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Digital mortgage lender Better accelerates location planning with Vertis

By Edlyn Cardoza

September 22, 2021

  • Better
  • Digital Lending
  • USA
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Better, Vertis, USA, LendingBetter, a digital-first homeownership company, is accelerating workplace and workforce transformation and best practices with the implementation of Vertis as its market intelligence platform partner. The Vertis Market Intelligence PlatformSM allowed Better to deftly navigate exponential growth, support remote work and location planning, and meet regulatory compliance during the coronavirus pandemic, while continuing to deliver online mortgage services to customers within minutes.

Better used Vertis’ data science solution to help manage a significant workforce transformation over the last year. After hiring 5,000 employees and growing headcount by 5 times, the company needed to organize the new hires into teams across different disciplines and understand how that would affect the office locations in which they worked. Complicating matters was the migration of existing and potential employees out of cities in the wake of the pandemic.

Market recommendations from the Vertis platform propelled Better’s workforce strategy. The AI-powered intelligence from Vertis provided sight on the health of local markets and answers to questions the Better team never even thought to ask, such as understanding how many people are available for a specific role in a specific city and meeting regulatory requirements. By state and local laws, team members selling mortgage services were required to be located within 50 miles of an office. Helped by Vertis’ data visualization, the company was able to identify and tap locally based employees for sales or broker roles while designating those living 50 miles away for remote work positions, such as operations. Using streamlined housing price data, the company could also ensure that corporate decisions would not impose undue costs on employees faced with a dynamic housing market.

As nearly 50% of employees will continue to work remotely post COVID-19, Gartner research reveals that democratization of technology services will be one of the key drivers of the future of work. “Citizen data science” that enables people to extract insights from data without the need for data science expertise is a critical component of emerging workplace strategies for the hybrid work era. In practice, Vertis and Better have seen that AI-based data science can bring visibility to the health of Better’s markets and optimize business resources as they grow.

Richard Duff, director of real estate and workplace services at Better, said: “If there was ever a moment to change how we approach real estate and talent, it’s now. In a competitive, online lending market where every second counts, we need to adjust to a changing workforce and marketplace faster than our competition to win. Vertis allows us to be more agile and innovative with our workplace strategies to scale our business and services to our customers.”

Rapidly expanding organizations like Better rely on market intelligence because it helps significantly increase the speed and efficiency of decision-making for their real estate and talent management teams. Duff was able to collaborate with other departments using Vertis visualization tools, which were valuable to HR leaders for mapping employee location. He was also able to “toggle” between billions of data points like wages, real estate costs, and localized demographics to take a deliberate, thoughtful approach to talent and location decisions. Previously a resource drain and barrier to innovation, data analytics are now fully automated in the Vertis Market Intelligence Platform which lets users like Duff become self-sufficient with ad hoc recommendations and analysis.

“Without a data-driven market intelligence platform like Vertis, we’d have to depend on third-party consulting services or create our own analytics teams or software,” continued Duff. “Those options are non-starters because they’re too static, risky, or expensive. Vertis’ insights give us more control and let us solve problems faster. Being more informed about our market in ways we never had before gives us a real competitive advantage.”

Dave Withers, CEO and co-founder at Vertis, maintains that the current economic climate is causing companies to rethink their approach to decision-making, driving the demand for faster, more accurate, targeted market intelligence. “The pandemic has forced companies to toss out their preconceived notions on hiring and location, because everything has disrupted their growth models,” Withers said. “Enterprise leaders struggle to make sense of all the new data that’s available today and they feel they need data scientists to sort it all out. Vertis gives you a visual map of HR and real estate insights in easy-to-digest ways, like a north star to guide your growth decisions, fully confident in the accuracy and applicability of the recommendations.”

Better helps customers find a mortgage rate in as little as three seconds and get approved for loans in as little as three minutes. Speed, self-service, and a holistic view of data were, therefore, essential factors in Better’s decision to work with Vertis. The digital mortgage services company is the latest in a wave of organizations relying on Vertis to empower their business strategies.

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