Industry-specific Mortgage CRM Solutions Preferred by Loan Originators
Last Updated 2019/6/20
A high-quality mortgage CRM is a critical piece of software for a loan officer and their team. It keeps their prospects, customers, referral partners, and other contacts all organized in a central location.
Arguably more important than the system itself is the fit with your office workflow and processes. Having a system that can be seamlessly integrated with your processes can be a huge benefit, and today there are a number of CRMs being developed specifically to fit the needs of mortgage professionals.
And while Floify is not itself a mortgage CRM, we know a thing or two about mortgage technology and how the different pieces should fit together to meet the needs of our mutual clients – mortgage loan originators.
What to Expect From a Mortgage CRM
Gone are the days of a simple customer database. All of these systems offer the type of contact management that a progressive mortgage office would require, almost as an afterthought.
These solutions are stepping up their game with a whole lot of mortgage-specific marketing and sales automation juice that can allow a mortgage office to automate many common processes around things like drip marketing, lead distribution, and reporting.
For the mortgage lending industry, there are a number of available mortgage CRM systems that are either firmly entrenched or growing in popularity. We took a look at some of the most popular systems in use today, what their key benefits are, and how they might fit into a loan officer’s software stack alongside their LOS, POS, and other systems.
Jungo has really established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the niche, particularly for those with a large client base to manage.
The application builds on top of the widely-popular Salesforce CRM to provide the customizations craved by lenders. What this means is that you are actually utilizing Salesforce, but the addition of the Jungo Mortgage App module layers the mortgage-specific functionality, content, and workflows that a LO would want/need on top of that robust platform.
There are very good reasons why we like this model.
Salesforce is one of the largest software companies in the world with one of the most popular CRMs to ever exist. That implies that the foundation that Jungo is built upon is incredibly stable from both technical and business perspectives.
The Salesforce CRM, and by extension Jungo, are incredibly extensible and customizable. It’s not always the easiest process and can be downright frustrating sometimes, but the foundation is there to build just about anything you want from custom data fields to automated processes and reporting.
Jungo’s major features include:
- Automated email marketing campaigns – access hundreds of mortgage templates
- Referral partner relationship tracking, evaluation, and analytics
- Customizable workflows and calendar/task management
- Integrations with LOS systems, Mortgage Coach EDGE, BombBomb, Optimal Blue, and Floify
- Post-close campaigns with optional concierge packages
- Mobile app to take your contacts on the go
- DocsBar loan document manager
- Loan milestone emails
- Lead capture from Zillow, Trulia, and Lending Tree
Jungo is not for the faint of heart. There is a tremendous amount of functionality and customizations that require time and effort to configure and get dialed-in.
BUT all of that power comes at a modest cost. The Jungo Mortgage App is listed in the Salesforce App Exchange for $90 per user, per month, which includes the Salesforce license.
Jungo’s best fit would be in the tech stack of a high producing loan officer or branch that has thousands of contacts, clients, and partners to manage.
Though a relative newcomer to the mortgage CRM space, MLO Shift sits upon the well-developed ActiveCampaign platform to harness an exceptional amount of existing CRM + Marketing Automation power. On top of that scaffolding, founder Jeff Irving leveraged his years as a loan originator to create a custom, mortgage-specific build-out that provides LOs with a turnkey system that can be put into action immediately.
In addition to the CRM functionality, MLO Shift uses ActiveCampaign’s existing marketing automation tools and combines them with services such as the MLO Pages landing page solution to create a potent marketing automation toolset. We’re talking website and event tracking, lead scoring, landing pages, forms, and more. You may need a digital marketer if you wanted to truly maximize those features, BUT YOU COULD!
Even without taking advantage of those advanced capabilities, there’s plenty in here for the loan originator to enjoy.
MLO Shift’s major features include:
- Automated loan and lead marketing – email, SMS, and optionally integrated Slybroadcast voicemails
- One-way SMS messaging included – two-way can be integrated via RingCentral or Burner
- Website and event tracking
- Drag-and-drop loan and lead pipelines
- Drag-and-drop email designer
- Referral source tracking
- Pre-written loan status update templates
- Loan process pipeline – never miss a task or update
- Email autoresponders
- Mobile app to take your contacts on the go
Like all systems, there are some pieces of the puzzle that not everyone will agree with. For example, MLO Shift offers no LOS integrations and doesn’t apologize for it (there is an explanation for why they chose to go that route in their FAQ section). There isn’t as much emphasis placed on post-close campaigns as in other systems, although workflow automations could be created for those campaigns.
