Experts Track Regulation & Automate Mortgage Process
Ellie Mae's cutting-edge mortgage software is so popular that the rapidly growing company is bursting at the seams of its current location.
The Pleasanton-based company is moving in April from its offices on Hopyard Road to Hacienda, where it will take up 100,000 square feet covering three entire floors of one building.
"We're moving because we're growing like crazy," Susan Chenoweth Scarth, senior vice president of marketing, said. "We have outgrown our space. We went from about 400 employees at the beginning of the year (2014) to about 620 today. We're looking to add about 200 more employees this year."
Ellie Mae is an industry leader in the automation of the cumbersome process of applying for a mortgage. Roughly 20 percent of all mortgages processed nationwide are done on Ellie Mae software.
"We provide software to mortgage lenders that automates the entire mortgage process for them," Scarth explained. "If you've ever gotten a mortgage, you know how intensive it can be - everything from proving your income and assets to the appraisal and title for the property."
Not only does Ellie Mae's software cut out reams of paperwork, but it provides banks and mortgage lenders with software that keeps up with the most current industry regulations.
"The government continues to add more and more regulations," she noted. "It's really next to impossible for mortgage lenders to operate unless they adopt a solution like Ellie Mae's. A key driver to why people buy our software is the ability for them to adhere to any new regulations that come out."
Ellie Mae has a team of experts whose sole task is to keep track of current regulations.
"It's their job all day, every day to stay on top of that, and then we modify our software accordingly," Scarth said. "We update our software monthly to keep up with the different compliance updates that come out."
Customers can access monthly webinars to help them stay educated about the latest changes.
Ellie Mae was founded in Danville in 1997 by Sig Anderman and Limin Hu, who remain, respectively, CEO and chief technology officer.
"Sig was the visionary entrepreneur who thought there could be a better way to do mortgages," Scarth recalled. "He had a basic vision that carries us through today, which was to do everything automated that could be automated. Limin was the technology architect for the software we have developed over the years."
Ellie Mae has evolved to keep up with changing technology. The current software is offered in the cloud and updated regularly.
"It's a software as a service solution," Scarth said. "Customers sign up for a subscription and then they have access through the Internet to the software. It saves them from building a huge data center and maintaining the software themselves because we do that for them."
The main software, Encompass, allows banks and mortgage lenders to build their websites so that customers can easily access and use the online mortgage process.
In addition to Encompass, Ellie Mae offers a line of add-ons to help banks and mortgage lenders run their businesses more efficiently. One example is customer relationship management that helps companies track potential customers and keep tabs on them throughout the entire mortgage process.
The business model is clearly working as Ellie Mae continues to grow and expand its business, now serving more than 104,000 users from thousands of mortgage lenders.
"Our greatest advantage is that when you look at the entire mortgage process that we automate, we do all of it," Scarth said. "Most of our competitors do bits and pieces of it. We're very strong with the compliance, which is a key component of the software."
Learn more about Ellie Mae at elliemae.com.
Photo: Jonathan Corr was named president and chief executive officer of Ellie Mae in January. He has been with the company since 2002. (photo provided by Ellie Mae)
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