MetaSource Senior Director of Mortgage Services Ruth Lee recently attended the inaugural SourceMedia Digital Mortgage Conference in San Francisco. The following are her observations on the show and what the industry can take away from the event.
The mortgage industry is hungry for digital solutions, and attendance at the first ever Digital Mortgage Conference, hosted by SourceMedia, is evidence of that fact. A conference that was expected to only attract around 300 attendees ended up wooing close to a thousand attendees all the way to San Francisco in the midst of the holiday season. To me, this is indicative of two things:
1. The mortgage industry has cash to invest, and they want to invest in technology.
Many years ago, the only folks who could really afford top-of-the-line mortgage technology were the top-tier lenders. Now, technology has advanced to the point where a mid-range mortgage company has access to and can afford the same amazing solutions as their larger brethren, and I think that's one of the most exciting advances in this industry.
2. Lenders are looking for efficiency to offset refi volume.
Most industry forecasts for 2017 are predicting a drop in refi volume over the next year. Lenders seem to be taking these predictions to heart and using the coming months to evaluate and recalibrate their operations to make sure there isn’t any profit leakage associated with manual processes, errors, compliance risk, etc., and many are turning to technology to aid in this process.
It’s also worth mentioning that there is a slew of new players in the mortgage tech space that are ready to challenge some of the industry’s heavyweights. For example, in PP&E world, newcomer Lender Price is poised to mount a serious challenge and is doing so by marrying advanced analytics and big data with a really sophisticated platform. Of course, having a serious competitor in the market is likely to spur innovation across the PP&E channel, and the beneficiaries of this race to what’s next are lenders, who will get a better product at a better price.
At the end of the day
Ultimately, what I garnered from the Digital Mortgage Conference is that fintech is big. For those who are paying attention, any of the mid-size, non-bank lenders out there who really want to go to the next level are doing so, and they’re making it happen by investing in technology. They are looking for best-in-class; they are looking for efficiencies; and they are looking for low price.