InterCap Lending

InterCap Lending – Enterprise Custom Mortgage CRM

Enterprise Custom Mortgage CRM

Technology

  • Microsoft WPF
  • .Net, C#
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • XMPP
  • Asterik PBX

Industry

Mortgage

Overview

InterCap Lending is a local family mortgage bank.  In 2010, it gained new ownership who had big plans to grow the bank from a local bank to a national mortgage bank.

Their Challenges

Intercap has a goal to increase their loan volume and revenue by dramatically growing their marketing and call center.  They needed a new enterprise CRM that could handle the volume and give them an edge over their competition.

1. Speed to Contact

It was becoming increasingly clear that speed to contact, the time it takes a company to contact a lead after submitting an online form or calling in, was that edge.  These types of leads were often sold to several mortgage companies at the same time. Statistics prove that the first company to contact the borrower back has a massive advantage.

We already had a reputation of creating successful software in the mortgage industry and had previously pioneered a pop up based alert system that blasted all agents with a message that a new lead was available.  This already improved speed to contact and is now the norm in the industry. The first agent to click Accept, gets the lead.

While this was a big improvement over phone based round robin and sufficient for smaller shops, it loses its effectiveness for larger pools of agents.  A larger quantity of leads ends up being awarded to the faster clickers and the agents frequently off the phone. Unfortunately, these agents are often not the best performers.

In addition, the competition was starting to catch on and implement their own pop up based alert system using the blast all approach.

2. Cherry Picking

A second problem that was occurring was cherry picking.  At this time, internet leads were becoming increasingly important to call centers to add to overall lead volume.  They were inexpensive compared to traditional mediums, like radio and tv, and could include more information up front about a borrower.  

However, agents viewed internet leads as being more difficult to work with and of lower quality than inbound calls.  Borrowers were not always available to receive a call back from an agent regardless of how quick the speed to contact was.  Also, a borrower calling in to a bank versus submitting an internet form typically has an elevated level of interest and is easier to close.  

As a result, agents would ignore internet leads and only wait for inbound calls.  Intercap needed a way to prevent cherry picking so their marketing dollars were maximized.

Our Solution

We built a new groundbreaking CRM with all the features you would expect to see in a modern mortgage customer relationship management software.  We tracked marketing, integrated with many of the industry’s standard systems, including LOS system or loan origination software, and reported on agent efficiency.

To give Intercap an edge, we tackled the issues of speed to contact and lead distribution in a unique way.  We did this by engineering a new Hybrid Round Robin approach to distributing leads, integrating directly into their Asterisk phone system, and unifying the agent experience for accepting new internet and inbound call leads.

Hybrid Round Robin

Traditionally at this time, there were two ways to distribute leads.  Blast all and Round Robin.

Blast All is the simplest approach and, while it has a short time to contact, it does not distribute leads evenly. This can often punish the best agents.

Round Robin, simply put, is a rotation through a group. In the context of a CRM, the group is made up of the agents that are available to accept a particular type of lead. This approach allows you to evenly distribute leads amongst the group, but significantly slows down speed to contact.  Each agent must be given a chance to accept the opportunity before moving on to the next agent. This delay can give a competitor an opportunity to get hold of an internet lead first or cause an inbound caller to hang up.

 

The one main flaw with Round Robin was that you have to give the opportunity to each agent, and that agent could be slow to pick up the phone or respond to the message.  

Why is that important?  Because with internet leads, you have a 70% change to close the lead if you are the first one.  What happens if the agent is away from the desk, the system times out after say 30 seconds, then goes to the next agents. The company will lose money with this strategy.  At least with the blast group, though unfair, you would answer the phone or message quickly.

Competition started to increase in the internet world and we need a new approach.  We took the blast group and the round robin approach and merged them to a hybrid approach.

Hybrid Round Robin is an approach we created to combine the speed to contact of Blast All with the distribution and fairness of Round Robin.  

Instead of sending the lead opportunity to one agent at a time, like Round Robin, we sent it to the next three or more agents at a time, depending on the size of the group.  The first of them to accept the opportunity gets the lead. This way, if a couple of the agents were away from their desk, it would not affect the response time.

Additionally, we made an agent’s place in the queue based on a score which increased for each opportunity they did not win.  This method, versus a serial placement, allowed the system to weigh certain types of leads above others, increase an agent’s place in queue only for the leads they had the skills for, and favor higher converting agents.

Overall, this increased the company’s bottom line by increasing the conversation rates and improved the agents mood by ensuring the leads were being delivered fairly.

