Ramzy Sabbara has been in the mortgage and financial services business for more than 25 years, the majority of which he has headed his own independent mortgage brokerage, Mortgage Funding Options. The company, which Ramzy started in 1999, provides retail mortgage loans to consumers purchasing and refinancing their homes primarily in the area around Valley Center, California.
Ramzy has also worked in the financial services industry for some of the largest banks in the nation. This experience has given Ramzy a unique perspective on client service, which he utilizes to his advantage in his own boutique mortgage company. In fact, it was his experience serving clients as a banker that prompted Ramzy to look for a secure file transfer platform in 2017 when he returned to Mortgage Funding Options, after taking a hiatus for his bank employment. “One of the things that I noticed working with clients at the bank is the increasing expectation for reliable document security. The banks that I worked at all offered the ability for clients to upload their files using a secure method and I knew that it was something that I wanted—and needed—to offer clients in my own business,” explained Ramzy. “This is especially true now, given the ongoing cybersecurity threats we face in the financial services industry.”
A secure, proven solution that stood out from the rest
After evaluating “a ton” of secure document storage solutions, Ramzy settled on SmartVault. “I looked at many solutions, but a lot of them just didn’t seem reputable. I liked the fact that SmartVault is used by a lot of accounting firms and CPAs—they need a secure solution that meets FINRA and other compliance measures—and so did I.”
Another SmartVault plus that Ramzy enjoys is the ability to use the platform to work collaboratively in the cloud with his independent contractor.
“My contractor is located in Texas, but with SmartVault’s virtual client portal we can work together seamlessly, sharing files as needed. In addition, we can adjust access to files easily to ensure the privacy of information based on what each client needs to be able to access,” said Ramzy.
Overall, Ramzy reported his experience using SmartVault has been great. “Getting started with SmartVault was easy and any time I have needed support or customer service, everyone was helpful. There really haven’t been any service issues,” he noted.
“Most importantly,” Ramzy said. “Clients love the security capabilities for their sensitive financial documents. The ability to email a link to clients that they can then use to upload documents with password protection is a smooth and easy way to give them peace of mind. It also makes it easier for me to comply with industry regulations and keep up with data security best practices.”
A best of breed solution for businesses of every size
Although the mortgage processing platform that Mortgage Options Funding uses recently introduced a secure file transmission option, Ramzy still prefers to take a “best of breed” approach to file management and workflow collaboration rather than a “one suite solution.”
His reasons for using a best of breed approach for document management in his company are twofold, as he explained: “One, I want to maintain the independent access that I have to my files using SmartVault. If I use one solution for every need in my business then I am locked in. By using SmartVault, I run a parallel file storage system that I control. Two, despite our business being small SmartVault is a solution that gives us the same edge as a bigger entity when it comes to document storage, file sharing, security and information privacy controls.”
When asked if he would recommend SmartVault to other mortgage companies, Remzy didn’t hesitate to give the platform a positive review. “From my experience it’s the best option out there. It’s easy to use, it’s a great storage platform and it’s a solution that satisfies our clients’ need for security.”