Alta West Mortgage - Private Lender of the Year
June 17, 2010
In two short years, Alta West Mortgage (Calgary, AB) had increased their portfolio a whopping 400%. Their business plans and marketing savvy were working like a charm, but they overlooked one key thing - automating their operations. They had an administrative nightmare on their hands. They were using old technology to manage their loans: an amortization calculator, spreadsheets, a GL, and many client folders - one for each borrower and for each investor. Dave McKitrick, Alta West Mortgage COO, said "The process was manual with too many inputs - nothing was connected and therefore there were too many errors being made." He adds "There were many miscommunications between the staff and our customers, and worse yet, our investors were finding the errors and losing confidence in the company. We knew we needed to automate our back office, but didn't know how to do it."
They initially went the custom software approach, since they assumed that software for the private lending industry in Canada didn't exist. They spent 6 months working with several companies to discuss their needs, and the end result wasn't what they expected. What they got wasn't software but proposals - ranging from 100K to 150K…just to start building something from scratch. That idea was shelved.
Dave thought "This can't be new - there must be others doing what we do." They asked their peers and competitors in the lending industry what they used, and more often than not heard about The Mortgage Office™. For comparison purposes, they selected two other software packages to evaluate. How did all those evaluations go? Dave was disappointed in the capabilities of software programs. As far as The Mortgage Office™ he said "You guys were the opposite: You just showed me what the software did, and you knocked our socks off." He adds "Your software blew the others away. It wasn't even close. The Mortgage Office™ is 20 years ahead of the other products. It was also much cheaper than trying to write something from scratch."
Once Alta West Mortgage purchased and implemented The Mortgage Office™, they still felt a need to run parallel systems for a year - unable to believe that 'The Mortgage Office' was actually automating all that they had previously done manually. Occasionally the MIC distributions appeared to be off, and upon calling ABS' Software Support folks and doing the math by hand, realized that the errors were in fact in their spreadsheets. "Your software was right every time" Dave asserts. "You proved it to me over and over, and eventually we let the spreadsheets go."
Years later, Dave is still excited about what the software has done for his company: "The Mortgage Office" is unbelievably efficient. It represents Alta West Mortgage consistently and professionally to both investors and borrowers, it has upped our level of professionalism tremendously." He adds "You took us from the stone age to the information age in one fell swoop. Our staff absolutely loves The Mortgage Office and its saving us tons of time. We've reduced our servicing overhead by 50%."
Alta West Mortgage was nominated in 2010 by CMP Magazine for 'Best Alternative Lending Mortgage Broker of the Year.' On his way to the awards gala, Dave sent an email to his favorite software company:
"I'm sure The Mortgage Office software has played a part in our presence in our marketplace. I look back at the days when we did everything manually and I don't know how we did it. Your software changed our company and our lives. Everything on that end is working excellent, and we are a big advocate of yours up here in the great white north! "
Alta West Mortgage went on to win the CMP award for 'Best Alternative Lending Mortgage Broker of the Year.' Not a surprise - this is one company that is making all the right moves.
For information about Alta West Mortgage, visit their web site at www.altawestmortgage.com.