SMART Select Delivers Title Intelligence Logic

Austin, TX – August 20, 2019 – FirstClose, an industry-leading Fintech company with a unique technology platform that delivers best-in-class property data and intelligence to banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies nationwide, announced the release of SMART Select for Title Search Reports and O&E Reports.

SMART Select uses intelligence logic to automatically select the title vendor with the best service, best price, and best turn-time for each financial institution’s unique lending footprint.  This exciting new technology chooses from six approved and vetted national title vendors to deliver title search reports.

In today’s fast paced and ever-changing mortgage market, lenders are faced with rising cost to originate loans, which is impacting their bottom line.  This is especially true when trying to handle vendor due diligence and select the right title vendor for your business.  Many factors need to be taken into consideration, such as service levels, pricing, and turn times.

What happens when a lender’s current title provider doesn’t meet their level of expectation in any of these areas?  Do they have the time and resources to begin a new selection process or do they just settle for inferior service levels or higher prices?  Lenders no longer have to settle.  FirstClose SMART Select instantly eliminates lenders’ title vendor selection headaches with the introduction of SMART Select.

“Think of SMART Select like cellular coverage,” says Corey Smith, Chief Product Officer at FirstClose, why choose only one provider when you can have the top 6 cell phone providers all under one plan, you’d have the best possible coverage everywhere you go.  That’s the essence of SMART Select, it delivers the best coverage, pricing and turn-time for each customer.”

SMART Select can be enabled as a single product or as a cascade from the FirstClose Instant Property Report when coverage is limited.

  • Single Order: If a user orders a SMART Select Property Report, the system will look at the county and select the best provider out of the pool.
  • Instant Property Report:  If the Instant Property Report has limited coverage, the system will cascade to the SMART Select technology and automatically select the best provider in that county.

Why only work with one vendor that may only be strong in certain footprints but not in others?  SMART Select does the choosing for the lender.  FirstClose can guarantee the best possible service based on the footprint.  SMART Select will also shield lenders from rising industry costs. If a provider decides to raise rates, the pool of providers will be updated accordingly and not select the higher priced provider.

FirstClose Announces All Services Moving to the Cloud

Austin, Texas, April 8, 2019 – FirstClose, a leading provider of technology solutions for mortgage lenders nationwide, today announced that all FirstClose services are now cloud-based.

On April, 8, FirstClose officially moved its entire home equity and refi suite of offerings over to Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure. This migration to the cloud brings a host of benefits.

By migrating all services to the cloud, FirstClose is able to more easily keep up with constantly growing customer demands. It also enables FirstClose to better align with our existing customers’ seasonality requirements and will scale their operations up or down according to fluctuating business needs. The FirstClose services will consistently be there as needed when needed.

The new cloud infrastructure also provides increased security, as it enables FirstClose to keep up with the latest advancements in cybersecurity without the hardware or physical infrastructure complexities. FirstClose is able to back up data regularly and automatically to a safe location online providing enhanced business continuity. With this system, users will no longer have to wait for FirstClose to upgrade hardware or make any changes. This greatly diminishes, and in most cases, eliminates the need for maintenance windows. This means more accessibility for the user.

“Our migration to the cloud is just another way we are streamlining the loan origination process. Our services are now even safer and easier to access, bringing added assurance and convenience to our valued customers,” said Pat Downing, Chief Technology Officer of FirstClose. “We are dedicated to making sure we always provide our customers with the best experience, and we are confident that this choice will greatly benefit both borrowers and lenders moving forward.”

FirstClose Integrates with Ellie Mae Encompass

Austin, Texas, February 5, 2019 – FirstClose, a provider of technology solutions for mortgage lenders nationwide, announced that its reporting suite is now available through Ellie Mae’s Encompass® digital mortgage solution. The seamless integration allows lenders to order FirstClose’s solutions directly through Encompass to drive quality and efficiency in the loan origination process. 

Services can be ordered directly from Encompass at the touch of a button, eliminating duplicate key strokes when placing orders. When orders are returned, data points are sent back to Encompass, which automatically populates critical fields such as the full legal description and vesting information from the title work, the appraised value from the valuation product selected, and more. Copies of the completed reports are automatically imaged into Encompass. The integration reduces human error, as well as costs and closing times.

Ellie Mae is a leading provider of innovative on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry. Ellie Mae’s Encompass digital mortgage solution provides one system of record that enables banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders to originate and fund mortgages and improve compliance, loan quality and efficiency.

“Seamless integration between the LOS and valuation and settlement services helps lenders close loans more quickly and efficiently,” said FirstClose CEO Tedd Smith. “Our secure integration with Encompass enables our clients to simplify the process of ordering our solutions, so they can more easily process mortgage loans and grow their business. We look forward to a long, successful relationship with Ellie Mae.”

FirstClose Adds New Clients, Partnerships

Austin, Texas, January 24, 2019 – FirstClose, a leading provider of technology solutions for mortgage lenders nationwide, added 65 new clients including Truliant Federal Credit Union, FirstBank and The Washington Trust Company; and integrated with multiple new vendor partners, to close out 2018 as one of the most successful in the company’s history.

Helping fuel this growth was a multi-million-dollar investment from Cypress Growth Capital, the largest royalty-based growth capital investor in the United States. The investment provided FirstClose with the capital to continue innovative enhancements to their product line and add additional staff and leadership to support the company’s growth and customer base. 

As for the product, 2018 brought a great deal of changes and developments. New features included enhanced decisioning logic and the current migration to cloud-based services, which will provide users with a product that is both reliable and easier to use while enhancing the borrower experience. 

FirstClose also formed new partnership as well as enhanced current relationships with vendors like Chicago Title, First American, Financial Dimensions and ServiceLink to ensure clients can operate seamlessly in their workflow, ensuring complete, compliant and accurate loan closings. On the horizon for 2019 are enhanced user experiences, advanced reporting features, automated billing and additional LOS integrations. 

To support the company’s growth, FirstClose hired 15 new employees whose roles span all departments. Most notably, FirstClose added two new executives to the team. Chief Technology Officer Pat Downing will use his vast experience in technology to serve FirstClose while Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Patrick McClain will lead the team as they develop new and innovative products for 2019.

“2018 was an exceptional year for us, exceeding our year-end goals. We are grateful to our clients, investors and partners for making this year so successful,” said Tedd Smith, CEO and co-founder of FirstClose. “There are so many new product developments and partnerships coming in 2019 and it is our hope that the coming year will be just as successful as the last.”