2022 MBA Tech Proves Promising for Lenders!
Updated: May 18, 2022
A+ to the Mortgage Bankers Association! Despite rising interest rates and the recent mortgage market downshift, the energy level at this year’s MBA Tech conference was off the charts. A vibe I haven’t felt at a conference in 5 plus years. Yes, many of us were desperate to connect face-to-face, post-COVID hibernation, but the level of strategic planning and collaboration on display was simply, intoxicating. Some themes I found at this year’s MBA Tech include;
Despite margin compression, layoffs, and pending M&A’s discussions – lenders, in large part, are embracing new projects at unprecedented levels during market swings like this.
Lenders, this time, are taking a long-term perspective, planning to leverage the last five years revenues and reinvest in their business; setting the stage for even greater success in the next market up swing.
Projects are ranging from optimizing operations, sales, and technology - to specific business planning for the next market rush.
Lenders were interested in discussing how to increase product diversification (a message we’ve been preaching for the last year)…
While new technology entrants got the obligatory nod and initial interview, other new technology entrants felt like solutions possibly looking for a problem to solve…
The amount of lenders looking for a new LOS proved surprising, feeling strong enough to handle the internal horror show that accompanies a new LOS implementation.
Refreshing that for the first time in years at the MBA Tech conference I heard vendors and lenders speaking in harmony about their desires to get live faster, looking for solutions and collaborating more so than ever to make that happen – while leveraging training and change management services to ensure stronger utilization rates - to obtain better ROI on technology tools.
As one lender CEO said to me, “Now is the time to make our move. We’ll simply reallocate resources to help ensure your team has the resources you need to implement our new initiatives (LOS and new mortgage products).”
Innovation was top of mind, less looking to understand the new technologies but wanting to understand how to effectively implement.
Operations optimization in workflow, lenders asking for new, cutting edge, best practices and innovative tools to drive operational efficiencies.
The concept of Innovation in the mortgage space is still a challenge for a lot of people. At one point, a panel of mortgage banking experts struggled to answer the question of how our industry can truly reinvent the mortgage process to drive down costs. Theories remain strong on innovation fronts, but lenders were asking for help on the practical steps to implement innovative concepts.
Lenders seeking help in relation to Secondary Optimization – requesting help to close the gaps and reduce leakage. Couple community banks and credit unions highlighted their self-realization that secondary is not only a highly specialized area, that they trust their team is running effectively running. But, they also recognize that the people running secondary grew into those positions with little expertise or additional counsel helping provide them best practices. Yes, a little loss leakage can add up to a lot (½ M to a Million) in loss revenue each year.
M&A talks continued to surface as some executives kicked the tires on their options and are evaluating what’s best for their business, and their people.
In summary, the positive energy, vibes, and trends found at this year’s annual MBA Tech conference are sure to carry over as primary discussion points through summer. That despite the current market downshift, lenders are capitalizing on this time to recalibrate all sides of business, strategy, and technology.