Today we live in an era of rapid technological advancement. Keeping up with the impact of the changes can be daunting. Here’s one that is both exciting, but also could have important strategic implications for how we in the mortgage industry navigate the options that may play out before us in the future.

Everyday virtual assistants (Apple’s Siri, Google’s Now, Microsoft’s Cortana) are learning from daily interactions within a vast and ever expanding platform. What started with smart phones has expanded to tablets and cars. Now operating systems for desktops & laptops either have or are preparing for virtual assistants to join them as well. In other words, your virtual assistant accessibility is growing to be with you almost anywhere you are.

I must admit, my understanding and respect for my virtual personal assistant, Siri, has gone from mild curiosity, to a much deeper respect lately. My appreciation initially grew when I discovered how easily Siri could record my dentist appointment for me on my calendar and it grew even further when Siri started making dinner reservations for me on Open Table, a popular dining app.

Why should you care about virtual personal assistants and third party mobile apps? Well first ask yourself this, who do you spend more time with on a daily basis? Your smart phone or your significant other? I am forced to admit, the smart phone can sometimes win this one.

Now ask yourself what all this technology could do for mortgage lending. What about mortgage banking third party mobile applications? The era of empowering a consumer to say, “Siri, look for a payment savings of $50 or more, and when you find that begin the loan application process for me” . . . Sound far-fetched? Given the rate of development maybe it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Since the dawn of computing we have moved from the programming punch card era, to typewriter interface, to touch screen, and now the natural language virtual assistant is here and maturing before us. What will it mean for you as mortgage professional? How might you want to empower your current and prospective clients to interact with you? How soon will a virtual assistant be ready to start filling out a mortgage application?

What are your thoughts about using virtual assistants in your profession? Tell me more about it in the comments section below.

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