In November 2022, Total Expert’s new Chief Lending Officer, Dan Catinella, was the featured guest on the Digital Disrupted podcast with host Paul Muller. In this episode of the podcast, Dan shares an update on his view of the current market and insights into how digital tools can be a possible option for the mortgage industry in today’s unique market.
Rebalancing of the Market
If you own a home, are looking to buy, or just pay attention to the news, you’re aware of the complicated conditions that the mortgage and housing markets are currently facing. Much of what we are seeing now is a reaction to complex changes in the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Dan would put it, right now, we’re in a “rebalancing of the market.”
The low interest rates of 2020 and 2021 made room for droves of homeowners to refinance, causing many lenders to add staff in order to meet the demand. Numerous rate increases over the past year, however, have almost all but eliminated the desire to refinance. Explaining the dramatic change in mindset regarding the housing market, Dan shares that the speed at which the rate increases occurred makes it “more of an affordability crisis than any type of credit crash like what we saw back in 2008.”
Unfortunately, this search for equilibrium in the market means many lenders are forced to downsize the number of sales staff and loan officers.
As many financial institutions make staffing adjustments, Dan explains how important it is for lenders to pivot to a purchase focus. Leveraging your referral base and tapping into existing relationships will be crucial for lenders who want to stay afloat during this period of rebalancing, and technology and automation can help them to do that efficiently.
An Industry Ripe for Digital Transformation
Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered current market conditions, but it has also accelerated the transition to digital tools for nearly every element of life. The mortgage industry specifically is ripe for a complete digital transformation.
Most financial institutions already have massive customer databases. Using digital tools to surface untapped opportunities, streamline the customer journey, and leverage cross-selling can pay dividends on the technology investment.
Dan explains that, on average, mortgage services utilize a minimum of three or four tech platforms to facilitate business. Streamlining your tech stack to improve both lender and customer experience can be the difference between one-time customers and creating a partner for life. By leveraging intelligent digital tools that address where the bottlenecks in business are, hardworking staff will be able to work more efficiently, in return providing a better experience for customers.
For more of Dan’s conversation with Paul Muller, listen to the full Digital Disrupted episode.