On this episode of Expert Insights, host Joe Welu is joined by Total Expert’s new Chief Lending Officer, Dan Catinella. As Chief Lending Officer, Dan works directly with Total Expert’s customers and prospects to address industry pain points and respond to financial trends. Having spent his career at the intersection of lending and technology, Dan serves as a natural fit for speaking on issues in the current lending environment.
In this episode, Dan shares his view on the current state of the market and the future of homeownership, as well as what tactics lenders can use to remain nimble, reassure customers, and drive growth.
Last month, in a struggle to contain rapid inflation, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point. Having been on the road for the last few weeks at various industry events, Dan has had the opportunity to hear from leading voices in the mortgage industry and understand where they see the market trending. The most common conversation Dan has been having: many people are fearful of purchasing a home right now, especially with rising interest rates.
While there is no denying the current short-term panic in the market, Dan offers a way forward for buyers. According to Dan, “in most cases, home appreciations are still going to tick up. So, there’s a cost of waiting and not purchasing that home this year, so let’s get you into that dream home.” Dan explains that even though buyers may be signing on for a 30-year mortgage, there’s going to be an opportunity in the near future for homeowners to refinance – potentially a handful of times – as rates begin to come down.
Either way, Dan and Joe agree that no one is betting against homeownership in America long term. Both are confident the market will bounce back.
Levers to Drive Growth in a Down Market
Not only are homebuyers looking for a path forward in the current market, but banks and lenders are also looking for solutions to continue driving growth. Dan cites consolidating operating costs as the number one factor organizations are considering in order to build the most effective operational model in a slower market. This includes looking at the tech stack, as well.
Rather than running with whatever the latest tech tool is, Dan explains that “organizations are really looking at today and evaluating, ‘All right, have we done a good job of implementing this? Does it really align with the rest of our tech stack, and does it ultimately provide value for our business?’” Having the most effective tech for the organization in your toolbelt is a good way to make the most of resources and staff, even in a down market.
The second biggest factor Dan suggests lenders consider to drive revenue and growth in a down market is innovation. “We’re going to definitely see some more product innovation across the board, and it will probably make some originators a little uncomfortable,” says Dan. “It’s got to be implemented in the right way to not create friction around the originators.”
This innovation not only applies to the tools lenders are utilizing, but also to the role they are playing in an individual’s financial journey. Dan shares that he has seen a mindset shift for many originators as a result of the current market conditions. “I think nine out of ten originators I talk to today have kind of completely changed their mindset into more of an advisory role,” he shares. Dan believes that harnessing the best technology and data intelligence to surface opportunities and stay in front of customers’ needs is an innovative move for lenders to maintain relationships with customers.
For more of Dan Catinella’s insights, listen to the full Expert Insights episode.