And this is exactly the type of solution that modern-day society would expect. As Latka says, today’s consumer is used to doing everything on an instant basis. However, the mortgage process has been lagging behind. Rocket Mortgage meets the expectations of today’s consumers who prefer to handle most things immediately—and on their own.
“Rocket Mortgage allows consumers to engage in a way in which they’re used to engaging,” he explains. “Amazon is a prime example—you pick up your smartphone, and with a few taps, you have exactly what you need delivered to your door the next day. [Getting] a mortgage doesn’t have to be as cumbersome a process as it is. Rocket Mortgage gives folks the opportunity to say, ‘I want that house and I can get that offer in today.’”
Rocket Mortgage also provides safe shelter for those who may be intimidated by the mortgage application process, offering a way to see if you qualify without exposing your financial history to the world.
“There are certain folks—especially first-time homebuyers—who are intimidated by calling a lender and sharing personal information for fear of rejection and getting declined,” explains Latka. “Rocket Mortgage offers a very intimate and transparent process, where you can sit down with a trusted person, such as your real estate professional, who can guide you through the process to apply for a mortgage.”
Of course, any new automated process is only as good as the technology behind it—if what’s promised is not delivered, consumers will walk away fast. According to He, this fact is taken very seriously at Quicken Loans, especially in the development of Rocket Mortgage.
“Our clients love technology. They’re using their mobile devices every day and they want efficiency,” says He. “They want to be able to trust you and love your technology. They want to know that your business has their needs at heart. With Quicken Loans, they know they can trust our technology, and they know they can count on our accuracy and speed.”
All of that said, Latka concedes that Rocket Mortgage is not necessarily for everyone. “Certainly, there are always those clients who want that one-to-one interaction and want the support of our mortgage bankers, a service that has allowed us to win six consecutive J.D. Power awards,” he explains. “That support system process will still be there. That 100-percent online process won’t be the right thing for everybody.”
“Some clients will find this almost too good to be true and want to talk to a human being, and that’s fine—we have our mortgage experts available if they want to talk,” adds He.
The Inner Workings of a Mighty Engine
He’s description of the creation of Rocket Mortgage as a “huge undertaking” is a bit of an understatement. Over a three-year period, the project, at times, involved 1,000 Quicken Loans team members in some fashion and required the dedication of a 500-person team focused solely on Rocket Mortgage.
“Prior to this, our processes were very different,” explains He. “This project touched every single thing related to the mortgage process, from our initial contact with clients to how we provide a solution to the client. And while the processes were being worked on, we had to also focus on how to connect with our network of partners to verify a client’s income, assets and credit information. After the system pulls all that information, we can fully approve the loan.”
According to Hadiaris, there are three major technological components that make the speed of Rocket Mortgage possible: the data platform of proprietary income, asset and credit information, imported from Quicken Loans’ partners; the underwriting guidelines, mortgage products and pricing that deliver a solution to the client; and the underwriting engine that takes a solution and runs it through a series of checks to obtain instantaneous conventional, VA or FHA approval.
Because of its integration with volumes of public and private data, Rocket Mortgage is able to create calculations based on a full, three-bureau credit pull. “We’re not just looking at your credit right now, we’re looking at your credit history and calculating the products, pricing and guidelines so that the system can offer you the best option,” says Hadiaris. “Because we integrate data from various partners, the information is accurate and can be verified and approved in minutes. The entire process happens behind the scenes.”
That eight-minute approval, however, hinges on a borrower’s financial data, meaning some will move through the Rocket Mortgage process faster than others. The experience is dynamic based on how the user answers questions. If you’re in the military, for example, you will be directed toward additional questions. Or, if your credit history is checkered, you will be directed to speak with a Quicken Loans mortgage banker to dig deeper into your particular circumstances.