by Scott Happ
In recent conversations, it has become clear that the concept of a Digital Mortgage Marketplace is widely acknowledged, though not clearly understood. I recently shared a few of the highlights at the 2018 Optimal Blue Client Conference, largely focused on the following question: What is a Digital Mortgage Marketplace, and why does it matter?
The Apple iPhone is an excellent example of how the power of the platform can propel an under-valued business into a market leader. Initially, the iPhone was a small player surrounded by larger, well-known mobile providers. Through the platform approach, Apple saw their devices as a way to connect participants in a two-sided market — app developers on one side, and app users on the other — generating value for both groups(1). As the number of users in each group grew, so did the value. This community of users and the value they received, is what we now know as the 'network effect.' Optimal Blue leverages this approach by seamlessly connecting originators, investors, and service providers with a strong commitment to building an innovative suite of solutions that deliver increasing value for all constituents. Optimal Blue's technology-enabled network is the Digital Mortgage Marketplace.
So what value does the Digital Mortgage Marketplace deliver to its participants?
Starting with originators, our marketplace provides an array of solutions that include the industry-leading PPE, an integrated hedge analytics platform, consumer engagement services, and a compelling service to manage social media content. We have also recently invested a great deal of energy into further automating the lock desk, with the goal of enabling our clients to grow without adding staff. Collectively, these capabilities help automate the entire secondary marketing process, from content to commitment – and everything in between.
The marketplace is also where connections are made between originators and investors. Late last year, we began to lay the foundation for an investor portal that will enable investors to access the industry's largest secondary marketing network, engage with thousands of mortgage originators, and leverage innovative automation to distribute pricing and product eligibility. We have recently supplemented our investor offering through the acquisitions of Comergence, the industry’s leading TPO due diligence solution, and the powerful Resitrader digital loan trading platform.
And finally, we continue to see technology and service providers innovate and connect with our marketplace at an extraordinarily fast pace, most often through our robust API platform. The technologies offered by these firms — including POS, CRM, and marketing solutions — can now be easily activated for our PPE clients, enabling presentment of pricing consistently across any solution used by an organization. The ability for providers to access critical content during the life of the loan, keeps innovation at the forefront of our industry,
Apple’s success in building a platform business created critical lessons for companies across all industries. Organizations that fail to produce such platforms and refuse to adopt the new strategy approach will find themselves unable to compete.
All of this brings me full circle on the marketplace concept and how we think of Optimal Blue. We bring buyers and sellers together on a common platform to improve market transparency, process efficiency, and industry connectivity, whenever and where ever you need it. Today, our marketplace supports more than $750 billion of locks, trades, and commitments annually, and we expect that number to grow. The Optimal Blue marketplace is nimble, strong, and continually expanding to provide participants with a complete competitive edge.
I invite you to watch my corporate update from this year's conference to learn more, and as always, we're here to answer any additional questions you might have!BACK