The complete mortgage experience.

A two-sided marketplace that connects home buyers with local loan officers, streamlining the pre-qualification process.

About

The Local Loans platform is made for two kinds of users: loan officers and clients. Clients can receive leads in their area from local borrowers looking for the perfect loan officer.

Local Loans' Website →

LOCATION

Santa Barbara, CA

PROJECT DURATION

1 year

TYPE

Marketplace / Productivity

SERVICES

Ruby on Rails development,
iOS development
Technical consulting,
Product management

The challenge

Local Loans founding team had deep expertise in the mortgage industry, and were in need of a technical partner to lead their product development efforts. Xmartlabs established a close relationship with Local Loans' team and made sure we understood their vision for the product.

We found ourselves face to face with a real challenge: a marketplace that unites loan officers with potential clients. It offers both parties tools to make loans more convenient by streamlining the pre-qualification process.

The Local Loans app main strengths had to be its UX and thoroughness. We accommodated many tools for loan officers, including industry news, informational graphs, legal documentation, client management and a payment calculator.

“Communication with the client was very fluid and we helped him evolve his ideas into a fully functional application, which makes us proud of our work.”

Mike - Xmartlabs' Android and iOS Developer

The solution

We provided strategic advise and established a product roadmap aligned with their vision. We helped the Local Loans' team define a feature set for the MVP and put in place a monetization strategy based on in-app subscriptions.

Our involvement was beyond development, we provided mentorshipto help our clients make informed decisions and took ownership of the backend and app development end-to-end.

In order to fulfill all these objectives good communication and transparent project management was of essence. We followed an agile development process that allowed us to mitigate the adoption risk by releasing incremental builds. Those were tested with users in our target customer segment early on, which uncovered some usability issues that we quickly addressed.

We aimed high in terms of visual detail and went on to create a stylish application with swift transitions and great performance. It ended up becoming a great product from a UX standpoint. It was also important for us to keep users engaged with real time updates of the information they find relevant.

Originally the idea was to develop one application for both clients and loan officers. As the application grew in size and complexity we had to split it in two different apps embedded in the same project.

Marketplace. The platform includes functionality such as user profiles, discovery through map or list views, reviews and integrated messaging functionality.

Automatized business process. The mortgage industry adoption of technology is slow; and the pre-qualification process requires a lot of paperwork including regulatory forms, which are usually filled in person. We streamlined the process by offering an user friendly UI, implementing the associated business rules to provide feedback on the spot and exporting the regulatory forms in it's traditional format. Win-win-win.

Reference material. The app included legal and practical documentation. We designed a solution based on html templates with bookmarking and full-search capabilities, flexible enough to allow changes in the content without additional development effort.

Interactive tools. We created high fidelity graphs and interactive tools to track market rate and calculate mortgage payments. We used a 3rd party integration to retrieve market rates and industry news.

Working with Xmartlabs' team was seamless. They felt like an extension of our core team even though we were working remotely, our communication was fluid and constant. Xmartlabs helped map out our product development’s by prioritizing the most important features. 

This helped our company reach deadlines in record times while keeping the quality of product deliverables high. Utilizing the best in project management tools, the team was able to keep all stake holders informed and communicated professionally & effectively even when there were hiccups in the project. I highly recommend Xmartlabs and their team to anyone that is looking to build great mobile products.

DERREN OHANIAN 
LOCAL LOANS CTO

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