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August 14, 2019

Mortgage Cadence Benchmarking Study Identifies Key Differentiators of High-Performing Lenders

"The Mortgage Cadence top performer for Pull-Through reported an incredible 85.38% metric — meaning that they converted more than 17 out of 20 loan applications to active mortgages."

A focus on optimizing staffing models and streamlining processes helps combat market volatility, earning Mortgage Cadence clients market-leadership position in productivity and cost-to-close metrics

DENVER; Aug. 15, 2019 – A new study from Mortgage Cadence, an Accenture (NYSE: ACN) company, identifies several key factors that differentiate high-performing lenders from others in today’s mortgage market, which is characterized by an industry-wide housing supply shortage and all-time-high costs to originate a mortgage.

Mortgage Cadence’s seventh annual Lending Performance Benchmarking Study draws on the analysis of data from mortgage lenders across the country that use the full suite of Mortgage Cadence loan origination technologies.

The report notes that high-performing lenders share three characteristics. First, they benchmark their performance against the competition, identifying areas for growth and improvement. Second, they optimize their staffing models and cross-train their teams so they can quickly adapt to the ebb and flow of loan volume without hiring additional team members, thereby maximizing profitability. Finally, high performers perfect their processes then map their loan journeys from application to close to eliminate bottlenecks, optimize technology and clarify ownership of touchpoints. 

A key element of the study is Mortgage Cadence’s benchmarking of the year-over-year performance of its clients. The data compare individual lender performance year-over-year using five critical key performance indicators:

  • Velocity — the amount of time it takes to close a loan;
  • Borrower Share — the ratio of applications taken to total customer base in the same calendar year;
  • Pull-Through — the ratio of closed loans to applications taken;
  • Cost-to-Close — the total cost of manufacturing a single mortgage; and
  • Productivity — the measure of closed loans per mortgage production employee per month.

The study notes that although Productivity improved to an average of 3.33 loans per employee in 2018, up from 3.29 in 2017, Velocity suffered, increasing by more than eight days in 2018, to 64.53 days. Pull-Through also suffered, dropping to 48.21% in 2018 from 50.08% in 2017. Both metrics contributed to the highest Cost-to-Close measure since the study’s inception: $5,643 (although still significantly less than the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) average of $8,975).

According to the study, the decrease in performance is partly the result of a housing supply problem: When the number of interested home buyers exceeds housing inventory, the pre-approval process is lengthened and Velocity increases. Pull-Through also suffers, as a lender can’t expect to close on an application if the borrower can’t find a home to purchase.

“The mortgage market’s volatility over the past 30 years has caused the Cost-to-Close to rise,” said Bryan Ireton, managing director for Mortgage Cadence, Accenture. “Even so, high-performing lenders have been able to consistently realize higher profits by fine-tuning their processes according to benchmarking results.”

Other key benchmarking findings include:

  • Three-quarters (76%) of Mortgage Cadence clients outperformed the MBA Productivity average of 2.00 loans per employee.
  • Approximately seven in eight Mortgage Cadence clients (86%) outperformed the MBA Cost-to-Close average of $8,975.
  • The Mortgage Cadence top performer for Pull-Through reported an incredible 85.38% metric — meaning that they converted more than 17 out of 20 loan applications to active mortgages.

For more information on the Mortgage Cadence Benchmarking Study, please visit  

About Mortgage Cadence

Since 1999, Mortgage Cadence has been providing the best people, process and technology for enterprise and mid-market lenders who desire to deliver an exceptional borrower experience. From point-of-sale through post-closing, Mortgage Cadence offers reliable software and dedicated people, supporting lenders every step of the way.


Pamela Herrmann
Mortgage Cadence
+1 720.480.7655