Mortgage Bankers Association Chairman Rodrigo Lopez challenged his peers to harness technology in a manner that will help enhance the customer experience while solidifying the homeownership environment.
In a speech delivered yesterday before the trade group’s annual technology conference in Chicago, Lopez stressed that mortgage bankers need to view technology in a proactive manner.
“We need to be poised and ready to take the necessary steps in strategic innovation, or transformational technology,” he said. “If we do not adapt to these new technologies and related consumer expectations, we will fail. We will fail consumers; fail our business partners; fail our employees; fail our stakeholders; and, fail our industry.”
Lopez, who is also chairman of Omaha-based Nortmarq Capital, added high-tech answers helped strengthen the industry against the burdens of federal regulations in the post-recession years.
“These technologies not only make companies more efficient, but they also make them smarter,” he continued. “In the last decade, residential lenders have been burdened with thousands of pages of new regulations. As a result, many lending operations have been searching for tools to make operations as efficient as possible, at the lowest cost possible … The old way of doing business was not nearly capable of handling the influx of change that come with the short deadlines imposed by the [Dodd-Frank] legislation. Technology played a very crucial role in helping lenders implement and stay in compliance with these regulations.”
But, on the other hand, Lopez expressed concern that an active push to deregulate the financial services world might not be the panacea that many Dodd-Frank critics imagine.
“As an industry, we spent hundreds of millions of dollars incorporating new applications and systems to comply with the Dodd-Frank legislation,” he said. “To start unravelling those regulations could mean having to spend extraordinary resources of time and money on whatever the next regulatory regime is, not to mention the confusion and complications for consumers … We want the effective flow of capital while maintaining the right regulatory balance. All the technology you developed is providing critical services to the lending industry and consumers. Your hard work should not go by the wayside.”
Lopez also pointed to the tech-savvy Millennials and their increased presence in the homebuying market as proof that mortgage bankers need to stay ahead of the high-tech curve. With technology catering to a consumers' individual preferences, companies such as United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) recently launched BLINK, a new all-digital loan portal that modernizes the way mortgage brokers work with consumers and strengthens their ability to compete against mega retail lenders in the market.
“As this new generation enters the marketplace, we realize that each consumer has different needs in the home-buying process, depending on their experience and their background,” he stated. “This calls for differentiated, customized approaches to the overall lending process.”