In 2015, one of my co-founders and I spent hours with hundreds of people in the mortgage industry. We had both recently gotten mortgages — in my case, it took 63 days to close a purchase transaction. Coming from the technology world, I was shocked at the relative lack of automation and technology adoption. We became fascinated by the complexity of the industry and how it affected mortgage professionals doing their jobs and borrowers seeking a loan for their home.
What we learned from all that research was that the best mortgage professionals were experts at simplification. The problem was that complex layers of systems, third parties, compliance requirements, security realities, and underwriting conditions made their jobs incredibly challenging.
Our company was born out of the idea that software could augment human ability, not replace it, and deliver a more simple, accessible mortgage experience. We wanted to create a platform that did more than just “work” but actually made its users more confident and more successful.
We gave it a human name, “Maxwell,” because we wanted our business cards to always remind us we were in this for people, not for technology.
Today, I’m excited to share with you how our platform is growing for the benefit of all of our lenders and their customers.
Where we’ve come from
Back in 2016, Maxwell started by giving loan officers the tools to manage their borrowers through the loan process — aggregating documents and managing the borrower interactions from loan application through clear-to-close. It was a great place to start. After all, building a tool for the users of the software, not just the buyers of the software, gave us a high discipline on user satisfaction. That year we facilitated $776M of mortgage volume for just 90 loan officers.
By 2017, we were onboarding entire lending teams, exchanging data with the other components of their technology stacks, like the LOS and PPE. At some point, the industry coined the term “Point of Sale” and software like ours became a necessary component of a lender’s workflow — a responsibility that we take very seriously.
During this time, the industry had continued to evolve too. We recognized the growth of “community lenders” — those small and midsize independent mortgage banks, credit unions and community banks who serve their local and regional neighborhoods. There are thousands of these mortgage businesses and they have become part of the American landscape, managing over $1T of our nation’s annual origination volume.
These businesses are our heartbeat: we aim to empower community lenders, whether you do $50M a year or $5B a year, to compete nimbly in the marketplace.
Where we are now
One of my favorite analogies for teamwork is the Tour de France. Each team member has a role to play, whether it’s the green jersey who takes on the sprints or the polka dot jersey for the “king of the mountains” for categorized climbs. But each player gathers to support the yellow jersey for the win. This is the lead cyclist, the winner, the rider in charge. As a mortgage leader, you are the one building the business, ultimately in charge of winning the race. At some point, you joined Maxwell and made it work for you. But it’s not us that won the race, it’s you. We just exist to give you and your teams the power to blast through sprints and up hills so you win the race.
We’ve had a bit of success already.
Since 2016, over $50B has been transacted on our platform, with the most recent quarter clocking in at nearly $10B, from thousands of loan officers, LOAs, processors and managers. We’ve found that loan officers on Maxwell begin to consistently outproduce the market by 35% on average.
As we lean into machine learning, artificial intelligence and process automation, we focus on putting the power of this technology in the hands of community lenders. The cycles of our industry always bring the long-term risk of consolidating power with a few large lenders. But our economy doesn’t need more mega-lenders. We need an enthusiastic group of thousands of thriving community-focused lenders who democratize access to homeownership and provide more choices, not fewer, to borrowers.
We are gaining momentum
As Maxwell has grown, the hundreds of lenders on our platform are asking more of us. And we realize we have become more to them than just a POS. Our newest capabilities harness the power of our collective scale as a network of lenders. For example, no longer is the power of big data just available to mega lenders. Now, Maxwell can put it to work for all the community lenders on our platform. A small lender today paying us less than $500 a month has better data powered-features than many traditional large players.
This is who we have always hoped to become: a platform powered by the collective masses, built to give the scale and economics of a large lender to the community lender.
It’s why I’m thrilled to announce the launch of our newest product, the Maxwell Fulfillment Platform. It’s a new way to process loans efficiently and effectively. Our customers told us that a significant part of a borrower’s experience is what happens between submitting the application and signing the closing papers. At many lenders, these phases are heavily influenced by the processor. And, with the refinance boom underway, access to the best talent has become increasingly competitive.
