the app supplied by your online fax provider to get clients to sign on the touchscreen.
Depending on your provider, and what type of device you’re using, you’ll typically have a choice of two easy methods for signing on the go:
If you need to sign a document, you can drop in a stored photo of your signature, also called a digital signature stamp:
Or you can use your finger to trace your signature onto a mobile or tablet touchscreen. This is the method you’d use to get clients to sign and approve documents as part of their loan application:
And yes, those digital signatures are legal. According to Australian and international law, electronic signatures are legally binding in the exact same way as signing a hardcopy document. The only differences are the time, effort, expense and trees you’ll save doing it digitally.
Getting clients to sign on the spot, using a legally binding method, might mean you can cut an extra home visit - and all the extra travel time - from your process, which increases your net hourly rate for the commission.
Paperless faxing means no denial piles
Then when it’s time to store application documents and upload them to your CRM software, you don’t have to scan them, because they’re already digital. Simply sweep them across to your client database in a few clicks.
In general, using online fax means less time handling, filing or shredding sensitive documents. Less time standing at the scanner and fewer lost documents in denial piles on your desk. It’s simply marvellous. Less time handling papers means a more profitable commission for you.
Of course, you don’t have to export your online faxes to your CRM if you don’t want to. With a good online fax provider, all your faxes will be stored forever on their cloud servers - secure and free, with unlimited storage. Searchable too - just search on the client’s name and any related documents will show up in your online fax history.
Use a dedicated online fax number for each broker
Your clients are concerned about the security of their personal documents. So when a client calls you to say they’re about to send a wad of documents via fax, you probably feel obliged to stand by the fax machine and wait.
You endure the tedious process of watching 25 pages come out, one by one, to make sure the transfer is complete and no one else in your office scoops up the documents by mistake.
Luckily, there’s a much better way to fax: with online fax, each broker can have their own dedicated fax number.
Instead of standing by the fax machine for 10 minutes, your client’s documents come straight and securely to your private fax inbox. It’s just like receiving an email with attachments to a private email address.
Each broker has their own dedicated fax number, a password-protected account, and private cloud storage for fax document history.
Online fax is private and secure
With online fax, there’s no concern about data security. In fact, it’s more secure than most email servers.
Online fax data is protected by TLS version 1.2, which is currently the most up-to-date security protocol available. Data is encrypted using a combination of private and public keys, so it’s unreadable by outside parties who don’t have the right keys to decipher it.
In other words, your clients’ private financial information is safe with online fax.
Online fax is significantly cheaper than traditional fax
When compared to traditional fax, online fax is a lot cheaper. More than $600/yr cheaper, in fact. That saved expense can go straight into your profit margin.
For a low monthly fee, you get all the benefits of online fax: the compatibility with the NBN™ network, the convenience of a paperless system, and the freedom to send and receive faxes from anywhere.
Ensure you keep your existing fax number
If you’re expecting to get NBN™ soon, you need to make a decision about your existing fax number immediately.
Most online fax providers will allow you to keep your existing fax number, but to do this, they have to physically port your number across to an entirely different infrastructure. No matter which online fax provider you choose, this will take 6-12 weeks.
If you get your NBN™ connected at your premises before your number is ported across - even if the port is already underway - your old number will be disconnected at the exchange.
To get it back, you’ll need to apply to have it physically reconnected. This takes time, and you could potentially even have your fax number taken by someone else in the meantime.
Check the estimated date for when the NBN™ network is planned to be available at your address.
Still have questions?
As you can see, your loan process will certainly benefit from moving to an online fax service such as eFax. But if you have any questions about how it can work best for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1800 283 361 so we can answer them for you.
Start your 30-day free trial now
eFax is NBN™ compatible, making it future proof for incoming technology. With eFax, you’ll be able to smoothly transition to NBN™, as eFax allows you to keep using your existing number from day one. eFax’s online fax services require no hardware, meaning they can be instantly and seamlessly deployed into any business. For a provider that gives Australian businesses a secure and reliable online fax solution, look no further than eFax.
To see what eFax can do for your business, start a 30-day free trial or call 1800 283 361.