One of the more unique aspects of MLO Shift is their pricing structure. There are no contracts. For a subscription fee of $170/month (+ $300 initial setup fee), you get 25 user accounts for the CRM and your first 2500 contacts, plus the paid subscription to MLO Pages.
With that type of pricing structure and advanced capabilities, you can see how a small-to-medium sized origination team would be able to create a ton of excess value with MLO Shift, though a single LO or team of two is going to be paying more per user than with some other solutions.
Shape Software combines the functionality of a CRM with marketing and sales automation features to create a powerful platform capable of serving multiple industries. Unlike other industry-agnostic systems, however, Shape transforms into a full-blown mortgage CRM by providing their loan originator customers with specific functionality that serves the mortgage industry.
This includes highly sought-after features such as LOS integration, a mini 1003 with FNMA 3.2 data file export, and integrations with major lead providers like Zillow Lender Hub.
As with other systems we’ve reviewed, there will be a lot of crossover with basic functionality common to a mortgage CRM, but what we also found with Shape is a surprising number of differentiators amongst their offerings, including a couple of major features and a refreshingly uncomplicated subscription model.
Shape’s major features include:
- Easy-to-use, modern interface promotes system adoption
- Built-in mortgage best practice workflows
- Integration with major LOS (Encompass, LendingQB, Calyx), POS, pricing engines, lead providers, and more
- Lead intake forms, prioritization, distribution, and response automation
- Email and calendar sync with G-Suite and Outlook
- Partner-specific referral tracking with in-depth performance metrics
- Mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as a mobile-responsive web interface
- Multi-channel communications (including an awesome built-in softphone dialer)
- Document storage
- Automated email and text/SMS marketing – drip campaigns, follow-up, status, video, etc
- Includes subscription with the platform’s built-in eSignature provider Sign by X
There really isn’t much that Shape’s mortgage CRM can’t do. Judging by the many user reviews that we combed through, this is an easy-to-use system that many users found to be simple to get setup, customized, and integrated into their daily workflow.
The built-in eSignature is something that we haven’t seen in any other mortgage CRMs we’ve reviewed, and combined with the document storage capabilities can make the system a long-term hub of customer and prospect data.
As we mentioned above, the subscription/pricing model that Shape employs is a major differentiator. $79 per user, per month. That’s it. There are no plans to choose from, there are no contracts, there are no minimums (we didn’t even see a setup fee). This means that even a single LO could subscribe to the system without being penalized in fees simply because they don’t have a team of users. With that being said, there are a number of excellent features that apply specifically to larger teams or branches, such as the lead prioritization and distribution capabilities and also an internal team chat feature.
All-in-all Shape is a mortgage CRM with few obvious shortcomings and a pricing model that can fit an office of just about any size.
Whiteboard is the newish kid on the block of mortgage CRMs, claiming to have been developed with input and experience derived from 2 years of following around top-producing loan officers. A HousingWire Tech100 winner the last two years, the system has been growing in notoriety.
Whiteboard utilizes campaign “playbooks” to automate marketing and sales workflows and deliver daily tasks to a centralized dashboard. Simply load up your customer information, select a playbook, and the CRM takes over. This includes everything from personalized and branded emails, to call prompts and scripts.
Whiteboard’s major features include:
- Automated marketing and workflows powered by The Mortgage Playbook™
- Reporting and data analytics via a centralized dashboard
- Custom forms that can be used for lead capture
- Daily critical tasks based on chosen playbooks are delivered to the dashboard
- Co-branded marketing with a library of available materials
- Call prompts with battle-tested scripts
- Integrated with Fannie Mae, LendingQB, and lead generation sources such as Zillow, LendingTree, and more
- Team-based, two-way texting (additional fee)
- iOS and Android mobile apps
Since the last time we reviewed Whiteboard, their pricing has increased slightly. Previously the system was listed at $75 per user, per month, but has now climbed to $99 per user, per month, with a $399 one-time setup fee. The system also now includes a team-based, two-way texting feature, which requires an additional $40/month fee to use.
