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Morgan A.I.

Morgan A.I.: Take the Stress Out of Real Estate

Pictured: Pavan Agarwal, CEO of Sun West Mortgage, and Jason Oppenheim, President of the Oppenheim Group
Pictured: Pavan Agarwal, CEO of Sun West Mortgage, and Jason Oppenheim, President of the Oppenheim Group

The new Morgan technology danced its way onto the world stage during Super Bowl LVII, and The Real Deal caught up with Sun West CEO Pavan Agarwal to learn how this powerful AI tool is revolutionizing the world of lending. Hidden behind the graceful ballerina logo is a robust, empathetic technology that analyzes users’ financial documents and produces warrantied loan proposals in a matter of minutes, taking the stress and uncertainty out of what is traditionally one of the biggest pain points in any real estate transaction. Whether you’re a broker or a loan applicant, Morgan is poised to turn the process of securing the financing you need to close a sale or secure your mortgage from an edge-of-your-set thriller into a feel-good tale.

The Birth of Morgan

Morgan’s parent company Sun West was founded in 1980 in Southern California and quickly grew into one of the largest privately owned mortgage lenders and servicers in the nation. “We started with less than $100,000 at a time when interest rates were 19%,” recalls Agarwal, “but as I always say, the companies that can start and succeed in the worst markets are the ones that are going to make it.” In the subsequent 40 years, Agarwal has done every job in the industry, learning the ins and outs of the lending business. This wealth of experience gave him unique insights into the hurdles that cropped up in every transaction, and, with the help of his engineer father, he began to gather data from the firm’s transactions and build an internal tool to help Sun West’s staff handle complex loan applications quickly and efficiently, leveraging decades worth of transactions to speed up the process and avoid pitfalls.

The breakthrough came as AI technology grew more robust thanks to advances in computing power.

“When artificial intelligence came of age, we started taking these data, these rules, and building it into AI,” says Agarwal.

The result was the first prototype of Morgan, which Sun West agents used to generate loans using customers’ financial documents in a fraction of the time that it took to calculate manually. Once the tool grew to a sufficient level of reliability, it was time for Morgan to waltz its way out of Sun West and into the industry at large.

Before Morgan, the loan origination process depended entirely on a human loan officer, who in turn employed a team of assistants to manually process the financial documents for each applicant. This process, which is still the industry standard, involves loan officers, loan processors, and underwriters all waiting on one another for various documents and calculations; it can take days for a potential borrower to receive a loan proposal once they’ve submitted their financial documents, days during which they wait in suspense, unsure whether they’ll be approved and can move forward with the purchase. To make matters worse, the loan proposals that are delivered have no warranty and are prone to being retracted or changed at the last minute.

With Morgan, Agarwal says, “we’ll get that done and bundled with a 100% warranty in minutes.”

Morgan’s record speaks for itself, with 99.5% of application documents being reviewed in under 90 minutes with almost perfect accuracy. In fact, Agarwal and Sun West are so confident in Morgan’s capabilities that the lender extends a warranty on each of Morgan’s analyses and loan offers, meaning that whatever Morgan says, Sun West will stand behind (provided, of course, that the financing is secured through Sun West). “In the last four and a half years of using Morgan, we’ve only had to eat it four times,” says Agarwal.

Adding Morgan to Your Toolbox

While Morgan’s analytic capabilities are what drives the tool, Agarwal is most excited about how it feels to interact with the tool. Just like with a loan officer, Morgan engages in conversation with the potential borrower, asking questions and giving answers in real-time to ensure that they submit every necessary document and provide every piece of information. Unlike a human, though, Morgan is available 24/7. “With Morgan, there’s never a busy signal,” says Agarwal. 

Sun West agents who have already been using Morgan could barely contain their enthusiasm for the tool when we asked them to describe their working relationship. “Morgan is awesome,” said Brian Savoie, a Mortgage Loan Officer with Sun West, who told us a story about using the tool to save time: it was late on a Friday and Savoie was getting ready for a wedding rehearsal when he received a call from a borrower requesting some changes to a loan. “After the conversation with the customer, I sent a few messages to Morgan and continued on confidently with my plans,” said Savoie. “Morgan handled it all, and I made all the changes just chatting back and forth on my iPhone instead of being anchored to my work computer.” Jay Houck, a Branch Manager for Sun West, heard about Morgan when he started working at the firm and quickly came to rely on the tool to answer many questions throughout his day.

“I use Morgan from the beginning to the end of the loan process, I use Morgan to find out about rates, I use Morgan to find out about guidelines,” said Houck. “I pretty much use Morgan for anything mortgage or real estate related.”

As Morgan makes its way into the world, more brokers and agents will come to rely on the tool in instances where they would normally have to call their loan officer to get an answer to a complex question. “The good realtors, the high producers, know as much about the loan business as the loan officers,” explains Agarwal. “So if they’re calling a loan officer with a financing question, it’s not going to have a simple answer. That loan officer is going to have to hang up and do some research and get back to the realtor.” With Morgan, that answer is just minutes away, giving realtors the ability to answer even the toughest and most nuanced financing questions on the spot. And, thanks to Sun West’s warranty on all information provided by Morgan, the realtor can answer their client’s questions with confidence.

Realtors see Morgan as the way of the future. Selling Sunset’s Jason Oppenheim talked about Morgan with The Real Deal, expressing excitement about adding it to his toolbox. “If you ask me, ‘What’s the most difficult part of the process of buying a house?’ I’d have to say, the underwriting process,” says Oppenheim. “Morgan is addressing the most difficult aspect of that process and streamlining it. I just closed on a refi today, and it took two and a half months.”

With Morgan measuring the turnaround time on loan approval in minutes, Oppenheim says that “it’s the only technology that has come to my attention that addresses an actual and specific need. Everyone’s going to be using it soon.”

Looking Forward

With the launch of Morgan’s consumer-facing tool, Sun West is now leading the industry in delivering loan approvals to customers in real time with the confidence of being backed 100% by a warranty. What was once the most difficult and stressful part of a process that was already among the most complicated and impactful decisions that a person makes during their entire life is now as easy as chatting with an empathetic AI. For realtors, Morgan is a powerful addition to their toolbox, giving them access to warranty-backed financial information that they can provide to their clients in minutes. And it all starts by simply saying hello Morgan.