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TECHNOLOGY

WHY EXCEL IS KILLING YOUR LENDING BUSINESS Simple spreadsheets may seem like an easy way to manage your leads, deals, and client data; however, there are better solutions. by Erica Sikoski

F

rom the get-go, many private lenders use Microsoft Excel

as the software solution for

tracking all aspects of their busi-

nesses. That’s really not surprising, given its familiarity and versatility.

It is a well-known tool among employees and is feature-rich, allowing you to manage customer data, create formulas for quick calculations, and keep all your information in one spot. Perfect, right? It’s not that simple. Whether you are just starting out as a private lender or run a well-established business, you might want to look at solutions that can help you scale your growth even better. Here are three reasons to consider switching from Excel to a proper Loan Origination System software platform. 86

PRIVATE LENDER

COMMON EXCEL DRAWBACKS Lack of team collaboration and shar-

ing capabilities. Excel has limited ability

for private lending teams to collaborate. Of course, users can email an Excel file back and forth, make changes, save the file and resend it, but no real-time collaboration functionality is available.

gain access and only allows certain members to view full client information, Excel spreadsheets can generally be circulated to anyone via email. Remember, as a private lender, you typically store client and deal information in these Excel spreadsheets. You don’t want to leave your entire pipeline and leads list open for misuse. Manual data entry invites errors.

to share internally, they are too easy to

Data must be entered manually in Excel. Entering and updating customer data can be time-consuming, and it opens the door to human error. And, as we all know, human error can lead to costly mistakes. In 2012, JPMorgan lost more than $6 billion in what’s known as the “London Whale” incident caused by Excel spreadsheet errors. In that case, an employee copied and pasted data from one Excel sheet to another, introducing errors that were not caught until it was too late.

share externally. As opposed to a secure

Scalability. As your business and client

You cannot have more than one team member in the file at the same time. The content of the file can become outdated, and team members may get confused about which version is the most recent. Additionally, it becomes difficult to divvy up leads and clients when you’re working in Excel, as there can be overlapping messaging and missed lead opportunities. As difficult as Excel spreadsheets are

software that requires users to log in to

lists grow, your Excel spreadsheets get big-


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