LOs can lock in a discount by subscribing to an annual plan with Whiteboard which costs $949 for the year with a $299 one-time setup fee.
Whiteboard doesn’t pack as robust a feature set as the other systems we looked at. However, if you’re looking for a mortgage-specific, low-barrier solution that uses modern automation and analytics to handle your marketing and lead management, Whiteboard would be a good fit.
Unify is a mortgage CRM system that we’ve heard about quite often recently, as some of Floify’s enterprise lender customers utilize it across their operation.
It’s a no-frills system that offers strong support for contact management and marketing, as well as the analytics that data-driven sales professionals dream of. The lenders who we know that use the system are some of the most organized, process-focused, and analytical mortgage professionals in the industry.
This system doesn’t pretend to cross into other territories. There’s no 1003, no loan document management, no interactive games or calculators. This mortgage CRM excels with relationship management.
Unify CRM’s major features include:
- Contact, referral partner, and lead management
- Real-time LOS integration with database monitoring and opportunity notifications
- Automated marketing communications
- Co-branded marketing materials
- An extensive library of campaigns, emails, flyers, and more to leverage
- Post-close campaigns
- Robust marketing and business analytics
- Mobile app for you to take your contacts on the go
- Dynamic video marketing
Unify is another mortgage CRM system that does not offer its pricing information to the public, which is an unfortunate check in the con column. Without that knowledge, it’s hard to recommend the system for individuals and smaller teams that tend to be more price sensitive.
What we can say is that this is a rock-solid option to fill the functionality in your tech stack that a CRM is supposed to provide. The real-time LOS integration is a feature we’d love to see other solutions adopt in the near future.
Cimmaron Mortgage Manager
Cimmaron Mortgage Manager provides all of the fundamental functionality a loan originator would expect from a modern mortgage CRM. Not only will you get customizable contact management, but the marketing automation capabilities make it easy to stay top-of-mind with your client database.
One thing we really liked about Cimmaron Mortgage Manager is the focus on client satisfaction throughout the process. This is the only mortgage CRM we looked at that had a mobile app specifically for borrowers, as well as a client and partner-facing mobile app to run loan calculations, directly communicate with the lending team, and get loan status updates. Built-in surveys make acquiring feedback and assessing the borrowing experience simple without requiring 3rd party providers.
Cimmaron Mortgage Manager’s major features include:
- Contact management
- Customizable dashboards
- Automated marketing – drip campaigns, newsletters, pre-built materials, co-branded marketing, and more
- Lead management – custom lead distributions, “shark tanks” and conversion tracking
- Automated post loan close, loan transaction, and home loan review surveys
- Internal team chat
- My Mortgage Center client and partner mobile app
- iOS and Android mobile apps
- Integrations with LOS providers (additional cost), VoIP, lead providers, predictive dialers, Outlook Exchange + Office365
- Video email marketing (Enterprise plan only)
- Two-way texting and contact chat (Enterprise plan only)
Cimmaron provides a solid set of functionality around contact management, automated marketing campaigns – complete with some pre-built marketing materials to leverage within the campaigns – and lead management. As mentioned above, there are differentiating features in the area of borrower and partner satisfaction that would be incredibly handy.
The biggest knock on Cimmaron is that as other CRMs are simplifying their pricing and subscription models, this CRM remains on the opposite end of that spectrum.
There are two different plan levels, depending on if you want to access some of their newer bells & whistles like the two-way texting. And while the plan fees are modest at $60/user/month and $100/user/month, there is a 5 user minimum requirement – meaning a single loan originator by themselves would be on the hook for a minimum of $300/month. There is also a $250 one-time setup fee, and if you want the LOS integration there is an additional fee for that as well. For these reasons, Cimmaron’s best fit would appear to be for a medium-to-large mortgage company who has a keen eye for the borrower’s experience.
Top of Mind Surefire
Top of Mind’s Surefire CRM has been around for over a decade and carries a lot of name recognition in the mortgage industry. Surefire has a base set of features available to any customer, with additional functionality being added as teams grow in size and price plan.
