Now that the term "digital mortgage" has made it into public vernacular, companies and mortgage loan officers must have a digital presence. There are massive amounts of gadgetry, software and systems designed to make you visible and available online.
At today's rate of innovation, companies are regularly faced with the challenge of choosing and implementing new systems of varying magnitudes – from a CRM to email marketing, APIs and mobile apps. As a result, many companies and services are vying for a chunk of enterprise and individual producer dollars, creating chatter in the ranks and demand among salespeople, causing a widespread tendency to be seduced by the "shiny object syndrome." This lack of uniform digital strategy presents a danger to brand integrity and overall quality in addition to potential exposure to compliance violations.
The smart way to go about choosing and making a commitment to a new system today is to be purposeful about laying out a vision and a plan that considers where the industry and consumer preferences are going beyond your goals, conditions and challenges today. Instant gratification abounds in today's internet-driven climate, but it can defeat lasting success.
Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome
When companies are growing, they're often moving so fast that they get distracted by many different ideas. It's important to do your homework to best position yourself and your team or company for success – not doing so can get very expensive, very quickly. Systems that manage compliance in marketing are a common need in the industry and all mortgage companies need to ask themselves the following questions:
- Do you have a single system of record to add efficiency and track marketing and sales materials from a compliance perspective?
- How efficiently are you getting new marketing assets or campaigns rolled out to your salespeople?
- Are you getting the desired results from your marketing?
Your answers to those questions will help you uncover weaknesses in your current system(s) and help you craft more specific questions for suppliers you are considering. Regardless of the type of system you need, the following are important considerations when shopping for technology:
- Is the product and the company making it going to be around for a while? They may be hot right now, but where are they going in the next 6-12 months?
- Will this supplier be able to scale with me?
- Will they integrate with requirements we need to function?
- Is this potential partner aligned with my business philosophy?
- Is this vendor partner committed to my definition of success?
- What does the roadmap to implementation look like?
If you’re not asking these questions at the outset, you could find yourself saddled with siloed technologies that don’t work with other products within your company – the data can’t talk to each other, and you lose functionality and efficiency.
Your choice of technology partners affects salespeople, so due diligence can help you avoid poor employee experience and morale challenges. It's important to attract and keep driven salespeople, but companies can't be drawn into their instant gratification culture characterized by the ongoing attraction to the "latest and greatest."
Salespeople have short attention spans but long memories for things that hinder them: Once a salesperson has a bad experience with a piece of technology, it is very difficult to convince him/her that the experience will be different next time.
Survive and Thrive in the Digital Mortgage Ecosystem
Set and solidify a long-term vision and commit the resources to execute it. The technology ecosystem surrounding the mortgage industry is starting to mature and companies must evolve with it, in addition to choosing the right external partners.
Most mortgage companies invest in people to manage marketing and sales processes, but they don't have the internal technology expertise to properly vet and understand new systems and products. It’s imperative to have actual technical experts on the payroll, because your organization and its growth plan is in jeopardy without these people on board.
Companies that are winning are investing in great partners, great technology products and hiring people internally that understand the ecosystem and how to help your organization maximize your systems and their benefits. Lasting success requires a clear vision, long-term thinking and due diligence. Choose your products and partners carefully and then commit to them 100%.