Asterisk Phone System Integration

Since speed to contact was so important, we decided to pioneer another new concept, which is becoming more common in CRMs today.  We decided to integrate the system directly with an open source IP PBX phone system called Asterisk.

The system would call out on internet leads immediately when it received them while it waited for agents to accept the lead opportunities.  When an agent did so, the system would connect them to the outbound dialing call.

This meant there was a 0 second turn around from when we received the lead to when we dialed the lead and, due to the hybrid round robin, under 3 seconds to connect the agent to the outbound dialing call on average.  This was the fastest possible speed to contact for internet leads and led to the highest conversions and marketing ROI.

 

Unified Lead Opportunity Experience

To combat cherry picking, we are creating a unified experience for the agents to receive lead opportunities.  Since we integrated directly with phone system, we were able to use the same distribution system and alert mechanism as we did with internet leads.  

As a result, when the agent receives an alert that they have a new lead opportunity, they have no way to determine what type of lead it is.  Therefore, they cannot cherry pick and must accept the lead or lose the opportunity altogether.

The Results

Within the first month of implementing this software, sales tripled from 50 loans to 150 loans. In the following month, their sales doubled again, up to 300 loans per month.

Our Solution

We built a new groundbreaking CRM with all the features you would expect to see in a modern mortgage customer relationship management software.  We tracked marketing, integrated with many of the industry’s standard systems, including LOS system or loan origination software, and reported on agent efficiency.

To give Intercap an edge, we tackled the issues of speed to contact and lead distribution in a unique way.  We did this by engineering a new Hybrid Round Robin approach to distributing leads, integrating directly into their Asterisk phone system, and unifying the agent experience for accepting new internet and inbound call leads.

Hybrid Round Robin

Traditionally at this time, there were two ways to distribute leads.  Blast all and Round Robin.

Blast All is the simplest approach and, while it has a short time to contact, it does not distribute leads evenly. This can often punish the best agents.

Round Robin, simply put, is a rotation through a group. In the context of a CRM, the group is made up of the agents that are available to accept a particular type of lead. This approach allows you to evenly distribute leads amongst the group, but significantly slows down speed to contact.  Each agent must be given a chance to accept the opportunity before moving on to the next agent. This delay can give a competitor an opportunity to get hold of an internet lead first or cause an inbound caller to hang up.

 

The one main flaw with Round Robin was that you have to give the opportunity to each agent, and that agent could be slow to pick up the phone or respond to the message.  

Why is that important?  Because with internet leads, you have a 70% change to close the lead if you are the first one.  What happens if the agent is away from the desk, the system times out after say 30 seconds, then goes to the next agents. The company will lose money with this strategy.  At least with the blast group, though unfair, you would answer the phone or message quickly.

Competition started to increase in the internet world and we need a new approach.  We took the blast group and the round robin approach and merged them to a hybrid approach.

Hybrid Round Robin is an approach we created to combine the speed to contact of Blast All with the distribution and fairness of Round Robin.  

Instead of sending the lead opportunity to one agent at a time, like Round Robin, we sent it to the next three or more agents at a time, depending on the size of the group.  The first of them to accept the opportunity gets the lead. This way, if a couple of the agents were away from their desk, it would not affect the response time.

Additionally, we made an agent’s place in the queue based on a score which increased for each opportunity they did not win.  This method, versus a serial placement, allowed the system to weigh certain types of leads above others, increase an agent’s place in queue only for the leads they had the skills for, and favor higher converting agents.

Overall, this increased the company’s bottom line by increasing the conversation rates and improved the agents mood by ensuring the leads were being delivered fairly.

Asterisk Phone System Integration

Since speed to contact was so important, we decided to pioneer another new concept, which is becoming more common in CRMs today.  We decided to integrate the system directly with an open source IP PBX phone system called Asterisk.

The system would call out on internet leads immediately when it received them while it waited for agents to accept the lead opportunities.  When an agent did so, the system would connect them to the outbound dialing call.

This meant there was a 0 second turn around from when we received the lead to when we dialed the lead and, due to the hybrid round robin, under 3 seconds to connect the agent to the outbound dialing call on average.  This was the fastest possible speed to contact for internet leads and led to the highest conversions and marketing ROI.

 

Unified Lead Opportunity Experience

To combat cherry picking, we are creating a unified experience for the agents to receive lead opportunities.  Since we integrated directly with phone system, we were able to use the same distribution system and alert mechanism as we did with internet leads.  

As a result, when the agent receives an alert that they have a new lead opportunity, they have no way to determine what type of lead it is.  Therefore, they cannot cherry pick and must accept the lead or lose the opportunity altogether.