From the information readily available, we don’t see any of the deep sales pipeline analytics that some other mortgage CRM systems possess. But the biggest piece missing for individual loan officers and mortgage teams with under 30 users is the lack of LOS integration that so many want.
Surefire’s major features include:
- Automated email marketing campaigns – access hundreds of email templates
- Segment lists to deliver personalized content to the right people
- Online 1003 application for lead gen
- Dynamic videos
- Post-close campaigns including email and, at an additional cost, direct mail
- Flyer design and co-branded marketing with referral partners
- Database monitoring and alerts – know when a client lists their home or is primed for a rate reduction, etc
- Mobile app to take your contacts on the go
- Interactive tools, games, and calculators
Top of Mind’s Surefire CRM has plenty of contact management and marketing automation functionality built-in for most lending operations to keep in constant contact with their database.
The addition of the 1003 loan app would be useful for those who are not already getting that functionality via a point-of-sale system in their stack.
Surefire’s pricing is blessedly transparent, though is clearly geared towards attracting Enterprise lenders. LOs and smaller lending teams with under 30 users would be on the hook for $150 per user, per month, without the advantage of a LOS integration. That integration can be included at the next pricing tier of 30-140 users after a one-time setup fee.
While Surefire may be a good choice for a large lender to use across their operation, the cost and lack of features relative to other systems make it hard to recommend the platform for smaller branches, teams, or individuals.
Velocify LoanEngage by Ellie Mae
At the end of 2017, industry titan Ellie Mae completed the acquisition of Velocify to add the mortgage CRM to it’s stable of products.
Stop us if you’ve heard this before.
If you haven’t been paying attention over the years, however, you might be surprised to hear that this is Ellie Mae’s THIRD acquisition of this type over the years. After their acquisition of the MortgageCEO CRM, they then acquired the MortgageReturns CRM in 2015.
With that being said, Velocify is a better system out-of-the-gate than either of those previous two and now has the backing of Ellie Mae’s compliance expertise and what is sure to be the smoothest integration with the Encompass LOS that will available.
Velocify LoanEngage’s major features include:
- Unified sales and marketing dashboard
- Pipeline reporting and data analytics
- Intelligent sales workflow presents high-impact tasks and lifecycle reminders
- Callback calendar reminds LOs when to follow-up with prospects and clients
- Automated email and text messaging with corporate-approved templates
- Partner management portal for visibility and status updates
- Integrated with Mortgage Coach
- Co-branded marketing with referral partners
- Personalized, visual loan scenario presentations
If Ellie Mae can build on what is already working well within LoanEngage, this would be a potent mortgage CRM option for large Enterprise lenders who have chosen Encompass as their LOS.
Much of the LoanEngage marketing material targets corporate-level needs and wants, with corporate-approved messaging being a big driver. An optional auto-dialer can be purchased to further supercharge sales processes, though Velocify doesn’t seem to have put much emphasis on integrating with other systems outside of their ecosystem.
Unfortunately, Velocify does not make its pricing readily available. We found not a hint of the cost of the system while scouring the web for any scrap of info.
With its feature set, relationship to Ellie Mae, and focus on sales automation, LoanEngage would best fit with mid-market and large lenders. The lack of pricing transparency makes the system a risky proposition for individuals and small offices.
What Did We Learn About Mortgage CRMs?
There are MANY CRMs out there that claim to be for the mortgage industry. We only took a look at the systems that we hear about from our customers on a daily basis, or the up-and-comers making waves.
What we found is that there’s no clear-cut leader in this field. Depending on the functional need and cost sensitivity, these systems present different fits for each individual or lender.
The biggest determiner may just be the size of your pipeline and book of business. Those who manage a large number of contacts, partners, and deals will get more value out of systems that cost more but also are packed with features.
Jungo may be the most powerful, but it’s also the most complicated to customize and get adopted. Whiteboard may be the newest and least expansive, but it’s also solely focused on mortgage processes, isn’t too expensive, and would work well for an individual loan officer. The others have their own situational fits as well.
Shop smart and try to see as many demos as you can before making a final decision.
With the setup and data migration involved in putting a new mortgage CRM in place, it’s not the type of process you would want to repeat in short order.