With our announcement today, Maxwell is making it easier for lenders to deliver a flexible, efficient and high-quality processing experience. The Maxwell Fulfillment Platform is a dedicated network of processors, powered by our technology, who ensure timely work, lower costs, and deliver a superb experience. Lenders can flexibly add processors and begin sending loans through the fulfillment platform. That means the complexity of managing a remote team is taken off your plate, while you maintain ownership of customer data and a fully branded experience for your MLOs and borrowers.
Here are the ways that the Maxwell Fulfillment Platform can help community lenders improve the loan experience and economics:
–A back-office embedded with your team. Services are provided on a fully white-labeled basis and the processor becomes part of your Operations team from the first loan through the last.
–Flexible scope and flexible staffing. The Fulfillment Platform was built recognizing the ebbs and flows of the seasons and industry cycles, and that each lender has its own workflow. The scope of work is defined specifically for each lender. There are no multi-year contracts and no long-term minimum requirements.
–Always on-shore, always experienced. All of the processors in the Maxwell Fulfillment network are based in the U.S. Currently, the average mortgage experience of the team is 22 years.
–Wide product knowledge. The processors, along with our technology, have the breadth to manage agency, FHA, VA, jumbo, and non-QM products.
–Market-leading pricing. Pricing for processing and underwriting is enhanced for lenders on Maxwell, thanks to our AI/ML and automation which dramatically improves productivity and quality. In most cases, the U.S.-based processor on Maxwell with 20+ years of experience will cost less than the relatively inexperienced off-shore processor.
–Fully compliant, with no “gray area.” The Maxwell Fulfillment Platform is fully licensed state-by-state to provide its services, leaving no ambiguity of adherence to state regulations. What’s more, our bank-grade security and dedication to privacy exceeds market standards.
–Hands-on help and support. A dedicated account manager supports you from onboarding through the management of services that the Fulfillment Platform provides.
Best of all, and perhaps my favorite aspect of the Fulfillment Platform: the platform was built to support community lenders of all sizes, whether you have us handle 30 loans a month or 300.
After several months in beta, we’re excited to extend availability to qualifying lenders who can apply for early access. If you need processing support for 30 to 300 loans per month, this might be the perfect solution for you. Click here to apply or, if you’re an existing Maxwell customer, reach out to your account manager.
In addition, we are also accepting discussions with fulfillment partners to join the network. The Maxwell Fulfillment Platform was built to support both processors that work for partners in addition to the processors that Maxwell employs on our own. The technology we’re building is available for anyone on our network.
Maxwell’s is known for our focus on simplicity. Now, we’re taking that deeper into our customer’s production — making the automation technology and service flexibility once reserved just for large companies, accessible to every lender. And it all happens seamlessly, so you can focus on building a phenomenal mortgage business, now with even better margins.
This is clearly a major initiative for Maxwell. We will be investing millions of dollars in the coming years to accelerate and extend the Fulfillment Platform for the future. It is a clear example of how our business model is in full alignment with our mission to empower mortgage professionals with technology. My team and I are committed to listening to the needs of community lenders, and bringing you services and benefits that enable you to compete in the evolving marketplace. It’s the perfect time to join us on this journey.
The value Maxwell creates hasn’t changed since Day 1: simplicity. Making something simple is not easy — it takes a lot of listening, a lot of care and discipline, and it takes craftsmanship.
The industry is undergoing a seismic shift from a paper-driven workflow to a digitally native experience. We wanted to make it simple for community lenders, whether they do $50M a year or $5B a year, to participate in this revolution. It’s an incredible sense of solidarity: we do this together. For Maxwell, that means a lifelong commitment to keep our software, products and services ahead of the curve.
At Maxwell’s core, we succeed when our lenders succeed. Our lenders succeed when we make mortgages simpler and more accessible. And we’ve never been more ready to do so.